I may have Gotten Lucky last weekend, but today I was doing the Shamrock Limp. :(
My knee hasn’t been bothering me too much, and I really thought today I would be fine. I started the race strong, and my lungs were feeling great, too. In fact, Amanda and I were running slightly faster than our normal pace, and things were looking good.
But then we ran down a slight hill, and I realized that my knee wasn’t okay. Soon it started feeling worse, and by the first water station, I knew it wasn’t going to end well. I walked through the water station and when I started up again, every time my right foot would strike the ground, I felt a shooting pain in my knee. I waved Amanda on to keep going without me, and eventually my run became an awkward limp, which gave way into a walk.
My PT told me that if I have to alter my gait or if I begin to limp, I need to stop running. And that is what I did. But I was not happy about it. Just three months ago, I ran a marathon, and now I can’t make it half way through an 8k?! I thought to myself. But, I knew it was what I needed to do.
I tried running a few more stretches but every time I did, I felt even worse. By mile 3 I knew I had to walk the rest of the way. I hung my head in shame, especially as I passed cheering crowds, who were watching me hobble by.
At first I was embarrassed, but I rationalized with myself, that at least I was out on the course. They were only standing on the side, not even trying to run the race. And if they really were judging me for walking, it shouldn’t matter anyway. I was injured.
The lowest point came at the last aid station, where I actually felt so awful I stopped in the medical tent to have them wrap my knee for me. (I didn’t wear my knee brace this time, and the tape that my PT gave me was falling off, so I needed something to stabilize it and make it a little less painful.)
For the last stretch of the race, with a wrapped knee and a bruised ego, I pulled myself together and power-walked my way down Michigan Ave. I climbed up the hill at Roosevelt, and as I made the turn onto the straightaway to the finish line, I decided to try to run for it.
It wasn’t quite as painful now that it was wrapped, and I finished the last tenth of a mile strong. I ran across the finish line, with a smile on my face.
I am not at all happy with my time, but I am proud of myself for listening to my body and doing what I needed to do. Sometimes that’s the best we can hope for.