We did it!
I was able to complete 10 miles without limping! That was my goal.
It wasn’t very pretty though. I kept fairly even splits until mile 7, around 11:15 pace. Walked through water stops but started right back up again. I was going slower than I would have before the injury, which is typical. You lose running speed fast. I was also not pushing it, just trying to keep it steady.
After that, the undertraining wheels came off a bit. I slowed down a lot from the 11:15 pace. I needed extra walk breaks. As I got slower, my run was almost a shuffle, which is not good form at all and I started to feel the beginnings of something in my leg. I actually stopped and stretched it, which I have *never* done in a race before. I had to remind myself that my goal was to finish without limping, and that it was miraculous I’d even made it this far, so not to worry about time or stopping if I needed to.
Plus Erin was super supportive. She stuck with me the whole time, even though I slowed down to a speed that was almost painful for her to do. She’s a true friend. 🙂
At mile 9, something really funny happened. See, Chicago has a system for races indicating the risk factor based on the weather. This was implemented after the extremely hot Chicago marathon where there were deaths related to the heat. So now they have a low-moderate-high-EXTREME system with colored flags. When we got there, Erin saw a green “low” flag. At the first aid station at mile 1.5, there was a yellow “moderate” flag, and we had to laugh. It was sunny out, but breezy by the lake and not particularly humid. In other words, a perfectly gorgeous day. And while overcast and cold is really perfect racing weather, this wasn’t half bad. So back to mile 9. They have put up the black EXTREME flag and are telling everyone the race was going to be closed and to walk the last mile. I looked at Erin and asked, “Really? Do we really have to walk the last mile?” and she says, “hell no!” so we ignored that, as did most runners. Because it was ridiculous. I was not especially hot at all, the heat was not my problem in getting to the finish line. Then as we came into the tunnel (the finish was in the middle of the field), the race volunteers were cheering “nice and easy! Take it in slow!” Hahahahahah. That cracked me up. Who ever tells you to finish slow? It was pretty hilarious.
So we came out on to the field and then I did book it in to the finish. Even injured and undertrained, I do have a fairly strong runner under there, and I busted her out for a charge to the finish. Passed a bunch of people, which was fun. Our time was 1:59:54 – heck yes to the under 2 hours, hahaha. Never has a 12 minute pace made me feel so good.
So, I did it all without limping. We stretched out and I could feel some painful spots in there, so I got ice from the medical tent. And to be honest, some of the pain is back this morning. I’m sure if I tried running again in the next few days, there would be limping involved. So I am going to go back to resting it, hot yoga + cycling, and start seeing doctors to figure out the problem. First step is an xray, which I have an order slip for. I’m suspecting it’s a tendon thing, so I will probably have to keep investigating after the xray shows nothing. But we’ll see.
All in all, it went about as good as I could have hoped. I was expecting a lot worse. Of course, miraculously healed would have been better, but I am not disappointed. I’ll get to the bottom of this and be back running again soon.