Today I ran the second slowest half marathon of my life and I couldn't be happier.
I finished the Toronto Women's Half Marathon
in 2:44, well off my best of 1:48, but I was tough. If Dumbledore were to give me an award, I would like to think that he would credit my moral fiber.
If my Twitter
feed is correct, I mysteriously injured my foot on April 12. Still not sure what I did. It was an off day with not running and I stood up from my desk at work and BAM. Messed up peroneal tendon. Badly. Been in physio since then and haven't run in a month and a half, except for 1km last week to test it out and it felt terrible so I stopped, opting for an extra week rest instead of trying to build up mileage. And as stupid as that sounds, I think it was a good idea. My physiotherapist knew that it was my plan to run whether or not my foot was better, so she did her best to prep me. Lots of ultrasound, icing, ART, electropads and strengthening exercises. The main reason that I ran it at all instead of just skipping it all together was because I had raised money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation
and I felt guilty taking the donations and not even attempting the run. So I ran.
I was reading a post online last week talking about women's only races and what the differences/advantages are. I only noticed two main differences from other events.
1. Waiting for the portapotty, the women in line were letting the runners who were in earlier waves of the half go ahead of them in line.
2. Women don't run through puddles. They will line up and run single file to avoid getting their feet wet.
My foot held up for the first 4km before I started to feel the first twinge, and I was able to make it to 12km before I had to take my first walk break (which I promptly tweeted about). It wasn't going great, but I was having fun. Unlike everyone else I saw, I was bounding through the puddles. I was singing to my iPod. I waved at the hot, shirtless firemen, who I saw at three different times while they manned a water station. And then I hit the 18km mark and I'm fairly certain that the last 3km took me 30 minutes. I was doing the old man shuffle and things were not going well but I survived. Chocolate station at 19km was lovely, but all I wanted to do was to be done. I had been doing a lot of cross training, but my quads were burning and my injured foot was killing me, because it's tough to train for running by doing anything besides running.
Finally crossed the finish line (after seeing my mom, fiance, and dog a couple hundred metres before) and I have never been so glad to stop running before in my life. Grabbed my post race grub, met up with my cheerleaders and went home, only to find more aches and pains. My back kills when I sit down and my hip flexors are angry at me. I have to assume that it wasn't just the lack of training but more from my body compensating to keep my foot from hurting and running differently from normal.
But I'm proud. I could have quit, but I didn't. I was tough and I had fun. Am I a little disappointed with my time? Of course, but there wasn't anything that I could have done able that, aside from getting in a time machine and not getting injured. I finished, and right now, I feel pretty damn proud about it. $820 raised for Heart and Stroke and yes, I'm pretty sore, but I'm hoping that money will go to good use.
So now what? Back to physio, back to the gym, and letting my foot heal up. I'm hoping to run the 5km in the same series at the end of August so this foot has to get better so I can rock it. :)