End of Summer Half – Race Day, Dealing with Injury

I have had such a hard time completing this entry, clearly since its literally been a year now since the race. I had written most of this last year Sept 2016.

I’ll start off by quick just saying that this race I was determined to PR, I had trained and was so ready for it. I ran the first half of the race on target. It wasn’t until mile 8 where my knee gave out. After that I was out for the count. I’m not sure exactly what happened, I remember stopping a little before this to stretch out my leg – it was feeling a little tight. I continued to run and then a mile or so later stopped again to stretch it. As soon as I went on to continue, I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my outer knee when I put pressure on it. I was so confused as to what was happening, because I had been training so well before this. I kept trying to run but I physically couldn’t anymore. From that point on, I was either walking or limping my way to the finish line for the last 5 miles.

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I tried to figure out how to digest everything that happened that weekend, but I was so overwhelmed and I don’t think I really ever got over what happened. And then I had to deal with the injury for months afterwards. I think the most difficult part of it all for me was dealing with all the emotions and accepting that I injured myself. I’ve never been injured before to the point where I physically can’t run. It was slightly devastating because I had all these big plans and goals for myself and races to do and all that was gone. I know in the long run its manageable and I’ll be back to where I was physically one day. But it was definitely hard to digest at the time.

Looking back at it, sometimes I wonder if it would have been better if I just went home and didn’t finish the race. I don’t want to regret anything but I wonder if that would have made a difference in my recovery. I also wonder if I should have just ran that race not intending to PR and held off for that for my next race in October of that year.

Goals are great, they keep you determined, focused, and motivated to accomplish something new and challenging. However, when it comes to running they seem to be a big slap in the face if you don’t go about them correctly.

So I want to write a little bit about the race itself and my morning, besides the whole injuring myself. First, I wanted to show you guys how the race actually mapped out. On race day, it turned out to be a lot different from what I was expecting. I tried to do my research on it before but being that it was such a small race, not many people have written about this one yet. I didn’t really find out what it was going to be like until I was running it. It consisted of 2 loops, 1 small one and 1 larger one.

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The race was at the boardwalk along the Rockaway Beach in Queens. So travel wise it took us a little less than an hour to arrive by car. I had my oatmeal about 2 plus hours before the race actually began. So by the time the race was starting I was already feeling hungry. I tried to have a granola bar before but could barely get it down. For this reason I think I am going to buy a few of the Gu Chew packages for races to have a couple of them right before the run begins. This way I can easily eat those instead of trying to force down a granola bar.

The meeting place before the race was at the Community House, which was about a block from the boardwalk. Parking was easy, especially being so early in the morning, and it was free – they also had a parking lot that runners could use as well. I checked in got my tracker in a baggy with my number on it and some safety pins. After which, we got a long sleeved RockapulcoRun shirt and a bright green nylon tote bag. No medals for this race and no bibs. It was a pretty small race – I would say there were only about 300 people running. Water stations that were associated with the race were just alright. There were quite a few water fountains along the course too, probably ever mile or so. The water stations had water bottles that they were handing out and they were located at approx miles 2, 4, 6, 8, 11. I picked up a bottle twice during the race and held onto it for a while – but it was a little much for me trying to carry it.

As far as music goes, I started with nothing on for the first few miles. I put both ears in for some good pump up music at about mile 4. But once I hurt myself at mile 8 I had everything out. The course was very long and dragging as far as running back and forth. It was very pretty and there was a cool breeze that even helped push you along. But I was definitely getting bored.

I think part of it had to do with the fact that the race was very spread out and was such a small race. And SO HOT with the sun and no coverage! As you can see in a couple pictures there were not many people running near each other throughout the race. And it wasn’t a closed race, so people who were just coming for a beach day or a bike ride were on the boardwalk. It was like I was running this race by myself, it felt like a long run and not an actual race. Which wasn’t the best, especially being that I was trying to PR and run a time I had never done before. I was slightly relying on the energy of race day and runners to keep me at it.

If you lasted this far, thanks for reading! If you have any tips on running and training with an injury let me know.

Since this race I ran the Rock n Roll Brooklyn in Oct 2016, with the help of KT tape and a running/walking plan to get me through the race, I finished just under 3 hours.  I took off about 4 months from running after my race in October. I’ve been working on strength training, foam rolling, and recently am now running a few times a week. I also have been using KT Tape to get me through my runs. Does anyone have any experience with using tape for their injuries?? It has helped so much with relieving the stress and pressure off of my knee.

This year (2017) I ran my first 10K in April (the UAE Healthy Kidney) and am signed up for the Women’s Mini 10k in 2 weeks!

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