Last weekend I ran Charlotte RaceFest, my third half marathon. I was toying with the idea for a while, flip flopping between the inaugural Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh or it, or maybe nothing since it was one my best friend’s (Serena) birthday weekend. Finally, about 5 weeks out (with Serena’s blessing), I signed up. I decided to for a couple of reasons- 1. it was about $60 cheaper than RnR (at that time, I think the week before it was about $70 cheaper) 2. it was in Charlotte so no added travel costs, and 3. I really wanted to do another, non-injured half.
Although I was consistently running 4 to 6 miles prior to registration, I still hadn’t seriously being training. I decided to just keep doing what I was doing plus a long run on
weekends when I could fit it in. Confession though- I started getting knee pain on the outside of my right knee whenever I went over 5 miles. It didn’t stop me though, I just would rest a day or two and go back to running. That being said, two weeks before the race it started to really bug me so I ended up skipping my last long run in favor of resting my knee. Plus I was precepting, so like I’ve mentioned before, I wasn’t exactly being a workout machine.
I didn’t pick up my race packet because I had to precept the day before the race until 7 and the cutoff was at 6:30 so Serena picked it up for me (thank you!!!). She gave it to me when we had the feast at my sister’s after I got off, so it all worked out perfectly :)
After stuffing myself with the shrimp and steak kabobs, I went home to get ready for the race. Another confession- I registered and then never really looked back (maybe because it was in town?) so I had no idea what time it started or even where the start was until that night. Oops. Typical race night prep- laid my clothes out and
went to sleep tossed and turned all night.
When I my alarm went off at 6 (race started at 7:30) I was not feeling it. I was exhausted from doing four 12 hour shifts that week and hadn’t slept well at all. I was moving seriously slow. Luckily, the start was pretty much exactly where Turkey Trot was so only a few miles from my house. I got there with enough time to warm up a little bit and get to the starting line. Then, this is the first time this has happened to me (I thick because I always run with friends), I met two other girls who were running on their own so we decided to run together. Our paces were similar so we started off and it was great for the majority of the race. My knee started bothering me around mile 6 and started really bugging me at mile 9, but one of the girls suggested concentrating on really planting my foot with intention on each step (does that make sense?) and it seemed to help a little.
I should have known since Turkey Trot was in the same area, but this was super hilly. It seemed like every time there was a little downhill area, it was followed by an even bigger uphill stretch. It was by far the hilliest race I have ever run. I ended up losing one of the girls I started with around mile 8 when I stopped to stretch (for some reason I thought stretching my calves would help my knee??) and then I lost the other girl at mile 9 so I was riding solo for the rest of the race. Even though my knee was angry, I had one of the moments (don’t judge me, this is cheesy) where I looked around and thought about how much I love my life right now and how lucky I am to be where I am. Charlotte is gorgeous, and I was doing what I love (running) and pursuing my dream career (nursing). Have you ever had one of those moments? Sorry for being cheesy, but I know I’m not the only one!
I ended up seeing my sister waiting for me right at mile 13 which made me want to cry and also made me sprint the rest of the way to the finish line.
these are courtesy of Julie.
I ended up finishing at 2:24 which isn’t what I know I can do(I definitely could have done better, and intend to) but considering how crappy my last half was, I was happy. Plus, it was actually faster than my first, so a PR too. Also I was extremely happy to have my sister there supporting me :)
After the race we hit up the physical therapist tent (same one I visited awhile ago at the running store) and asked him about my knee- he said IT band (and y’all probably all said duh) So I’m taking a few days off running and
hoping praying it will go away on it’s own.
Overall it was a good, low-key race that definitely made me push myself. All those hills kicked my ass. There was one at mile 7 that was terrible. You thought it was over because there was a sharp curve at the top and a lot of trees but once you got up there you realized there was more. I actually made Julie drive the course afterwards so she would understand my whining later that night :)
How was your weekend? Did you have a race? PR?