In the last two weeks I’ve competed in my two favorite race – The annual Zombie Trail Run and, just yesterday, the Valley Harvest Marathon. Although I didn’t run a marathon – or even the half-marathon as I’d planned (opting out, due to my tarsal tunnel) – I ran a good race.
In fact, I ran a great race. I shaved off 6 minutes compared to my time last year (although they were different distances). That’s a pretty big deal.
But I’ve been feeling a little down about it.
Y’see, I have an ongoing back injury (I’m sure I’ve mentioned it in past posts but let’s just keep it short by saying one slip, wretched back, 2 ambulances, 5 paramedics, and lots and lots and lots of morphine), and every so often I’ll do something that wretches it again and then it’s out. A few years ago I put it out in kickboxing class, one night while running I skidded on the wet pavement and out it went. And then about 6 weeks ago, while demonstrating a move in my bootcamp class – *bam* out it went again. And it has been off and on ever since. In fact, two weeks ago I didn’t think I’d be able to run the Zombie race because it was so bad the day before I could barely stand up. But I made it through the run – with a lot of walks on the rough parts of the trail.
And for most of the last two weeks my back’s been pretty good. Then yesterday, after the “On your mark, get set, GO!” and we runners were heading off-field from the start line, I was waving to a co-worker on the sideline and…it happened. Another runner cut me off and ran into me. Other than a little embarrassment (did I mention my coworker is super cute??), I felt no pain. Until I hit the 2k mark.
The 2k mark is when the pain set in. Have you ever injured yourself to the point that you have nearly blinding pain?? I’ve only ever had that a few times – when I broke my ankle/severed the ligament, and with this back injury. The further I ran, the more intense the pain got. When I passed the 3k mark I honestly thought I was going to throw up. With each swing of my hips, the burning in my lower back pulsed harder and longer and I felt like I was being stabbed in the spine. I had to stop every little bit and walk for 30-60 seconds and then I’d
march run on. I was hot, my face was red, I was using my knuckles to rub my lower back, and I’m sure there were sounds of whimpering leaving my body while I trotted around other racers.
But, I finally made it to the finish line. I did have to stop and take a walking break on the track to gather what I needed to actually run across the finish line, but I did it. And I when I heard my name on the loud speaker when I made it over, I felt proud (albeit, also a little defeated).
And when I checked my FitBit (which is just slightly off from the race bib tracker time) I was pretty.damn.elated. I’m really happy with my race time. And I think about what it would be without feeling like I’m being kicked in spine and know I can only do better.
So, although I’m bummed out about what happened yesterday, I’m happy with the results to this point. I’m not going to let anyone else take away from my accomplishment. And I’ve challenged myself (and my boyfriend!) to run the same distance once I’ve let myself heal a bit and we’ll see what the results are then. Stay tuned.