Well it’s officially been a week since I ran my 5K, so I supposed I should blog about it now. And of course now is a GREAT time because I’m not trying to avoid writing my paper or anything…not at all…
Anyways, flashback to the beginning of this summer. I think I had accepted that fact that I would never really get anywhere with running again. My knee would get sticky (for lack of a better medical phrase) every time I tried to run more than a half mile, or bike more than 3, or swim a couple of laps. It would get inflamed and it would be hard to walk on after. My doctor told me that I had a contusion (or big ass bruise) on the back of my kneecap, and that I had separated my AC joint in my shoulder. I had kind of resigned myself to a future of sleepless nights and eventual arthritis.
Insert physical therapy. The first couple of sessions hurt like hell. My knee would be gummy (again with my medical terms!) and it didn’t feel like the exercises were doing anything. Until, one day, I was told to do some squats. I kind of laughed. Bad knees and squats don’t mix, but magically I was able to create a complete 90 degree angle. That hadn’t been possible for the past year! I asked my physical therapist how long I had to wait before starting to run, and she told me that I could start as soon as I wanted, provided I started off slowly.
Well, naturally, I didn’t go slow. I went ovaries-to-the-wall and ran a 5K that Friday. Saturday, I couldn’t walk. Sunday I really couldn’t walk, but it was a good state of immobility. I knew that I would be able to complete my 5k goal.
So, September 30, I wake up early with my sister and we drive into Bellingham for my first official 5k. I had gone on a practice run the week before and clocked in at around 50 minutes. I knew this race wasn’t about getting a good time, but more about acknowledging how much I’ve healed and how far I’ve come. Of course, I’m a bit competitive by nature, so I’m a bit nervous at the prospect of children and grandma’s beating me. Which they did, of course!
The first part of the race was pretty funny. You’re all amped up, ready to go, you run about 100 yards, and you get to go downhill! Woohoo, right? Wrong. Then you’re right back uphill again. For the first 3 kilometers you’re doing a steady uphill which was SO NOT FUN in the cold! Guess I got used to my Floridian mornings of 70+. The 45 degrees wasn’t doing it for me or my lungs which I think are still freezer burned.
The last 2k was the best, trail running, relatively flat, my pace was quicker, and my legs weren’t as cramped. I sang a few jodies under my breath to keep myself motivated as I turned the last corner. I joked with the girl ahead of me, “Don’t let me beat you, 2375!” And she didn’t. She whooped on the last stretch. I crossed the line tired though, so I knew I had given it a good go.
I think my official time was about 7 seconds less than what I had timed. I looked like a hot, sweaty mess crossing the line, but damn I felt good. While I don’t think I’m quite ready to go into 10k training mode, I will be looking to do a few more 5ks here in Washington before I head down to Florida again. I think I’m ready to be one of those people who hoard race shirts 🙂
Goal 56: Complete!