I felt very excited and optimistic heading out for the 3rd loop.
About 2 minutes in, all that changed. Every step was sending sharp pains from my feet, up through my legs, knees and back. I was still moving forward, determined to finish. I was injured, I was causing more injuries by running.... what the hell was I thinking?
The day had become very hot. I poured water over my head at every aid station. Fortunately, most of this race course is tree covered.... it could have been much worse. Judging by the looks of the other runners at the aid stations, most of them were experiencing the effects of the heat as well.
I ran for as long as I could.... until the pain became excruciating. I was reduced to walking both the up, and downhills.
This was the most difficult loop for me. I don't know if it was the heat, the pain, or the realization that I was being foolish for continuing.... this loop became very overwhelming. Every emotion that I had experienced during the few weeks leading up to the race came pouring back in.
I ended up sobbing uncontrollably during most of this loop. I was fortunate to be running/ hobbling alone (mostly) during this psychotic.... errr... 'emotional break'. To give those of you who don't know me well a bit more insight... I am not what most people would call an 'openly emotional' person.
I could feel what I thought was the bandaid around my big toe (there as a preventative measure). It felt like the bandaid had slid down and was digging into the knuckle and breaking the skin. I had decided to finish the lap before taking the time to remove my shoe, sock, and bandaid, etc.... I really tried but I couldn't ignore it any longer. I had to stop, sit down, and fix the problem. That sucked because I felt an urgency to keep moving forward. I didn't want to lose valuable time over something I thought to be insignificant.
I was totally shocked to see that there was nothing wrong with the knuckle. I was was stupefied to see that my toenail was no longer attached to my nail bed. It was attached to a HUGE bloody blister. It was totally disgusting.
Needless to say, after that realization, I stubbed my toe on anything and everything. And every time I did, I cried.
I was so relieved when I got to the start/finish area.
I was about 30 minutes slower than I had hoped. Everything considered, I was pretty amazed. I began to hope, that with Gailanne by my side, I would be able to dig really deep and finish with a PR for this course. What the hell was I thinking?!
Gailanne and I were off....
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