Well, I have completed my first half marathon! And let me say, I almost made it my last. I never knew how much of a battle of mind over body it could possibly be.
If you read Dang This Hurts! I talked about how I crammed a sixteen week half marathon schedule into eight weeks. And yes Virginia, there is a pain monster! He lived in my legs. But no matter how much it hurt, I had made the decision that I would run the Oak Barrel Half Marathon in Lynchburg Tennessee, which was four weeks earlier than the Country Music Half Marathon, which is what I originally committed to. (Hence the now eight weeks of training.)
I barely trained the two weeks before the Oak Barrel due to a pretty hefty shin splint. It wasn’t until two days before the event that I did a little bit of running. Again, pain, but no biggie since I was going to do this thing! Fast forward to the event, it was a decently cool morning but my legs felt pretty good. At 8 AM we were off! I waited for the crowd to get spread out enough for me to jog through them when needed, and then I crossed the start line.
I did pretty decent for the first mile. I blew past the power walkers and felt pretty good about that. I mean seriously, if I can’t beat the power walkers, I should just turn in my running shoes right there! My music was crankin’ and I started picking people ahead of me to catch as I went on, so it was a little game as well.
As I started on the second mile, my left shin began to freeze up. About a half mile later it was hard as a rock. I stopped a few times to stretch with no relief. I began to pound my shin with my fist to try to release the muscle, but nada. I tried for the next four miles to run whenever possible. When I got to the top of Whiskey Hill, a mile long hill that you need mountain climbing equipment to get up at the end, my shin finally released. But I had overcompensated for so long, that my right leg was now hurting pretty badly.
Again, I ran as much as I could for the next four and a half miles. At nine and a half miles I just couldn’t run any longer. At this point everything hurt! I proceeded to walk to the finish with the hopes that I could run the last couple of miles in. Yeah, no! As the miles went on, my body began to argue with my mind.
OHHHHHH another cliff hanger!! Check back tomorrow.