Little over a week late but still wanted to write a quick post on what I decided to do last Saturday (September 15th). Since I was struggling with the injured hips off and on and still had not been as consistent in my training as I would have liked I had told myself I would not run the Air Force Marathon even though I already paid for it. Well, after I finally ran 18 miles the weekend before the marathon I started throwing around the idea of still running the marathon. The week leading up to the marathon I really wanted to run it but was still nervous I hadn’t trained enough and that I might hurt my hips even more for The Dresden Marathon. Well, once I went to go pick up my bib and tech shirt two days before I think that sealed the deal, I was definitely going to run it.
I probably slept about 8 hours Friday night which was the most I have ever slept the night before a marathon. I felt relaxed and just in a good mood. Well, parking took a little longer then it had in past years so by the time I got to the start line I had enough time to quickly go the bathroom then run to the start area with just a few minutes to spare. (Which meant I didn’t stretch at all before this marathon, luckily I had spent a good amount of time the night before stretching). I realized after the cannon (yes, they started us off with a cannon this year) that I had forgotten my watch to keep track of my pace. (Insert minor freak out moment, and probably some cursing under my breath) I quickly brought up the stopwatch feature on my iPhone to at least keep track of my time and decided to try to run with the 4:10 pace group just to have a better idea how I was pacing.
We started out on the course and about a mile into the race (as we are starting up our first hill) I did think to myself “Why did I think this was a good idea again?”. Luckily I stopped those thoughts very quickly and just started to focus on the climb ahead. The first 10-12 miles felt pretty good and the pace felt great. I stayed with the pace team until about 17 miles when my right hip started acting up. I slowed down to try to maintain my right hip without stopping or walking but eventually the slow jog wasn’t working anymore. For most people (including myself) walking or stopping to stretch can be one of the worst things because it is hard to get the body going again. Eventually i gave in and started to walked off and on, it was the only way to decrease the pain. However I didn’t dare to stop completely and stretch, knowing my body would tighten up. I was doing ok with running for a while then walking for a little bit if needed for the hips as I passed the 20 mile marker.
There are a few sizable hills at the end of the race so I decided that I would try to walk/slowly run up these hills to try to save my hips for Dresden. (For some reason it really decreased the pain in the hips when I walked up the hills rather than ran.) Well, when I hit around 22.5-23 miles I got a cramp just to the right of my belly button. I started walking but it just wasn’t going away. I tried “speed” walking but even that was too painful to deal with for very long. Even though it killed my pride I ended up walking the rest of the marathon except about the last half mile. I wasn’t going to finish walking so I slowly jogged to finish. It was a little painful but there was the pride thing and also I just wanted to finish the race already. It was great getting my marathon medal (guess it always is) and getting something to eat. The cramp started going away fairly quickly after I finished and was gone by the time I started walking back to the car. And luckily for me my hips felt back to normal within a day or two.
Well, I finished and that is what my goal was for the day since I definitely wasn’t fully back from being injured to run a marathon yet. It obviously ended up being my worst time out of the three marathons I have ran but I am still glad I did it. I learned that I might be walking some in the Dresden Marathon due to the hips but that is ok. The Dresden Marathon is all for the experience, I cannot wait!