It was a cold but beautiful day for the 2010 Road2Hope Half Marathon. I loved running down the Red Hill. It was a beautiful view, and it's not often you get to run down an expressway like that.
Recently I did the Run for the Toad 25K, and my knee/IT band hurt for the last 8 K, so afterward I swore to myself I would take some time off running and let my IT band heal. Instead, I signed up for the Road2Hope 21 K for one month later! So of course I had to train.
I was hoping my IT band would be okay but I think the combination of the road running (when I'm used to softer trails) and the long downhill took its toll, and I started to feel the twinging of my knee at 3K. This is very bad when you have 18K left to run, because the twinging turns into stabbing pain, and then my other IT/knee started hurting and pains were shooting up both hips. This was where my 'This is Easy' mantra turns into 'I Feel No Pain', 'I Feel Great', 'I Am Strong' and occasionally '!#$%^&*' although this last one isn't too helpful and I don't recommend it. It also makes other runners stare at you. I think it's true that running a marathon, even a half one, can show you what you are made of. I'm just not sure yet if I'm made of strong or idiotic stuff. (Don't answer that.)
I knew I had to run because people had pledged donations, and I wanted to get the pain over as quickly as possible. Also I felt great, breathing-wise, and I was frustrated I couldn't just take off and have a great run.
I stayed with the 2:15 pace bunny for almost the entire race, and honestly I felt like I was holding back. But by the time we got to the waterfront trail the pain in my knees was really hard to take, so I had to keep taking walking breaks to recover, and then I would run again.
Those last two kilometres were the longest of my life, but when I finally saw the finish line I sprinted across it because I was so happy to be finished! I finished in 2 hrs, 19 minutes. I am very happy with that, especially as I was running with the worst knee pain I have ever had to run with and it was my first half marathon.
However, as I joked with my friends later, "I may not be able to walk anymore, and now both my knees are shot - but hey - I got a GREAT time! Woo hoo! Anyone know the name of a good physiotherapist?"