Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Run, Walk or Crawl" - Did I really mean it?

I finished the Seattle half today (wearing my Bikilas). I went into it knowing that I wouldn't be able to run the whole thing (thanks to ongoing ankle pain and related lack of training), but planning simply to run as far as I could, and to run/walk the rest (or in a worst case, to call my husband to come get me if my ankle wouldn't tolerate even that). The primary directive was simply to not hurt anything. I was hoping for something along the lines of a good walk/run combo a la my performance at the Bellingham Bay half marathon. Instead, I ended up running 4.5 miles, run/walking the next 2 miles, and then largely walking the rest (I ran less than a quarter of each of the last 6 miles).

I once felt some pain while walking, and wondered if I might need to call Wayne to come get me, but that quickly resolved. Thus I was left with a few miles of wondering -- should I just call him anyway? Did I really want to walk 5 more miles? What was the point if I couldn't run the race as I'd actually wanted to do?

I'm not sure I entirely know what the point was. But I decided that I would finish, even if it meant walking, because (1) I'd taken the trouble to start, (2) I'd jokingly told other people leading up to this race "hey, I can walk 13.1 miles if I have to", and (3) because I've been out there cheering on runners and walkers in the past, and one of the chants I'd yell to the walkers was "Run, walk, or crawl! One foot in front of the other!!"  So if I didn't think it was worth it for them to give up the race simply because they were walking, I guess that meant I shouldn't either.

I am sure there was some value in simply not giving up...though I'll see how that is revealed to me as I rethink the race in the coming days. I told myself that I should look at it as a reflection of my refusal to give up on being active and strong even as my running feels like it's slipping away from me. So there's something just in that I suppose.

Still, I can't say that I'm not disappointed that I couldn't run further today. But, I'll try not let it get me down. There are certainly worse ways to spend a morning than meeting up with friends, spending some time being active outdoors in chilly (but dry!) weather, being inspired by other runners and cheered on by my husband and a friend (with some pretty nifty spiffy signage!), and going out for breakfast after. Nope, definitely not a bad way to start a day.

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