i wish i could tell you that this year’s recap would be just as positive and great as last year’s. but i can’t.
if i can sum up BSR 2012 in a few words, it would be this: i’m so glad it’s over.
in the week leading up to may 6th, i had a series of setbacks that put me in a bad mood and mental state, running-wise. my left foot started hurting a week out from race day, and the pain slowly progressed up to my shin. i didn’t attempt a run until tuesday evening, wherein i only made it 1 mile and had to begrudgingly walk back home, feeling defeating and especially worried about my fate for sunday.
i elliptical-ed it up wednesday and thursday without incident, and by friday my ankle/leg/shin was feeling back to normal, so i decided i would lace up for the race.
but then more things happened to make me not-so-excited for what was once my favorite road race. the long lines at the expo made me waste an hour and half waiting for a shuttle bus, a trip down to the Linc where the line was so long i didn’t even attempt to stand in it, and then another trip back on saturday, again with a line but this time thankfully not as long. then, the parking situation caused some anxiety to set in, and then a HUGE line to even get into the subway station.
i think part of my problem was that i kept comparing it to last year. LAST year there weren’t any lines. LAST year, everything was smooth and easy, which made the experience that much better. THIS year, it was all about lines and waiting.
and with that, the race.
i started out pretty strong at my goal pace of 8:45. but i still didn’t feel warmed up enough, so i reigned it in to 9:00 pace until mile 3. there were some small rolling hills that i didn’t remember, but i tackled them easily. my ankle/leg/shin wasn’t hurting at all, so i picked up the pace. crossed 3 miles at 27:05.
i had my parents waiting for me around city hall/5.5 miles, which was a great pick me up and got me through miles 4-5. i sailed around city hall at 8:30ish pace and was FINALLY feeling like i was enjoying this race. i crossed the 6 mile mark around 55:xx or so. and then it all went to crap.
there was a water stop with gatorade right after mile 6, the first one i used, and decided to walk through (because i knew i’d banked some time and could still finish in 1:28). BAD CHOICE. it was as soon as i stopped running that all of the pain that hadn’t yet surfaced decided to come screaming into my left shin, and from then on i had a hard time getting back on pace. miles 6-8.5 were a huge mental test and fight with myself of whether or not i should stop, what time i could get it if i did keep running, and just basically a back and forth in my mind about how i just wasn’t enjoying myself, and then trying to perk myself up. i tried to smile and enjoy the huge crowd support, but in reality i was ready to cry and any moment. i was so sad that my favorite race had been so tainted, and i knew i wouldn’t enjoy the rest of it. i just wanted it to be OVER. i had a 10:14 mile during this time, which made me even more defeated.
i’d taken a shot block awhile back, and i guess it either finally kicked in, or i got some weird burst of energy, because i somehow found it in my legs to get back to a 9:25/9:30 pace. i pretty much just had to accept that this was as fast as i was going to get, and just chugged along. i saw the mile 9 flag, and as i was passing the wells fargo center, the last song on my playlist, “i made it (flyers remix)” (which i’d strategically placed to come up at this moment) came on, which was probably the highlight of the race. i smiled. i decided to push it. i said “self, LET’S DO THIS THING.”
it was only in the last mile that i started to get emotional (the good kind). i was just happy to be there, surrounded by 35,000+ people who were so excited to be a part of this event. i was so grateful for my parents for making the trip down again and getting up so early to make sure they would be able to see me for a few short seconds.
i crossed the finish line at 1:33:43 (9:22 overall pace), almost exactly one minute slower than last year’s 1:32:34. to be honest, i’m still pretty bummed. i know that without a stupid injury i could have done so much better. i trained SO hard to i know that i’m capable of more. but i also know that 1:33:43 is a pretty decent time for the condition i was in, and i know that there are so many people who would kill for a time like that, i do! i think that we’re allowed to be bummed and disappointed sometimes. i know now that not every race is going to be sunshine and roses. and i also know how to listen to my body (still don’t REALLY know what that means/like that phrase, but i’ll go with it here).
the pain resurfaced after the finish and hasn’t really gone away. it’s now centered on my posterior left shin, and i’m almost positive it’s a stress fracture. i have an appointment with a sports medicine doctor at 8am tomorrow, so i’ll know shortly what my fate is for the next 6-8 weeks. i’m hoping it doesn’t involve crutches, only some sort of sweet air cast.
broad street, you were good to me. thanks for letting me have the pleasure of learning some life lessons yesterday.
to my fellow runners (and anyone who race anywhere this weekend) – CONGRATS!! i hope everyone had a better race than i did. i know what a special race it is, and hopefully next year i can see some of that magic again.