Where were you this morning at 4 am?
Let me guess, you were nice and snug in your toasty bed, snuggled close to your lover, dead asleep.
Me? I was getting ready to load the shuttle bus bound for Eden, UT which was the beginning of the Ogden Half Marathon.
Don't ask me why we had to get up so stinking early. The race did not start until 7am. The shuttle left near the finish line at precisely 4:45. That left nearly 2,000 runners waiting in the cold, dark morning for over an hour and a half.
Madness, I know.
I think they wanted to freeze us before we started so our joints would be nice and stiff for the race.
Let me preface my 1/2 marathon entry by saying that this was my very first 1/2 marathon, I am no where near a professional runner,
If you can even call what I do running.
I did not even start running until I had all 4 of my babies.
I run for the fun of it.
I run for the silence.
I run for the sweat.
I run for the smells of the blossoming trees.
I run for the sound of the birds.
I run so I don't get grumpy.
I run for the sunshine.
I run for the runners high.
I run for the crazy races.
I run very slowly, never the less,
Today however, was a little different.
Today I hobbled.
I started having knee pain about a month ago during my training.
I pushed through on my long runs and my short runs were a little easier, but the pain was always there. I was nervous about it coming back for the race, but I determined that if it did I'd just run through it and deal with it after the race.
My knee did not like that idea.
It started hurting within the first 1/4 mile. I knew I was in for a battle. I told myself, just don't stop until the end, no matter what. I knew that if I stopped I'd never get started again.
My knee did not like that idea either. Just after mile 2 the pain became unbearable.
It nearly took my breath away.
I decided to walk a little until the pain went away.
As soon as I started walking the pain stopped. So I ran. Again the pain returned immediately. I played this game for the next mile and a half. I really wanted to be running. I had energy, I felt good, I was ready to just go. But my knee would not let me. I decided to walk for a solid mile and try again. Again, unbearable pain. So around mile 6 I resigned myself to walking the rest of the course. It was really pitiful. I was being passed by old people (no offense to you old ones). Then I saw the first full marathon runner pass me. I think I may have been the last 1/2 marathon runner (hobbler) to finish.
My worst fear realized.
Oh well, someone had to be last!
But I finished!
And guess what? I'm not even sore,
as long as I don't move.
I can not bend my knee,
I have like a 2 degree range of motion.
What is wrong?
I really hope it's not hurt for good.
That is a really good course.
It starts in Eden, UT which is total farm land and just open country.
I saw horses running in fields and beautiful green rolling hills.
Then the course went along the Pine view reservoir, which was gorgeous in the early morning light. Then we went over the Pine View dam. Next we made our way through the Ogden canyon which is full of rugged rocky cliffs. There were 2 different waterfalls, one of which I had never seen before, it was hiding behind bushes. The river passes along the course all through the canyon and then beyond. Once we were through the canyon we started along the Ogden River Parkway, which also follows the river. The parkway was lined with trees and is simply beautiful. After the parkway we were headed for the final stretch to the finish line in down town Ogden, just behind the Ogden temple.
It really was a beautiful course, and mostly all down hill.
It would have been a perfect run it my knee had cooperated.
But one good thing came form this adventure.
I used a porta potty.
That is huge for me.
I have not used one of those things for well over 10 years.
I have a debilitating fear of the ronchy things.
This fear is almost as bad as my fear of the little 8 legged creepy things that shall not be named.
Porta Johns and I don't get along.
I can't handle the wide openness of the waste catcher.
I can't handle the smell.
I can't handle the confined space.
I can't handle how it sounds when your "business" lands in the pile of other people's "business".
OK, I'm giving myself the Heeby Geebys.
I would much rather use the trees or a bush or something, but with a huge crowd of people watching and not a decent grove in sight and a long run ahead of me, I bit the bullet.
I closed my eyes and would not look in the hole.
I plugged my ears and sang,"la,la,la,la,la,la."
Then I was out of there like a flash.
Now, just because I used it once does not mean this will become a regular habit.
It was every bit as terrifying as I imagined it would be.
I think I need counseling.
So do you want to know my time for finishing the race?
You have to promise not to laugh.
I am only telling you to show you that if I can hobble this course, anyone can do it.
I also want all of you marathoners and 1/2 marathoners to feel really good about your own finish time.
Plus, it will be really easy for me to beat my personal best next year.
Unless of course my knee is broken for good.
OK, here it is.
3 hours and 12 minutes.
Go ahead, feel better about yourselves at my expense.