A more appropriate title for this post would be: DNF.
That's right, I was so ready to take on the Stockade-athon and I Did. Not. Finish.
Would you like to know what happened? Alright, I'm still not over it, but I like you all enough that I will tell you. If it wasn't for this blog thing none of you would have to know that I didn't finish, but here it is.
Saturday we arrived in Schenectady, with Bernie in tow (our cats and birds can fend for themselves for a day), and we went to the Expo to pick up our race packets. Now, the Expo in my opinion was pretty LAME. It was just a bunch of local shops with their crafts set up, there were probably only one or two tables that had running related gear on them. Not like I was planning on purchasing anything. Although, I did contemplate buying Grape nuun but I resisted temptation.
The race shirts are pretty nice, even though I was hoping for a long sleeve tech shirt. They were gender specific colors, so now I have a pink shirt to add to my collection.
After that we headed over to Mike's grandmother's house and visited with some of his relatives. It was nice to see them since we hadn't seen some of them since our wedding! Bernie was well-behaved and the dog lovers in the family gave him some extra attention.
The morning of the race started off normal. Since Mike's parents live about a minute away from the start of the race we didn't have to get up super early which was nice. I like my sleep!
Now, I have to be honest here. Even though my training runs since I started to feel better from my overuse injury went well, I had a feeling I wasn't going to be able to finish the race. My right ankle/Achilles had started to bother me and I think that I came back from my injury too soon. The 7.5 mile run may have been too much and our faster than normal pace 3 mile run may have been done too hard for just coming off of an injury. I actually think I tweaked my ankle last Wednesday night but thought I might be able to run through the race.
If I wasn't registered for the Stockade-athon, I probably would have taken some extra time off and/or done lower mileage and less intense training runs.
Once we got to the Stockade-athon, Mike and I stretched and then Mike's mom, Mike and I headed to the start.
This race was the largest that Mike and I have participated in to date. There were 1,700 registered runners and the start seemed really crowded. You couldn't even hear the race director making announcements and I said to Mike that all of a sudden we were just going to hear the horn for the start without really knowing that it was coming. Which is exactly what happened.
After stalling a little bit in the beginning (because of the amount of people), I was finally off and not feeling that great. I felt really tired and my ankle/heel was already bothering me. I just kept going because most of the time any pain or discomfort that I'm feeling will go away and I will be fine for the rest of the run.
I saw Mike's dad around the first mile, which I didn't expect, as we all had to run up the first hill. I just didn't feel right going up it and I knew that there was going to be an even worse hill at 6.5 miles.
I stopped to walk even before I hit the 2 mile mark and when my watch said 16:xx I stopped it and made the decision to step out of the race. The only problem was that I had to get to the next location where Mike's dad would be, which was at approximately 2.5 miles.
When I finally reached him, he wasn't quite sure what I was doing when I started to go off to the side. When I told him that I was done, he said that the next part was all downhill but I knew I couldn't do it. I was really disappointed in myself for not finishing the race but I know that it was the best decision for me.
After that, we went to cheer on Mike's mom and Mike. Mike's mom didn't notice me at first, but then when she saw me I assured her that I was fine. Mike saw me and knew that it was my foot.
All I can say is that I am glad that this happened during this race where I was able to tell Mike's dad what was going on. Even if he wasn't at 2.5 miles, Mike's relatives were at 3 miles and I could have made it to them and asked them to call Mike's dad to come get me. They actually felt bad that they left after waiting for me for awhile, but they eventually found out that I didn't even get to where they were.
I am going to take at least the next week off from running, while hopefully doing some other form of exercise to help keep me sane. If I need to take more time off it won't be too bad because we probably weren't going to be able to run too much the week of Thanksgiving anyway.
Our next race is a 5K and we've decided that until January or February we are going to continue to run but only do 3-4 miles on weekday training runs and 5-6 miles on weekend training runs (or maybe less depending on how I feel). After that we will build up our mileage again for our spring/summer half marathons and fall marathon. Yes, I am still going to try to run a marathon but if things don't feel right then I will re-evaluate my plans.
So that's my DNF story. I'm still mad at myself but I know I made the right decision. I'm just stubborn and want to run, I'm sure you can all relate!