Running into Fall

When I came home from Mexico in April, I knew things were going to change. Mostly because over Christmas 2013, I decided it was time to sign up for another half marathon (read about it here), which was planned for June. I was doing some running before Mexico and continued to train through the half marathon but what I wasn’t expecting was to actually enjoy/fall in love with it. I ended up signing up for ANOTHER half marathon that was scheduled for end of October and ran 2 more 5Ks between August and October.

I use to hate running and these races kept me going…until one fateful weekend. It was Saturday morning and time for the Saturday Morning Rise and Shine run with Seattle Green Lake Running Group (SGLRG). I planned on running the 12 miler course that day and felt great along the way. I have 2 other runners keeping me in line and I was making great time. Of course this 12 miler ended up turning in to 14 miles and the last mile or two I started feeling a little soreness/pain in my left knee. For those of you who don’t know me very well then you probably don’t know about my lovely left knee injury. It includes 7 dislocations with 1 surgery at the age of 15.

I’ve been dealing with a little pain in my knee since then but this pain was something different and I knew something bad was going on. In hindsight, I probably should have stopped running when I felt pain but I kept going anyways. I learned a several days later (after 2 doctor visits, a PT consult and a MRI), that I was experiencing SEVERE patellar chrondromalcia a.k.a severe runner’s knee. This put a huge damper in my spirits right when I was getting into a good groove. I started eating WAY healthier, gave up drinking for a month, and was running 4-5 days a week. Now, I felt like I was back at square 1 and wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to run the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver Inaugural Half Marathon (I’ll write a separate post about it).

I stopped caring what I ate, began drinking socially again, and honestly thought all was lost. My doctor  did tell me I should be able to run the half marathon but it’d be painful. The race went from being a race I wanted to PR in to a race I didn’t even care to do. I even considered switching from the half marathon to the 10K. It was one of those things that I knew could have happened with running but still didn’t make it any easier.

I ended up going to Vancouver and it was at the expo that I decided it was time to shape up and run the race I set my heart out for…the HALF MARATHON. The goal however was to finish, no matter the time, no matter how I make it…I was crossing that finish line and getting that Inaugural Metal! Can you guess what happened?

I finished. I crossed that finishing line. I got the metal. AND I even beat my first ever half marathon time (2009) by 3 minutes while being injured and walking the last approximately 3-4 miles. I am stronger and fast than I’ve ever been before and I did it, pain and all. This would become my last race for 2014.

It’s been 8 weeks since that day and I’m happy to announce that I’m finally able to run again and am setting my goals high for 2015. I’m determined to beat my 5-race year (3 5Ks and 2 half marathons) by committing to running ONE race a month regardless of size (5K, 10K, 15K, halts). It doesn’t matter. I even am looking into signing up for my very first TRIATHLON. I don’t know exactly what 2015 will bring but I remain HOPEFUL! This knee injury took a lot out of me in the last 8 weeks and threw my entire life upside down, but I won’t let it defeat me. I need to let it drive me and push me to become something bigger and stronger. THIS IS IT.

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