This is the tale of my first official half marathon race. The story is in this Garmin Connect link, but it's formatting is wretched.
This is the tale of two races; the first nine miles and the next four. The race started and I was fine pacing at 9-ish or so, but I did notice the road was a bit uneven. "No matter" I thought, as long as my pace an heart rate were good I'd be fine.
About mile six or seven I noticed my left knee was starting to hurt but I thought I'd just adjust my technique and it would be fine. It wasn't. Mile ten was that start of the hurt. It felt like someone was driving a ten-penny nail under my kneecap every time I tried to go at more than a walk. There is not rhythm you can sustain like that.
The next miles were me talking myself up and gutting it out, but it was starting to wear on me and sometime in mile twelve I seriously wondered if I was going to finish. I was hurt and upset. I'd never had knee problems before. These last three miles were walk/shuffle run/walk/repeat.
I came down the final hill(downhill was the worst) and as I made the final turn I was starting to get scared that my family would see me seriously injured just as I came in. My mind was focused on keeping a jog and not making any mis-step that would hurt my knee further.
I finished and I just couldn't speak. I was proud I'd finished but I was as scared as I'd ever been in a run. I just sat down and gathered myself because I think I would have sobbed had I continued to stand.
I gathered my medal and thought that this was the first time I was proud to get a participant medal. I wore it all the way out of the race area because I knew how much pain went into getting it around my neck.
I'm not going to run for a week. I'm going to relax, surf, and find a new gym. Next week I'll consider running again. I'm going to do another half-marathon because I know I can run it at a 9:00 pace if the knees hold together.