The Red Nose Run to benefit the Ronald McDonald house was Saturday, January 8. It was my longest race distance (and distance, period) to date. However, it wasn’t the “longest” race I’ve ever run—meaning, it drug on forever. No, that goes to my very 1st miserable 10k. It was a two loop course, and I wanted to punch myself by the end.
This race…was something else. There were so many hills, and I wasn’t particularly familiar with the course. The first 5k went by slowly…more slowly than any 5k I’ve done before. I wasn’t too far off my 10k pace, but it went steadily downhill after that. Sadly, the race course went steadily UPhill.
I was surprised with how I felt through every part of the race. I never once felt a painful side stitch that I’m pretty accustomed to, and I was able to breathe fairly well. My legs burned, and I was tired, but I was making it. I started to get really, really hungry about halfway through, and I’d mistakenly given Jonathan my jacket with my Shot Bloks around the 10k point.
Miles 5ish to 7ish were along a straightaway that started to get pretty monotonous. But the worst was definitely yet to come—around mile 8-9, going uphill, I started to feel severe pain on the outside of my left foot. Like, not normal pain. I was having to walk more, but that hurt just as bad. Poor Jen, I know she didn’t know what to do, but I just started to cry. The pain was so sharp. Another lady behind us, bless her heart, did her best to encourage me.
I rushed the finish line, still in terrible pain, at 2 hours, 18 minutes and 48 seconds. And I fought for every last one. My goal was to finish under 2:20, and we did just that. I immediately found a chair and took off my shoes.
Here’s my immediate reaction to the race.
Will I be doing this again any time in future?
Not saying I won’t do this ever again, but no time soon. Truth time? I was undertrained. I’ve run some longer distances, but honestly and truly, I was not ready for this. I felt good for a majority of this, and I didn’t feel too defeated by the length of time, but my body just wasn’t ready for the pounding (that’s what she said).
That pain in my foot? I could barely stand or walk. It’s Monday, and it still hurts just as bad. I’ve gotten some feedback, in addition to my personal opinion, and I think I may have a stress fracture in my left foot, and I think I’ve inflamed the plantar fascia in my right. My quads are screaming, my hips ache, and my shoulders are tight.
My hands were so fat and swollen I couldn’t even get my shoes on; Jonathan had to do it for me.
I did, however, have a bright spot in my day, though: My foot had an up-close-and-personal experience with a bag of frozen peppers, while my mouth had a hot date with the new spicy chicken biscuit from Chick-Fil-A.
Here’s the thing: I enjoy running. I needed something to kick my ass back into gear and get back into an activity I love to do. I think had I done a few more long runs, I probably would have been ok. I still see a half marathon in my future. During the run, I was thinking, “Fuck this, my feet fucking hurt, someone please drag me off the fucking course.” But I knew I would finish.
My plan for the year is to figure in more running days, more races, and more careful planning. The one thing I’m focusing on is that finished, and I didn’t go insane in the process. And the Ronald McDonald House holds a special place in my heart; I know many people who have benefited from its benevolence. So there’s that.
What’s the longest race you’ve ever done, if you run? What’s the worst race you’ve ever done? And oh, yeah—any experience with stress fractures out there?