Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn: Cangrande Half Marathon

The beautiful landscape in Verona was to be a great half-marathon race where I was to beat my current half marathon record of 2 hours 3 minutes. I’m fit and I love sprints (especially uphill) but when it comes to distance I’m not super fast. I’m 100% okay with that but I wanted to beat 2 hours this time…bad!

Cangrande Half Marathon pre race

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn….this race I learned.

I have been battling (neck and neck) with a runner’s knee since the beginning of the year and I thought I won.

For 6 months I was foam rolling, icing & stretching all the time to try and heal this stupid knee. The only time I would experience pain (2 times in 6 months) was when I wasn’t consistent and didn’t run often. As soon as I took a week off, pain would be back the next run. I KNOW this about my body.

I guess that’s when knowing versus doing pretty much screwed me…or I screwed myself haha.

My work schedule is pretty intense and the passed 3 weekends I have been on the road traveling (once for pleasure once for work) which lead me to get run down and get strep throat (or “angina” as they call it in Austria) last Thursday (10 days before this race). I stayed home for work for 4 days, didn’t train for 9 days, then decided to continue with the half marathon on the 10th day. What the f$&% was I thinking?

Here’s a recap:
Km 1-5: I feel amazing, I’m pumped for this run and Verona is absolutely gorgeous!

Km 5-10: knee pain… Both knees (running for 5km through it)

Km 10-15: pain evened out a bit, I can do this.

Km 16-21: walked…the entire rest of the way…oh and I cried.

Final time (Yes I finished!!): 2 hours 22 minutes (blah!)

Cangrande Half Marathon 2014

Now, this post isn’t just for me to rant (well maybe a bit). It’s mostly to talk about listening to your body and learning lessons. I know my body and how it behaves and reacts to different things, but I let my pride and eager emotions get in the way of doing what was right for me. I shouldn’t have ran, I should have continued to let my body heal from the sickness (first and foremost) and I should have known how my knee acts up after not running for a week- let alone being sick and not running or doing ANYTHING physical for a week.

As I am writing about it, I am coming to you from the back seat of the car, legs up, knees taped, ice pack ready (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off). What was I thinking? Well, truth be told, I wasn’t thinking. I’m so thankful my coworkers wife was with us (she is a physical therapist) and was able to treat me and tape me right away. I feel VERY grateful for that.

Cangrande Half Marathon Knees

Bottom line, just when I think I have it all figured out and get really confident is when something happens. Never take your body for granted and don’t ignore it’s unique signals it gives to you!! I am so competitive with myself, I always just want to push one step further– and that’s TOTALLY okay. But I guess now I know where to take a step back, what to different and I will FOR SURE (no doubt) come out stronger!