No Hollywood Finish to This Story

I wouldn’t say I conquered 12 miles. I conquered 9 miles, and then suffered the worst 5k of my life.

My first 9 miles were run pretty much at my goal pace. I was really pleased with that; I felt good, strong, the knee was achy and complaining, but solid. And then the last 3.3 miles (the whole route was about 12.3 miles) took most of an hour. I am not kidding. It was like a switch got thrown right at the 9 mile mark and I went from achy to agonized.

The pain in my knee progressed to muscle spasms across my quadriceps and even down my calf and shooting pains and spasms into the arch of my foot. A painful reminder just how much your body is a completely interconnected system. Pain became fear, and by the bitter end, fear threatened to become panic and irrational tears.

I got back to the stadium to find it largely emptied out. The intermediate teams had long ago left. It was just the stragglers left. I clocked an average pace of 13:14.

Not much I can say about it. I was upset, but I knew going in that 12 miles is a difficult distance for me mentally. Add in the physical difficulty I was facing, and there was no real way for me to come away from the run cheerful and chipper.

I saw the chiropractor again yesterday who worked me over. He wants me to completely lay off running unless I want to run the long one on Saturday, but he would prefer I didn’t. Between now and next Saturday, my focus is strictly on cross-training. He prefers using a bike, but he is an avid cyclist (he is flying to Florida today for IronMan Florida this weekend), so that figures. I will probably alternate biking and swimming if I can since I find stationary bikes only slightly more fun than watching paint dry. The goal is to get a moderately difficult Perceived Rate of Exertion going and do that for the length of time my scheduled run would have taken.

With only 10 days to go, I am not going to lose any of my physical or aerobic endurance. I have been wrangling with my mental endurance since this crap with my knee started 3 weeks ago. I am going to spend the next 10 days working on my brain as much as I work on rehabbing the knee.

Visualization, yoga, stretching, ice, cross-training, and positive thinking are the prescriptions for the next 10 days.

The countdown is officially on.

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