The past month has been wild. I ran my 1st official outdoor race – the Shamrock Run 8k. For those of you who are bad at metrics, like me – that’s 5 miles. (Believe me I had to look it up too; I needed to know what I was getting my self into). This race taught me a lot about myself – I am strong, resilient and I don’t quit.
My training for this race was all indoors– treadmill, elliptical, bike and weights. I ran outside twice before the race. I knew I wasn’t going to be breaking any speed records; my goal was to finish running. It was a typical March day in Portland, cold and rainy. I wore a bandanna over my mouth to warm up the air as it filled my lungs – little did I know my asthma was the least of my problems. The bandanna worked and I eventually had to take it off. I couldn’t see! My glasses fogged up; plus I don’t do the gangster look well.
After a mile I set my pace and everything was going well until I hit 1.57 miles my left knee started hurting. The evil enemy known
as tendinitis decided to visit me. I ignored it and kept running. As we climbed Broadway the pain was getting more intense, I got lost in my music and tried not think about it. I remember slowing down to adjust my knee strap and these guys were like “Oh don’t quit, you can do it”. Well that pissed me off. Oh I knew I could do it, how dare they assume that I couldn’t. The anger pushed me even more.
By the time we got to the top of Barbour Blvd my knee was on fire. But I was still running. When we made that turn on to Naito Parkway I was relieved because it was downhill. As I was going down Naito my knee was stuck at a 45-degree angle. I don’t even think I was putting weight on my knee; I was just kind of dragging my left leg along. As we got closer to the finish line I forgot the pain and just started feeling the sense of accomplishment and pride of running my first 8k. I was cold, miserable and hobbling after the race but nothing could wipe the smile off my face.
It took me four days to recover from the race and almost six days until I ran again. I’m now training for the Bridges to Brew 8k on April 17th. I’ve amped my training to strengthen my knee. Treadmill running, cycling, stretching and lifting weights. I know it’s working because I ran outside yesterday – three miles no pain.
The Shamrock Run taught me that I could do anything. No matter what comes my way – Quitting is not an option and I can beat any obstacle and come out stronger and better.