After running Brighton Half two weeks ago (Read about it here) I picked up a niggle, so knew that this race was always going to be touch-and-go. In between Brighton and Silverstone, I got the news about the New York Marathon, so that got me super motivated, hence not really wanting to DNS this race.
Date: Sunday 12th March 2017
Weather: Heavy rain had been predicted all week, but we were actually very lucky, as it drizzled at most and when the sun came out it was actually quite warm.
Course: I had remember from last year, that this is not a course that I liked! The weaving around the track was quite disorientating and with no spectators for most of the course, it is eerily quiet!
My race: So, as you have probably gathered from the title of this post, this race wasn’t one of my finest! I have been struggling with a pulling on the outside of my left knee. I knew this was due to my tight hamstrings, and went to have a sports massage last Wednesday. Oh my, the pain was indescribable! I had to bite my jumper to stop myself screaming! I had hoped that the pain was going to be worth it, as it would let me run on Sunday. I ran Thursday night at club, and although not totally comfortable, I did feel I was on the mend!
I was still unsure as to whether to run or not, even up to an hour before the start. But so many of my RunMND group were running it, and I didn’t want to miss out! I hadn’t had any discomfort for a day or two, so thought I was possibly fixed!
When we started, I wasn’t totally comfortable, but was unsure if it was going to be something that as I warmed up more, would just ease. There were a large group of us running together, and we were carrying a huge banner, so I knew the pace was going to remain reasonable, so I just carried on. I ran along, chatting and really enjoying myself. Around 4 miles I felt so comfortable and remember thinking how much I was enjoying running with my friends! The course is weird and so quiet, I remember hating it last year, but running with people made it so much more fun.
As we approached 5 miles, I started to get twinges in the back of my knee/top of calf. I carried on for another 100 metres, but I just remembered so many people telling me not to injure myself more, so quickly made the decision to stop. I tried to stretch , but the pain now was so much worse, putting weight on my left leg was not comfortable. I asked a marshal how to get back to the start, and was told I would just have to walk the next eight miles, or wait until the race was over and someone would come and collect me! As you can imagine, I chose the walking option. My knee is weird as one step will be VERY painful, and then the next nothing! I found walking eased it a bit, and I saw another group of RunMND runners just behind so waited for them. If I was going to be run/walking, I wanted to do it with more friends. I managed another 2 miles, but quickly spotted a short cut back to the start/finish area. Although, I desperately wanted to finish the race, my sensible head took over and I quit the race. I limped back to the finish area, and that was that! No medal for me!
Lesson learned: I desperately need to do strength work to complement my running. The imbalances I have, are only going to get worse as I start to up the mileage!
- Running with such a big team is amazing. There were so many MNDA runners on the course, it was fun.
- Running with a HUGE banners gets lots of attention, which equals greater awareness for MNDA
- The organisation for the race was awesome. The baggage area in particular were SO efficient and helpful.
- I really need to look at race maps. When I stopped at mile 5, and asked the direction back to the start/finish area, no one seemed to know!
- Not finishing = no medal! Although I had to go through to the finishers area, to take back my timing chip, I could have easily picked up a race bag, but I didn’t!
- I’m not a fan of a midday start. I had a huge breakfast, but just as the race was starting, I was so hungry!
- BEING INJURED!
The group of runners that are part of RunMND are just amazing. Everyone stayed and cheered all the runners over the finish line. Loosing my dad to MND was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced, but through this experience I have met the most amazing bunch of people.
“There is no finish line, until there is a cure”