Runners Tell All – A Link-Up

I’ve been passively following along with The Lady Okie‘s Runners Tell All monthly link-up. Mostly because I’ve never considered myself enough of a runner to contribute a blog post to the link-up, and up until this point, I’ve been content just reading what others have to say. I particularly liked THIS post from Amanda about poop.

Except this month’s topic is “Share a Running Picture” … And during my race from earlier this month, someone snapped my favorite running picture of me… ever. Most of my pictures from races turn out truly horrific.

But first, you’re going to need a little race recap to understand the feeling behind the photo…

Y’all know I love runDisney races, but man, you have to get up real early for them. You have to be on the bus early and at the pre-race location early and in your corral early or else you simply can’t run. The flying pig was SO different. I guess living close to downtown helps.. But I left my apartment at 5:20, found a parking spot right next to the finish line at 5:25, and was at the starting line at 5:40… And the race didn’t even start until 6:30.

I’m going to preface the rest of this by saying I am not a fast runner… I started out running with the 2:45 pace group, thinking I’d be able to stick with them at least until the hills, and then I might fall a little behind. I was going strong as we crossed the first and second mile markers in Kentucky, and then it all went south for me. First, my entire body started itching. Like, I probably looked like a crazy person running and scratching my arms, legs, head, face, etc. In hindsight, it was probably because of the sweat, but I was convinced I was having some kind of psychotic episode. THEN, my KT tape started peeling. Probably from the sweat and the itching. I couldn’t peel it all the way off, so I just left it flap around. Meanwhile, I was running and itching and trying to keep my tape from peeling for about a mile before all the multitasking caused me to trip. And while I didn’t actually fall down, my foot didn’t quite feel the same after. I slowed down a little bit heading back into Ohio and through downtown because I knew if I kept up my pace, my foot would become a big problem real fast. At 4.5 miles I texted my mom and said “4.5, my foot hurts”.

I kept a 13ish minute mile pace through about mile 7. Then the longest of the hills came. Mile 7 was my slowest at 16:08, and the only thing I could think while running walking up the hill was “ow, ow, ow, i think it’s broken, ow. keep going.” That’s when I saw two of my friends waiting to cheer me on (Thanks Abby and Ryan!!!). I wanted to hug them, but I was all sweaty. I managed a high-five, said something about thinking my foot was broken and then attempted to run a few steps before the pain was too agonizing.

The rest of the race was either flat or downhill, which I thought would be a welcomed change… But the constant pounding of my foot on the ground sent shooting pains up through my ankle and into my calves. By mile 12 I was struggling. I was running 10 seconds, walking 10 seconds, because I knew I was approaching my former PR, and I wanted to beat it. I previously set my PR at the Niagara Falls Half when I was running with a hurt back, and I knew I could push through this to beat that time. (Remember, I’ve only done 4 of these, and I’m not very fast).

Right before the 13 mile marker, I ran into an “unofficial hydration station” that was handing out beer. (!!!!!!!!!!!) I chugged mine, and ran as fast as I could for the finish. One of my sorority sisters was at the finish line cheering on her husband and I came out of my finish-line trance long enough to hear her shout my name and turn to see her waving, and that gave me that extra push for the finish… THANKS AMY JO! :)

And now, for my picture. I wore the shirt from my church’s running group, and there was someone snapping pictures of everyone wearing these shirts along the course. He got this picture of me crossing the finish line, eyes closed, taking in that moment…

Flying Pig Finish

I hope the feeling of crossing the finish line never gets old. I’ll keep racing until it does… Even if it means being slow.


28 comments on “Runners Tell All – A Link-Up

  1. Hahaha. I feel bad for laughing knowing you were in pain, but the part about you thinking you were having a psychotic episode got to me. :P

  2. Aaaahhhh, I hate it when everything seems to go wrong at a race. I can only imagine the itching… that’s one of the worst things to me. :( That’s so awesome that you finished and stayed dedicated! I’m not sure I could say the same thing.

  3. A race start at 6.30am!! I thought the 9.30am starts were bad…! Congrats on finishing, and on such a great finish photo – you look exultant and relieved. Love the colourful shin tape, too, and the ears on your fellow runners…!

    1. OH! The runDisney races start at 5:30… and buses stop running from the resorts at 4. So when I did the 10k and the half back in february, I was waking up at 3 in the morning just to get to the race. It was so awful, but the races are so fun, so it’s worth it!

  4. Hey fellow Cincy girl!! I live here too and did the flying pig 1/2 for the first time this year! :) It’s a toughhhh course, holy cow! I had to walk a lot, but it was still an awesome experience!

    1. OH MY, it was so tough! I live along the course and was so tempted to just run home when we were passing my street. I did end up walking a lot too, but I was just determined to finish… I didn’t care so much about my time

    1. I think it’s a stress fracture… but once the swelling and bruising went away, it was much easier to walk. It still hurts a little when I run, but i’m mostly back to normal! :) Such a fun link-up! Thanks for hosting!

  5. LOVE. Can I just write that on everyone’s posts today? This is the BEST LINKUP EVER. I don’t even care that I created it. It’s true. That picture is fantastic. Even though the race itself sounded truly horrific (is your foot better???), the picture trumps all. And I agree about your last line. I hope it never gets old! It’s just the best feeling ever.

    1. I KNOW! I’ve been going to all of the links just to look at the awesome pictures!! And yes, my foot feels better. It still hurts when I run a little bit, but nothing nearly as bad as it was that day! I think this picture was worth all the foot pain, though!

  6. You are a beast! I seem to have lots of feet problems, but nothing official. I love that you chugged a beer-maybe that dulled the pain? ha ha! Maybe I will do this one WITH you next year!

    1. I nearly choked the beer down because I really wanted water, but it was still very refreshing, and a great way to celebrate the end of the race! I highly recommend the flying pig! Great crowd support throughout the whole course and lots to look at! :) I’ll definitely be doing it again next year!

  7. Jess, you are not slow! You are my pace! We are not slow, we just enjoy the run while the fast people are missing all the pretty scenery. :) As long as you’re enjoying the run and moving forward that’s good enough for me. You are a runner!

    1. I always say I go so slow so I burn more calories ;) … I think people assume that since I do a lot of half marathons that I’m fast.. I had someone ask me if I was going to try and finish in under 2 hours…. I responded with “I’ll be lucky to finish under 3!” It’s better than nothing though, right?!

      1. Yeah, I’ve never been fast. I’m not good at straight sprints either because my legs jam up and I can’t get them moving at the start. But, because I go a little slower than most and pace myself (I try not to go too fast that I have to stop to catch my breath) I usually have a little left in the tank to sprint to the finish line. :)

  8. Congratulations on finishing a tough race! That feeling of exhausting and elation at a finish line is like nothing else, and that picture captures it perfectly!

  9. Congrats on finishing your half! It’s not easy when something goes wrong early on so I totally admire you for hanging in there and pushing through to the end!

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