I ran my first 5K race of the year, my first race of this year today. It is the Kappa Delta Shamrock run at Lincoln Parish Park. And in my own la-la land, I pictured a park with lots of trees, flowers, and paved walkway and maybe some sorta-kinda made to look unpaved path. I was wrong. Today I was introduced to trail running and I was NOT ready for it. Uh-huh!!! I had talked to someone who ran there before and told me the running in that park is tough. Running a 10-mile run is like running a half marathon. And that I should add at least 2 minutes per mile to my pace if I were to run there. So, I thought I was ready and prepared for it. WRONG! I kid you not: there was a Mount Everest in that park and we had to run up that sucker. I ran upward, and halfway through, I had to walk it up. It had rained a few days ago, and the ground was soppy. It was muddy. We ran through muddy, wet, brown gunk and hopped around to avoid rocks and roots. And yes, what goes up must come down and I almost slid down a slippery, muddy slope. There was no railing. Ok, I sound spoilt. I promise I am not spoilt. I didn't do too badly. I finished the entire 3.1 mile in 36 minutes. Secretly, I wanted a PR, but scrapped that idea off when I saw the course. I just wanted to survive and hopefully finish it in 45 minutes.
OK, so that's the first downer. Here's the second, third, fourth whatever downer.
I planned for a 10-mile run today. I wasn't gonna go through muddy land, soppy ground, and sliding down slopes or climb Mount Everest again. I drove a few miles to university campus to run. It is flat.. I need flat ground. Asphalt ground. Heck, I will go up and down some gentle rolling grounds after that Everest-wall looking thing I went through this morning. I ran. On my 6th mile of the run, my right knee was acting up. I hobbled starting there. I hobbled the 7th mile. And it hurt. It was a familiar feeling. It was THAT feeling - the kind that I know I will have trouble going up and down the stairs, the kind where I will have difficulty getting in and out of the car, the kind that will give me pain when I sit down or get up from the chair. So, I walked 0.5 mile (GASP!) around campus to make it an even 8 mile.
I feel pretty blah. I didn't hit the 10 miles I planned today. I had to walk part of the run. My left knee is practically useless now. And I am worrying about when I can run again because the last time my knee felt this way, I was out of commission for about 3 weeks. I have a half marathon I am training for. I have came a long way and worked up to this far and I cannot afford to hit any snag at the point in time. I want to run a half marathon. I want to cross the finish line. I want a medal. I want to be a half marathon runner. I want to experience what you are experiencing when you cross the finish line.
I was going to register for the Nashville half marathon when I finish my 10-miler today and without knee pain. And I didn't finish my 10-miler and I have a knee problem. I finished the 8 miles with walking in 1 hour 42 minutes (I think. I have been too bummed to look at my Garmin.)
Mile 1. 9:53.29
Mile 2.12:47.91 (That hill was here)
Mile 3. 12.28.06
Mile 4. 12:21.42
Mile 5. 12:39.00
Mile 6. 13.11.64
Mile 7. 13.03.34
Mile 8. 16.02.27 (This was when I really hobbled and walked that 0.5 mile).
8 miles @ 1:42.32/mile
So, now what? I am supposed to do 11 miles next week. But since I didn't do my 10 miles today, what do I do next week? A 10? Or 11? Or 10.5? How can my knee get better and stronger? I hate this knee crap.