Saturday I woke up at 6:30, yet didn't make it out of the house until almost 8 after a breakfast of a MetRX meal replacement bar and a "Mexican" Coke. I had a pouch of Energy Blast gel bites in my pocket and a definite plan for my route.
The beginning was relatively easy, it felt TONS easier than last week's 16 miler. I was slower than my 10:35 goal, but kept reminding myself of Hal's description of Saturday runs as long slow runs. Loooooong Sloooooooooow runs. As long as I'm in the ballpark range, I should be able to drop a few seconds at the race because (1) I'm not alone, and (2) there is on-course distraction / entertainment to break up the monotony.
It was humid, but cool and cloudy, everything felt good until mile 4.5 when my left knee felt funny. The best description was that it torqued, it felt like the joint had been forced to move in a manner that it doesn't normally move. Did I stop and go home? Noooooo I kept going :)
It bothered me a little through the run, but seemed to feel worse when walking than when running. I immediately showered at home, then started the RICE treatment. It never actually HURT, just didn't feel right when I bent it. So I did a little home yoga, tried to keep it propped up and went to bed early.
Sunday morning it felt ok. After doing a little cross-training to burn out the lactic acid, it feels as good as new. My left hip has been sore when I run for the whole summer and my yoga teacher - who is a chiropractor by day - said it's bursitis. With 98% certainty, it's what I had in 2010, but whereas that was a sudden horrific onset, it's been slow this time around. Like then, I felt it in my knee, even though there's absolutely nothing wrong with my knee. I kept the old pill bottle from the Salsalate, so if I need to see a doctor, I'll go in with my own diagnosis and remedy, just needing the official signature to get the meds.
Anyway, even with a gimpy knee, the run was feeling really good until about mile 12 when I plowed headfirst into the proverbial wall. I don't normally hit it so soon :( As the best description, "In some form or another, it becomes a collapse of the entire system: body and form, brains and soul." The last 6 ish miles were a tortured exercise of my mind willing my body to do what it was screaming and fighting against.
The final time was 3:27:01. I don't know the distance though and it really bothers me! Carmenita (gps) said 18.01, Google Maps said 18.67, Mapmyrun said 19.01. I averaged it and came up with 18.56. That's my distance and I'm sticking with it!
The Free Press just posted the image of this year's shirt. It's ok. I like the 2010 one better, but this one is better than 99% of all race shirts. It's tech with NO sponsor logos :)