After a late start on Friday, my father, mother, and I managed to make it in time to pick up our packets at the Air Force Half Marathon. It was seemingly a trip through memory lane. The reason I really wanted to participate in this marathon event was largely due to the fact that my father was a fighter pilot for many years. He retired after many years of duty, but that part of his life and really our whole families lives was never forgotten. Military life was something that we all truly loved; the travel, the planes, the family, it was all part of us. Plus it was really cool to have a father who flew F-15 s at the speed of sound.
We have been away from a military life style now for over 12 years and my father, I believe, has stayed away because he missed it. That being said, a crisp, perfectly clear Saturday morning we headed to Wright Patterson AFB to begin our half marathon. We were greeted by a lone F-15 playing in the sky and it sparked so many stories of my fathers time flying that I felt for a moment that we were back, ready to watch my father take off...I am sure he remembers how to fly.
It was a perfect day for a run. The crisp autumnal air was brisk, but exactly the temperature that you want to run in. The half marathon began at 8:15 with 2000 participants, and we started with a 1000 ft gain in elevation in the first mile. My first mile was 9:30, my second was 9:30, my third mile was 9:45, 4th was 9:45, my fifth was 11:25...oh yeah on a hill coming down my knee began to ache. Dang. I knew that the med tent was coming up, so I made myself slow jog until I found it. A woman quickly wrapped it and I began to limp my way through...she tied the wrap way too lose, so mile 6 16:00. I was getting discouraged, why now on this perfect day for running is my knee hurting so bad. I walked/ran to the next med tent to get the wrap fixed a little tighter and the man there sure wrapped it up. In fact after limping for a half of mile I found that my foot was becoming numb and my muscles behind my knee were feeling tight. So I completely undid the wrap and limped two miles to the next med tent. I felt similar to Goldilocks as this woman wrapped it just right, but my knee would not allow me to run anymore. Thank goodness the field was large enough that I was able to walk the rest of the race and finish. There were tons of walkers, so this made me very comfortable with my decision. Why permanently injure this knee when I have the choice to finish with my limp/walk. My splits were around 20 minutes for the last few miles, I couldn't even walk fast with my knee the way it was. I did stop to stare at the dozens of plane fly bys along the way, why not, I was not making any PR anyway.
Unfortunately, my father and father-in-law were alarmed when I did not show up at my usual pace and they were in a tizzy when I showed up at 3 hours. It all worked out in the end. My father had the best run of the season, and that made my knee injury take a shelf. I was here for him and the reminiscing that occurred made everything worth while. I am sure we will participate in this race every year now, it was a good race, albeit injury.
Hopefully my knee will start to feel better after some time off. I did not play soccer yesterday and I am not going to run or bike until at least Wed. and that will be a short run, just to get the knee ready. Somehow I was deleted from the Buckeye Half Stats (like I did not even run) and this weeks run was crappy. I have the Akron Half Marathon and the Columbus Full to still look forward to, just hope that my knee holds up. So far this running season has been full of disappointments, but I cannot do anything about it now.
Just keep running, running, running...