Race Report: Spirit of Columbus Half-Marathon, August 29, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
I swore I wasn't going to run this race again after all of the chaos that was last year's SoC half. Too bad I catch a case of the crazies every once in a while and end up running the same races over and over...
ANYWAY. This race is one with separate starts (Tuttle Mall in northwest Cbus) and finish (North Bank Park downtown) lines, so I parked downtown and caught a shuttle to the starting line with plenty of time to warm up and relax.
Whatever I said last year about their snafus, this year things were better than smooth - almost seamless to my eyes. Lots of water and bagels at the starting line, water/Gatorade at nearly every mile, GU stations, icy sponges, orange sections, porta-potties every 3 miles - all things that were promised last year but were not delivered, they had it this year. No hulk-smash this year!
The start was right on time and I made great progress for the first few miles, on pace to finish with the same time as last year - 2:07. At mile 5, I started feeling some discomfort in my left knee whenever I'd pick my leg up. Slowing down made it hurt more, so I kept up as good a pace as I could manage.
By mile 8, my mantra was "just finish, just finish." By mile 10, I was alternating one minute of agonized walking with 5-10 minutes of painful running. I did manage to sprint in the last mile and finish with a time of 2:24:45. 5th place in my category - very disappointed. :(
The knee was painful and only got worse as I tried to stretch and walk on it (through 30-odd people & kids at a birthday party) during the day. My sister, who works in PT, gave me a preliminary assessment and ordered me off the leg.
Went to the doctor this morning and sweated through the intake process (standing up; these people are cruel!) and assessment. Preliminary diagnosis is a highly inflamed IT band with possible involvement with the meniscus. Sigh.
Bad news: no running for two weeks. Good news: I can cross-train with anything the doesn't bother my knee. WHEW. They refused to give me painkillers - I feel like I am the only person that can't get relief for intense pain. Grr. :(
However, if you're looking into doing a half-marathon, Spirit of Columbus is a great one - smallish (~1500 people registered), flat and fast, great scenery, good swag (beer glass and tech shirt - score!), nice start/finish line eats and a category for bigger runners (Cruiser).