“You learn you can do your best even when it's hard, even when you're tired and maybe hurting a little bit. It feels good to show some courage.” ~Joe Namath
Today I ran the Southern Indiana Classic Marathon in Evansville, Indiana. This was a particularly satisfying accomplishment because the first year I signed up for it, I injured my right quadriceps. The next year I was ready for it, but the full marathon was cancelled and everyone was diverted to the half due to heat. Last year I was just coming off of an upper respiratory infection, and chose to divert to the half marathon. So the way I had it figured, this was my year, my time to finally run and finish the Southern Indiana Classic Marathon.
The 4H Center before the raceI was doing great!!! I was running at a PR pace until just after the half way point. Then Holy Crap! The cramps started. I am not sure which leg the cramps started in, but very soon both legs were cramping. From that point on, I was only able to run for short distances before I would have to stop and walk again. From mile sixteen to mile eighteen, I really considered dropping out. But then I remembered how hard I had trained for four Evansville full marathons; recalled feeling disappointed in the three previous Southern Indiana Classic’s, due to injuries , illness, or heat. I was determined to finish this one. At the twenty mile marker I was hurting in places I did not know I had. I rationalized it this way, “I could drop out now and go home with cramps,not finish, and not get my medal-- or I could persevere, go home with the cramps and my medal.” I chose the latter.
The man I am talking to has ran over 100 marathons.
Limping towards the finish lineAt the twenty four mile marker I was cramping from my feet to my neck. I had never had spasms in my neck before. I do have to give the race support staff credit for keeping an eye on me during the race and asking me if they could do anything for me. But somewhere between the start and the end of the race, my new goal was to cross the finish line.I am proud to say I limped in and finished race in 5:20 which was well off my goal. I now have my hard for fought medal from the Southern Indiana Classic Marathon. I earned this medal.
With my medal after the raceHave you ever cramped up during a race?