Yesterday, I was able to participate in the inaugural Ann Arbor Marathon (though I did the half marathon). The course was laid out pretty well with a lot of great views of the city.
We started out by the University of Michigan football stadium and headed north on Main Street. We came up Main Street and turned down Liberty. As soon as we turned down Liberty, I saw the sun rising above Burton Tower and I felt very inspired. We passed the first mile marker and my time was 7:21. The route wove around State Street and North University and then started down Washtenaw. I missed the second mile marker, but for miles two and three, my split was 14:48. We continued over the hills on Washtenaw, heading towards Stadium. I hit the fourth mile with a split of 7:38. I was feeling pretty good, though I was starting to tire a little bit. This portion of the course was an “out and back,” so we turned around at Stadium. A girl by the name of Danielle Risner ran up and said hello to me. I wished her a good race, and let her pass by. For mile five, I had a split of 7:52. A little after mile five, I felt a sharp pain in my left knee. It went away rather quickly, but I slowed my pace down. I missed the sixth mile marker, but right around six and a half miles, I started getting a dull ache in my knee. I stopped to walk a little bit and it went away. Then, I started jogging again. For miles six and seven, my split was 17:00. The walk/jog was to be my fate for the rest of the race. Every time I started jogging again, I would get a little pain in my leg, sometimes a dull ache and other times, it was a bit more than an ache. Mile 8 was 10:16. Mile 9 was 12:20. Mile 10 was 13:43. Each of those miles were really annoying for me. People were passing me left and right, but I knew that if I tried to run through the pain, I would only make things worse. I considered dropping out of the race entirely, but walking did seem to help. So, I continued on in that way. Mile 11 went a little better at 9:22. Mile 12 was 10:15. I finished the final 1.1 miles in 11:21.
By my watch, I finished the race in 2:01:54. That isn’t a horrible time by any means, but I know that I could have done better had I not had that knee pain. I’ve learned that I have to take what the road gives me. It’s far better for me to take it easy with joint pains like that than to just try to “power through” the pain.
Today, my knee is pretty sore and I’m walking with a limp. I am really hoping that my knee trouble from 2009 doesn’t return. I am going to try to take it easy and not do anything crazy for a while. Hopefully, with a bit of ice, anti-inflammatories, and rest, it will not return.