We set off on Friday with a car full of puppies, bikes and supplies... again! Luckily Paul's sister lives in Dallas and was kind enough to let us stay at her house for the weekend
So far so good eh? However just as I was reaching 10k something started to go wrong with my left knee. Soon after that the pain was getting worse and I had to do something I've never done in a half marathon... I had to walk. Not only did I have to walk, I was having to stop, so when I saw the medic tent at around 13k I asked them for help. They taped above and below my knee pretty tight and I hopped along for a while longer. I was still struggling and kept having to stop because of the pain from moving but that would just make it hurt more. I was offered a lift to the finish line from police officers who could see I was hurt but I was determined not to quit. I stopped at another medic tent and got my knee fully bandaged to see if that worked better. I also iced it for a few minutes before setting off again.
I was finding the race incredibly difficult but people are awesome! Spectators and other racers made me smile so much with their encouragement and support. Also a couple of runners stopped or slowed to check on me which was so thoughtful when I know they had their own goals to focus on. Having a band every mile around the course didn't have as much of an affect on the race as I thought it would as you can only hear them for a minute or two before you pass but it was still great to hear some live music! It was also great to see some more of Dallas, although I think I would have taken more in if I'd not been so focussed on my knee.
Somehow my stubborness prevailed (I knew it would be a good thing one of these days!!)... I was not going to give up however much my knee hurt so I managed to get a bit of a walk/hop going and got myself through the last few miles and over the finish line! The medics once again grabbed hold of me and took me in to wrap ice around my knee before I could collect my medal and find Paul.
There was live music at the finish line and just thousands of runners and supporters just enjoying the day which was awesome. I was so disappointed with how my race had gone, I had to take some time and console myself with a free beer and ice-cream before feeling well enough for a photo.
I'm not going to lie, this race sucked for me. I have never felt like crying during a race before but yesterday I really could have! Not even at my lowest part of the marathon did I feel anywhere near that bad.
My ambitious side felt like I'd really let myself and others down but now I'm getting over the initial disappointment I'm realising that perhaps I haven't. The difference is that instead of being proud of an awesome finish time, I should be proud that, despite everything, I didn't quit!