We had a cross country race today. The course was suppose to be a really fast course, meaning that you were able to run one of your fastest times of the season there. It had no hills and was mostly run on the fairways of a golf course.
The past few days my knee has been bothering me, but it hasn't been anything I couldn't run through. I really wanted to run today and figured if I ran the warm up really slow, and didn't start too fast, I would be ok.
I ran the warm up with the other girls, but didn't make it real far before my knee started to hurt somewhat. I walked back, figuring I didn't to hurt myself on the warm up. Uncertain of if it would be smarter not to run and hope my knee recovers or to run, I asked my coach. He told me to run and see what I felt like at the mile mark. If I couldn't handle the pain, I could drop out there. He promised me no one would call me a quitter. I really want to run our race on Tuesday because it is the second of three races that establishes who gets top conference standings. I doubt I will be eligible for "All Conference" recognition, but I want the chance. If you don't run all three races you have no chance of getting "All Conference."
I started the race and my knee was a little sore. I figured if I kept running my knee would warm up, and I would be able to run the race no problem. Just past the half-mile mark, some lady took my picture. I had never seen her before. I later found out that she works for a running web site and would put my picture on their webpage. Just past there, I got a sharp, almost excruciating pain in my knee. I started to walk, hoping the pain would subside and I could finish the race.
Once I start a race, I always finish it. If you are fine enough to start you are fine enough to finish. Yes, you may have to jog or walk a little, but you can finish the race. Once in a while, there are extenuating circumstances. Things like asthma and falling so badly you are bleeding can't always be avoiding. Slight cuts and bruises or pain, doesn't usually stop anyone.
So there I am walking, hoping I can run soon. I hate walking during a race. It makes me feel like I'm a slacker who can't even run a 5k race! These girls walk past me and try to encourage me to jog. After they pass I try to jog and the pain returns, as bad, if not worse than before. As long as I walk, the pain is just a soreness that I can handle. But you can't walk a 5k race. I get to the mile and no one is around. My best guess would be it had taken me 15 minutes or so to go the first mile. I'm in the middle of nowhere so the only way to get back to my team was to keep walking the course. Soon I come to a turn off and walk off the course. I have now officially dropped out of the race.
My coach is totally understanding as to why I quit. He usually isn't real big into the whole "well, my leg hurt" excuse. You're running, and it's going to hurt. Today though he realized I wasn't joking around. I was told to ice it and take the next two days off, till the race on Tuesday.
I was walking to go get some ice and found that my knee hurt too much to walk down a hill. I got the ice and sat down to ice my knee. Our coach's daughter was at the race and she asked me what was wrong. I explained that I had hurt myself running. She hung out with me for a while and decided to walk to the bus with me, so I could get some food. I hadn't eaten in about 6 or so hours, because if I eat before my race, I'll throw up. The four year old, could walk faster than me! I got an apple and went back to where our team was on a tarp. I sat back down and iced my knee. That is pretty much where I stayed for the rest of the meet.
My knee didn't hurt when I walked as long as I didn’t bend my knee. When the races were done, I hobbled to the bus. Everyone conveyed their sympathy, but I assured them that it didn't hurt when I hobbled.
We got to the restaurant to eat and I decided to hop down the stairs of the bus. I'm sure everyone has done this, where you grabbed the handrails and hop down the stairs on one foot. Plop. Plop. Boom. AHHH. I slipped and slide down the stairs. I soon realized I was the one that had screamed. I had screamed in fear of what my knee was going to feel like. Somehow I hadn't bent it enough for it to hurt. My friend walking down the steps behind me wouldn't believe that I was ok, till I got up and started walking to the restaraunt. I was so thankful for not being hurt, but also very embarrest.
On the bus ride home, I iced my knee a few times. Despite the ice and ibuprofen I had taken, my knee had still started to swell. Now my knee just hurts a little.
I'm thinking I hurt my knee at the last race we had. That was last Monday. Since this my knee has hurt a little more each day. I'm just hoping I can run Tuesday. The bad thing is that my knee only hurts when I run (or so I hope that will be the case tomorrow), so I won't know till Tuesday how I feel.
I figure the worst I can do is to start the race on Tuesday and realize that my knee is still not healed. Then I'll go to the doctor and see what he has to say about it. For now, I'll follow my coach's advice and get some rest.