Well, I tried.
I showed up on the morning of the Charlottesville Ten Miler and hung out inside JPJ with nearly 2000 other runners. For some reason, I was more nervous than I ever remember being before a race.
The weather was close to perfect: high thirties and overcast.
I lined up in the middle, which made the first mile incredibly slow. I had planned to run slowly, but this was slower than slow. I didn’t care, though. I was just hoping to make it to the finish line with no pain.
The first couple of miles were fine. I felt a few little twinges, but nothing too serious.
The long down hill stretch on Preston got me, though. Just before I hit the downtown mall, the pain returned. I had promised myself that if this happened, I would stop. I didn’t want to chance doing anything that might prolong my recovery.
So, about four and half miles into the race, I stopped. I made my way over to the sidewalk and quickly removed my bib.
I crossed the pedestrian mall to Main Street just in time to cheer for Kurt as he ran by.
It was a cold walk back to JPJ.
I couldn’t even look at the finish line.
Once I got home, it really hit me. I hated that I hadn’t finished. This race is a big deal in Charlottesville. It seemed like everybody I knew had run.
I’m trying very hard to be positive.
I looked back at my training log and realized that my knee pain had come back in October and a week off was all it took to cure it that time.
Maybe it won’t take months to go away, like it did the first time.
So far, it’s been three weeks with only one short test run per week.
In the meantime, I’m doing some cross-training and strength training.
I think I have some relative weakness in my quadriceps that exacerbates the problem. I’ve started doing exercises to help correct that. I’m also back to doing the exercises the physical therapist gave me to work on for my foot and ankle.
I’m planning to take the rest of the week off and then test it out again on a short run this weekend.