Well, I did it. It was not easy especially since I sprained my ankle on Friday while walking down the steps on the Subway on my way back from getting my race number. Really unfortunate, I almost was out two years in a row and I wasn't going to let that happen. Last year, I had a bad case of runners knee right before the Philly Distance Run (half marathon) and I just couldn't bear through a mile never mind 13. So I really did not want injury to get me again. As a result, I wrapped the ankle and popped a fist full of ibuprofen and marched on. My goal after all was only to finish not to win the darn thing.
Of course the best efforts are not always rewarded and the comedy of errors were not done. I went to the stadium with the wife and kid. So we rushed down the highway at 80 mph to get to the stadium to park the car before the event. Then I rush to get on the subway, while Jinja and Emily stroll down to the finish line. This is a real bright spot for the run, at the finish line are balloon animal artists, face painters, children rides, petting zoo and much more. I give them an A+ on the logistics for the run, top notch. Meanwhile, I am trying to catch the ride north to the start line, Septa (philly pubic trans) was not running any runners trains and I ended up at the start line 10 minutes after the gun, so I had to run just to catch up to the start line.
Now the race is on, the ankle is sore but it is bearable. My goal was 13 to 14 minute miles as they said 15 minute mile was what you had to do the run in. The run was slow and steady I had no real issue with the completion of the run. The ankle just kept me from my normal slow pace of 11 to 12 minute miles. So my finish was 2 hours and 26 minutes (about 15 minutes per mile), I am not going to break any land speed records at that pace. However, I did finish all ten miles on a sprained ankle. So I am happy. I was running 13 minutes for a couple of miles but had to back off just a hair as my ankle was starting to burn about mile 3. I am disappointed with the 11th hour injury. I have to take some solace in the fact that it did not keep me out of the race and I was able to experience the race. Also, next year I will definitely have a personal record.
My last error for the race was in the water teams. These folks were rabid in handing out water and they crowd you as you pass by to give you water and gatorade. Couple this with thousands of cups on the street and the potential for disaster is right in your face. I learned that drinking at each stop screws up my pacing, so I have to think about hydration for the next race and how to get it done without compromising my run.
So in short, it was feeling of accomplishment not to bend to injury. I don't like to be the guy with an excuse, so I ran. I did not run fast but I did the whole thing and ran by my law school on the way. In the end I was happy to complete the run but with a little disappointment that I could not give it my all. But it is a 90:10 ratio. It is a moot point to be upset over the circumstance, I can't really do anything about it. So I am happy to have finished.