Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Memphis Marathon

So the weekend after Thanksgiving I flew to Memphis for the St. Jude Marathon and to visit family and friends. I had bought my plane ticket and my entry to the marathon before I injured my hip and started limping around everywhere. Because of my injury, I did not train at all and doubted that I would be able to participate.

But, when I picked up my packet at the race expo the night before the race, I asked if I could do the half marathon instead of the full marathon. They said that I could, that both marathons had the same 8 am start time, and if I didn't want to do the full marathon then I could just veer off and finish after 13.1 miles. So, I decided that I could do the half if I alternated between walking and running.

I was happy that I could still participate in the event because otherwise I would have just moped around that morning and felt that one element of the trip had been missed. This marathon was smaller than the Baltimore marathon, had more facilities, and the staff seemed more accommodating. Also the course was much flatter. Plus it was great to run on familiar streets where I had grown up.

On the morning of the race it was very cold and they had a wave start, so I went to the back corral, for the 12 minute mile pace I think. With the corral start we did not cross the starting line until about 20 or 30 minutes after the race had begun. It was nice because the course was full but not too crowded this way.

I was able to run about 2 or 3 miles before my hip started to really hurt. Then I walked until it stopped hurting and then started running again. I did the whole race this way and finished in about 2 hours 50 or 55 minutes. When I say "run", I mean more of a shambling jog. I could not lift my feet up too far or run too fast because if I did, the impact killed my hip. I'm sure you have seen people running this way before, I have seen them... old, injured people. Because of my run/walk approach I kept passing the same people again and again. I don't think they knew I was injured, they probably just thought I was strange. Even with the difficulties I experienced, I had a great time doing the race.

I will probably sign up for the Memphis marathon again next year, hopefully by then I will be in better shape. For two days after the marathon I was limping and hobbling around to the point where people commented on it. Then, I felt a little better than before. Since then, my hip is feeling a little better each day. I think I am going to wait until it feels completely healed before I start running again.

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