Last weekend, Kay, Gabby, Lesly, and I ran the La Jolla Half Marathon. Let me start with the fact that I have really never wanted to do this particular race because while I love running hills, I have heard that this race has more hills than even I enjoy tackling. However, I have this very persuasive friend, who shall remain nameless, that appealed to the bling lover in me by enticing me with the fact that with the Carlsbad Half under my belt, I only needed to complete La Jolla and the America's Finest City (AFC) race to get the coveted Triple Crown Medal. With that extra medal held in front of my eyes as a carrot, I signed up for La Jolla before I even know what I was doing. And once I sign up for a race...I am in!
The problem is that over the last couple weeks I have been having an issue with my right hip. Nothing big, but a clear sign that I needed to take it easy. The week before the race I did not rest like I should have done to make sure my hip was ready. Instead I decided that I could not miss my T/TH early morning runs. How could I let everyone down or miss out on the fun? Needless to say, by Friday I was actually limping around.
You would think that this would be a sign that maybe I needed to bow out of the race and admit defeat for once, but I rationalized this away. Maybe once I warmed up on the course, my hip would be fine. Maybe I could just walk the race and not run. Maybe, maybe, MAYBE! And with all those maybes in mind I decided that I couldn't let my friends run by themselves. I needed to finish this race so I could complete the Triple Crown, right?
As you can probably imagine, my hip pain never went away, and with my competitive nature there was no way my legs would slow down. And I have to say that the hills were even worse than I imagined. I knew I had to run up the La Jolla Torrey Pines hill, but having never been on the state reserve path that runs parallel to the driving road, I didn't know that it was actually steeper than the road we drive on. And when the race route was not going up, it was going down, which tends to be harder on my knees. This was one tough race! Imagine my surprise when I got to the 12-mile sign, only 1.1 miles from the finish line, and I see that the next 3/4 of a mile were literally straight up--who does that to a runner??
I did finish the race, and I must admit it was honestly one of the most beautiful races I have ever done. Much of the race runs parallel to the ocean, and it was an unbelievably beautiful day. We actually had perfect running weather, so of that I must be thankful. However, that decision not to bow out of this race, made my hip worse, and for the first time in years, it has been a whole week without one mile run. I am being smart now. I rested a couple of days, and I have only been biking and swimming to let that hip rest. I am finally feeling better now that I am listening to what my body needs--finally!
Once again I have learned that I must listen to my body and take time to rest. I am in this exercise thing for the long haul, and I have to keep that at the front of my mind at all times. If I need to rest, I need to consider that a part of my exercise routine and remember that one or two days off is not going to keep me from reaching my fitness goals. I might not get that shiny bling, but that is not really the end of the world, right? Maybe this time I will finally learn from the past...maybe!