The morning of the marathon was race two for me since I was doing the Goofy Challenge. I woke up feeling great, so great that I didn't even feel like I completed 13.1 miles the day before. I still have to write my #WDWHalf recap and I will, but this one had to be first.
I met up with Megan and Keri since we were all in the same corral and we decided to run together. I was excited about the thought of running with them! It wasn't long before we were at the starting line. The start line that I had been waiting for. It was a glorious sight!
Early into the race, we made a stop at the port-a-potties. You've got to stop when nature calls, right? Before we knew it, we were off and running again. Right at about mile one, my knee just exploded in pain. It was as if a bullet shot out of nowhere and went into my knee. I didn't have a clue what happen. Was it my IT band? But how could it be? Was it from my knee hurting a few weeks back? I was doing my best to keep up with the girls but I was in pain. As we approached the Contemporary on our way to Magic Kingdom, there's kind of like a tunnel. Going down this absolutely killed me. I couldn't even run. It felt like my leg was going to crack in half. That's when I knew I was in trouble. Going up and down or around any sort of incline made the pain unbearable. All I wanted to do was make it to Magic Kingdom. And we did. I can tell from the picture that my smile was about all I could muster at this point.I decided to part ways with Megan and Keri after the castle. Didn't want to hold them back and I didn't know how much longer I could go. At mile 7 I stopped at the medical tent and got some tylenol and biofreeze. I've never stopped a medical tent before in a runDisney race. This was a first for me. I was hoping this would do the trick to get me back in the game. I started texting my mom that I was in pain and didn't think I would finish. She was more worried about me doing damage to my body and wanted me to stop right then and there. But I didn't. At mile 8, a friend of mine found me and I was all tears. Seeing a familiar face when I was in so much pain was a relief. He stayed with me until around mile 11 and then I told him to go because again I didn't know much longer I could go. I stopped at another medical tent, it was now my third stop..crazy, right? I started to text my husband and he was encouraging me to do whatever I wanted to do, but to also listen to my body. I decided to try and make it to Animal Kingdom. Once I got there, I hobbled my way into the bathroom. It was at that point I realized what bad shape I was in when I couldn't walk out of the bathroom stall. I was only halfway through and had 13 more miles to go. Dragging my leg the first 13 miles probably wasn't the smartest decision and going 13 more miles was going to be plain stupid. I didn't want to cause more damaged then I already caused. I knew my family was behind my decision. So, I took off my bib and folded it up. My race was over.
My family came to pick me up at Animal Kingdom. I didn't want to go to the medics, didn't want to be put on a bus, and definitely didn't want to be given a medal. I knew in my heart that if I was going to pull myself from the race it was going to be done my way. And it was. I made it 13.72 miles out of 26.2. When I saw this pic from in Animal Kingdom, it said it all. I felt broken and defeated to say the least.
So here I am, an injured runner. I still don't have an answer as to what's going on with my knee. It's been a whirlwind trying to figure it out though. At first my doctor thought it was a blood clot and sent me to the ER. Luckily they didn't find a clot. I saw the Orthopedic doctor and he thinks it's either a torn meniscus or stress fracture. I go today for a MRI and I'll get the results this week. Until then I'm on crutches, dreaming about my running days and wishing that things turned out differently.
Have you ever had a DNF at a race? Has a race ever turned out differently than you expected? How did you handle the disappointment?