I wish I could provide an positive update on the improvement of my injured knee and IT Band, but I cannot. I can, however, say that it has been an ordeal simply commuting to my place of employment this week. It was difficult to walk and descend stairs all week. At home at night, my whole IT band was sore and achy. Finally, Friday, after much effort and absence from work, I visited a doctor. This doctor merely gave me a referral to an orthopedic doctor, who will give me X-rays and MRIs and direct me to a course of treatment. Injuries are hell, people. Do not get one. Ever. Right now, my goal has nothing to do with running. It is simply to be able to walk without pain. NYC is a city of walkers; it is crucial for day to day activity. I recommend you move somewhere else if you get injured, unless you want to rack up dept taking cabs all over the place.
That being said, I figured that since I can't run but still want to blog, I'd pick various races from my past to revisit on my blog. I have nearly 10 years of running experience, and I am not about to write boring posts of my road to recovery (if one even exists). So to start, I thought I'd pick the Poker Run.
Race Name: Poker Run
Race Distance: 5K
Race Location: Madison, WI (specifically the University Path by Lake Mendota)
Race Date: April, 2001
It was spring of my senior year of college. A Thursday evening, with weather similar to today; chilly (40's) and rainy; representative of a typical spring day in Madison. Not many came out to race; probably due to the rain and the evening start. But it was merely misting when my friends and I (let's call them TS) took our places behind the start line. Since three of TS were slated to run Boston about two weeks later, they were just going to "jog" the Poker. It was too risky to race in taper phase. And those three were normally very fast. So the plan was for them to run only as fast as the remaing members of TS (myself, and one other). I remember being paced by my friend L. She talked to me, saying at mile one, "Ok, you just ran around 7 minutes. You could probably pick it up now." Ok, yeah, I replied, panting and wondered how she could effortlessly spew such words of torment. But it was all in good faith. I'm sure I slowed down some, but not by much. I rounded mile 3 with about 23 minutes on the clock. (Of course, there were no chips in the Poker, it was about as bare bones as you could get). The best part was my friends, the fast ones, stepped aside before crossing the finish line, to cheer and high five me as I crossed first. They let us beat them. Under no circumstances, would this ever have happened, but it was one of the most endearing things they could do; to encourage and motivate at the expense of their own finishing times. And it was something I never will forget. My time in the Poker remains my 5K PR: 23:26. I don't race many 5K's because they are hellish, but that one was very special. Senior year of college is such a great time to make memories, and I was glad to have added one more memorable race to my collection before graduation.