If you’d have asked me in April if I would be running any half marathons this year, I would have flatly said……”It will not be possible”. It was during those days that I learned that recovery from knee replacements takes far more patience than recovery from hip replacements. Unlike the hip replacement, the recovery seemed to have considerably more pain tied to it. It tested my optimistic attitude. But by August, I started feeling like I might be able to run again. The process was slow. My miles were terribly slow. So slow in fact, I remember stating in a previous post that I was finally able to break 8 minutes for 3 consecutive miles. As slow as that was (compared to my old running days), that improvement led me to sign up for the Leavenworth Half Marathon. I knew Hip Brother Dave was going to be there (all the way from Florida) and I had to at least get there to see him race the marathon.
Fast forward to September. I actually went out on a 14 mile training run (not racing). Several of those miles were in the 7’s. I was ready for my first race since my knee replacement. I was so confident in fact, that I was doing speed work with the SDP Boys. That was a mistake. We were doing intervals. We were on teams. It was important that I delivered for my team. Bam. I felt a slight strain to the quad. The next day, while I was coaching my little XC team I was protecting the quad so much, that I tweaked my hammy. Seriously???? The hammy pain was even worse than the quad pain. Dang! Less than 2 weeks before the half marathon and I was a gimp. I texted Hip Brother Dave and let him know the situation. He said he would understand if I chose to stay home. Not a chance! If I wasn’t going to run, I would AT LEAST be there to cheer on Dave.
Saturday 10/6/2018 was race day. I left Spokane early with a baseball under my right hammy. During the 3 hour trip, I used that baseball over and over to roll and massage that hamstring. I arrived with enough time to pick up my number, review the course, and get a short warm up. The goal now was just to manage the hammy. I lined up behind the 8 minute pace sign. It was somewhat surreal to not be stressed about racing. My only goal was to make sure I didn’t push the hamstring too much. The gun went off and my race was underway….
Leavenworth is a small mountain town tucked into the base of the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. It prides itself on its Bavarian themed buildings. The marathon and half marathon take place smack dab in the middle of Oktoberfest! Even though it wasn’t going to be my fastest race, I knew at the very least, I was going to enjoy a nice German brew with Hip Brother Dave and his lovely wife Judy after it was over.
At mile 1, my pace was just under 8 minutes. This was going to be a challenge. But as I focused on the hammy, I didn’t pay as much attention to the miles that were going by. By mile 10, all of my miles were under 8 minutes and I knew that I was going to finish the race with an average mile pace that was under 8 minutes. I really couldn’t have expected more and was quite pleased knowing that I was going to finish running at sub 8 minute pace. I finished in 1:43 and change. My average mile pace was 7:52. The hammy survived. It was tight, but not overly stressed. I did it! My first race back after my partial knee replacement. It was time to find Dave and find out how he did.
It didn’t take long to locate Dave. He told me how he’d done and once again, he represented the HipRunner nation like only he can. He finished 13th overall with a new marathon PR of 3:18. Are you kidding me? First in his age group. Hip Brother Dave came to the Pacific Northwest and DOMINATED!! Here is a picture of him on the podium.
Oktoberfest was crazy. We couldn’t find a parking spot so we settled for a quaint little restaurant that sold brats and …… pizza. It was a good weekend to be a Hip Runner.