Yes! It’s over. Thank goodness, life can return to semi-normal. Meaning, no more long runs every weekend, and a much more casual running experience overall. Actually, I’m injured now, so absolutely no running for a while.
Today, 30,000+ people piled onto the race course for the 40th Annual Honolulu Marathon. I decided to take it slow and ran at a pace a couple minutes slower than my usual for the first part of the marathon. It was easy once I got into a shuffling kind of rhythm. There was this awesome Japanese couple, who, apparently just got married and were in a white tux and wedding dress with “just” and “married” signs on each of their backs. They were so gracious any time someone congratulated them. They would take the time to say “Thank you” and turn around and smile. They were a big motivation to a lot of people who saw them.
I also saw: a man dressed up as Robocop, Snow White, Pikachu, a man carrying a heavy tree stump, Couples holding hands and running, a young, handsome man from Japan pushing two wheelchairs, and people wearing interesting t-shirts and hats, etc. It was fun. On a sad note, I also saw a man down around the 16-mile mark. He appeared to be having convulsions and the fire truck was just pulling up when I went past. People were helping the man, so I kept going, but I said a little prayer for him and tried to send positive thoughts to him. I was so sad to see that, and can only hope he’s all right. Same for anyone who had a rough time of it out there today. I hope everyone got through safe.
I was having a pretty easy time of it until just before the 20-mile-mark when I had some issues with my left knee. I had it taped the day before with KT tape, and I think something was wrong with how it was taped. Usually when my knee is sore, I can wrap on the knee brace my brother in law gave me around it and run a while, remove the brace, and it’s all-g. This time, I put the brace over the tape, and it hurt more. For this reason, I ripped the brace off, and had to walk. When I got home and reviewed a photo I’d taken of my legs with the tape, I could see the tape over my left knee cap was crooked. Too bad I didn’t notice this yesterday. I was scared during the race to rip off the tape. I thought: What if this is helping me, but in retrospect, I shoulda pulled it off as soon as it got weird and just wore my usual dual chopat brace thingy since it’s helped me a lot over the year’s training.
I probably should have dropped out of the race at Kahala Mall when I came up on the 22 mile mark, but stubborn me decided it didn’t hurt enough to stop. So, I shuffled and walked along the last 4 miles, and definitely had to walk on the last hill decline towards the finish line due to pressure on my knee. I somehow decided I was gonna sprint the end, (was I high)? and mustered all the energy I had (which was still a lot) and pushed the last 1/2 mile. While my knee wasn’t really bugging me much, I’m sure that was way stupid of me. I think adrenaline had taken over at that point. I just wanted to be FINISHED and ran hard.
I picked up my malasada! (Last year I was too injured and limped outta there ASAP). The malasada was still warm, and soft, and it tasted so good after the run. I also ate a banana, and drank some water. Sifu picked me up and instead of the decadent pancake breakfast I’d planned, I decided I wanted to go to Whole Foods. I had 6 tiny pieces of salmon maki sushi.
As I walked off the course, my left knee twinged when I bent it. I pulled off the KT tape from that knee and felt like I shoulda done that sooner… Something was wrong with it. I shoulda waited for Joe at the expo to tape me. The lady who was taping me started telling me (as she was taping me) that she doesn’t usually tape, but because the line was long, she was helping out. I appreciated her helping, but there are bruises under the tape on that knee from my knee motion pulling against how she had taped it. I wish I had not tried something new before the marathon. Dr. Schaff at the Honolulu Marathon Clinic always emphasizes NOT to do that but I did. Oh well, lesson learned. The right knee, which I taped myself turned out great, and so did the taping the lady did to my feet, so I can’t complain against KT tape. I think my problem was it was incorrectly applied.
Prior to this morning, I gained 5 lbs carboloading over the course of three days. I sure hope I ran some of that weight off and didn’t negate it with all the gels (I consumed 4 along the way), and the malasada. I ate empty carbs as well as complex ones. Next time, I won’t cheat so much with cookies and other crap.
Another thing I won’t ever do again, is post the live status updates on my Facebook page. In a way, it’s like I had this added pressure not to quit. I might have quit and saved my knee some pain at the 22-mile mark if I wasn’t seeing all the comments from my friends encouraging me to finish. In other words: My pride would not let me quit, and my knee is currently paying the price, so I can’t have an audience in the future. (Strictly my bad and not theirs, bless them)!
This might be my last marathon for a while. I’m headed back to school in the Spring, and in the Fall, my courses will still be kinda tough. I hear finals week is this upcoming week, and I don’t see how I would have been able to study and put all this training time into the marathon like I did this year. I mean, I’d have no life at all as a student: working part-time, studying, and training. We’ll see… but I predict I take a break from marathons for a while. In the end, I’m thankful I finished this year since this might be the last time I do a marathon for a while. Also, I’m thankful that my body made it through intact overall. Also, thank God this year the finisher t-shirt is kinda decent, and fits me (unlike last year’s tent-of-a-shirt-which-makes-it-look-like-i-stole-someone’s-shirt shirt). Thanks to all the people who texted, posted on twitter, facebook, emailed, called, etc. to wish me luck today. I do feel lucky to have had such wonderful support! Mahalo!