When I registered for the Billings Marathon they included a box asking why you are running the marathon. I wrote that I had lost nearly 100 pounds and was training for an Ironman. Little did I know that the Billings Gazette would pick this out of all the runners as someone to write a story about. On Monday before the marathon I got a call from the Gazette and they wrote a really cool article about me in the paper. One of the questions the reporter asked me was if I felt confident I would finish. I said yes, I had no doubts that I would finish. That was bad Taboo. Here is a link to the article with some photos:
Anyway, that Wednesday evening I had OWS at Spring Meadow Lake, and I was also scheduled to run a short 2-mile run as part of my taper. I had been sticking to the taper religiously and so after the swim I changed into my running gear and headed out for a couple laps around Spring Meadow Lake. After about two minutes of running I began to feel a sharp pain located on the backside lower portion of my right knee. I stretched it out, and tried running but the pain persisted and kept getting worse. After the first lap I decided to call it a day. I didn't think much about the pain or what caused it.
Lindsay and I headed down to Billings on Saturday and had dinner with friends that evening. The next morning I arose early, prepped and walked about a mile to the buses to take us to the start line. At the start line I did my normal warm-up and stretching routine and felt like nothing was unusual. Eventually the gun went off and the race started. The Billings Marathon Course starts in Molt and drops into Billings and finishes at the high school stadium. As far as marathon courses go I felt this one was good for me because it steadily lost elevation throughout the entire course. About two miles in I began to feel the pain in my right knee. By mile three I was hurting. A photographer was taking pictures at about this point and I remember forcing myself to perk up and try to smile even though I was hurting. Shortly after that I stopped and tried to stretch. Based on the location of the pain, I thought it was my calf causing the issues and kept stretching those. Every time I stretched it felt slightly better but would quickly start hurting and the pain kept getting worse. At about mile 4 I stopped at an aide station and asked for ibuprofen which they didn't have any. I walked most of the next mile or two to the next aide station. By this time I was the last runner on the road, as the speed walkers had already passed me up. At the second aide station I got some ibuprofen from a volunteer but even as I was taking it I realized my day was over. I was hurting and I was even having problems walking without pain. One of the aides from the first aide station was driving by and saw I was struggling so they asked me if I needed help. I asked for a ride to the finish line.
I was completely bummed. I really wanted to run this marathon and have a marathon under my belt before the Ironman, but it was not to be. I just couldn't understand what happened so suddenly that caused me to be in such pain. I arrived at the finish line in time to see the 10k first-place finisher, and he was running fast! I hung out at the finish line until my drop bag arrived and then I headed over to Seth's house (1 whole block away) and woke them up. They were shocked I was done.....I should have played it up and said I was that fast but I was too bummed to even joke. Seth and Sara were really cool about it though, and I think Lindsay was happy she didn't have to wait for me all day to finish as we had another short night the night before (a recurring theme, I know).