"Honey, it's time to get up."
"I'm not going."
"I got three hours' sleep."
I decided at this point to leave well enough alone; she'll come around. I brushed my teeth and changed into race gear and sure enough, by this time the bed was made and my crunchy lobster was climbing into her own race attire. It was just 4:30 AM talking.
The plan was to meet at the flagpoles between the starting line and the parking lot at 6:15 AM, plenty of time for the 7:00 gun. But we were very very late. We didn't account for little delays, like the gas station stop to go "#2" on the way, or the 1/2 mile traffic jam on both of the exit ramps to the race. (Madison's Brat Fest was a coinciding event in the same location as the race, and traffic from both were causing the unplanned holdup. It's never too early to eat brats and drink beer in Madison.)
We pulled up and ran to the flagpoles at 6:55, where my mother-in-law sat ready to hand off my number and a "good luck" while I dashed to the starting line. She and Erika would race in the quarter marathon beginning 45 minutes later, so they had some time to breathe. I had time to pee behind a tree but not in a porta-potty (lines were too long) and when the gun went off, so did I.
The plan was to take short (20-30 second) walk breaks every 10 minutes or so, and I stuck to the plan. The weather was perfect, the crowd was jovial, and I was cruisin'. I saw my sister and her boyfriend at mile 6 and we chatted long enough for me to run by. With 5 miles to go I stopped walk breaks and at mile 10 I started a quicker 5K pace. Then the knee started. It was a strange pain, not bad enough to stop but enough to notice and wish it away. Near the end I must've been limping. Still, I finished with a Personal Record time and downed my celebratory chocolate milk. I stretched a little, and when it was time we drove back home.
After the three hour nap my knee was too stiff to bend. We spent the night watching a movie with an ice pack, then a heating pad, then a beer--the only pain remedies I know. I went to bed not knowing how big a deal to make this thing.
And now? I'm not able to exercise today but I think it'll be fine pretty soon. I just wasn't ready to cut 2 minutes off my half marathon time without paying for it. Next up is a good old-fashioned triathlon--enough of these "running the whole time" events.
Yay chocolate milk!