Wednesday, December 23, 2015


To say that this race could be the make or break moment for my future running career could be overly dramatic, but let’s go for it anyway.

I have been battling this knee injury all year.  The Patella Tracking Disorder was cured several months ago, but the pain in my knee has not gone away.  My medical team has tried everything, but it’s been a real head-scratcher.  Five miles seems to be my pain limit, and I’ve run significantly less mileage this year than any year previously.  I had signed up for this race way in advance, and was determined to complete this sucker no matter what.  Two weeks prior, I did a five-mile run, and felt pretty good.  Afterwards, my knee was very sore, and was not able to run the entire week.  On top of everything else, I got sick.  Since it never takes me less than four weeks to get better, I would be running Mount Dora with a cold and a bum knee.  With this new-found misery, I make the decision to rest the knee one more week, and sacrifice the cardio.  As luck would have it, I had an appointment with Yasmin on Friday (two days before the race).  After my medical tune-up, Glenda and I hit the road to celebrate our anniversary in style.

We made a reservation at the Mount Dora Historic Inn, and got a cottage all to ourselves.  A cold front had moved in for the weekend, with temperatures expected to be in the forties and fifties.  I was feeling like crap, but we treated ourselves to a great supper at the Goblin Market Restaurant.  I went to bed ├╝ber early, and Glenda stayed up watching holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel.  I rolled out of bed around 10am on Saturday, but still felt ragged out.  We went to pick up my race packet, and spent the day sightseeing and shopping.  After taking photos of the amazing holiday lights, it was getting too cold for Glenda to walk around anymore, so it was back to the cottage for more holiday movies.







  I woke up at 5am on race day, and did some stretching, taping and hot showering before we made our way to the starting line.  This day was special, not only because of the race, but it was also our 34th wedding anniversary.  The temperature at the start was 48 degrees, which made the 649 participants truly feel as if they were running in a winter wonderland.  The knee felt really good when the gun sounded, but this injury has been very unpredictable.

Everything felt as good as I could hope for during the first four miles, as it would be an unrealistic expectation on my part to run pain free.  It was at this point that I started to get a cramp in my right calf, which of course would give me two injuries to battle.  The cramp is something that has been happening during my last few runs, but I had hoped the compression socks would keep it under control.  Now with two very different types of pain to think about, this had all the makings of the most agonizing race ever!  Fortunately, neither injury got to the point that I could not run anymore, so I got to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Mount Dora.  The knee brace on my left leg certainly came in handy, as I was able to tighten it up when necessary.


The last two miles were a little difficult, but I think that was more psychological than anything else.  I was able to sprint the last part of the race, and Glenda snapped a great photo of me crossing the finish line.  My finishing time was my worst since my first half marathon, but the fact that I was able to complete the race in one piece was a very big moral victory.  As I began my post-race stretching, the knee felt better than expected, and kept the dream alive for at least the Miami Half Marathon in January.