This morning I attempted the Ouachita Trail 50k, and even though it was a lot of fun, it did not go the way I had planned.
Lisa talked me into signing up for this race last fall and I instantly fell in love with the idea of becoming an ultra runner. You all know Lisa, and how bad of an influence she is on me. My training was a little set back due to the stress fracture last month, but my foot healed nicely and my legs felt fresh, so I didn’t have any second thoughts before lining up this morning. Oh yeah, and Lisa and her husband graciously invited me to stay at their house in Little Rock last night, so I didn’t have to wake up at 2:45! Lisa also made a black bean and spinach lasagna that was super awesome. I am very grateful for the invite and I hope I was a good house guest.
Ok, lets talk about the run. About a half mile into the run, we met Kristen. She became our buddy and ran with us. Kristen and I were actually following each other on Twitter and didn’t realize that until later, lol. It was dark when we started, but the sun peaked over the horizon right before we headed onto the Pinnacle Mountain trail. Yeah, we climbed the hard side of Pinnacle Mountain. It was straight up and rocky. It wasn’t hard, well it was hard, but it was fun. This is the view from the top:
My knees started aching coming down the mountain, but after we got back out on the flatter trail, they eased up. I was being kind of slow, so I told Lisa and Kristen to run ahead. They didn’t want to, but I made them. We all had cell phones and if I got into trouble I could just call. After we left Pinnacle Mountain State Park, we ran a little stint on HWY 300 and then entered the Ouachita Trail. It was nice. The trail was peaceful and Spring had decorated it nicely with freshly budding trees. I was alone, so I started singing and just enjoying the time. I passed Lisa’s husband, Joe, taking pictures and was feeling pretty good about life.
About a quarter mile later, at mile 9.03, everything went bad. I stepped on a little rock and twisted my knee. I didn’t fall down, but I should have just went to the ground. While trying to stay on my feet, my left knee twisted in a bad way and made an awful pop sound. A deep pitched, nasty, oh no, klump sound. At that point, the entire joint decided to stop working. I couldn’t bend my leg and I tried to walk it off, but the pain was excruciating. I texted Lisa and told her to tell Joe to stay where he was, I had to stop.
Joe helped me to his truck and drove me back to the starting pavilion. I checked in with the race directors and headed to the emergency room. After x-rays and painful examination, the doctor told me I had probably torn my lateral collateral ligament or meniscus a little, but there was no one trained to use the MRI there to verify. I got an awesome immobilizer and my Mom brought me some crutches. I have to make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor this week to get checked out further.
Yes, I am sad, but I am going to tell you something kind of funny. On the way home, I just kept thinking over and over again about how much I was disappointed. Then I remembered something. Over the past week, one of the devotional series I have been reading was all about how to deal with disappointment. I don’t understand why I hurt my knee, but God prepared me for the emotional pain. I was able to think back over the last week’s studies and calm myself. I am ok now.
Injuries are a part of life and they heal. It won’t be long until I will be out running the trails again. Right now, I just need to relax and rest. I didn’t become an ultra runner today, but it is not the end of the world. There will be other races and I will make it some day.
By the way, Lisa and Kristen finished strong and I am so proud of them for reaching ULTRA status! If you know them, go congratulate them!