We had been planning on this SandPit 5k for a couple of months. In my mind it was this fun thing we were going to do with a beautiful backdrop for a morning run. However, when I strained the muscle above my ankle, I suddenly realized what running in the sand actually meant for me.
For the first time, I wasn't worried about the distance. 3.1 miles, no problem. I wasn't worried about the obstacles either. I suddenly became petrified at the idea of running on the sand. What if I injured myself more? Was 2 weeks on the elliptical machine enough to give me the strength I needed? Would I be able to run the whole thing? Would I completely regret it the next day?
I was absolutely scared. Butterflies in my stomach, trouble sleeping, mind racing. Seriously? It's a 5k. Snap out of it! I realized that I had done everything I could possibly do to prepare, the only thing I could do was run!
Friday night, we got to bed later than I had planned on, midnight. We were sleeping on an air mattress on the floor, in a new place. It was warm, the train kept going by, and my mind was racing. I woke up, semi-refreshed, and decided to put on my shoes and give it a test run. I ran down the street and back. I knew it would hurt a little since I hadn't run in 2 weeks, but it still freaked me out. Should I compete?
I decided that I didn't drive all the way to California to be defeated without even trying. If I start the run, and I'm miserable, I would pull off. I would walk. But I wouldn't quit before putting my number on my back.
The race itself was hilarious. My foot did pretty well. By the end, the wear and tear of my feet jerking around on the sand started to get to me, so I walked a little bit. Christi would not leave me behind. In the end, we finished the race, 37 minutes.
The obstacles? The first half was on packed sand and through the water - running along the shore, running out into the waves (the water literally came to my chin), crawling through sand. The second half was all soft sand. That was hard enough!! But then came tunnels, jumping walls, going through hoops, running up sand hills (tall ones), and rolling into a water pit. We finished laughing, because that was all we could do.
In the end, I'm happy I did it. I would have been sad to have not even tried. We weren't fast, but we weren't that slow either. The finish times ranged from 19 minutes to 55. Right in the middle. And while my leg has been sore (really sore on Saturday and Sunday), it's already doing better. I have realized this just may be something I am going to have to deal with until the Half is over. So I will keep stocking up on ice packs, ibuprofen, biofreeze, and arnica, and keep scheduling massages.