On Sunday October 13th I crossed the finish line at the Long Beach Half Marathon with a chip time of 2:02:30. This was my first half marathon in 8 months, my longest break from running in 5 years. As I started to run more this summer and get back into running after taking some time off to heal my knee, Nuun Hydration approached me with an amazing opportunity. They asked me be their influencer and athlete to for “The Ready, Set, PR” Campaign this fall. I couldn’t turn down this opportunity. This was a dream partnership- running and training as a sponsored athlete for a race!
For the campaign, I received a training plan straight to my email every week, so there was less thinking on my end! The first half of my training went pretty well and I was able to increase my mileage pretty quick, but unfortunately the second half of training didn’t go so well. My knee started bothering me again and I also had several panic attacks during my training runs. However, they were unrelated to running- I was dealing with a lot of personal stuff while training for this race. Between the knee pain and panic attacks, I wanted to quit and give up on this race. But I made a commitment to Nuun, a commitment to my followers, and a goal for myself. I was going to push through and run this race.
My knee really didn’t feel good the week heading into my race. It felt super stiff so I decided to stick to a few easy runs on the treadmill, did some light cardio on the spin bike, and focused on mobility and recovery. I also got in a few hot yoga sessions.
The day before the race Ryan and I headed down to Long Beach for the race expo. My first stop after picking up my bib was the Nuun Hydration booth. It was so cool to see my name on their ambassador sign! I picked up a few goodies from their booth then headed to my hotel for the night. We enjoyed some yummy Greek food the night before the race.
The next morning I woke up, had my pre- race breakfast (Go Macro bar and 1/2 banana) then foam rolled and did some band work. Ryan dropped me off at the start line 15 minutes before the race started. As I stood in the crowd of people at the start line, I was starting to feel nervous. I wanted my knee to hold up for the next 13 miles.
The race started at 7:30am. I felt pretty good for the first few miles and was able to maintain an 8:30/ mile pace. I focused on my form and just putting one foot in front of the other. My right knee felt good (my bad knee) for the most part. Every time I felt my calf or IT band lighting up I just focused back on my form.
By mile 9, my hips and quads were starting to feel tight. Then by mile 10 into 11 my left knee started to hurt. Once I was almost to the top of the hill at mile 11- I decided I had to walk a little bit because of the pain in my knee. I didn’t want to cause any bigger injuries that would keep me from working out or running all together so I decided to stop pushing, walk, and stretch a bit. That’s when a sweet girl ran by me and said I follow you on Instagram! You’ve got this!! She was chatting with me a bit about one of her most recent injuries, which helped push and motivate me to keep going.
The next 2 miles were hard and painful but I pushed through to cross the finish line. I grabbed a coconut water, found Ryan, took some photos, then headed to Berlin Bistro for brunch! If you’re in the Long Beach area, I definitely recommend their brunch. They have something for everyone! We ordered the avocado toast, sweet grain bowl, and Berlin bowl.
So what’s next?!
It’s time to take a step back from running again. I’ve honestly lacked a lot of motivation to hit the strand the last few weeks because of my knee and anxiety. I’m ready to focus on strength again and getting 100% healthy. My nutrition has also been off so I really want to get that in tune again. Hopefully in the New Year, I’ll feel better and ready to get back out there!