a long, sad tale

Monday, November 12, 2012

This post was supposed to be about how I rocked my third marathon this weekend. I was supposed to tell y'all how I got a PR and beat my best time of 4:13, despite my buns threatening to fall off of me. Unfortunately, this is not going to be that post . . . except maybe the butt cheek part. That's still very true. Any minute now.
 We all woke up at 4:45 on Sunday to get to the race on time. There were 30,000 runners (yikes), so we braced ourselves for unbearable traffic. We got there an hour early, pumped and ready to run.

Funny side story: After taking a million pictures before the race, I headed to (what I thought) were the public restrooms. While in line, I got asked by a woman holding a tray of hors d'oeuvres and cloth napkins if I had a VIP port-a-potty sticker. Excuse me, what? Of course, I didn't. So I had to wait in a ridiculously long line where all the other "commoners" emptied their bladders.

Finally, I lined up in our corral. While I waited for the countdown, visions of PRs danced in my head. I wanted a 4:10 finish with a secret goal of breaking 4 hours. I knew it was going to be extremely difficult, especially since I had slacked on my training. But I was optimistic. I was ready.

When we heard the countdown, we started running. Gazillions of runners packed like sardines all scrambling for a spot to run. It was such an adrenaline high. I love marathons. I love running with thousands of other crazy people who think 26.2 miles sounds like fun. I love the crowds, the signs ("Run faster I just farted!"), the cheers. It's all so glorious.

Everything was fine... until I hit mile 7.
Two women stopped abruptly in front of me. I quickly had to dodge to the right to avoid crashing into them. And that's when it happened... pop goes the knee. As someone with a history of knee problems (ACL surgery, knee sprains, etc.), I knew this wasn't good.

The pain was excruciating, but what I could I do? I didn't have a phone. I had no idea where Grahm was. Somehow I managed to walk/hobble/run seven more miles; every mile I was just praying to see my husband. Once I saw him at mile marker 14, I collapsed in his arms and sobbed. I knew it was over.

He held my hand, comforted me, and walked with me (very slowly) five more miles. At mile 18, it was obvious I couldn't do much more. I was in so much pain, and we were moving so slowly. It was horrifying and embarrassing. I couldn't NOT finish. I had to... I had to finish.

Grahm very sweetly told me that he thought I should stop to prevent further injury, but offered to walk the next 8 miles with me if that's what I really wanted. I knew I couldn't do it. Once again, I sobbed in his arms...realizing this would be my first marathon to not finish. So much training. So many long days of running. All of it was gone. I felt like a failure. We got shuttled to the finish line with a van full of people crying because they didn't finish either, for whatever reason. It was incredibly depressing company.
I'm not sure what I would've done without Grahm. He comforted me and whispered so many encouraging words. He told me he was proud of me for doing the hard thing, stopping. While I'm still embarrassed and frustrated with my dumb ol' knee, I feel incredibly blessed to have married such a wonderful man. He's my number one fan, even if, for the first time, I didn't get a finisher's medal.

Rock and Roll Marathon, I will defeat you next year... if I can ever move my legs again.

59 comments:

Karla said...

Wow. I pray your knee is okay. Gosh. Just reading the word, pop, gives me the chills. What a wonderfully supportive husband you have. :-) hope you heal well.

-Karla

Erika said...

Oh nooo!! I am so sorry!! :( As a fellow knee-injury-sufferer-and-survivor (ACL/meniscus surgery) I hope and pray that the pain subsides quickly and that you don't have to deal with another surgery or months of physical therapy (which to me was more miserable than surgery itself). I am proud of you for stopping...that must have been such a tough choice to make. Boooo on stupid knees! (And the women in front of you who stopped! What's up with them??!)

Dayna Leigh said...

Girl, the fact that you can DO a marathon, do half a marathon on a gimp knee, run a 10K and probably blow through a 5K is beyond amazing!! Be so proud of yourself for making it that far - I know I am! I can barely run a mile before I'm ready to pass out.

Alexa said...

You poor thing!! I also have knee problems {the main reason I had to give up running altogether} and they suckkkk. But seriously, kudos to you for still busting out seven miles post-injury! Sending positive thoughts your way for a speedy recovery! :)

Katie Did What said...

Yikes, girl, I hope your knee's alright!!!! But seriously, how sweet is Grahm?! This story made me all warm and fuzzy, after of course the terror of the POP!

xo

Lauren said...

Oh my goodness! I feel your pain. Those knee injuries HURT!! I pray its better soon! Yay for great husbands who love and encourage us :)

I'm impressed you made it as far as you did on a hurt knee! WOW!

Lauren @ Aunt LaLa

lo @ crazy ever after said...

Awww shucks. That sucks. And that also rhymes.

Hang in there buttercup. Loves!

Ragan said...

girl at least you gave it your best shot! what a sweet story.

Liz Brown said...

So sad :( I'm legitimately impressed that you went, what, 9 more miles afterward? You are tougher than you are letting on :)

funsizetessa said...

:( Sad story! I'm sorry. You have such a sweet husband though. That's enough to be grateful for! And it wasn't your fault. You had no control. Doing that many miles is amazing to me!! Plus being injured. That's strength! So basically you're amazing. And you have a loving husband. Yay! :)

Sar said...

Awwww, Jena! I'm so sorry! I hope you get your knee checked out just in case, 'cuz you don't want to hurt it even more!

But Grahm is so darn sweet! Love this.

SouthernGrlGets Fit said...

I feel for you girl:( I know how much build up a race has, so to not finish was devastating I'm sure. Major props to your husband, though, for being your strength. I bet you are so glad he was there. Take care of yourself, there will be other races!

Leslie @ Body Won't Break said...

Oh Jena! I am so sorry. I hope your knree is okay. I completely understand knee problems, and I know how frustrating it is to be stopped from doing something (anything!) because of dumb old joints.

Way to go, Grahm. What a supportive and wonderful husband you have. Definitely praying for you! Hope the doctor says everything is okay with your knee and it is just a sprain!

Lauren721 said...

Oh No!! I hope you get better ASAP! Although...VIP Port a Potties?? Who knew?

Nicole and Dan said...

Good luck with your knee!! Hope everything works out!! You'll kill it next year! NEW FOLLOWER.
-Nicole @ www.grubnmarriage.blogspot.com

Nicole said...

I am sad for you, but happy that you have such an amazing support system with your husband. That picture at the end is worth a thousand words.

Elle Noel said...

Awwwww I'm so sorry this happened! I think you did the right thing in stopping, you wouldn't want to make the injury worse! Cheers to your amazing husband for supporting you! You will get the Marathon next year!! Chin up gf!

Ashley said...

A VIP porta potty. Wow!! Never heard of that.

I'm so sorry about your knee...but you know what? this story is better (besides the pain)...because it's definitely a love story you 2 have!

The Cantrell's said...

I'm so sorry about your knee. :( I pray that it heals quickly. As for the running... I can barely run a mile, so running 7 and then another 11 is amazing to me! You are awesome and I know you'll beat it next year. Don't let this get you down.

-Logan

Ashley @ ThisUnscriptedLife said...

I hope your knee is going to be okay! How sweet of your husband to offer to walk the rest of it with you. I think you did a great job just by signing up and SHOWING up!
Also...Eating snacky snacks just outside a porta potty does not seem very VIP to me. Unwashed porta potty hand germs all over the lovely VIP hors d'oeuvres yes that's just what I'd like to snack on. lol

Sara said...

I hope for a speedy recovery for your knee.

And seriously, how sweet is your hubby?!

Helene said...

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry you didn't get to finish but better you not hurt yourself. that really could be bad. (take it from me, broken ankle over here) but at least you tried very hard. And maybe next year will be your best race ever?!

Shawna said...

Jena,
I am so proud of you for getting as far as you did. I can't even run 7/10ths of a mile so to hear that you ran 7 miles is amazing! I bet you will show that race whos boss next year!

Also you are so lucky to have such an encouraging husband by your side!

J and A said...

Awe I'm so sorry lady. I agree that you are already one tough chick. Damn knee. I think you are VIP. Sticker or not!! And your hubby is seriuosly the sweetest. You guys rock together. Rest up girl.

Haley W. said...

So, so sorry Jena :( Hoping your knee heals very quickly! And yes, you are a very, very lucky lady to have such a wonderful and caring husband!

Wifessionals said...

I'm so sorry this happened!

I hate to quit things too, so I'm sure I would have felt just like you ): Maybe your box will come today and cheer you up!

Kaitlyn

Allison said...

Oh no! You poor, poor thing. Don't for a second think your training went to waste though! Praying for a quick recovery of the ol' knee! And thank goodness for awesome husbands!

Annabelle said...

So glad your hubby was there for you! What a sweet story! You will pound that marathon in the face next year! I love how you never wanted to give up!

Kara said...

How incredibly disappointing for you. It's great that you pushed yourself as far as you could, but just as great that you stopped when you knew it was the smart thing to do. Determination, common sense, AND a loving husband? Lucky, lucky girl.

Ashley @ its the little things said...

awwww--well, at least you put forth great effort!! Thank goodness for awesome husbands!! Don't beat yourself up too bad!! There will be many more! Darn those folks in front of you though!!

Lauren said...

I'm so sorry! It really is amazing that you pushed yourself seven more miles. Easy for me to say, but you should be proud of yourself. Hope your knee is ok - are you getting it checked out? Your hubby is a keeper. He sounds like the sweetest.

Emily said...

Oh, Jena, I'm so sorry!! That's impressive that you still went 11 more miles after it happened! I hope it's nothing too serious and that you're back to feeling normal soon!

stephanie said...

bless your heart! hope your knee is ok!!

Kaili Shay said...

I sincerely hope that your knee is okay! I'm incredibly impressed! Not very many people have your kind of perseverance!
Your husband sounds like he loves you a lot and sounds extremely sweet! :)

Laurie said...

:( I'm so sorry to hear that! I hope the knee is okay.. if it makes you feel any better I can't run at all. Seriously. I've tried..running is just NOT my thing. I wish I could, but I can't. So I'm jealous of the fact that you were able to even attempt such a huge task!

Mish Lovin' Life said...

:( aw I'm sorry girl... I know what it's like to be so pumped up to finally be there for race day after months and months of training. So I'm sure you were just devastated not to finish. Those dang ladies that stopped in front of you!! But that was so very sweet of your husband to stick with you and make you feel better... You'll get it next time!! :)

Jodi said...

Oh no! So sorry to hear this. I can't believe you kept going in all that pain. I hope it isn't anything serious. So happy your husband was there to support you and catch your tears. Feel better!

Mgmt., The Park Ave. Pub said...

I'm so sorry :( I have my knee in a brace right now, and as an athlete, it's heartbreaking. But what a wonderful man you have. I hope that nothing is seriously wrong with your knee.

Kristina from Everything Changes said...

Oh you POOR precious girl! I haven no idea how looney toons you must be to WANT to run that much, but if it's something you love AND something you couldn't do...I can feel that pain. XOs. Hope your knee feels better, and G-unit gets the hubby of the year award!

Krista said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery as a fellow knee injury/surgery sufferer! As I see there are Many! But next time you will kill it!

Kate said...

Hope your knee is alright! And your husband sounds like such a great guy... its wonderful to have that support!

Christina Marie said...

Hats off to you for starting [and finishing] the marathon! Everything happens for a reason, but take comfort in knowing that you finished what you set out to do :)

You hubby sounds wonderful! What a blessing!

elise said...

oh my gosh. I'm so sorry lady! But still SO proud of you...seriously!

Kelley Gilster said...

I'm seriously am still so impressed though!! Great job & you can do it next year :)

Heather said...

Yikes girl - this is why I don't run :) You are amazing for attempting your 3rd marathon - wow!

XO
Pearls & Paws

Jenna said...

So sorry to hear about your knee! I know how hard it can be to drop out of a race, even when it is the best thing to do. Next year I'm sure you will be back in action and PR!

xxx
Jenna

Denise Lopatka said...

i'm crying and it's only 8am! I am so grateful that you have your husband and he was able to support you through this. i have faith you will defeat this marathon next year girl hold your head high and i'm praying for a speedy recovery! xox

Stephanie said...

Oh no!! I'm so sorry that happened :( How frustrating to put all that work in and then not see the end result. I hope your knee recovers quickly and you can come back strong next year and get that medal.

Jenna said...

Girl, I don't event think I could walk/run 7 miles if I wanted to! You are awesome!! And your hubby sounds like and amazing man! You are a lucky girl! :)

Katie said...

I'm so sorry!! I hope your knee is better very soo!, hugs!!

Amy said...

::hugs::
I'm so sorry!!
I know (in a way) how you feel. I've been training for my first half-marathon on Nov 3, and i was nervous, pumped, etc. Oct 12, i busted up my foot, bad and was unable to walk/run/shuffle on it for a while. I had to pull out of the race at the last second, i'm still frustrated, and now super out of shape because of not being able to run.
:(
YOU DID the right thing by stopping, definitely an awesome encouragement from your husband! <3

Pamela said...

You go girl! Major props to you! You are still a winner in my eyes - the most important thing is you did not push yourself and get even more injured! You are not a failure - you rock lady! hope you feel better soon! xoxo

Karla said...

Oh.. I know the feeling of wanting to compete all too well. Sorry you didnt get to finish but wow you are strong.. how many people keep going after an injury!!

Holly said...

Oh no!!! I would have just bawled my eyes out :( How disappointing!! Didn't your knees know you needed to finish?! I'm glad you were able to walk some of the way, though. I hope you're resting up and feeling better!!

Lauren said...

Oh girl! I'm so sorry! I really hope your knee is better soon...and what an incredibly supportive husband you have! Such a blessing!

Taylor @ Goings on in Texas said...

Girl, my heart hurts for you! I hope your knee is okay!! And what an amazing hubby you have! Hold on to him and never let go! ;) (I know you are/will...just sayin'!) You will defeat this marathon!! Heal fast!! And if you need a pick me up...you should totally read my half marathon experience. ;)

SimplyCallMeSylvia said...

What the heck? I am so made at those two ladies for you! Who just stops in the middle of the race? Move to the side if youre going to do that...geez! Hopefully your knee will heal back to normal!

Kelsey Eaton said...

Awh I'm so sorry Jena! Hurray for wonderful husband to help when we need them. Hoping for a speedy recovery for you!

Lins said...

Tears. For you and the efforts you made and not being able to finish. (I'm a runner and know exactly the high you are talking about when you are waiting for your corral to be let loose) For your supportive hubby doing what (hopefully) every man would do. For your pain. Physical and emotional.

www.domesticatedworkingwoman.blogspot.com