Saturday, April 6, 2013

The 2013 Cooper River Bridge Run Wrap-Up

So for the third time in as many years, I participated in the Cooper River Bridge Run, a 10K race in the city where I live, Charleston, SC.

The first year, in 2011, I weighed 400 pounds and walked it.

The second year, in 2012, I walked/ran it at 285 pounds, shaving almost an hour off my time.

This year, I had fully planned and was ready to completely run the entire thing. I had trained for it. I have run a 10K easily in my training. I have run over the bridge and back without stopping.

And then disaster struck.

3 miles into a 5 mile practice run a few weeks ago, I felt my right knee pop twice. I went to a sports medicine doctor and got the news: a torn meniscus. I am also knock-kneed and have osteoarthritis in both knees.

I was told I should not run again and if I continued, knee replacements were in my future. So. What to do?

I had three choices:
-Ignore the doctor's advice and run the bridge and run it hard, going out of my running career in a "blaze of glory." This would allow me to fulfill my dream and get a good time. This was also the worst option. In all likelihood, I would've injured myself and made my knees worse.
-Drop out entirely. Just give up, don't do it.
-Go anyway and walk. So I chose option #3.

My final time: 1 hour, 53 minutes and 5 seconds. My goal was under 2 hours and I made my goal. I did it and my knees felt fine afterward!

So where do I go from here? My running career is over, because I have to preserve my knees. I am going to hit the bike. This was always my goal. I would walk until I lost enough weight to be able to ride a bike. But along the way, I became fascinated with the idea of running. Of being able to do it. So it was a nice diversion over the last year or so.

I'm glad I did it, if for no other reason to give The Bridge Run a proper farewell in my life. Now onto other things!