The Race That Just Was Not Meant To Be

Someone had it in for me this past week leading up to the Long Island Half Marathon. There’s simply no other way to explain the terrible luck I had before this race.

It started with a sprained ankle. I was enjoying a peaceful night tempo run (see my blog on Night Runs for more on this fun activity), and had less than a mile to go when a jerk decided it would be funny to give a runner a scare and slammed on his horn as he drove past me. Needless to say, I did not find it funny. It scared the hell out of me, and as I jumped to the side as a reflex, I landed on a little brick wall, badly twisting my left ankle. This was about a week and a half before the race, and it sidelined me for a couple of days, but it healed reasonably well soon enough.

I’d have been ecstatic if that was all that went wrong this past week.

But, unfortunately, there’s more. I got sick. Just a few days to go now, and I’m sidelined again by a bad cold, which had the potential to give me asthma which I occasionally get. I still hoped I’d be better in time for the race, and as my ankle was feeling better, I even maintained my hopes of a PR.

Well, I was not meant to PR. Because on the Friday before the race, something ridiculous happened. This story will prove beyond a doubt that there was more than bad luck involved in this fiasco; it was some sick fate.

It all began with the jalapenos. As I was chopping up some jalapeno peppers for a (delicious) tofu recipe, I got a phone call. I took it, and at some point I must have wiped my face with my hands. My jalapeno covered hands. And man, did that hurt. It thankfully didn’t go into my eyes, but my face was on fire. I paced around my house trying to distract myself from the pain, and began to jog. I realized that running provided a distraction, so I went outside, barefoot, for a sprint around the house.

I never saw the recycling bin.

At first, I was glad I stubbed my toe, I figured it would further distract me from the pain in my face. But then, after a few minutes of non-subsiding pain, I realized that I might have actually done something serious to my toe. Well, I hobbled inside and lo and behold, my toe is swelling up like a balloon. At that point, even with the burning in my face and the pain in my toe, I started laughing. This was just too ridiculous.

And then I saw the weather forecast for race Sunday. 85 degrees, extremely humid.

Why me?!?

I don’t think I’ll ever answer the question of why fate treated me so cruelly before this race. But I ran it, suffered through my cold, my possibly broken toe, and the brutal weather. And hell, I almost PR’ed. 24 seconds off, in fact. But you know what? I don’t care about the time. I’m just happy I survived.

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