This morning I embarked on the Hocking Hills 40k. It was a beautiful morning as fog lifted from the rolling hills. The first six miles were flawless, even the steepest hill on the course that gains 200 feet of elevation in half a mile didn’t feel that bad. At a quarter of the way through the race I was exactly on my race pace.
At mile 7 I began to feel a slight discomfort in my knee. Nothing bad, just the kind of thing that makes you go hmmm. I got water and a fig Newton from an aid station, crossed the bridge at Cedar Falls, and all seemed good with the world. About a quarter mile later, the discomfort became a sharp pain. For a moment I thought about running the next four miles and stopping at the half way point, but I listened to the voice of my doctor and physical therapist who said if you feel a sharp pain, stop.
Over the last decade I’ve probably run close to 50 races. This is the first one I didn’t finish. It was very disappointing not to finish because of all of the people who supported me in helping to get people to the Holy Land. But, sometimes in life, the journey to the finish line is indirect. After all, we are taking people to the Holy Land and the original pilgrimage was longer than expected. I am hoping that I will be healed and strong enough to run the Columbus Marathon on October 16 so I can honor their gift.