Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. (The bad news)
Perhaps the third time was not the charm. The blister from Day 1 became my ultimate nemesis creating a series of injuries which have knocked me out of the event. I had it bandaged as I started into day 2 and it flet pretty good. But, I *should* have gone to the medical tent in the morning and had them do it. I arrived back at camp at 5:30 and had breakfast and participated in the pre-walk stretch. The route opened at 6:15 and I was ready. Looking back, even though the toe felt ok, I know I favored the right leg and consciously led with my left when going up and down curbs as we made our way out of Pacific Beach and onto the Mission Beach boardwalk. That was a change in my regular gait which was a mistake. About three miles into the route, my left knee started to hurt on the outside. My knees have never hurt. I stretched, tried to loosen it, and went back to leading into elevation changes with my right foot. But the knee kept feeling worse. I took some Motrin with no effect. Still, I was keeping up a pretty good pace and arrived at the lunch stop at 8:30. Unfortunately, they would not let anyone LEAVE the lunch spot until 9:30! That really hurt me. The kneww totally stiffened and then hurt so much that I had to limp. So, with everything at a standstill anyway, I went to the medical tent and saw a physical therapist. He diagnosed a tightened IT band? It’s the connectiong between the knee and hip. He iced it, the massaged it (oh that felt good!) then showed me specifically how to stretch it out. He told me that once it starts hurting, it can last a long time, but that it is ok to keep walking through it as long as I kept stretching at the breaks and just kept moving (curse that stupid route holdup!) With that knowledge I went on. It would hurt like hell, then oddly ease up in waves. Going uphill felt good, going down hill was agony. Of course this being San Diego we had one steep uphill in Pt Loma and then back down again. I was so focused mentally inward to walk through the pain that I didn’t notice as much around me. There were supporters of course and I weakly would wave back at them. I tried to soak in the atmosphere in Ocean Beach (breathed in a faceull of incense at The Black, a local “head shop”). Being in OB is liking traveling back in time to the 60s. I admired the gorgeous houses and views on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. As I approached a Pit Stop at mile 15, I started debating in my head. Do I take van back to camp? I was moving slower, but still moving through the route fast enough thanks to my head start in order to make it back to camp to get home for the football game. Or, do I take the van in order to preserve a chance at walking on Day 3? As I turned onto the street about 3 blocks from the pit stop, my right toes gave me the answer. I was so focused on the left knee, that I did not notice that the wrapping on the toe had shifted, was had ultimately created another blister in between my toes and cut into my pinkie toe! I felt the sharp pain, sat down right there and took off the shoe and sock and saw blood. Ok, I’m done! I truly shuffled to the pit stop. Hopped on a van and fought the tears. I was so exhausted from the battle with the knee and then pissed that a gamn blister took me out. The van took me to a bus which took walkers back to camp. On the bus, I was with other walkers who had taken themselves out. 3 others had the exact same problems that I did. We consoled and bolstered each others spirits. I got home and iced the knee and cleaned off the blistered toes. I also slept! Nick came home from work and I got ready for the football game. Ugg boots eased my feet and toes. But the knee. Well, it was really both knees at this point because the right knee had started to hurt in the same spot just before the blisters hit me. As I got out of the car at the football field and could hardly move, I made the decision to shut it down entirely. The icing and stretching at home and the rest had not made anything better. The blisters hurt as soon as I put on a tennis shoe. How was I going to walk? So I am at home. I will go downtown for the closing ceremony to cheer on everyone else. When I told the other parents at the game about the knee pain, those who were runners immediately grimaced in recognition and told me that shutting it down was the only things to do. They also confirmed that this will hurt for awhile! Lovely. I guess I was asking too much to get through a third 3-day with not a single blister of injury.
We are the champions! (The good news)
Another kick ass football game was played last night. The Torrey Pines Golden Falcons beat the Rancho Bernardo Broncos 14-6. Like last week, the two teams hit each other hard. The Falcons scored first and went up 14-0 early. Once on a pass play and once on an interception returned for a TD. Then the Broncos tightened up their game. They scored toward the end of the half and then had possesion of the ball for what seemed like the entire second half. Our offense was getting beat up. Our starting center took a hard hit and pulled himself out for a series. But the backup center had already had his hand wrapped up and then got an elbow injury and had to have THAT taoped up. He gutted it out though and then when the regular guy put himself back in they fought back. One of our running backs to a blow to the lower back and came out crying. His older brother who plays freshman football rubbed it for him and he went back in. DS2 came up limping after a defensive play and shook it off. The coaches son who had been injured early in the season and played tentatively all year finally found his courage and old form and was flying all over the field. Despite some very poor referee calls, the Golden Falcons toughed it out. The deciding play had the Broncos driving to within 12 yards of the goal line with under 2 mins to play. A touchdown and 2 point kick would tie the game. Then they fumbled! The coaches son fell on the ball and hung on with all his strength. He came out of the pile with the ball and a bloody finger and the biggest smile you have ever seen! His dad lifted him up in celebration and that’s when I first started crying We ran out the clock and we all stormed the field to celebrate I see that several of the *boys* are crying! These are 8,9,10 year old boys just letting it all out after battling through to a 10-0 season. This was a game when calls by the refs and hard hits by the opponents could have deflated their will to win. They didn’t let it stop them. Most of the team went afterwards to Texas Lil’s for beer and ribs. What I loved the most was that DS1 finally got to see one of the games.