As guaranteed, mile six was challenging. And my body was starting to protest. In fact? I was starting to feel kinda like this guy:
"How did my heart get a knife?!"
My pain had settled in on my left hamstring, which was new for me. Sure, my knee was still a dull, throbbing, uncomfortable ache, but mile by mile I felt my hamstring winding tighter and tighter. When a filming stop put me about a quarter mile ahead of John and the rest of the group, I decided to move to the side and stretch a little while I waited. It felt good as I planted my left leg firmly behind me and leaned down on my knee. Passing runners encouraged me that it was going to be "ALLLL GOOD!" and I laughed and high fived someone. John and Michael and Paul ran up and we moved on.
And suddenly what had been a dull background pain in my left knee became a searing, unbearable albatross. I limped along, hoping that as we got going again the pain would abate … it didn't. What I hadn't realized was that my tightened hamstring had been somehow compensating for my sore IT band connector. When I stretched and released the muscle? All hell broke loose. The guys could see that I was struggling and we trudged along for another two miles. We stopped once for some stretches where I propped my ankle up on the opposite knee and leaned into it. Someone broke out a Snickers bar. The guys quizzed me about the pain. Finally, Michael had me stop on a median in the middle of the crowd of runners and put my leg up on the concrete step in front of a road sign. I didn't know what was about to happen so I took a huge bite of Snickers in my mouth. Michael ground the bony heel of his hand into the side of my leg where my IT band connected to my knee so hard I screamed in agony right there in the sea of people, a Snickers bar packed into my cheek. It must have been a horrible experience for those unfortunate enough to be passing by at the time, probably reminiscent of Sloth from The Goonies.
But it helped. And it got me through another 8 miles to mile 16, where I would finally see our children and our parents.