When I ran the Columbus Distance Classic it was on April Fool’s Day, which I thought was funny given my circumstances. It was 13 months after my previous half marathon Valley of the Sun Marathon and Half Marathon, Arizona-5th state but a little over 6 months since I gave birth. I had ran through about 7 1/2 months of my pregnancy but once it became too uncomfortable because of the pressure on my bladder, I switched to the elliptical trainer for the duration of my pregnancy. At my post-delivery 6 week checkup with my doctor I was given the go-ahead to run again, and I was thrilled to be running after having some time away from it.
Then I discovered all of the little ways a woman’s body changes during pregnancy, some of which don’t go away once you give birth. For instance, my hips were incredibly tight and that probably led me to develop Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), which consists of inflammation and tightness along the outside of your thigh from your hip to your knee. Most people feel pain along the outside of their knee after they’ve been running a few miles or so. My knee pain didn’t start until I had built up to running 5 or 6 miles, then it flared up with a vengeance. I tried to run through the pain but ultimately would end up hobbling back home.
I had started seeing a massage therapist before I had gotten pregnant but she had moved out of the area so now I had to find another one to help me deal with my ITBS. Fortunately I found a wonderful therapist who was able to work on my leg but unfortunately not in time for the half marathon I had signed up for.
The morning of the Columbus Distance Classic, I limped to the start. Not a good sign and not something I would recommend anyone do, but I was determined to run, walk, crawl, or do a combination of all three to finish this race. The course description stated that we would be running past the Ohio State University football field, but we literally ran past the closed off outside without so much as a glimpse inside so it could have been any other college football stadium for as much as I saw of it. The course was about as boring and uneventful as they come for a race. I would pay dearly for running this race with an injury as well, as it took me quite some time until I was walking without a limp and even longer until I could run without pain.
Although there are tons of fun things to do in Columbus, I only went there for the half marathon and to see friends and family so I didn’t do any of the touristy things. There is a Botanical Garden that looks really nice, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and I’ve heard the Center of Science and Industry is a fantastic science museum. If I ever go back to Columbus I will definitely check out COSI and the Botanical Gardens.
From my post-race notes:
“Course ran along downtown, part of it was past OSU football field, but just looked like concrete building when running. Not very scenic. Chilly start. Nothing exceptional about race. Difficult to find family afterwards, because of setup of finish. My finish time was 2:06:39. ”
The Columbus Distance Classic doesn’t seem to exist any longer, so I can’t put the link here. Hopefully it has been replaced by a better race than the one I ran! There are currently three half marathons in Columbus as seen here. If I were to do it over again, I would also consider running the Buckeye Half Marathon in Cuyahoga Falls. It looks like a small, scenic race that would be during peak fall foliage with cooler temperatures perfect for running a half marathon.