This is part of a series of posts from my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Ohio was my 6th state.
When I ran the Columbus Distance Classic in 2006 it was on April Fool’s Day, which I thought was ironic given my circumstances, which I will get to in a bit. The race 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 run 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 (Happy April Fool’s Day to me but the joke was on me). Limping to the start of a half marathon is certainly 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.
I didn’t like anything about this race. It was too cold at the start and an overcast dreary day (although overcast is good for racing) but the worst part was the complete lack of scenery along the course. There was not a single thing about this race that was exceptional or even what I might call “pretty good.” It was also difficult to find my family (some of my extended family even came for this race) at the finish because of the confusing setup.
My finish time for the Columbus Distance Classic was 2:06:39.
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.
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! You can find all of the half marathons in Columbus here.