I entered the Samoan Independence Day “Fun Run” for the second time in my Samoa career. Last year, it was my first race and with that first race came all the nerves and excitement of the unknown. This year, as a veteran runner, it was my third race.
Last year was a challenge because I did not know the racecourse, was not aware of where the turn around would be, and was scared of the dog potential. Running the race this year, I knew where the turn around was and therefore could better pace myself and prepare, I knew landmarks and used them as bench-markers, and I knew that this particular stretch was not a heavy dog area. With all this knowledge, the race should have been nothing but fun. However, halfway through, my pesky knee started acting up, and by the time I was crossing the finish-line, the pain was excruciating. I am happy to have completed the race, but really bummed about the very likely possibility that I will not be able to do the island relay race this fall, because my knee has not really recovered from the fun run. I am doing small runs in the village to train, but nothing more than a mile and a half per run, and that just will not cut it for the island relay. What a pain, literally. I can only hope that my knee will strengthen and come September, I will be back out there with my team, ready to take first once again for the Peace Corps Kope Keine Girls!