The good news is, I am fairly certain I can call it IT Band Syndrome. The not so good news, is trying to explain why you cannot run a race you trained for since July to non-runners. Nonetheless, my wife and I decided to head up to Palo Duro Canyon to support some other running friends and get some camping in with our schedules already blocked for it.
I have got to say, going to a race that you're not running in can be brutal on the psyche. More often than not, you cannot receive a refund or rain check for next year's race because managing these would be a nightmare for the race directors. So, that means you have race packets, meals, and other race goodies already paid for. This presents truly an awkward position for the non-competing participant and a lot of questions.
Should you wear the race t-shirt? Do you eat the pre-race meal you already paid for? What about snacking at the finish line? In your head, there is that nagging conversation you've had with other runners in the past talking about "earning the right" to wear the shirt / eat the post-race meal.
Fortunately, I was pretty preoccupied with setting up the campsite and helping some family members new to camping feel comfortable this past weekend. So, I held off on packet pickup and the pre-race banquet. Instead, I had our other running friends pickup my packet. On the day of the race, we woke up leisurely and headed over to the start/finish to find our friends after they finished.
I felt like this was a mistake, I should have been more motivated to get up and see my friends take off and hit an aid station or two. I think it was really hard to be motivated for this, because I was just dwelling in my own frustrations - despite my wife's best efforts to keep me thinking positively throughout the weekend. In the end of it all, I think our friends recognized what I was going through and they were ok on their own.
By the way, I think I'll still wear the shirt. I've decided it's too good of a shirt to give away (Brooks shirt!), and I think it will serve as a reminder of my tenacious training and Palo Duro experience. Perhaps, that is why other runners that didn't finish still wear the shirt.