Wicked Halloween Run 5K Race 2013

So Sunday 10/27/13 was the “Wicked Halloween Run” 5K race, Jim and I have been training for this for several months.

It was our first really cold weather run and we were both quite nervous about that. We went out a few times in the last week or so on training runs where it was around 45 degrees and that was pretty darned chilly, but this mornings run was 36 degrees! Brrrrr!!!!

Saturday we made a little shopping trip to the Running Fit store and each bought some running pants designed for colder weather, and headbands designed to cover our ears, so with those, and our gloves, and a little layering under the race shirts, we were surprisingly comfortable. Probably the worst was the first 15-20 minutes when we got there and had to walk about half a mile from where we found a place to park, to Kellogg Park where the races were starting. And then we had time to kill just standing around waiting for our races to start. They were doing a 10K race, a 5K race and a “Monster Mile”. We ran the 5K. (3.1 miles)

Jim’s best friend Chad was there, and they had a little wager going on the race between them – loser had to agree to buy dinner soon. Jim made this bet with Chad after we did the Kona Run in June and Chad agreed to do this Halloween race with us but had not previously been doing any running so Jim thought it was an easy bet to make. Turns out Chad is a freak of nature and runs like Forrest Gump, he beat Jim by almost a minute! But Jim did get a time of I believe it was 25:06 and his last race time was around 28 minutes so that was a huge improvement for him and I couldn’t be more proud of him and all the effort he put into this!

As for me, I felt really good and strong on this race. I lined up with the 12 minute mile pace keeper, even though my training runs have been closer to 13 minute miles and above. I stayed a bit ahead of the pacer and finished with an average pace of 11:41 minute miles. My chip time for the 5K was 37:22 which is almost a full minute faster than my time from the race in June ūüôā Pretty pleased with that considering the calf injury brought on by that last race and how I had to stop for a while and start from square one with my training.

But alas, the injury fairy has struck me once again. The tendonitis I had developed in the back of my right knee many years ago on a big hiking trip reared its ugly head while I was running. I struggled with this exact injury recurring about 6 years ago when I first tried to get started with running, every time I really pushed myself that knee injury would reappear. So I had been very, very pleased that I’ve been running and training & doing races this whole year with no sign of that knee injury. Until now. ūüė¶

I was about 2.5 miles into the race when it started to act up and suddenly every footfall on that right leg was filled with pain. I walked much more than I felt like I needed to from that point, and by that I mean – more than I needed to as far as I wasn’t overly fatigued, and my breathing was really good, if it weren’t for that searing pain behind the knee, I felt like I could have had a really strong finish and a much better time.

As it was though, it was all I could do to make myself push hard for a strong crossing of the finish line. I knew it was not wise to keep running once the injury was evident. But it’s not like this was a training run, this was a race I’d been preparing for all this time, I couldn’t just quit. And the fact is the injury had already occurred and nothing I did at that point was going to un-do that fact. I knew once I finished this I was going to be out of commission for a while for healing and rehab no matter what, so I pushed on and ended up with a personal best finish time that I’m proud of, even though I think I could have done much better if not for the injury.

So the rest of the afternoon I spent hobbling around the house in pain, icing, elevating, soaking in a hot tub with epsom salt, hoping the rehab on this won’t be too long, and grateful I’ve got 5 months until our next planned race.

Catching Up

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but wanted to bring this blog up to speed a bit. ¬†I may have more time this weekend for posting more info on what’s been going on over the last few months, but this is a quick recap.
I implemented several changes since the injury after my last race in June, and they seem to be helping quite a bit. ¬†For starters, I took 2 weeks off all the walking/running just to make sure my leg had time to get back to normal. ¬†At that point I started the 30 day arms challenge and also an Ab’s challenge, and saw those through for a month.
Then I started on a 7 week walking plan designed by the folks at Runners World magazine, and it was designed for people who really hadn’t been exercising much at all so it was like going back to square one. ¬†Since I wasn’t sure at what point I did “too much too soon” to cause the overuse injury in my calf, I figured I’d start at the beginning and see if it happened again so I’d know what the ‘breaking point’ was exactly.
So, 7 weeks of walking 4 days a week with the length of time of each day increasing each week. ¬†Then I started another 7 week plan designed to “start running”. ¬†The first 2 weeks of that was actually all walking. ¬†Then intervals started. ¬†First week was 1:00 running, 4:00 walking, repeated however many times for the duration of the session. ¬†The next week was 1:00 run, 3:00 walk. ¬†Then 2:00 run, 3:00 walk. ¬†After so much time going by it was really challenging to run for 2 minutes straight and to repeat that several times over 40 minute or so! ¬†Then it went to 2:00 run 2:00 walk. ¬†I stayed on that two weeks because I had a week where I got the flu shot and ended up with a mild version of the flu and was out of pocket for about 5 days, so the following week I just repeated that one since I didn’t do all the scheduled days of running the week I was sick. ¬†
The training schedule I’ve been keeping is basically 20 minutes on Mondays, 40 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 55 minutes on Saturday. ¬†From there I can tell if I’m improving, if I can squeeze a little more mileage out of each session then I did the last time I did that time frame. ¬†The last week of the training is 2:00 running 1:00 walking, and that leads me right up to my 5K race at the Wicked Halloween Run.
So now about 4 months “post injury” and I only had one little flare-up with the calf swelling issue, and that was shortly after I started the running intervals. ¬†I made a little change and have been good ever since. ¬†What I did was bought some “calf compression sleeves” that I wear now when I run. ¬†And I got compression socks that I usually put on for about 2 hours or so after each run. ¬†And I’m being more diligent about properly warming up and stretching before I start the run and a minimum of 10 minutes of stretching directly following each run. ¬†The stretching and compression have worked wonders for my leg!
I’ve lost a couple more pounds since my last blog posts, I’m down to 119 now which is awesome! ¬†It’s amazing now that I’m staying so active how easy it’s been to maintain a good weight. ¬†I still log all my foods just to make sure I’m staying on track but I find that I can splurge on treats and go over my calories on special occasions and it really has no impact on my weight as long as I just keep up with my running 4 days a week.