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 🙂 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. 😦
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.