I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since July 15th. I write for a living and sometimes this ruins the desire to write for fun.
Here’s a recap of my summer races:
- August 4th – Kelly LaBarre 5K, time: 23:51. This was a rather large race (467 runners) on a narrow course. Plus there was a hot air balloon festival going on at the same time. This was my first time running this race. I thought I should have done a little better, but I was still happy with my time.
- August 10th – Invictus 5K, time: 24:02 for a Master’s win ($20 gift certificate)! I really like this race. It’s small, I think there were 150 runners total, but the race director is great and there is a lot of positive energy in this race. I also like the course. This was my second time running this race and my first Master's win.
- August 15th – Women’s Distance 5K, time: 24:00. This is girls only race held in Otsiningo Park. It is very competitive. I have run this course so many times that I am starting to really dislike it. The park is nice, but the trail along the river is narrow and it is an out and back race which means there are runners going in both directions. I placed 38 out of 209 which is very good, but I felt myself losing interest in the race by mile two.
- August 25th – Chris Thater 5K, time: 24:02. I love this race. The Chris Thater 5K is part of a weekend-long bike race event that attracts elite runners from all over (big prize money). I wanted to do really well in this race, but have been plagued with a muscle pull since early August. A weird adductor tightness on the left inner thigh which causes pain across the groin region. I didn’t feel it very much during the race, but I was very sore the next day. I started the race off well, but felt myself slowing down around mile two. I had some energy for the finish, but wasn’t real happy with my time. The great part about this race is a large spectator crowd and an announcer at the finish line. After the race I hung around for the awards. My time was slow for this race so I didn’t think I’d won anything. When it was time for my age group, third place went to one of my running friends. Then it hit me. I’d beat her. Was I going to get second? Nope, I wound up with first place. A $50 gift certificate. Not bad for a not-so-great run.
August was a busy month for races which caused a lot of stress on the muscle pull. Just when it was starting to get better, I’d run a race and re-injure it again. My plan was to take it easy for September.
I injured the muscle running the hills around my house. Because I am a slow uphill runner, I tried to make up the time by running very fast downhill. Downhill is what caused the injury. I now know I can’t go flying down hills with tired muscles. Apparently my form falls all apart when I run downhill. I need to work on this.
For the first week of September, I did a few very slow runs. This was really all the injured muscle would allow. The smart thing would have been to not run at all, but that wasn’t going to happen. I also bought a bike in August and started riding the bike up and down the hills. Pedaling uses entirely different muscles and didn’t seem to aggravate the adductor at all. So at least I was still getting in some exercise.
There was a race on September 15 that I thought I would be ready for. It was a themed superhero race where everyone dresses up as a comic book superhero. I like theme races. As the race date got closer, I started pushing myself a little more. Because I’d been running slow, running fast was now hard. I was nowhere near my usual run pace of 8:35. I was hoping I could draw off the energy of other runners at the race. Sometimes that works for me.
The morning of the race I woke up with a pain in my knee. I think it was from a hill I’d biked up a few days before. I was determined to pedal all the way to the top. I’d been walking the steepest part. I’d felt something give in my knee just as I reached the top of the hill, but it wasn’t all that painful so I didn’t think too much about it. Or maybe I’d just slept funny on my knee. Not sure, but the knee was very sore as I pulled on my superhero tights and found my Captain America T-shirt. It was a cold morning, 49 degrees, so I wore a long-sleeve shirt as well.
By race time, the knee felt a little better. I was enjoying all the dressed up runners. Some people really get into this race. I took my spot just behind the front runners and suddenly we were off and running.
For mile one I was fine. My usually fast pace of around 7:15. There is a spot on this course where I always lose steam. I was determined not to do that today and I didn’t. My pace dropped to around 7:35, but that was OK. At the start of mile three, I started to feel some tightness in my left leg. This time in the hamstring area. I was also starting to feel tired. At the point in the race where I usually give it all I have left, I discovered that I had very little left. I crossed the finish line with a time of 24:54. Not at all what I was hoping for. Oh well, it was still a fun race. This was a fundraiser race with no age group awards that I was aware of. I left before the costume awards were given. There was nothing spectacular about my costume.
The next day my knee and hamstring area hurt a lot. I took a few days off and then went back to my slow motion running. I’m starting to wonder if I will ever be able to run fast again. At age 48, I’m only going to be able to run so fast, but it’s fun to win an AG award every now and then.
There is a 5K race on the 29th and I have yet to decide if I should run it or not. Everything is feeling better, but only if I don't push it too hard. I'm not liking this injury stuff at all.