Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mini 10k Recap. Aka 2nd Race of the Week! Bad idea!

After being injured and out of running for so long, I knew I needed to get some shorter races on the books. It just so happened that the first 2 races were within three days of each other. I didn't really think anything of it, until Friday- the day before the NYRR Oakley Mini 10k. When I signed up for these races, I wasn't planning to race either one. But then I sort of ended up racing both of them. Not all out, but close to it for my current post-injury running level.

I began questioning my sanity (and intelligence) on Friday. I woke up feeling old and creaky, with a knot in my right calf muscle. My right leg (the one that had the stress fracture) felt off- it didn't hurt at all, I could just tell that the muscles/tendons/everything around the bone were adjusting to running faster again. Or at least that's my non-medical assessment of what was going on! It's also something that I've been feeling for the last few weeks, which the doctor says is normal. But sends me into unjustified paranoia.

I sent Beth about 2930478293 crazy text messages on Friday, about how my leg might fall off, what if I re-injured it, etc. Thanks for amusing me and responding :) One of my messages to her also said that if it hurt at all on Saturday, I was prepared to DNF (did not finish, mom!). Running the Mini 10k was NOT worth re-injuring myself. Since my leg just felt funny, but didn't hurt, I decided I would start the race, and stop immediately if it hurt at all.

Since everything was feeling tight Friday, I decided it was time for some yoga for the first time in months. A 10k is not a long race (but it was going to be my longest distance since February) so I probably should have just rested on Friday, but of course didn't. I also had an engagement party to go to Friday night and wore heels. And drank. These do not make for an easy race morning! So when my alarm went off Saturday morning, after tossing and turning all night long, all I wanted to do was turn over for a few more hours of sleep. I finally got myself out of bed, forced myself to eat something and headed down to Columbus Circle to take this Oiselle Team photo!

Thank you Amanda and Lisa for looking more awake than me!
And thanks for the picture, Lisa!

The race started at 8am. This was the least crowded NYRR race I've ever run so  I got into my corral just a few minutes before the start and was ready to go! After some speakers, we were off!

From the first few steps, I knew it was going to be a long race. My legs and body were tired and it took me several miles (maybe 6!) to get into it mentally. It also got really humid super fast. And, the HILLS! I haven't run a Central Park loop in months and have only run the Harlem Hills once since February, and at a much slower pace. I took the hills way too fast and crashed and burned a bit on the flat part (the last 3 miles).

Around mile 2, I saw Jen cheering- thanks for being out there and for the picture below! Also, thanks to Jess for cheering around mile 4!

Photo credit: Jen

I absolutely positive split this race. Whoops. But at the end of the day, all I really care about is that my leg felt great the whole time!

Mile 1: 7:43
Mile 2: 7:37
Mile 3: 7:26
Mile 4: 7:54 (aka this is where I wanted to quit)
Mile 5: 7:44
Mile 6: 7:47
0.2: 6:58 pace

Official time: 48:15

While this was my second slowest 10k ever (my slowest is 48:16!) it has actually given me a lot of confidence for Fall racing. I'm really happy that I was able to run this time after only five (very low mileage) weeks of running post-injury, after another race just a few days before, and when my longest run in months had only been 4.8 miles. This gives me hope that twice the distance and 10 seconds faster per mile, on a flat or downhill course, might be possible in the Fall! Aka sub 1:40 half marathon. Dream big!

Post Race with Robin, Lisa, Amanda and me!
Photo from Lisa's phone. Not sure who took it!

Next up, Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half in September!

Did you run the Oakley Mini 10k this year? What the heck is the name of it now?! What did you think of it? When's your next race?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I ran a race!!!

Yesterday, I ran a race! I RAN A RACE! It's been SO long since I've been able to say that! It was so much fun so I'm glad that I have another on Saturday!

After taking 8+ weeks off of running due to a stress fracture, I've been lucky enough to be pain free for about 5 weeks. But, my mileage has still been low, and many of my miles have been slower than I'm used to, so I didn't know what to expect at the 5k yesterday.

I got home from work early so had time to take a little nap before heading to Brooklyn. I woke up before my alarm went off, which never happens, and was suddenly REALLY nervous! What if my leg hurt and I couldn't finish? What if I crashed and burned? What if I totally forgot how to race? I was really excited, but also really nervous!

Beth texted me my bib number for the Oakley Mini 10k just before I got on the subway- 320! I've never had a three digit bib number for a NYRR race and have never been in the blue corral before. It got me really excited and reminded me that I do know how to race, even if I haven't been able to do it recently.

On the subway, I decided that I would wear my Garmin, but would only look at it for distance, and maybe mile splits. I wanted to run by feel- comfortably hard, but not all out racing, since I haven't done any tempo runs/speedwork since February and wasn't sure how my leg would feel with much faster paces.

Once I got off the subway at Grand Army Plaza, I ran a little over a mile to registration, and saw Steph and Carla. We chatted until it was time to walk over to the starting line. The race series is so small (although a lot bigger this year than last!) and laid back- I love it! (It's also only $5 per race, for anyone interested that hasn't done it before!)

The director made some announcements and then we were off! The first mile has the only big hill in Prospect Park. I was running a comfortable pace and knew that the hardest part was over once I made it to the top.

Mile 1: 7:32

I was feeling really good and was just so happy to be running a race again! The end of mile 2 ended at the bottom of a big downhill, so I picked up some speed there.

Mile 2: 7:14

Around mile 2.25, I started to feel a little tired but at mile 2.5, something changed and I was ready to pick it up and pass some people! I passed two or three girls at the end, and finished feeling really strong!

Mile 3: 7:26
Last 0.1: 6:33

I haven't seen a 6 on my watch in SO long! I was so happy when I saw this after I finished! Total time: 22:50. This isn't a PR, but actually is much faster than I was expecting/hoping for yesterday! I wanted a few things for the race yesterday: 1) for my leg to feel good 2) to feel strong 3) to run a smart race. I feel like I accomplished all of these things so I'm really happy. I can't wait to toe the line for twice the distance on Saturday! Nevermind that I haven't run more than 4.8 miles since February....Details, details!! :)

I'm going to miss the Al Goldstein Speed Series race in 2 weeks since I'll be in Hawaii(!) but will definitely be back for more later this summer, and hopefully feeling stronger and faster!

Left to right: Meggie, me, Laura, Jocelyn, Steph,
Carla and Jeremy