Monday, October 6, 2014

Ridiculously Long Race for the Cure Recap

This past week, my leg has been drastically feeling better, so I thought I would give running another shot. On Saturday, I went out for my normal pre-race shakeout which is 20mins slow, followed by 4 strides. Throughout the run, I didn’t have any pain, but my hamstring felt really tight, which made for a slightly uncomfortable run. After the first 10 minutes, I stopped to stretch my hamstring, but it didn’t help any. When the 20 minutes were up, I attempted the strides. It felt like I really picked up the pace, but when I looked at my watch I was only running 8:19/mi, and my leg felt even worse. On Sunday, my job sponsored a corporate team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Akin to last year, a co-worker of mine couldn’t wait to create a race of employee vs employee. This year he said it was me vs him. For the entire month leading up to the race he kept telling me how he was going to beat me and it would be embarrassing if he couldn’t beat me. Embarrassing for who? I run, he doesn’t. I think it would be more embarrassing for me if I lost because I train. Anyway, after my hamstring pull earlier last month all thoughts of racing were out the window, at least to me. He continued on about how he couldn’t wait to race me now that he had the advantage. Him and I have ran in 2 of the same race previously. Last year we both ran the Race for the Cure (which he didn’t beat me because he didn’t want to leave another coworker to run by herself) and the Reno 10 Miler, which I DNF and he wouldn’t let me live down, because I run and he doesn’t (he completed the race).
I was still planning on showing up for the race for the cure and running it, I just had no plans of racing. When I met up with my coworkers, they were all telling me about how much Logan was bragging about beating me. I have to admit, there was a huge part of me that wanted to shut him up and kick his trash in the race, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. His plan was to stay with me the entire race, and then blow past me in the final stretch. I left my coworkers at about 10 minutes to the start of the race (everyone else was walking except for Lagan and me) to warm up. Thankfully by the time I got to the starting area, Logan was nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, the start line was really crowded and I was lined up in the back. When the gun went off, it took forever to reach the actual start line. When I finally got there, everyone in front of my was running at a very slow pace and there was no way around. My leg was magically feeling better, so I wanted to go faster. So, I broke the rules and ran on the other side of the cones to pass other runners. I kept telling myself to take it slow, I don’t want to reinjure myself. I felt like I was going slow, until I looked at my watch 7:48/mi. Crap! Way too fast on an injured leg. I slowed my pace, until I realized, I was feeling good, why not run it how my body tells me to. If my leg starts to hurt I slow down or stop. By this point I was about a half mile into the race and all of a sudden Logan, goes running past me. My heart dropped, he was going to beat me. I wanted to try and keep him in my sights, but then I realized I didn’t want to get caught up in his game. I wanted to run my own race not his.
Within a minute of him passing me, his pace started to slow and I caught up to him. He decided now was a good time to stick with me until the end. We started talking and I noticed he was having a hard time getting words out, his breathing was heavy, while mine was still pretty easy. Ok, I know I said I didn’t care about racing him, but secretly, I was happy. I knew he was running too fast for him and he probably wouldn’t be able to hold on for the entire race at this pace. By the time we passed the first mile at 8:22 Logan had fell about one step behind me (yes!). Like a little kid, I turned to Logan and in the smug voice I told him, 1 mile down, only 2 more to go. He let out a huge exaggerated sigh and my grin got bigger. At about the 1.5 mile mark a gradual incline started.  I picked up the pace a little in hopes to but some distance between us. I saw Dale (my old quasi coach) and I spoke with him a little bit about me hamstring and then noticed I couldn’t see Logan in my peripheral vision anymore. I didn’t want to look back, so I picked up the pace slightly more to mile 2, 8:10. A little after mile 2, we turned right to a small out and back portion, I knew this is where I could see how close Logan was to me. He was about 20 seconds behind me, and he looked like he wanted to die. I almost felt bad for him. Almost. My leg started feeling tight during the last mile, and breathing started to go haywire. I was looking at my watch every 10 seconds or so to see how much longer I would have to run for. My only goal at this point was to beat Logan and I kept thinking he was gaining on me and he would run past me at the finish. Finally, I reached mile 3, 8:10. Only .1miles to go, but I couldn’t see the finish line anywhere. I looked down again, at 3.11 miles and still no finish line. Dang it! This was going to be more than a 5k. Luckily, right around the corner I saw the finish. I didn’t sprint towards the end like I normally do (I was way too tired), but I finished. The time on the clock said 26:23. I know I’m coming back from an injury, and I haven’t ran in 3 weeks, but honestly, I was a little disappointed that I was so tired at the finish and my time was 26:23. My Garmin stats said the distance was 3.21mi and total time was 26:05 for an average of 8:12/mi. My Garmin usually always short distance wise when I run with other runners, so I knew the course was in fact long. That lifted my spirits. Had this been a true 5k, my time would have been somewhere around 25:28.

While I was waiting for Logan to cross, I started feeling bad about my immature ways with him during the race and I didn’t care who beat who (honestly, if he had beaten me, I might have cared). So when he came across the finish line, I cheered loud for him. I congratulated him and told him how awesome he was because he ran the whole thing, and most people who never run can’t do that. I was totally being a good sport. But he insisted the only reason I beat him, was because he got a side cramp and then he felt like he couldn’t breathe so he had to slow down (seriously!?! I just told you what a good job you did jerk). I just said, ok Logan, whatever and my smugness returned. I told him because he made such a big deal prior to the race about beating me, and then huffed and puffed at the fact that I beat him after the race, that I would post a large sign at the entrance to work that said “Lynsey beat Logan!” After that, he did congratulate me and told me running was harder than he thought it was. He remained a good sport for the rest of the day.
I was a little worried I ran too hard for my recent injury, but today (1 day later) my injury feels fine. Except for the fact that both legs are super sore like I had never ever ran before and decided on whim to run a race on Sunday. It’s crazy what 3 weeks off will do to the body. I am glad I haven’t lost as much fitness as I thought. And I am ecstatic that I can start running again!!!

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