Wow! I haven’t ‘raced’ in quite sometime, and I can’t lie, I was pretty nervous when I woke up and thought about running hard during a race. Since the middle of February and nailing down my next race I have started running more consistently, still not far distances just yet, as I’m making sure to ease back into it so I don’t have any IT Band flare ups again.
I started back up slowly and have built my mileage cautiously. Now I’m at a place where I’ve been running 2-3 miles 4 times a week for two weeks now, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but when I was having issues with my leg tightening up after only walking a mile, I feel like I’m making a lot of progress! Needless to say, when I woke up on race morning I was still nervous. Would running ‘hard’ hurt me? How would I feel after the race? There were so many questions and I almost told B not to rush home from work because I didn’t want to go.
We traveled over to the mall by our house because that’s where the Lakewood 5K was and I registered. I started to get a little bit excited but I was still nervous. I knew this would also be a great race to see where I was at when I actually pushed myself. I lined up with everyone else and off we went. It was a small local race, which I love, weaving through some residential areas and around town. I got to the mile marker 1 and the volunteer there was reading off times, and I heard her say 9:15. In my mind I thought to myself… man, I’m working REALLY hard to be running that pace, but it was much closer to the pace I was running during training, so I wasn’t too displeased. Mile marker 2 lead to more confusion when the volunteer read off 15:30. I didn’t have the energy in my mind to do the math, nor am I good at math, but I knew I wasn’t working hard enough to run a six minute mile.
Around mile 2.5 I was getting TIRED! I was leapfrogging with these two little kids who kept sprinting and then walking, sprinting and then walking. I knew that the finish line was quickly approaching so I sprinted it in, and B took some pictures of me. It’s only the best races that finish in front of the Costco gas station!
When I saw the clock at the finish line I was SO surprised there was a 24 in front of it! I was expecting to run a 30 something 5K! Seeing that 24 made me so happy.
Then, even better news, since the race was so small, I placed first in my age group! B said I was about the 5th or 6th woman overall! I was pretty happy and we waited for the medals to be handed out just so I could get mine. Reason #1 to run a small race.
It was worth the wait to get the medal, and now I have a new medal to add to my collection. After the race I didn’t feel like my IT Band was having issues either, which was great. On Sunday I made sure to foam roll it and tonight I’m going for a run this evening after work when it’s still light out. I hope to keep feeling this way. It’s so great to be able to run pain free again and this race was great way to test it out and make sure I was on the right track for training!