I ran the Leprechaun Chase 10K on Saturday afternoon and it was almost 70 degrees at the start of the race. It hasn’t been that warm all year so far-and it hasn’t been that warm since (though it HAS only been two days). In stark contrast, today it snowed a bit and the temperature dropped throughout the day! I think the luck of the Irish was obviously on our side on Saturday!
Despite the lucky weather, my running experience wasn’t so lucky. Full disclosure: my 10K training has been sporadic. I have managed to get in a couple short runs very regularly throughout the week for the past several weeks, however, very minimal, if any, running has occurred outside. Treadmill running just isn’t the same as outdoor running that includes wind, hills, and, well, many distractions and unforeseen issues (like the mud that was prevalent on Saturday in small patches). I did a “training run” 10K last Sunday just to see if I could complete one. That was a success-but it was on the treadmill. Still, I completed it in 51:05. No problem beating that race day, right? WRONG! I finished the race in just a tad over 52 minutes on Saturday afternoon-not a PR and not even my best time in that particular race. I completed the same race under similar weather conditions in 2015 in around 51 minutes.
So, disappointing, right? Not really. I wasn’t surprised by this in the least. I was surprisingly quite impressed by my finish. Why? First off, I didn’t wear my newer running shoes due to warnings in pre-race emails that the course would probably be very muddy from snow melt. In addition, the course is quite hilly-and I haven’t been running outside to prep for that. But ultimately, the night before, I went out of town with my husband to go to a concert and was out until 2am. I was good and only had 3 light beers, drinking water in between. However, I didn’t eat my typical pre-race dinner of pasta. Also, I never drink alcohol the night before a race-that’s just taboo, in my book. But I also firmly believe in having a life, and I don’t often get such opportunities to see a fun band and have time just with my husband away from the kiddos, for an entire night. I need to grab those opportunities when I can! It was worth it. If you have never heard of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, you need to check them out! They are great-in fact, Roger Clyne used to be the lead singer of a band you may have heard of back in the ’90s called “The Refreshments”. Check it out-you’ll be glad you did if you have any sort of decent taste in music. 🙂
So, I did have a rather significant amount of time to prepare for this race during the day Saturday, as it wasn’t until 4pm, but I definitely didn’t prepare as I normally would, and the way the race went really proved this. I started out way too fast, which normally wouldn’t be a big issue, but again, without the proper preparation, it was a horrible idea. I wound up with a side ache, which hasn’t happened to me during a race in a LONG time. I was able to resolve that within about a mile and a half, but before that was resolved, I started getting this EXCRUCIATING calf pain in my left leg. I still cannot explain why or how this happened-luckily it did go away at a little over 4 miles or so if I’m recalling correctly. I was wearing these really awesome bright green PC compression socks, but they seemed to fit a bit more snugly than I would’ve liked. I’m thinking that may not have helped my calf. But the pain wasn’t in both calves, so I can’t exactly explain why, if it was the compression, it didn’t manifest itself in a similar way in my right calf. It did cross my mind that maybe it was a potassium issue-but tonight it still faintly aches and the past two mornings I have woken up and started my day walking like an old lady due to the pain that still resonates in that area. As the day has gone on, it doesn’t hurt as bad-but it’s definitely not better. So I haven’t exercised since my race Saturday afternoon. This is obviously fine, but the lack of knowing why my calf feels the way it does is a bit frustrating. One thing is for sure, I definitely go all out when I race! The other thing is for sure, I need a sports massage! 😉
I have proven one essential thing: I have improved upon my running. If I can go run the day after being out super late without my typical pre-race prepping, with minimal training outdoors, and very few training 10K runs, and still manage to keep it within 1 minute of my best “official” PR from 2015, I think the sky is the limit as far as my hope to improve on this race in 2018! I just signed up for another 10K in June and I may try to see if I can sign up for a few more. I know what I need to do, but first the weather really needs to cooperate so I can get outside more!
Well, after that recap and my thoughts on the 10K, it’s time for bed. I am planning on blogging a little more later this week.
Remember, if you are racing, be sure to prepare appropriately the day before, but if you have something really special to do the night before, that may impact your race, prepare accordingly, understanding that you may not reach your PR, but that you can still learn and grow from the experience.
Keep running all you running fans!