Week of 7/1/13 – 7/7/13

Last weekly update for a few weeks!

week of 7/1/13 to 7/7/13

Not a whole lot to report on, since you’ve hopefully already read my race report from Thursday.

I did do one other run earlier in the week, on Tuesday. I planned to go out for a couple miles before work, but it ended up turning into a 5k distance run. My legs were pretty stiff, but I didn’t experience any of that at the race (whether that was due to adequate warming up or the Tylenol, I’m not sure). The three miles didn’t feel quite as good as the four miles I had run two days earlier, though my average pace was faster.

After the race on Thursday, my left leg was pretty dead. My hip/groin injury was terrible, and it would spasm whenever I made any sudden movements. By Friday, it was a little better, though I was still shuffling/limping around a bit. Hopefully the physical therapist will sort all of this out in the coming weeks, and by the next weekly update, everything will feel wonderful!

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Race Report: Music City July 4th 10k – July 4, 2013

My alarm went off at 5:15am on the fourth of July. I hadn’t slept well the night before, so I begrudgingly got out of bed and into my race gear. I had pinned on my bib and attached the chip timer to my shoe the night before. I did a quick check of the weather; it was definitely going to rain the whole race and stay relatively cool.

I ate half a small tub of Greek yogurt to stop my stomach from growling, then popped a Pepto-Bismol tablet and two Tylenol (well, actually I popped some Midol because it was all I had that had acetaminophen in it…so added caffeine boost!). I grabbed my phone, slid my Garmin on my wrist, filled up my water bottle and headed toward downtown.

Once I had parked, I ran up to the office for my last bathroom break before the race. I checked the weather one last time and opted to leave my water bottle in my car. The course had water about every mile, so I wasn’t too concerned with not having enough since the sun wasn’t bearing down.

I arrived at Public Square around 7:15 for the 7:30 start. I tried to huddle underneath a tree to stay dry, but it was a very thin tree and I’m pretty sure it dumped more water on me than if I had just stood in the rain. Around 7:25, they called for us to line up. I chose a place around in the middle, slightly towards the back and on the right, since I knew I would be run/walking the race. They made some announcements, none of which I could hear. The national anthem was sung and we were off a little after 7:35.

the start line

The course is a 5k that is repeated for those running the 10k. My strategy was to run the downhills and flats and walk up the inclines. Before I was injured, I was on pace to run a 10k in 1:13, and my last 10k distance time was 1:17. I had in my head that 1:15 would be a good time, but, overall, I wasn’t too concerned about time, just wanting to stay under the 14 min/mile required for the time limit.

The first mile starts with a slight incline and then is downhill for half a mile before leveling out. I ran for the first 0.6 and then took a 2 minute walking break before finishing out the rest of the mile running until the base of the first major incline just after the start of the second mile. We were running over the Korean Vets bridge, so it wasn’t a very steep incline up the bridge, just a long one, and it took about four minutes to get to the top where the first water station was. I grabbed a cup, chugged it down and then took off back down the bridge.

I walked up the slight incline between 1st Ave and 2nd Ave, then ran the flat section between 2nd and 6th. The course had us go halfway between 6th and 7th, then turn around and run down 6th through the new Music City Center. Once underneath the cover of the convention center, I took a moment to take off my wet sunglasses and shake them off. Then I took out my camera and took a (shaky) photo before running again.
running through music city center

I started getting a bit of a side stitch at this point but I made it to the next water station and was fine after that. By this time we had started on the third mile, which has the greatest elevation, but I didn’t find it as slow as the bridge incline. It would ramp up, then level off, so I was only walking a little at a time. The course took us up in front of the capitol building, around TPAC, and then down the lovely downhill of Deaderick Street. There was an annoying slight incline right before returning to Public Square that I walked the first time through and pushed through to run the second time, since I was so close to the finish. As I crossed over the halfway point, I could hear them announce that some 10k runners were already finishing! I can’t even imagine being that fast.

The second lap was pretty much the same as the first, except with a lot less people. In the first lap, I was constantly having to dodge people (especially the long lines of like 5 people who were run/walking and all stopped at the same time), but the second lap was less congested with all the 5k runners out of the way. There were a group of three people who were doing timed intervals, and we kept trading places back and forth since their intervals didn’t coincide with the hills.

at the finish

At some point the rain got to my Garmin watch and made it stop displaying my pace and the time. However, it still beeped at each split so I knew it was still recording data. So when it beeped at the 6 mile mark, I was thinking, “Woohoo, almost there!” Except there was actually about a half mile more to go. Due to either GPS inaccuracy or a miscalculated course (or both), the 6.2 miles turned out to be 6.6 by my Garmin. But I pushed through the last bit and up the last incline to the rainy finish. I was handed my medal (first one!) and the chip timer was cut off my shoe.

I hung out for a bit, ate a banana and had a cup of water, but I was freezing and really wanted to see my Garmin data. So I went back to the office and uploaded everything, then went home and took a nice long shower.

So how did I do?

Garmin said I ran 6.6 miles in 1:14, finishing 6.2 in 1:10. Strava says I busted all my PRs:

strava PRs

I like how the elevation map doesn’t even look like there is an incline on the bridge. I assure you there was. The really flat part on the pacing graph is where I ran through the convention center and the Garmin lost signal, so it just averaged out the pace from when I went in and came out.

map, elevation, and pacing

Here’s my half mile splits. You can tell where the bridge ramp was on each lap, since those were my slowest. Notice how I busted out some speed at the end at a 9:47 pace.
10k half mile splits

My official race time was 1:14:37, which at their calculation of 6.2 miles, put me at an average of 12:01/mile. Either way, it was a good race, especially in consideration of my injuries! Now I get to take four weeks off to heal before I start training for my next 5k and then half marathon training after that!

Shoes: Skechers GoRun 2

At least I won’t be dehydrated…

Now that I’ve been all cleared to run, I’ve started obsessing over tomorrow’s weather.

Yesterday, weather.com said there was a small chance of storms for the morning of the fourth. However, today…

fourth of july forecast

fourth of july forecast

Yep, low 70s and raining! Actually, I couldn’t much ask for better race weather for July in Nashville, so I’m not going to complain. It definitely beats the possibility of mid-90s and sunny, which is what it usually is this time of year.

It just better end in time for fireworks!

The doctor says…

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment to get x-rays done on both my hip and calf.

He began by having me hop on my left foot again, just as I had done at the free screening. My hip hasn’t been bothering me as much lately, so I was able to do it without much pain (though I could definitely feel it). Then he had me hop on my right to see if it would bother my calf. Again, I could feel it, but it wasn’t painful.

Then he had me stand straight and took note of all my little lower body quirks, like my high arches and my knock-knees.

After that, I laid down so he could run my muscles through some movement tests. He said that I had good range of motion in my hips and legs. He pressed on a few points and told me to let him know if they were tender. There were a few points in my calf that he found, but it wasn’t too bad.

He said that things were looking good and from there I went to have x-rays done. Besides my annual dental x-rays, I’ve never had any done before, so I didn’t know quite what to expect. But it wasn’t bad. I just laid there and moved my legs where the x-ray tech told me to. Four pictures later, we were done.

The doctor went over them with me. He didn’t see anything on my hip x-rays to suggest a stress fracture. There was a tiny blip at the top of my calf, however. He told me that he couldn’t tell if it was of clinical significance or not, but even if it were a stress fracture, it was in the healing stage and it was in a location that didn’t typically break all the way through.

“You can run on Thursday,” he finally proclaimed. He said it was okay to take Tylenol (but not anti-inflammatories). He told me to be careful and walk when I needed to, and then after the 10k, I needed to take about four weeks off and do physical therapy to correct anything that may have caused the injuries before starting up my half marathon training. I’m supposed to go back to see him in six weeks.

physical therapy prescription

So it’s official. I’m off to my first 10k this week!

Week of 6/24/13 – 6/30/13

I managed to do three stiff runs this week in order to try to figure out what I should do for the Fourth of July 10k. I basically have three options:
(a) run the full 10k
(b) downgrade to the 5k (I have to decide this before Tuesday)
(c) don’t run

I’m going in for an x-ray today, so if the doctor says no running, I guess that’s my only option, but I honestly don’t think I have a stress fracture. No matter what I decide, I will probably not be doing a lot of running over the month of July and opt for physical therapy instead so I can make sure these injuries don’t occur again. So part of me just wants to suck it up and with my last hoorah, go ahead and run the thing.

week of 6/24/13 to 6/30/13

I waited until Wednesday to first test my legs. This means it had been a little over a week since my last (terrible) run. I got up bright and early (hi, 5am!) to avoid the heat. However, the 90% humidity meant it really didn’t make that much of a difference. My goal was to just do a very easy mile, with a planned one minute walk break at the halfway point. This is exactly what I did, and it wasn’t terrible. I could definitely feel my injuries, but I wasn’t limping along or shuffling like my last run.

I was a little sore the next day, but it wasn’t too bad, so on Friday morning, I did two miles. This was a little tougher. I took walk breaks whenever I felt like I needed them, so I was probably doing about a 1:1 run to walk ratio. A woman who looked to be in her 80s was running in the opposite direction as me around the neighborhood and much faster. I hope I can still do this when I’m 80. However, on this morning, my legs just felt dead. Like I was just dragging them along. Still actually running, though, and not shuffling.

With a rest day on Saturday, Sunday’s four mile planned run was the true test. The 10k has a time limit of an hour and a half. That means the absolute slowest I could run/walk it would be a 14:50/mile. Sounds slow, but it’s about what I had averaged on Friday. I definitely wouldn’t want to do the full 10k if I didn’t think I could even finish it within the time limit. My last 10k distance I had averaged 12:31/mile, so I knew it was possible, since that was just two weeks earlier and I had been injured then as well. So my four mile run goal was to see if I could endure that distance for less than a 14 min/mile.

I started out stiff, just like my last few runs. The first two miles were slow, but I did manage to keep them under 14 min/mile. After about 2.5 miles, however, I got into my normal rhythm and started to speed up. The last mile and a half were done at my “usual” pace of about 11:30/mile. Yay! I’m guessing the sub-70 degree morning temperature had something to do with my speed. And, guess what? My calf and my hip didn’t hurt the entire run! After I finished, I enjoyed a glass of chocolate milk to celebrate and then waited to see if any pain would settle in. It didn’t.

6/30 splits

Look at those negative splits!

With the success of Sunday’s run, I’m leaning toward doing the full 10k. I could have gone for another two miles, no problem. We will see what the doctor says, but at the moment, I plan to go for it!