I ran 2 races in the last 2 weeks.

Brian Harms Memorial Race – May 12, 2013

This race is a 5, 8 or 16km.  For any of my readers who use miles, this is 3.1, 5, 10 miles. I opted for the 8 km race.  I had run on the course about half a dozen times before the race.  I really enjoyed this particular course.  It has a bit of everything – asphalt path through wooded park, sidewalk along road, dirt road (or just a really dirty logging road).  It was the first time I had run this race.   I skipped out on it last year since I didn’t want to do 2 races in 2 weeks.  I didn’t think I was ready for it.  This year I was!  My son even participated in the kids’ 300m race and was proud with himself that he wasn’t last! (I am just impressed he didn’t pout that he wasn’t first).  He was so happy just to get a ribbon and a popsicle!

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For me, the hardest part of the course wasn’t the hills, but the stretch of dirt road.  I find myself going all over the place trying to avoid ruts.  Eventually, I picked a target (another runner) and just followed him and didn’t let him out of my sight.

I placed 16/47 in my age group with an 8k time of 49:07.  I was pretty pleased with that time, having never raced it, it was automatically a personal best!  I was a little nervous thinking ahead to my 10k and how this time would not translate to a sub 1 hour 10k time.  I had begun resigning myself to the fact I would not likely do the 10k in my goal time.  This course has some similarities to the 10k in two weeks, but has less hills.

Pre-Race Injury…. What a Pain in the Ass!

The week before my next race, I had a really great 8k run with someone I’d never met before as part of my usual Sunday morning training group.   Later that day, I tried to play outside with my son, who never wants to play outside… and I felt like a bee was stinging my butt every time I took a step.  I later did some digging on the web and found that this was likely Piriformis Syndrome:

Piriformis syndrome is an uncommon neuromuscular disorder that is caused when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve.

From: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/piriformis-syndrome-causes-symptoms-treatments

The next day when it didn’t seem to be letting up, I went out and bought my first foam roller.  It seemed to do the trick, along with ice and rest.  I didn’t intend to rest my entire taper week, but it just ended up that way, mainly due to a staff retreat where the wine was flowing quite a bit and I didn’t hydrate nearly enough as I should have to make up for the wine (read: hangover).  I wasn’t even sure if the piriformis issue would flare up during the race… I just knew it was not nearly as bad as it was, but still came up once in a while.

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DHT Press Run/Walk – May 25, 2013

This race is a 10k/21k race (6.2 or 13 miles).  I opted for the 10k as it would not make for a pleasant first half-marathon (hilly).  I jogged over to the start line, as instructed and immediately felt my piriformis compressing my sciatic nerve with every step.  At this point it wasn’t so much a bee-sting but a dull ache.  I felt I could handle that… it wouldn’t stop me from racing.  As soon as we were off racing, I didn’t feel it again, which was a major relief.

I started off quick for my personal pace, but according to my training plan, it was my race pace.  Of course, as time wore on, my energy subsided.  My splits were (in km):

  1. 5’39″”/km
  2. 5’44″/km
  3. 5’39″/km
  4. 5’51″/km
  5. 6’20″/km
  6. 6’12″/km
  7. 6’42″/km
  8. 6’21″/km
  9. 6’27″/km
  10. 5’58″/km

Here they are in miles (PS. I think I’m going to convert all my running to miles… I feel like a broken record!):

  1. 9’04″/mi
  2. 9’12″/mi
  3. 9’55″/mi
  4. 10’08″/mi
  5. 10’19″/mi
  6. 10’29″/mi

Funny how I switch to miles and my last split is slower than the one before.  Hmm. I’m sure there is a reason for that (mile is longer than the km).

Anyway, I finished in 1:00:56, which is 5 seconds slower than my PR, but my PR was on a nearly-completely-flat course.  My time last year on this same course was 7 minutes slower.  So although I am happy to have done so much better this year, I was disappointed not to have beaten the 1 hour mark… the difference one minute makes!

Later, I had read about a race technique that I wish I had remembered to use… use other runners as leap frogs.  Pick the runner ahead of you, catch up to them.  Do it again.  Next time I am totally doing this!

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What’s next??? Training for my first half-marathon! Stay tuned!

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