Finally! A race recap on the blog! The last race I ran was on December 5, 2010 in Dallas for the White Rock Half Marathon. It’s been almost four months to the day since I ran 13.1 miles, time to get back to races! My right leg is still giving me problems, but I’m getting used it. On Wednesday, I signed up for the Memorial Park four-mile run called Four For the Park. With three days until the race, obviously I wasn’t really “training” to run four miles.
The training is a large chunk of what makes racing fun, but I am truly just happy to be running. I’ve spent a lot of the last four months either not running, running with pain, or at the physical therapist’s office to work on my legs. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been able to run further before the IT Band pain starts, and earlier this week I had a great run outside so I decided to sign up. You can always walk, I told myself.
The great part about this race is that it’s so close to our house. Memorial Park is in the center of town, easy to get to, easy to park at, and it started at 8:30. Pretty nice, we woke up at 7 and left at 7:45. No corrals, no long walk to get to the start, just 2,500 people lining up to run. The race also benefitted the park, and we go there often to run, so why not give back and get exercise?
Breakfast was the same as all races–toast, peanut butter, banana, coffee, water. I sometimes eat cereal or yogurt or milk before normal exercise, but I just don’t think dairy sounds like a good idea before a race, especially in the heat. I laid out my clothes the night before, and also wore Zensah calf sleeves. I wore these for the first time at the half marathon, and hadn’t even tried them out before. My leg problems are probably all related to my shins, and the calf sleeves are like compression socks that kind of hold everything in and help circulation. It doesn’t hurt, it might not help, but I wore them anyway. I did not tape my knee/IT Band area or ankle, I just stuck to the sleeves for this time.
The morning was very humid and hot, and there was a short light rain before the race started. Enough to make it extra steamy outside.
The course was really nice, flat, and scenic. Big homes for the beginning through a neighborhood, and then along a major street (Memorial Drive) for the middle part, and then into the park for the last mile.
My right knee and ankle were ok during the race. My knee area, same spot as always, became tight around the three mile mark, which is typical. I kept running and never walked even though it hurt like normal. I’ve realized unless I stop for a long period of time, it probably isn’t going to get much better. Luckily, I can do everything else I enjoy, like CrossFit, walking, yoga, etc. I usually don’t run as much in the summertime anyway, except on the treadmill.
The good part is that my ankle is much better than it was about a month ago. Somehow while I was healing my knee, my right ankle started to hurt even worse than the knee, even when I would just walk. That was more frustrating than my knee because it seriously hurt to just walk.
I finished the race in about 47 minutes, and I was very happy with that. I was really just happy to be running, I was happy to finish without any walking, and I did the best I could. Home by 9:45 with a cool down walk around the neighborhood with the puppy, and the morning’s exercise and first race of the year was complete.
This is Michael. He ran twice as fast as me today and is making his second appearance on the blog. He came in 3rd in his age group and 17th overall! He also ran the Houston Marathon at a very speedy pace!
Coming in for the finish.
Another thing about the timing–I mentioned earlier this week that I calibrated my Garmin hoping it would read more accurately. During the race, it was still off by .1 per mile, which is very frustrating when you buy a watch for distance accuracy. When I finished the four miles, it said I ran 3.6. Don’t buy the Garmin FR 60. The heart rate feature is great and accurate (I think?) but the distance part is not.
My splits were probably equal at about 11:45 min/mile each. I used to be faster I think, but oh well!
What are you training for?