Sunday, November 20, 2016

On the Run: Fall 5Ks

When I get out of the habit of running and racing, I suppose I get out of the habit of blogging, too!  I post on my Facebook page but have been utterly delinquent on here.  Please accept my apology.

Here's my Cliff Notes version of the past 6 months: After running the River Bank Run 25K in mid-May, I had foot pain that just wouldn't subside.  During the race I thought I'd stepped on something in the road that had injured my foot.  (Later it dawned on me that I hadn't stepped on something; that was when my bone broke.)  On June 1st it worsened to the point that I was limping and called my orthopedic.  An x-ray and MRI showed a stress fracture in my right sesamoid bone.  No running.  I biked and cross trained for 3 months while wearing a carbon-fiber insert in my right shoe.


4 month post-injury x-ray

Monthly follow-up x-rays showed little to no healing.  It's a bad spot for a fracture due to lack of blood flow.  I was able to get my hands on a bone stimulator and used that daily, sometimes twice a day.  When I returned after 3 months there was some improvement as the bone had begun to knit itself back together.  My doctor said I could return to running by implementing a Couch to 5K program.  It was somewhat comical but I was grateful to start somewhere!  My friend Leah at the Detroit Free Press transferred my marathon entry to a 5K and I began my training.  I started with 1/2 mile and slowly, SLOWLY added distance.  I was incredibly cautious, watching my speed and not adding more than 1/4 mile at a time.  I was so scared that I was going to feel a pop again and be back at square one.

I've been doing well and running pain-free since taking time off to recover.  I'm slowly increasing my weekly mileage but I'm not going any speed work.  This fall I've run three 5Ks.  I'm still competitive but I know that I'm in a different place than I was a couple of years ago, before all of my injuries.  But I love the joy that racing brings me.  

American Home Fitness Detroit Goddess 5K

Date: Sunday, September 18th
Location: Belle Isle

You know how I feel about this race!  Every year I swear up and down that I'll never run it again, yet here I was running it for the 4th year in a row.  I had originally signed up for the 10K, which I thought would be a great distance.  When everything went down with my foot I transferred to the 5K.  I was so excited to be racing again, putting on my RUNdetroit singlet and shorts, and getting to the start line with my friends.  Nothing makes me happier than racing, no matter what the outcome.

My friend Sara was also racing her first half marathon and I couldn't be more thrilled for her.  She did awesome with her training and I was excited to see her cross the finish line!

In a nutshell, this race was HARD.  I hadn't run this far since June 1st.  I started with the leaders and did my best to keep up with them.  In the end they were too fast for me; however, I had fun trying to catch them!  I finished fourth OA and first in my age group.  I won a pair of socks made from recycled water bottles.  




Time

22:47

Pace

7:20/mile

Fuel
banana

Tunes

Three Packs a Day / Courtney Barnett
Born Again Teen / Lucius
Move Like You Stole It / ZZ Ward
Deceptacon / Jessica Hernandez
Rattlesnake / St. Vincent
Man / Neko Case
Little Numbers / Boy


American Home Fitness 5K

Date: Saturday, October 15th
Location: Milliken State Park

As my second 5K approached on Freep weekend, I was a bit more nervous.  I knew my fitness had improved in the month since the Goddess race.  I wasn't doing speed work but my pace was naturally picking up.  My weekly mileage had increased and long runs were up to 6 miles.  I knew I could run faster but how much faster was the question?  I also feared pushing the pace.  There was the ever-present fear in the back of my mind that any given run could be my last.

Brian and I arrived extra early to help with medal distribution.  It was fun to hang out with the other volunteers.  I was grateful that I was able to run the race and volunteer.  At the last minute the course had to be changed from last year due to a naval ship being docked along the RiverWalk.  I liked the new course, which went along a different part of the RiverWalk.  There was a decent hill in the first mile but overall it was flat.  I had to push hard, especially in the last mile.  I felt like I hadn't worked that hard in a race in a long time, which was a great feeling.  I ended up running it a full minute faster than my race last month!  Still a far cry from my PR but I couldn't have been happier!  I was ninth female and first in my age group.





After the race I helped pass out medals for the 5K and the kids fun run.  The latter was the best part of my day.  Seeing those kids cross the finish line with smiles on their faces filled my heart with joy!  I'm looking forward to racing and volunteering at this event again next year!




Time

20:44

Pace

6:41/mile

Fuel
banana

Tunes

The Innocent / Mayer Hawthorne
Born Again Teen / Lucius
Runaway Baby / Bruno Mars
Violent Shiver / Benjamin Booker
Fast in My Car / Paramore
Deceptacon / Jessica Hernandez
Man / Neko Case


Mustache Dache Detroit


Date: Saturday, November 12th
Location: Atwater Brewery

I'd really wanted to continue to improve my 5K time once more this season but there was no chance of that happening on the Mustache Dache course.  For me, it is NOT a PR course.  It's always windy and this year was no exception.  But I never run this race for time.  I run hard but I run it because it's FUN!  The Mustache Dache is RUNdetroit's big race and I wouldn't miss it for anything.  

The weather this year was perfect - sunny and mid-40's.  The wind proved challenging and I finished nearly a minute slower than the Freep 5K a month ago.  BUT it was my fastest time on this course, so I was happy about that!  I also placed 5th female and 3rd in my age group.  I got a pretty great pint glass.  Thank you Atwater and RUNdetroit!




I was so happy with my mustache that I wore it for a few hours after.  Brian was super creeped out.  I don't understand why!


Time

21:30

Pace

6:56/mile

Fuel
banana

Tunes

Maneater / Hall & Oates
Attention / The Raconteurs
Run (I'm a Natural Disaster) / Gnarls Barkley
Sharp Dressed Man / ZZ Top
Everybody Get Dangerous / Weezer
Bodysnatchers / Radiohead


My favorite finish line photo to date

That wraps up my fall 5K racing season!  Here's to hoping I can make it to January in one piece so I can start training for Boston with healthy legs and fused bones.  Bring on 2017!


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