Monday, May 2, 2011

A Step in the Right Direction

I arrived downtown filled with nervous energy and wondering how I'd feel going out in 5:09. I tied my shoes one last time and found a quiet spot to pray for Rob, who I was running this race in memory of, and to the man upstairs, as I always do, to ensure I have a good race, but more importantly to not let me get hurt.

Charlie Ban had agreed to pace me and we left the starting line trailing a number of folks donning sweatpants and IPods. My legs felt awkward as I haven't run a 5:0anything in exactly one year, but soon the awkwardness was gone and my legs began to race. I asked Charlie about the pace and he seemed to think it was legit. A cracked a slight smile and then bore down towards the Capital Building. Charlie motioned that we were now running too fast and I replied (to myself) with a "so be it". We hit mile one in 5:03 and I knew I'd be under 16 so long as I didn't fall completely apart. Perhaps I could run closer to 15:30? I shook the numbers from my head and instead focused on hitting my stride and working the tangents. I felt strong, but not fast. I hit mile 2 in 10:13 and then tried to pick the pace up some, to no avail. Charlie beckoned me to push and soon he was on the sidelines, his 12 minutes of workout complete. I lifted my knees and tried to drive forward, pushing the gas pedal down as best I could, but without jumping into the next gear, which was hugely important. Today was not the time to go into the well or to try anything stupid. Again, I tried to run strong and not fast. I hit mile 3 in 15:27 and pushed just a tad to ensure I ran sub-16. I finished in 15:57, a pace far slower for over triple the distance I covered one year ago, but this is far better than watching people race. I am tired of sitting on the sidelines and I want to get back and be a part of this movement we have going here in DC. It's time to return and this was a perfect step in that direction.

My leg/hammy/glute/injury area felt fine during the race and as soon as I finished, I ditched the flats and donned the trainers. Charlie and I ran down to Hains Point and completed the day's work. Later my IT band flared up some, but after some aggressive massage, all pain dissipated. By afternoon I was walking around just fine with my head focused on what might be next.

So, what is next? I think it's time to start running some workouts, but I'll NEED to double down on my strength exercises/stretches. I've got my alarm clock set for 5:30 from now on n running days (Tu-Th) so that I get this in pre-run. The new norm seems to be to press ahead and then see how I feel.

On Monday morning, a time of press, my legs feel brilliant.

3 comments:

YF said...

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AKA Darkwave, AKA Anarcha, AKA Cris. said...

Hi -- as a lurker who's also coming back from injury (though I didn't lose as much time as you did), this was great to read. I know you've still got a long road to get back to where you were, but it's great to read that you are out there and moving actively towards that goal.

KLIM said...

Thanks AKA. Yes, it's a long road, but at least I am driving down it again, and not pulled over on the side with the engine off.