Originally posted on: September 27, 2013
Today was the 20th Annual Rise 'N Shine 5K, a race that I really love, even though I hate that damn hill at the end.
What a perfect day for a race! 50's very little wind, a little overcast.
My plan was to run, not race today, so I didn't wear my Garmin and wore my new Skechers GoRun Ride, instead of my racing flats (Ekidons) or even the GR2's, that way, I wouldn't be so tempted to go faster than I should. Wearing racing flats is a psychological cue to me that i am supposed to push through the discomfort/pain and go as fast as I can.
That is not what I wanted to do today.
I had three goals for this race:
- Don't be stupid and re-injure my Achilles
- A Goal - Sub 22:00
- B Goal - Sub 23:00
I haven't raced since early August and know that I am not in good race shape. So this was going to be a great test of where I am actually am and how well my foot is doing. While my training has been going pretty good, I have not run a sustained faster pace - so l I wasn't sure how the foot would hold up.
The gun went off and we all headed down the hill, it was interesting watching so many sprint down the hill and the different ways the lead runners attacked the downhill.
I really wanted to keep the guy in the white hat close by (Bill Hill) and managed to do a good job through the first mile. Which floored me when I got there and the guy giving out the time says 6:20. Now the first mile for this race is usually pretty fast, but that is the pace I need be running for a sub 20:00 5K not what I was going to do today.
Also I could feel my Achilles starting to tighten up a little, so I backed off the pedal, it was just a little too fast a pace for it. People were starting to pass me and when I tried to pick the pace back up (that competitiveness thing), my Achilles reminded me that wasn't a good idea. So I tried to find the right pace, where I could run without it barking too much, but still run decently. I went through mile 2.0 at 13:51 slowed down a lot!
The last mile was one of those precarious balancing acts where I really tried to go faster, but not to the point where it bothered the Achilles too much. Which was frustrating as hell because people were passing me, I was feeling really good, except for the Achilles and wanted to pick up the pace - a LOT!
However, I kept telling myself, I am not racing today, I am just doing a fast paced run to see where I am at. Not that it helped that much when people would go by me and I didn't try to respond or even attempt to pick off the runners in front of me (that ego thing).
To be quite honest it sucked, but I had a choice risk re-injuring the Achilles or stay conservative and run tomorrow.
Going back up the hill, I had to really slow down, the Achilles did not like the hill at all!!!
A bunch of people passed me at that point and even though I wanted to really pick it up at the end, I was a good boy and just coasted into the finish.
I finished the race in 21:51 unofficial, office time was 21:53, 39/253 and second in my age group by 4 seconds or so. Complete race results on CoolRunning.
I knew when the guy went by me down by the kiosk, that he was in my age group, but as much as I wanted go for it, I just let him go, it was more important to me to just finish without re-injuring myself, than to get caught up with a sprint at the end, which the way my Achilles was feeling, would not have been a smart move.
So who know, maybe I am starting to get a little smarter and listen to my body, instead of beating on it and hoping it holds up.
I ended up about 10 seconds slower than last year's time, (when I pushed myself really hard). Which indicates to me that I am getting in good shape, because I wasn't pushing as hard this year and got almost the same time,
The best part is that now my Achilles feels pretty good and I am thinking about doing a second easy run later today.
I achieved all of my goals for the race today and now I just need to keep letting this Achilles heel of mine heal a little more and I WILL be able to race, not just run soon. Which also means that I can start running trails and yes this sounds a bit sick - I can start working hills again :-)
- Drink a cup of coffee, even if the race starts at 6:30 AM - caffeine headaches suck
- Wear GR2's or Ekidons, not the Rides for racing
- While the Achilles is doing a lot better, it is only at about 80% and it still bothers if I try to go too fast, distances are getting better, but the faster I run the more it hurts. I need to keep doing my rehab exercises
- Need to desperately work on running up hills, but that goes with the Achilles getting better
- Need to work on speed over longer distances (more than just quarters)
- Not get into race anxiety mode, which I found myself slipping into a little this week - more on that later.
Overall, I was very pleased with how the race went and I was happy with how I ran. But damn, I wish that I would have found 10 seconds somewhere in that run - oh well there is always next year. That old competitiveness coming through, but I ran as hard as I was able to this morning and Jon beat me fair and square. He ran faster than I did and deserved it, so I want to congratulate him.
But...I do have a little more motivation to work harder in training now ;-).
It was good to see a lot of familiar faces, so yes I did a lot of socializing (for me) before and after the race. I do want to thank all the Volunteers, the YMCA and Kennebec Savings Bank for putting on a quality race this morning!!! It is a first class event that I want to do every year that I can for a long time.