This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
This is not a pity party post, so don't take it as that. It is more about me writing down my frustrations about being injured and attempting to do more than I should at this point in the recovery process.
Something that I tend to be an expert at.
Last night I ran in the Quarry Road 3K race. I enjoyed seeing and talking with a bunch of people (Brian, Steph, Patrick, Julie and all the rest) I haven't seen in a while, getting out of the house and actually running in my first race since this damned Achilles tendinitis/left leg episode.
No the course is not that tough, though it has a lot of bumps, it is mostly groomed gravel paths. I have run over there many, many times, so I know what to expect, but...well to be honest, I was bit disappointed with the results.
I know I went into the race with very modest goals:
- not aggravate the tendinitis too bad
Yeah, secretly I wanted to finish sub 18:00 and sub 16:00 would have been even better.
- I did finish - Although last night, I seriously thought about popping out to the road and jogging back at the turn around. I didn't, but I thought about it. Running on the hills/uneven surface was beating the left leg up too much.
- The left leg barked a little more than I wanted it too, especially over the last mile
- Yeah, 19:02 finishing time - a race at over 9:00 minute mile pace, ungghhh. I have not run 2.0 miles that slow in a race in years.
Not exactly what I would call a huge confidence builder, but at least this morning I can still walk on the leg, even though it is a bit more sore than I want it to be.
Actually, when I was doing the warm-up, I was running faster than I did during the race in spots, so I did learn that an almost 1.7 mile warm-up is a little too far when it is 77*F and humid.
The top results are pretty soft, so I tend to ignore them, that slowest point is when I almost stopped and walked it in. Then I decided to just finish it up.
While it Quarry Road is mostly groomed gravel, there are enough bumps that it was aggravating my leg a bit too much. I think the steeper downhills bothered almost as much as the uphills did.
The reality is that
I haven't been running faster paces in training and that I have lost a LOT of conditioning over the past 6 weeks (it is easier to loose it as you get older and then a helluva lot harder to get it back). Which means that realistically, I ran the race at the paces I have been running at lately - which is to be expected.
IF You don't train to run faster, you don't race fast.
Just the way it is.
So it seems that this will be the summer of slower running, until the left leg issues resolve themselves (it is more than just the Achilles tendon) and I can get back to training versus simply running (there is a big difference).
I kind of knew this was going to happen just this way and I just didn't want to admit it to myself. The leg isn't healed enough to do trail stuff yet and I am not in good enough shape to do the times I expect of myself.
Which means I am probably about another month out from racing or trail running and being able to do it without beating myself up too much over the results.
Yeah, it is hard on the psyche to finish with times that well off what you usually do, but at the same time it is progress and at least I am running.
Gotta stay positive :-).
It does give me a measuring point of how much work I do have to do now to get back in shape. No more delusions of grandeur, if I am not running well and training, I get fatter and slower, not faster and skinnier.
Reality sucks sometimes.
Gotta do the work!!!