It’s done. My first post stress fracture race is in the books. I felt much calmer on Sunday than I had been on Fridsy after some encouraging and grounding words from both my coach and sports psychologist. I woke up Sunday ready to put the fear of hurting myself while racing to rest . My goal for the race was to run steady pace, start out slowly and if my mind and body felt okay with it, I could pick it up in the last km or two.
I went out to the race with my husband who ran the 30km. We found a close enough parking spot, but I panicked that I would be unable to get my car out as people were parking pretty tight. He said not to worry, but no sweat on him because he was getting a ride home from someone else! Thankful for my back up camera I got the car out:). Anyway we walk/jogged to the start as it was so cold! I wore my wintery gear from Mizuno and thought I wouldn’t be overdressed especially having to wait outside for a bit before the race. I was a little too warm in the end, but the race was short enough not to matter too much.
I got to meet my coach, Timo for the first time in person in the stadium and then Michael and I hit the washrooms one last time ( not the same ones:)). He left to line up for the long course and I did my 10′ warm up. My legs felt fine and I warmed up enough that I wasn’t shivering at the start. I lined up close to the back of the first corral. Far back from where I would normally line up but I didn’t want to get carried away with the quick pace at the start. I heard people around me talking about their times they wanted and most were 21-22 mins so I knew I was in a good spot. I had no time goal. The goal for this race was mental and to test my body again. I did not ONCE glance at my watch. Not even once. I didn’t even have a desire to. I went by feel. Once the first km or so was done I felt more warmed up and that’s when there is a gradual incline for about 400 m. I managed it fine and kept on to the turn around. At that point I picked it up but still not redlining it. I was just assessing how my hip felt even though I hadn’t had any pain since getting back to running in Sept! The odd muscular ache but nothing bony at all. At the 4km point you are heading down that incline that you went up. Since my fracture happened on a mostly downhill race, I have been cautious and nervous on downhills . I started to feel a little ache in my adductor muscle and I got scared. I didn’t increase my pace anymore through the race. Coming into the stadium I saw the clock just flip over to 23 mins. I was ok with it. My last 5 km two yrs ago I ran my PB in 19:34. In fact, I have never raced a 5km as slowly as I did at Around the Bay. That is kind of weird to think but at the same time I basically started to run from scratch and have been very conservative in my build. Maybe one day I’ll get near the 20 mins mark again and maybe I won’t and I’ll be ok with that too. I’m confident that my time will come down through the season and I am looking forwards to re-entering the racing scene. Maybe with different goals than I had in the past but we will see what transpires as the summer draws nearer. The great thing about being older is you can still run slower and get hardware:). I ended up 2nd in my age group and 5th Master female but I didn’t wait around after the race because that wasn’t my goal. I also wanted to get home for my daughter when’s she was finished her program.
Yesterday and today my legs have felt totally fine. Like I did not do a race, so I know I still had an extra gear I did not use. Normally after a full on 5km race my legs are stiff and tired for a couple of days following so this is encouraging!
That’s all for today. Just waiting to wear spring and summer clothing and hopefully get outside for that first outdoor ride too. My climate limits for riding are much more stringent than for running!