See that pretty bib number pinned on my shirt?
That’s right…I’ve officially completed my first race back from injury! (!!!!!!!!) After my post about the races I’ve missed this year, I started thinking about how I’ve been progressing recently. I was able to run 3.1 pain-free miles on a treadmill last week. I know I said I was going to take it slow and listen to my body (which I’m still doing!) but why not try run/walking the St. Patrick’s Day 5K that I had been hoping to participate in? I’d never considered doing a race and incorporating walk breaks, for stupid reasons like “I don’t want people to see me walking” and “I don’t want that time on my Athlinks profile”. I like racing to be competitive and to RACE. But this time, I figured that I could still join the festivities, but walking wouldn’t be a problem if I felt pain coming on. In such a small, local race it would be easy to step out if my hamstring or knees seriously started hurting.
I haphazardly threw the idea out to B earlier this week, hoping he might join me but not expecting it. He doesn’t usually run but I wanted a partner in crime. I thought the run/walking method might entice him. Much to my surprise and delight, he agreed to join me for his FIRST 5K EVER!! We signed up the day before the race; I was so excited I literally couldn’t sleep that night.
On race morning, my friend Lauren came over and the three of us drove together. The best thing about small races? We parked about 200 meters from the start and kept warm in the car until 10 minutes before the race started. So easy. No freezing. Fab.
It was brisk outside but overall, perfect, sunny running weather. There were about 1,500 runners and the start was crowded. We left Lauren and headed toward the back.
The race began with a simple “Go!”. We started with a jog but didn’t really get moving until about a half-mile in; lots of weaving in and out, dodging other runners. I asked B what his strategy was…”just run”. So, off we went.
I periodically asked him how he was feeling; we both felt good throughout the race.Or at least he told me he did! There was one huge hill in the middle of the course, and speedy B starts charging up to “get it over with”. I tagged along and we passed quite a few participants. It was so motivating to run next to him! From there, it was smooth sailing; a long downhill and then the finish line.
We didn’t have to walk at all – no pain for me! I was so pumped for him; he’s definitely very athletic, but didn’t train for this…he did AMAZINGLY. We had lots of laughs. I taught him about negative splitting. I’m sure it was very informative for him. I’m so extremely proud of us both and was beyond happy to be racing again. Maybe I can convince him to start running with me more often For now, I have more than enough reasons to be grateful.
And we did negative split, in case you were wondering.
We chased the race with bagels, mimosas, and a St. Patrick’s Day celebration with friends.
Hopefully this is the beginning of my comeback. I’d love to be able to train for a half-marathon this Fall…