I was originally planning on running the Buzz 1/2 marathon today but scaled back to a 10K in SLO for a few reasons. Now, I am completely bummed because I just saw that Run Eat Repeat ran it and I could have tried to track her down, except I am slow, hehe.
Anyways, on to the race. After my great run on Wednesday, I was super pumped but I also knew I had pushed harder than planned, so I ended up taking Thursday and Friday as rest days. Friday was also a vacation day for me, so woo hoo! I made sure to spend some time stretching and working with my foam roller yesterday so this morning I felt pretty good and ready to go.
Heart and Soles is a series of races put on by the Cal Poly Triathlon team. It works as a fundraiser for them and the local food bank. The race takes place entirely on the college campus. They offer a 5K, 10K, and 15K and a kids race. I was a little concerned about hills as the campus is pretty much on the side of a big hill, but there weren’t any big ones thankfully. I really wanted to do the 15K but thought the 10K was a smarter choice. :( This turned out to be a good choice, because I would not have finished a 15K, at least not running. Maybe crawling.
The race had 9:00 AM start so I didn’t have to leave until after 7:30. My race photographer (thanks mom!) and I headed out. Getting there was easy, finding parking was a little trickier, luckily runners tend to move in herds! Check in was fairly quick, picked up the bib and goody bag and headed back to the car since it was a bit cold. While not required, a Valentine’s themed costume contest was suggested. My mother had fun laughing at some of them, including the pace bikers. The 2 males were dressed in diapers and wings…and that’s it. Just like Cupid. One thing about a college race, I felt old. I won’t deny stalking last years race results to make sure I wasn’t the oldest one. As it was I was running solo in a couples race. Luckily it was mostly other solos as well.
All 3 races started at the same time so the start line was a little congested. A guy stopped to play with his girlfriends iPod, I went left to avoid them, and 2 people behind me ran into me and I into the first couple. Oops! Maybe that was when the problem started or I just hadn’t noticed because I just started running. A quarter mile into the race, my left lower calf was so damn tight it was painful. I figured I would run it out around mile 1. No such luck. I actually considered turning around at the 5K mark. But I kept going. I was so happy to hit the first 10K turnaround. The course had two out and backs. I kept running but the pain was turning into my couples partner for the race. I told myself if the pain ever got above a 4 to take a walk break. The first came at just shy of 3 miles. Mile 4 was the roughest, not only did I take a walk break, I stopped completely and tried to stretch it out. The end of this out and back had a little loop on a dirt path and my leg felt better there. After that if I could run on dirt by the side of the road I did. While we were in the Ag section this was possible but once we were back in the center of the school, it was all roads and sidewalk.
I felt like mile 6 had the steepest section of road but my Garmin disagrees. It was a little past mile 5.5 that my leg finally loosened up. Seriously? Now? But there was no way I was sprinting to the finish, I was just trying to maintain. I hadn’t really been paying attention to my time because I was more focused on breathing through the pain. All in all, I took 4 walk moments plus that stretch. I was so thankful to see that finish line. I was done. Apparently it showed too, because my mom said I looked gimpy coming up to the line.
Once I caught my breath, I let my mother know how close I was to texting her that I was chucking it and walking the damn thing. Then I checked my Garmin, 55:44. I’m sorry, what?!!? I flippin’ PR’d on what may or may not have been my worst feeling race?! I checked Nike to verify (Yeah I used both), and it agreed. I was a little shocked. Once I processed that, I was super stoked, still hurting but excited!! I was brought a little back down to earth by the first 15K finisher crossing the finish line 4 minutes later.
Other than my stupid leg, it was a good race. With all three races starting at the same time, I was concerned that it might be easy to be confused by the route. But they had people at every corner and turn around who made things very clear. The finish line was clearly marked as well. All in all, I would run it again, maybe the 15 next year?
I stretched as best as I could before leaving the campus. After changing and eating a yummy lunch, we did a little shopping around town. I kept my compression socks on and hoped that the walking would help ease the tightness. It helped a little but most of the evening has been spent RICE’ing. Tomorrow will probably be a day off as well, I have to see how it feels in the morning. I am not sure what set it off, if it was tennis practice yesterday or maybe the fact that I sat cross-legged on the floor for most of last night. I just want it to go away.
And as per usual, I was unable to leave SLO without purchasing some new running gear, now if only my legs weren’t so pale!
How is everyone’s weekend so far?
Who else raced?