Monday, April 25, 2011
Running Moms Rock 5K
By the time I picked up my race packet for the Running Moms Rock 5K on Friday night, I had this race report planned out stating the basic fact that I kicked ass. Pre-race jitters had come and gone. I felt ready. Getting my race shirt and bib just excited me even more. Plus having a racing buddy, Casey, running her first race was exciting for me as well. It was destined to be a great race. After chip pickup and warm up in a very humid and sunny late afternoon, I felt fairly confident that Casey and I would finish strong with a PR as well.
The gun went off and we set our pace, easy does it as we found a spot in the crowds. I felt strong and steady at what felt about a 11:00 minute pace, until the hill that happened right after the one mile marker. Now here I could go into a laundry list, or even more like a shopping list for Sam's Club, how the race went wrong. Basically, an old foot injury that hadn't bothered me at all for a minimum of two months flared like an angry dragon overtaking my foot and ankle. I slowed and eventually had to walk. Casey was off. I let her take her own pace forward. After a mental struggle I cannot even describe and a run/walk throughout the rest of the race, I nearly gave up to not injure myself further. I even had the thoughts, "there goes my badass title in the making" and "if I can't do this, there's no way I can keep training for longer races." But I couldn't stop. I kept pushing.
As I rounded the last leg, the 0.14 of the 3.14 mile race, I saw Casey coming back for me. She told me we were going to finish together, limping and all. She yelled at me to push it, and I told her "it hurts". She said it's supposed to! We sprinted in, crossing that line together. I finished with a 41.13 time (13.07 minute pace), even after walking a good mile of it. I felt great, even though my entire right leg felt nothing but pain.
It took me a day of icing and rest to realize this: this race wasn't about me. True, this was my entrance back into the racing scene and my kickoff to training for the elusive 26.2, but other than learning things I need to improve on in my running, this race was not for me. This race was for Casey and for me to share the amazing experience of racing with her. She did fantastic, with a 36:00 finish time. She loved it and can't wait to race again. The best part: I've been a part of her running/racing journey the whole time. That alone makes it worthwhile.