Because if you jinx me, I will destroy you. And then haunt you. Which will be difficult, considering the role should, in all likelihood, be reversed in such a situation. But you know that I don’t pay attention to such technicalities.
This morning I RAN the Lakefront 10 Miler, hosted by First Merit Bank and CARA (Chicago Area Runners’ Association). And it was good. (appropriate for the weekend, haha (realized after I wrote it)). Like, really, really good. Also, it was really, really freezing at the start. HOLY BALLS the wind was socold. It was one of those situations where gear checking my jacket wasn’t even an option, even though once the sun decided to do its job and heat the world instead of just giving off light, I ended up taking off the jacket and putting it around my waist. But that was at mile 7, perhaps? Any ways, it was cold. But once the sun was out, my Swirlgear and Athleta togs took care of me. Also? MOST COMFORTABLE RACE OUTFIT EVER.
I will spare you all the itty bitty race details, except to say that the course was loopy and basically created mileage out of a far smaller area than it would have otherwise accomplished. It was fun to at one moment be on a totally familiar path and then the next to be running up a grassy hill. And with a crystal clear sky, TONS of course support (seriously? amazing. Though you could not have paid me to drink a cold beverage), and mile posts with timers, it was a race that was the perfect tune up for the future running season. It just made you excited to be out there again. And Montrose Harbor, Irving Park, down to Belmont and the Harbor made for great scenery particularly with so few boats–you could really see the water! And the finisher party was great–CARA is a big deal in these here parts, so there were massages, they were grilling out, a beer park, Core Power Protein Shakes, Noodles and Co, and Plum Market. Like a said–the perfect tune up to get you in the racing mood.
I am incredibly pleased with my performance. I basically had one objective: to be smart and not push if I knew something was abrewing. I decided to work with a 9 min/mile, about 1:00 off my typical comfortable pace, and 1:30 off my peak half marathon pace. I decided out on the course that, if things continued to go well, that I would aim to finish 1:20-1:30:00, right in there, aiming as well for a slower first few miles. I was basically able to negative split the whole thing and hit the last few miles around 7:10-7:30. And absolutely. No. Pain. Only a little bit of tightness and fatigue (the slightest bit) in my left calf (the problem child at the moment) in the last 1.5 mi, when I was pushing. So am I happy?
Um. Yeah. I would say so 😀
As I’ve mentioned throughout the week, I have not been sleeping well, and last night, the lack of sleep really came to head–I reach exhaustion. Thursday and especially Friday, I would go through waves of being fine and then falling apart–light headed, stomach hurting, just blahhh. I put myself in bed early and it took a while for me to get to sleep but when I did…. sweet, dreamless sleep. I still woke up earlier than I had planned, but only by a little, and I did all of my PT at home, had my usual breakfast of oats (for long runs and race, I have a different breakfast, but I knew that I needed something that would stick with me a bit more) and my coffee, committed to my race outfit, and then made my way up to the race. There, I finished my exercise with my dynamic warm up, and then tried not to burn all of my energy but still stay warm. Then I ran. Like the old days. I felt free again. I listened to a different Pandora station, and the slightly slower music kept me from pushing too hard.
I ran a few errands on the way home, including new ice cream (!!) and a Sbux cappuccino (fo free!), then home, shower, and fooooood (admittedly, way too late, but I had the cappuccino, which should have helped with recovery some). And I did some investigatin into my new Nature Box–review this week. But the legs have felt amazing since, as if I didn’t even run. SQQQQUUUEEEEEEEEEE.
Tomorrow, we have plans with friends at 1, so I will take an early yoga class to make sure everything is hunky dory. And I have been invited to try out Sproing Fitness, a new treadmill + craziness workout–they reached out the same day I went to Athleta, but I was still healing and didn’t feel ready to try anything that might compromise my recovery. If the leg is feeling solid in the next few days, I think it is on!
For everyone out there struggling with injuries, you know that I empathize, sympathize… all of the thizers. But I can also say, with absolute conviction, that this injury has been incredibly beneficial for me, even though I will now always be apt to reinjury in the same way (good old Davis’ Law). It FORCED me to attack the root of the problem head on and to own it. There is no doubt in my mind that the changes that I instituted–my yoga practice, adherence to my physical therapy, dedication to my training diet regardless, and keeping my eye on the prize–would never have happened to such a degree without the injury, and will not disappear from my daily life any time soon as a result of the threat of injury. What remains to be seen is if my body can handle the volume. We shall see…
But I want to thank all of you for your un-ending support and positivism. We are all of us a community, whether runners or otherwise. We need the non-runners to remind us of the greater world, and the runners to remind us of why we do this. It isn’t for medals, or to be able to eat all the things, or wear gym clothes all the time. Those are perks. And just because you are injured does not make you any less a part of the community. You just have to wear less compression at all times 😀 And don’t have to eat Gu, so there’s that.
What is your favorite candy to get in your Easter Basket? Or, alternatively, what candy will you be buying in bulk on Monday?