Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Firecracker 5000 Race Report

So there was pretty much no training for this race.  I have barely been running since we got back from the honeymoon and barely ran before the wedding.  I have also been having some leg issues which combined with deconditioning have made running challenging these last weeks.  But this is a fun race and my friends Mike and Amber were going to be running it so I figured "what the heck."  Plus, they have cool glow-in-the-dark t-shirts.  Score!

This race starts at 11:55 p.m. so you get to run around the streets of Seattle at midnight which is always a novel thing to do.  It was a little chilly this year which meant great racing temps.  This race has grown in popularity so it was a skosh bit crowded at the start but I was able to find my loping pace pretty quickly.

The first mile went by with no problems and then about 1.5 miles my foot started to go numb.  Stupid new shoes combined with stupid Morton's neuroma made the entire foot and part of my ankle go numb.  That feels like you are running on a stump.  About 1.8 miles my left calf tightened up.  This isn't just fatigue or a little bit of tightness but rather a tightness that actually makes me grimace.  Not horrendous pain but just low level pain.  This is what I have been trying to get to go away for the last few weeks.  I had a massage the morning of the race and that actually might have done some good because the right leg only got a little tight and the left calf was better on a run the next day.  Who knows anymore.  I have been pretty dilligent about stretching throughout the day too so that probably played a factor.  Anyway, if this had been a training run I would have walked and stretched it but since this was a race........full "speed" ahead.

So I grimaced along for the rest of the race and was thankful for the downhill on Mercer St.  It helped my overall pace and helped with some of the calf tightness.  I have noticed a big difference going up hills.  The calf no-likey hills right now.  After the long downhill on Mercer we whipped around KCTS and back into Memorial Stadium to the finish line.

Considering my main goal was to finish the race without walking I call this race a success.  I was also happy that I was able to bring it in under an 11:00 mile pace.  My training runs have all been over 11:00 lately so that pleased me to no end.  Here are the splits:

Mile 1:  11:10
Mile 2:  11:00
Mile 3:  10:15 (hello downhill and the promise of a finish line)
Mile .16 (because I can't run the tangents to save my life):  8:12
Total time:  33:41 for an average pace of 10:50.
Even though this was far from a PR for me I am glad I ran this.  It reminded me about the importance of training, how much I miss regular running, how fun races are and that I maybe, just maybe, haven't lost all of my running fitness.

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