In the Books

Sunday, October 27, 2013
I showed up. I ran. I raced.

My knees have now declared war. My hips are close to joining them.  My feet are surprisingly neutral.

This morning Mom and I took part in the Alberta Diabetes Foundation's Halloween Howl.  There were three distances to choose from: 3K, 5K or a competitive 10K.  Since this was my first time running a race (as you know, I've walked a number of others), I stuck with the shortest distance.  It works out to 1.89 miles which is about a quarter of a mile longer than any of the runs I'd done up to this point but I felt I was ready for it.

My last run was on Tuesday and surprisingly, I had almost no problems with my feet and calves. Promising.  However, my old knee injury (runner's knee) reared its ugly head thanks to overdoing it during the final few minutes of that run.  As a result, I took it easy for the rest of the week - no running at all - and made a point of doing my physio exercises almost every day. Top it off with a few stretching sessions and rolling my feet, and I felt I was good to go.

We decided to leave early to check out the expo and pre-race warm up.  It was a good thing we did - turned out the LRT (subway) wasn't running from downtown to the southside.  Yikes!  Thankfully they have replacement buses which dropped us off a block from the Butterdome.  We still arrived with time to spare, enjoyed a free Tim Hortons' muffin and made sure we had a wee.  The 10K racers were off first, followed five minutes later by the 5K's and then us 3K'ers five minutes after that.  The weather was chilly, hovering around the freezing mark with a light dusting of snow on the ground. It wasn't as bad as it could have been (think last year where it was blizzarding on Halloween) but the "breeze" from the river valley sure chilled the bones and spurred us all to go a little faster I think.

I stuck to my mix of 3/2s and 4/2s rather than push myself to do something I wasn't used to.  The first interval (3 minutes) was over before I knew it and as soon as I started walking, I was passed by two moms and their little five year olds.  Needless to say, I was more than a little miffed that those two tykes had the nerve to try and pass ME! Grrrrrrr.  You can bet your bottom dollar I took great pride in passing them a few minutes later when I started running again.  And yes, in my head I was thinking "In your face little dudes; eat my dust".  Along the way, I passed a few more people (walkers) and caught up to the 5K walkers that had left five minutes before us.  I'm not going to lie; I took a lot of pleasure each time I put someone behind me.

On the last kilometre, heading back to the Butterdome, I stopped to walk in between intervals and as soon as I did, I was passed by Lara Croft, a purple Teletubby, and Batman.  Batman stopped running just a few feet in front of me and I instantly decided to pass him.  I was hoping he'd continue walking (even Batman gets leg cramps right?!) and I could zoom past him once I started running again.  To be completely honest, the real reason was not to add him to the numbers of others I'd left behind; I really just wanted to say in a loud, growly voice "I passed Batman" as I went past.  Unfortunately for my offbeat aspirations, he took off almost immediately and caught up with his friends.  Alas, there would be no passing of the Batman.

My goal leading up to today was to finish under 40 minutes.  I'd be very excited to finish at around 35.  The time was based on my previous runs indoors and thinking that I'd need to take time out to stretch at least once given the problems I've been having up til now.

I finished in 29 minutes 37 seconds.

And no stops to stretch.  My legs were tight, no doubt about that but it wasn't as bad as it has been in the past.  I tried to pick up my speed right before the finish line but there was seriously nothing left in my tank.  I kept up my pace and high-fived four versions of the Flash greeting runners and walkers crossing the finish line.  Without missing I beat, I walked straight to the far end of the Butterdome and grabbed a banana, a mini cinnamon roll, a water and a slice of veggie pizza.  Yeah, now that's how feed runners after a race. I turned around and headed back to the finish line to wait for Mom who came through about 10 minutes after me. Go mom!  She said she had wanted to take a picture of me running so she tried to run a little bit in order to catch up but soon lost sight of me!  She repeatedly told me how proud she was of me which felt great. I was pretty proud of myself.

My knees quickly started giving some problems but nothing too serious and after we got home, the hips were sore but overall I feel good. My feet don't hurt although that doesn't mean the problem's gone.  My lungs feel fantastic - very clear.  I was dead tired though.  Both Mom and I had naps for about two hours after we got home.  Would I do it again?  Racing - maybe.  I'm still kinda meh about the whole thing and at this point, I cannot imagine running long distances.  This particular race - the Halloween Howl - probably not.  Don't get me wrong; it was a great intro to running races but I'm not that big into Halloween and running outside in the cold involves too many layers. We'll see. You never know what the future has in store for me.  For now, I'm going to take it easy and focus on my feet/knees.  And there will be no new races until at least I have new shoes and can sort the PF situation out.


Eugene Knapik said...

I'm sure you'll be sore tomorrow, but hopefully your knees will be fine after that. Good for you for challenging yourself and doing the race!

SIL said...

Awesome! So impressed and happy for you! Of course, now that I know you have the endurance for it there may be more babysitting in your future, heh heh.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well done! It sounds like it was ultimately a really rewarding experience.

I have only ever run one race as an adult. In grad school a friend and I trained and ran a 5 km fun run add-on to the Manitoba Marathon and it was quite thrilling to pin on official numbers just like the real marathon runners. Made me feel like I had wings on my feet!

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