Saturday, October 25, 2008

Monster of a run (Hillside Monster Dash 5K)

Even though I'd pre-registered for today's Hillside Monster Dash 5K, I didn't think I would run in it.

I have a history of being really lazy in the morning and sleeping through races, even ones I've already paid for.

I went to bed pretty early but woke up at about 2 a.m., played poker and then went back to bed.

At 3:30 a.m. I couldn't sleep. So I got some old running books out and was pretty interested to read about 10K training schedules. And injuries.

I fell asleep later but woke up at 7:15 a.m. Then went to sleep and woke up just after 8 a.m.

I knew I still had time to make the race, even though I'd have to walk a mile just to get there.

So I did.

The first mile of the race made me feel good, since it went around the park that I call the Valley of the Dogs. It was like home court for me since one of my training runs goes alongside it. On that slight incline, I felt myself accelerating beyond the group I was with.

I was ready for the second hill, up Courtenay where the race started to San Antonio to Amsterdam, one of the steepest streets in the neighborhood. That's because walking to the race I came upon cones marking the race route.

After that was the mile 2 marker. My left shoe became untied and although usually in a 5K I will run with my shoes untied I stopped because I already had been worried about my right knee (which didn't give me any problems) and didn't want something to happen to my left leg.

But it was a huge mistake. Stopping for even that brief amount of time really froze the muscle over my left shin. Still, I continued on, up to Hillpine, which easily is a Category 1 hill, and the highest part of the race.

Dutifully, I scrambled up it while other people walked at this point. I let up a little to recover after the hills, something I'll have to work on in the future (especially by running up steep hills and not slowing after cresting them).

It was downhill the rest of the way but I didn't really have a lot of downhill running energy.

Still, I really enjoyed this accomplishment and I think my apprehension about racing (and worry over whether I have any kind of knee injury) is gone now.

Temp: 51 degrees
Time: 9:10 a.m.
Gear: LST (Downers Grove), shorts, AP/D1. The long-sleeved shirt was perfect to start the race but on mile 2 I found myself pushing up the sleeves.

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