Sorry, just had a revelation about that. I managed to get through the Greek Fest 5k slowly but not too painfully! Really, the pain was almost unnoticeable during the race. I was too busy trying to catch my breath and marveling at how quickly one loses running fitness...
This year was actually one of the best as far as I remember Greek Fest. It was not horribly hot, and although it was humid, the weather has definitely been much worse in past years. David and I met in the parking lot after work, and had plenty of time to run to the port-a-potties, socialize, and get in a warm-up. I get off work at 6 and still had to change clothes, drive to the race, and park for a race that starts at 7pm, but since there is a one-mile race before the 5k, there wasn't a time crunch.
|So much sun in my eyes.|
I was nervous about warming up first, since I didn't want to do any extra damage to my hip, but I knew I'd be sorry if I didn't, so I jogged about a mile (with some breaks to stop and talk to friends). Right before the start, I saw Andy from our running group. He's always in the "next-fastest" group at the track, but recently has been picking his speed up. He told me his goal was under 21 minutes, and I told him I'd try to keep up!
New Orleans Track Club has chip timed gun timed races, so I tried to get sort of near the front, but it was tough with the crowd. This is a popular 5k. But being pushed back helped me stay at a reasonable pace when the gun went off. The first mile was all passing people who slowed down - many people! I wasn't able to settle in without weaving until after the turn around (it's an out-and -back). Right about then, I caught up to Andy. He looked strong and smooth, so I stuck with him. We both hit rough patches in the last mile - Andy running out of steam, me suddenly feeling a loud hip click and mildly panicking - but were able to kind of help each other through. I was really impressed with Andy's race - I lost him at the finish, but it was a big PR for him and he hung tough at the finish.
We had been a good eight or ten yards behind a lady for most of the last mile, and at the 3 mile mark, I decided to try to outkick her. I really hadn't drained my tank, and shockingly, I easily passed her at the finish. I have the worst kick in the world, so that surprised me. I ran a 20:54, didn't feel terrible, and today my hip didn't make me want to die. And, as one of the top 100 finishers, I got a blue wineglass at the finish, which an NOTC staffer filled with wine for me (I have some great runner friends!).
So I'm calling that race a success. I can't be begging for PRs anymore - those days are done. I'm happy with running a 5k under 21 minutes off of nothing but muscle memory! Isn't the body kind of amazing?