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Monday, October 22, 2012

Lakeshore Classic 15k - I'm *not* back!!!

This Sunday I had my first race back since injury. I realized I totally forgot how to race. Because racing is different from "running fast". You should be running fast while you're racing, but there's more to it than that. There's strategery.
The race started at 8:00 am and I had church at 10:00 am, so I was on a kind of tight schedule. I left the house at 7:00 am, not worried about time since the race page said there was ample parking right at the start. It was chilly at my house, so I wore a long-sleeved shirt. Well, I got to Lakeshore Drive, location of the race, and...the road was already blocked off. The race didn't start where the map had indicated, so I had to park on a cross street and run to the start. I was about a mile and a half away. I didn't realize it was that far, so I planned to pick up my shirt and number, return to my car to drop the shirt off, and head back to the start. I didn't have nearly enough time, so I ended up leaving my things under a volunteer table. I also ditched the long-sleeved T I'd worn. The shadeless lakefront area was warm and humid - surprisingly so.
Lakeshore Drive

I am so out of race practice that I didn't remember to put my timing tag on until we were singing the national anthem! We started, and by the time the 5k split off (pretty much right near where my car was parked!) I was second female. Here's where I forgot how to race. I dreamily hung on her shoulder for miles, not aware of my pace, until I looked down and realized she'd slowed a lot. We were at 7:10 pace. I quickly passed her right at the half-way point, and led the race...for two seconds until my speedy friend (and queen of negative splits) Celeste passed us both in one move! I couldn't catch Celeste - she negative split by almost four minutes, crazy lady - but I tried to be a little more cognizant of my pace to the finish. But the damage was done - it was a slow race for me. I ran a 1:04:12 clock and felt like I had a lot of energy I didn't tap into. But unfortunately I also had a serious shooting pain and locked hip right at the finish - so the injury is still lurking.

I hauled butt after finishing the race, got to my car, and managed to pull out right in front of a police car. He was heading my way, so I couldn't go even a mile over the speed limit the whole way home. I did a speed-shower and yes, we made it to church on time!

So, dumb things I did for this race:
1. I ate before the race. I had bad stomach cramps the whole way. I can't believe I thought I needed to eat for this distance! I've skipped breakfast before marathons before and been ok! Terrible idea.
2. I was very unaware of pace.
3. I forgot how to run hills and believe it or not this course has hilld, in the form of overpasses and bridges. I was positively braking on the downhills.
4. I wasn't in race mindset. I should have realized that Celeste was easily the fastest girl out there, and raced her, ignoring the other girl. Celeste has a great negative-split ability, and I do not - so to beat her I have to build a large, early lead. I didn't do that at all.
5. Oh, and I'm a lot slower than I should be. Good thing it's still early in training!


  1. I may be off, but the shooting pain and locked hip makes me think hip labrum issue and the race/hills inflamed that cartilage. Any pelvic/low back imbalance can put pressure on the hip joint irritating it. Rest the hip, avoid heat, and take a natural anti-inflammatory like Zyflamend, Tart Cherry Extract, and Tumeric. Even if its not the cartilage after all, these supplements will only help your body's overall response to whatever is going on.

    1. You aren't the first person to mention the hip labrum, but my doctor and PT both insisted it wasn't implicated in the pain. Thanks for the advice, though. I will keep it in mind!

  2. It's funny how differently people's bodies work... if i didn't eat before a run, I'd be passed out in a ditch somewhere around the 2-mile mark. Sorry your hip is still giving you a fit!

  3. I hope to be as fast as your "slow" someday, lol. Congrats on 2nd and at least you know what you want to improve on/where you fitness is at/etc.

  4. Yes, LOTS of strategery... Racing is so much different than running fast. I love the strategy part and the positioning. It really does help to know your competition. I can go to any race within an hour or two of my house and I know all the top runners. I know who has beat me when and where and what their pace is for certain distances. Like Saturday, I knew the top runner would not even be close to me so I knew not to go out and try to hang with her. Knowing the course can also really help and that stinks that the course map/ parking was confusing.

    Did you post your times or splits somewhere? I'll have to go back and check DM. How do you like the 15K distance? I've only run 1 (so I was not very good at pacing it- started way too slow) but I really liked it . Very good mix of half marathon and 10K.

    Still, congrats on your 2nd place win and getting back out there after your injury. I'm sure your next race will go smoother.

  5. You will be back in racing shape, physically and mentally, in no time. You still ran a very strong race (and I love that you made it to church on time still). :)

  6. You have run marathons on an empty stomach? Crazy!! Even though I eat before all races, I am usually hungry after an hour in.

  7. I think you learn the most from your not so successful races! Although it sounds like you kicked butt and didn't get injured in the process. A success if you ask me! Kristen :)