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Saturday, March 16, 2013

One step at a time

Comeback, one step at a time.
Today I ran a 5k. I've run this race 3 years in a row, and won for the women all three years...very small race, as you can probably imagine given my 5k talents (there are none).
This year was pretty humbling. Last year I ran this right after a grueling Boston marathon on the previous Monday (although to be truthful I was not in bad shape after Boston, thanks to my slower pace from the heat). I ran a 19:55, I think. It was my first 5k under 20 minutes.

This year I ran 20:10. Ouch. I also had a bad race. I never have fabulous 5ks, but this time I had a good first mile, a terrible second mile, and a decent 3rd mile. Truth is, this race was poor timing for me and I got doubled over with cramps in the second mile. I knew at the start that would probably happen, and I had to make a choice: take ibuprofen on an empty stomach and suffer upset stomach and GI bleeding later, or skip the ibuprofen and run through cramps. I took the ibuprofen and ended up with cramps AND an upset stomach. Stupid body.
Mile 1 was a 6:17. Mile 3 was a 6:22. Mile hell was a 6:48!

I'm trying to be reasonable and realize that hey, comeback is slow. The most important thing right now is to recover from multiple injuries and not re-injure anything. And the good news today was that I felt pretty good: no hamstring pain (but I noticed from the last race that sometimes the pain is delayed by several days), and my osteitis pubis is not acting up very much. I have been diligently strengthening my hips and pelvis, and last week I sort of had a break-through: my SI joints actually started moving a little. I could tell because the surrounding tissue was sore and tender! Their movement takes some of the mobility off the pubic symphysis, which really helps with the pain.

Bad news is that I think I have some imbalances that still need correction. I continue to have more right calf stiffness and soreness than the left calf, and I can feel when I run that I hold my feet a little differently on each side. But I'm being careful and trying to do everything I can to overcome these wiggles and niggles by strengthening small balancing muscles.

Next race: Azalea Trail Run 10k, a week from today! Here's to a fast recovery from today and not humiliating the New Orleans Track Club too much with my slowness!


  1. Well, I wouldn't expect you to beat your time from last year - you were running out of your mind this time last year. You will get back there gradually. Glad that it went at least okay though - hope your injuries continue to heal.

  2. Congrats on the 5K win and for putting yourself out there. 5k's are so intimidating and FAST! Not a lot of wiggle room on the pace if you have a certain time goal. I'm sure once you get healthy and with continued training you could crush that 19:55 time. An 18:something is VERY realistic for a runner like you!

    Hope you are able to recover well this week and you have a smoking fast 10K next week!

  3. Your times are still ridiculously good even if you don't feel like you did that great this time around. Keep pushing :)

  4. Good job, all things considered. As I write thus I'm suffering from ibuprofen gut as well. Too many anti- inflammatory pills after a race makes it tough to sleep. When your hamstring tightens up, do you notice sharp pain in the upper groin area - I can't remember the medical name? Get some rest ... you ran 2/3 of a great race ... ha. You will destroy the trail run.

  5. Man it sounds like you and I are alike in some ways. I have some imbalances too and wish I could just wave a magic wand. I can feel my feet hitting differently, but darn if I can even correct it. I actually think it starts with the femur on me, but my feet have different arches too.

    Anyhow, for a comeback 5k, It seems like a very good time to me- and throw in the cramps and you could have been sub 20. Hope it keeps getting easier as you work on those exercises, Grace.