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Sunday, July 14, 2013

A mile PR on marathon legs

Thursday night was this summer's second NOTC All-Comers Track Meet. Since I attended last time (my first ever "track meet"!) I felt like an old pro this time around. As soon as I arrived I knew it was a better day: following a heavy rain, the track was soaked and humid but far cooler than the last meet. I decided to try for a mile PR.
This should have been easy, since my fastest timed mile was just under 6 minutes. And it was, with the exception of one good-gracious-awful mishap.

I ran a nearly effortless 5:46, negative splitting the second half by 9 seconds. Yay for a mile PR on tired legs!!!

But the mishap is far more interesting. I was wearing my new shorts - the ones whose praises I was just singing - and this was the first time I put my heavy car key in the key pocket.
The key pocket is really soft and stretchy.
As soon as I started running, the key flopped out and landed in the built-in briefs. Yep. Now go ahead and think of all the painful scenarios, and they happened.

I now have a new mile PR and an abrasion that looks like an amputation attempt on my left leg.

The rest of the meet sucked a little. Although the mile felt pretty easy, it tired me out, and for some reason these late, fast races kill my blood sugar. Just like last time, my hands were shaking by the 800m and by the 2 mile I was downright woozy. I ran a 73 sec 400, a 2:50 800. and a 12:50 2-mile. By the end of that I was so tired and hungry I didn't even have the energy to jog to my car.

And now in the bad news column, as you might have guessed, I did too much this last week (marathon unprepared, speedwork, track race). I have pain in my hamstrings, some nagging thigh-splint type pain on both legs, and an appalling knot in my left calf that I cannot, cannot, cannot massage out. It is the size of a walnut and visible externally. So, basically, I did stupid, over-zealous, post-injury runner stuff. I do not want an injury returning, so I took off three days and will probably take off more until the aches go away and my calf looks like a normal leg again. A week or two off won't kill me, and I have no races coming up to train for, so backing off again won't mess up any plans. However, I am mad at myself for doing too much. I distinctly promised myself not to get into this situation, and until now have been very good about a slow, moderate return to running! So, bad choices. Will try to do better in the future.


  1. the track meet sounds fun! Congrats on the PR...but oh no regarding injury!!?? I took my comeback SUPER slow and would def recommend that when you can start back up again... hope it's soon!

    1. I'm a fool, what can I say. It would be smarter to play it safe to begin with rather than have to become hypervigilant after the racing fact!

    2. I know it's hard to hold back when on the comeback and you love it so much and want to be running races & more miles. I think having a coach def helps hold all of that back too and kept me in check more than if I was going at it solo. Heal fast!!

  2. Awesome job on the "nearly effortless" 5:46 ... that's flyin' young lady! But ... STOP PUSHING YOURSELF SO MUCH!!! (Says the guy who only knows this way of doing things) The knot doesn't sound good. But it sounds like the other stuff is just fatigue. It's so easy to do too much when you start feeling better again. Good job on taking a few days off. But when you get back next week or whenever, please don't try for a World Record in anything. Just take it easy. Dang girl!

  3. Congratulations on the PR! From marathons to miles - you certainly have a lot of variety in your running life. I am not nearly brave enough to go to a track meet. -Grace

  4. NICE mile time!!!! I'm especially impressed that you did that a few days post marathon! Coming back from an injury is SO tricky. It's like you start feeling really good and able to push yourself more, but there's still that fine line over the edge. You're smart to take a few days off now before it gets more serious.

  5. Ok, I'm going to tell you that I've been wincing reading some of your posts in your post-injury was definitely too much/too soon. Maybe reframing things for yourself by remembering that consistency in training is what pays off--avoiding the fast/far/injury and layoff cycle by dialing it back just a tad. Don't shoot the messenger!

    Heal quickly.

  6. Congrats on the mile.

    Not happy to hear you may have re-injured things :( :(

    Also, about the key thing. I had a pair of shorts years ago that I loved. I decided to run a 10k once putting my phone in the pockets (which I had never done) and I got the WORST chafing of my life. (Blood running between my legs was I'm sure super attractive).

    I hope you are feeling better soon!!

  7. Awesome on the PR, but bummer on the new injuries. Maybe don't do the track meets for a couple months? I know how fun it is to run fast, but those are usually the runs that lead to injury. Maybe go back to running 4-6 miles every day or 2, and return to the track in 2 months. Though when you do, I think you have a 5:30 mile in you.

  8. Holy hell, girl - you are wicked fast. It's soooo hard not to get the head to untangle it's old ways of thinking and pull back...ugh, it's so hard. Let the aches subside then gradually get back into some slow HR training and with patience, it will all pay off - big!! In the meantime, know that your super fast mile is out there waiting, you've proved that! :)

  9. Wow!! I'm pretty sure I would not have survived a week like that. Well done! :)

  10. A natural! Hope all the aches have gotten better since its been a week+ now, including the key pains!

  11. Great job! Wow, that is a super speedy mile!