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Monday, May 28, 2018

Another Greek Fest 5k: race #2 in a week and a half

The Greek Fest is easily my favorite New Orleans fest, but the 5k has historically been bad for me - until last year, when I ran 19:53 despite feeling like throwing up all day. Months ago, I was eager to really race this one, hoping to chip away at my miserable 5k time, but alas! Things changed. I registered for the Buffalo marathon, but more than that, I strained my hamstring at the Barathon just a week prior to the 5k. I ended up taking off several days with my hamstring, and did just a little slow running during the week. I assumed that the 5k was out. But Thursday morning I felt a little more comfortable, and decided to at least show up to the race, and see how I felt.
Friday night, I got to the race just in time to join the rest of the Power Milers for a warm up. It had rained earlier in the day, but it was still hot. I was soon pouring sweat, and not totally comfortable, but after about a mile and a half without much more than tightness and a bit of a stiff twinge, I decided to run the race.

We lined up, but I didn’t get right on the line, because I thought might struggle a bit and would be slow. That was a mistake, because (inexplicably) the New Orleans Track Club has returned to reporting only gun time, despite having a chip timing system. But anyway. I felt pretty good for mile one, with just barely a hitch in my step, and I actually thought I’d maybe have a good race. I hit mile one in 6:11, but it was short, I think - other runners’ Garmins were beeping a little later (I had manual lap on). Things went downhill during mile two- I was obviously lacking any speed in my legs after my long running break, and suddenly my feet felt far too heavy. To make matters worse, I felt my hamstring tightening, and started shortening my stride. Mile two was 6:21.

At this point, I started playing with pace and stride to help alleviate some strain on my hamstring. It worked, all well and good, except that the pace that helped was slooooow. Like 6:38 slow. So that’s how mike 3 went. And I ended up with 19:58, feeling a little sheepish and a little sore.

That little 5k was a bad idea, obviously. I could have re-strained my hamstring and destroyed my upcoming marathon - just 35 hours later! Plus, it gave me tired, sore muscles right before a 26 mile race. But I figured that my marathon goal was not too hard. My BQ time is 3:40, so I could always dial the effort back; I’d have some cushion. Of course, the result simply meant that I ran two very average races. Quantity over quality, I guess!


  1. I can’t wait to hear how your marathon went! I hope your hamstring held up well!

  2. If it's your favorite then it's good you did it! Although maybe not ideal so soon before a marathon. Glad you didn't re-injure your hamstring.