So, since the Beat the Blerch Half in November, my running has been half-assed. Part of this is due to post-half "don't wannas" and it's also partly due to El Niño giving us lots of great rainy weekends. This is not to say I haven't been running; I've just been running shorter distances. Two miles here, three miles there.
Then I signed up for a 12K (not precisely seven-and-a-half miles, but close enough for jazz), and figured that would get me back out on the pavement. Except...it didn't. Which is how I found myself at a park in Rocklin last Sunday, feeling grumpy and under-prepared for seven-and-a-half miles in one of those supremely annoying misty drizzles.
Two weeks before the race, I ran five miles, and one week before, I ran seven. In between these runs...not much. I did my usual strength training with Matt, of course, and I've done some great cardio and other workouts, including a ballet routine that I found recently which is absolute hell on the legs (in a good way).
Anyway, my grumpiness was mostly due to being irate with myself for under-preparing for a race and then not backing out of it because I paid something like forty bucks to be in it in the first place. But also because there were a ton of dogs at the race* and there was no bag check for the bag o'crap (race t-shirt, coupons, sticker) they gave me, and for once, I actually wanted to keep the t-shirt.**
*I love dogs. I hate running with
**I didn't have the time or the inclination to walk back to my car.
|Oh, yeah, and these shoes trained for and ran the whole of the|
Beat the Blerch Half so maybe, just maybe, I'm behind in
buying a new pair. And yes, those are koalas on my socks.
|Doing a very deep squat before the race.|
Fortunately, all of this melted away when I realized that 1) the dogs were all registered for the 5K, and 2) There were minimal tutu-clad walkers lined up in front of me, and I was able to pretty much just do my thing in peace.
The race itself was a moderately easy course. Rocklin has some low hills but it's not like my own neighborhood, so I was able to handle it. I did my run-walk method and felt some tightness in my hips here and there, but mostly felt pretty good. I won't go into all the gory details about how the third mile felt like two miles.
It was hard to know where "halfway" in this race was, because halfway is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.75 miles, so I used the four mile marker as my time to celebrate the "Hooray! Downward slide time!!" moment.
|By mile 5 I was in an even better frame of mind.|
In the last few months of shorter running, I've been missing something. And it's not "the joy of running." I still have that, even when I do "just" two miles on a Wednesday evening, or a quick 5K on a Sunday morning.
What was missing?
I've known for ages that it's training for longer races that makes my back hurt. Things get tight, things pull, my hips, hamstrings, quads, etc. etc. all go bananas and before I know it, no amount of foam rolling keeps me from walking funny, and doing that constant hand-to-the-back-grind-my-thumb-in-ohhhh-yeah-right-there thing. I did not miss this.
I'm on my feet all day at work, and back pain just doesn't jibe with that.
I fully admit that I didn't properly train for this 12K, and even though I actually felt mostly fine after, it's still been Officially Decided (by me) and Officially Agreed With (by Matt) that it's totally okay to just lay off the longer running for a while. Not forever, just for a while. I want to work on my speed again, and spend less time making love to the foam roller. I'm gearing up to find some 5Ks to run, and I've already signed up for the Fab 40's 5K in July, one I've run a few times now and really enjoy.
|Still, hanging on to the 12K medal, 'cause PRIDE.|
As for Run Rocklin, I came in with a time of 1:36:18, a respectable enough time, and I finished smiling, so there's that.
So here's to shifting my goals back to the shorter distances and faster times. I think I've proven to myself that I can do amazing things--two years ago, one half wasn't on my radar just yet, let alone three. Three!
I'll see you out there.