Friday, July 13, 2012

Bad Race: It's not you, it's the course?

71 Days to Race

Last we chatted, I had a blinding migraine. I have a draft post about my post-migraine run (which was a hilly 3 mile run that I managed to run into an oak branch at mile 1.5 and my ponytail exploded cause me to do my Medusa impression), but it seems a bit dated now, and I just summarized the best part anyway. 

I was recovering from the migraine and ready to do my 7 mile run last Sunday, when my hip seized on my Saturday night.  I had been in the car for 3 separate 1.5 hour trips and on the 3rd one, I felt like I needed to pop my hip, but it wouldn't pop.  And it hurt. A lot. 

After a few google, Web MD and running website searches, I self-diagnosed IT band issues.  Of course! So I hobbled to the local running store, which sent me to EMS and I bought a hand held foam roller. (Honestly, the running store didn't carry foam rollers. They had The Stick, but recommended the foam since the pain was in my hip).  Between the roller, copious amounts of Advil and rest, I'm doing pretty good, and able to run the TWO 5Ks I have this week.

Last night was the first one.  Technically, it's a 3.5 miler; it's the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge Boston.  This is also the first race I ever ran.  I ran it 3 years ago (the day Michael Jackson died, funny how you remember things), and it wasn't chip timed, it was self-timed.  Based on my Nike + record, it took me 46 + minutes to run the 3.5 miles.  Now, that is insanely slow (13 min/mile is still technically "running", right?), but this is probably the slowest race ever.  They allow 12,000 people in the race, and it tends to hit capacity.  You cannot run for the first 2 or 3 blocks.  This picture was taken a half a block into the race (yep, after the starting line)

Ok, please believe me this was at the start, in spite of the fact that all you can see are Finisher shirts.  You get them before the race, and, well, people wore them.  I know...

Anyway, I had what I feel was a crappy race.  3.5 miles in 40:49 (11:39 pace).  If you look historically at my 5Ks, my times range from a PR of 28:38 (that was a nice flat course) to 31ish (for my "Anywhere 5K").  So I'm trying to figure out if it's the crowds (look at the picture again!), my injury (I'm achy today, but it doesn't feel painful like it did Saturday-Monday), or I just didn't push myself. 

I'm an engineer, so when I have a problem, I review the data.  I pulled up my micoach results and I've analyzed the pace, my recollection of the crowds, water stops, pinch points in the road, and I've got nothing.  So of course that means I didn't push myself, since the external data isn't showing anything atypical (this is when part of my brain screams "Look at the picture again, it's ATYPICAL!"). 

I told my mom (who's one of my top supporters!) that I'm bummed and she reminded me its a slow, crowded race, and so did a (non-runner) co-worker/friend. Maybe it's just the mood I'm in, but that just sounds like the old "It's not you, it's me" speech.  But, there is some good news, I did beat a few coworkers, including 2 younger women (like 10 years younger!! Wait, that means they're not in my age group. Damn it!) and my director (he's my boss's boss).  So, I think I'll focus on that part :)

Anyway, I need to get past this and get mentally in the mood for a long run tomorrow.  I missed my 7 miler last week with the hip issue, so I need to get about that in before we pick up the boys. But I am doing the less hilly loop instead of the hilly out and back just in case the hip protests.  Then on Sunday, we have the Color Me Rad run with the boys (ages 5 and 7), so that should take us about an hour to go 5K. Wait, can I call that a run? Eh, it's a recovery day!

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