So I audibly dry heaved around mile 2.75. More on that in a second.
I have to admit I was REALLY nervous this morning. And my nerves were not at all put to ease when I got to the race. Tons of fast girls were there. I knew to expect some very competitive times but I didn't know the field would be quite that stacked. Then I heard that it was the USATF Colorado 5k championship, which I was fully unaware of (I need to hone these reading skills of mine, I guess!)
Besides some stiff competition, it was HOT and I think the times reflected that... Even just standing at the start line felt a little brutal.
But I think I had a decent race! Shot out of the gate at 5:11 and then settled down to a 5:50ish pace. The first two miles went by well enough (oh! except for the runner-pedestrian collision!), but after the two mile mark I started feeling my lack of fitness. I caught up to my speedy teammate Kelsey and was suprisingly able to stick with her. The last mile had a slight incline but I certainly felt it and my pace slowed accordingly. That paired with the heat made my stomach churn and right as we turned to head to the stadium everything in my stomach (which was just water luckily) threatened to come back up. I let out what I can imagine was an incredibly attractive "huh-UGH" (sorry to anyone that heard that). But what can you do? Breath evenly and go for a strong finish.
The finish on the course was a litte rough. Left turn, left turn, big curve left, left turn, up a hill, sharp right turn while you're trying to kick it in. The last mile hurt and slowed me down way more than I wanted but I was pleased to see that I felt well enough to chase Kelsey to the finish and end up only a second behind her. In SEVENTH place. Yeah. There it is. Now I know I have no room to complain and should be happy to just be racing again and, yes, I did have a little pr which I'm content with (for now), but seventh place stings just a little. Though I suppose against all those fast ladies I should be glad it wasn't worse :)
It hurt but it was really good to be back. Running has been part of my life for 10 years now and racing has become very very very important to me. I was so glad to see my teammates and friends and to be competing. A good start to the rest of the season, where there will hopefully be much improvement!
Karen Kantor (who is one of the nicest people ever) came up to me afterwards for an interview for Runcolo.com. A tad nervous to see that... I tend to sound like a complete moron when people ask me questions. Unless it's like "What is your name?" I can't seem to come up with anything intelligent. The thing that I'm most nervous talking about is my injury. Mostly because I really don't know what happened. I've been told several different things and given some very conflicting information so I don't really know what to say... I'm not especially trusting of the medical industry. I've heard some heinous stories (my ex boyfriend, for example, has seen specialist after specialist after specialist and to no avail - he has some calf issues and none of these fancy doctors who work on Olypians and supposedly know what's what can tell him anything worthwile... when i told him about Cleveland he said "don't listen to a word they say"... yep.) and I know I've gotten some crappy information a few times. The most reliable source so far? My regular Kaiser doctor. I had some knee and heal pain right after my first marathon and went to a "specialist" who told me I needed orthotics and that I'd have to go back and see him so he could work on the scar tissue in my ankle. I had no intention of going back to him since he was the rudest person ever, but I did ask my massage therapist what she thought of his diagnosis. She asked what the scar tissue was from. Did I break or roll my ankle? Nope. "There's no reason you'd have scar tissue if you haven't had an injury there." Aha! After that I went to my regular doctor at Kaiser and without hesitation he said "You have plantar fascitis. Stretch and ice your heal." And boom. It worked and I was back at it in no time. So this time around, after he critiqued the ER doc's analysis (though, to be fair, I'm sure they're more concerned with traumatic issues than what didn't even turn out to be a fracture...) he told me there was a good chance it was just a really bad strain. I'm going with that one!! Of course it would be wise to be a bit cautious still, but I'm far too antsy to sit around babying this, especially when I'm not in pain and running has been fine. Oh. Wow. Okay I went off on a little tangent there...
Anyway! A good morning. The race was VERY well organized and had super friendly volunteers and I'm really looking forward to the next one. Freedom 5K. The 5k is SO not my distance but I'm interested to see how I do on the super hilly course compared to last year.