Wow, time has flown by and I’ve (sadly) neglected this blog for a few months with the holidays, new marathon training, new job, and more. So sorry! Not sure if anyone really is reading due to my hiatus from blogging, but finally posting this race recap albeit a tad overdue.
I’ve been marathon training with my coach Kevin Granato of Granato Racing since December 2013. Things have been going extremely well and his training plans call for so many new training tactics that I haven’t previously pushed myself to do in the past (e.g. tempo, speedwork, REST). I’ll be running the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May and have the goal to work hard, train hard and hopefully achieve a PR if all goes well.
Unfortunately, I’ve been battling an injury for the past month – calf tendinitis as diagnosed by my sports doc/chiropractor whom had treated me for my gluteal muscle spasm injury at the end of 2012. I must admit, I think that my injury was caused by my own silly fault. I made the rookie mistake of doing speedwork in brand-new-never-before-run-in-shoes. Why? I was a bit too eager to lace up my new shoes and go for it. In fact, two speedy runs in new shoes in one week. And also one evening running through one of the rainiest puddle-filled soaking runs. Of course, I got injured.
Despite the nagging injury, I felt good enough to run my first 5K of training to test my progress. The race was on Sunday, January 26th, at Seward Park — the Fitness for Vitality Resolution 5K which is race #1 in the Seattle run series. They offer 5K and 10K run series at various parks in Seattle.
Quick shoutout to my pals at Gametiime – an awesome site dedicated to helping us easily discover races of all distances from big to small. Workout Gametiime, I wouldn’t have known about this 5K. It’s expanding rapidly across the country and is currently available to folks in WA, OR, CA, NY, NJ!
It was my first time running a race at Seward Park and, with my calf injury and limited experience in racing short distances like 5K, I was a bit worried about what would happen. However, Coach Kevin reassured me that being a little nervous is normal but that I had a good training base under my belt, so nerves shouldn’t get the best of me. Also, gave me advice that if my calf bothered me, it’d be best to stop during the race. No need to be a hero. Good advice.
Race morning came and the chilly weather and wind was a big concern for me. When I showed up it was in the low 30’s and super foggy (but still insanely beautiful).
The race start time was slated for 9:30am so I had plenty of time to do my warmup. Have I mentioned before that I have never done warmups before a main workout or race, nor have I ever really attempted to do cool downs? This is one thing that I have found really useful from training with Kevin. He prescribes me workouts that always includes a defined warmup and cool down period.
Before the race, I did a 20 minute easy warmup for a little over 2.1 miles with Joe at a 9:23 pace and then 8 minutes of drills and striders. By the time I was done with my warmup, it was around 9:15am and I was ready to get the race started. I apprehensively peeled off my warm cozy orange Oiselle Trials Hoodie and Run Pant to brave the chill. It was go time… or so I thought.
More and more people showed up late to pick up their bibs or register late, so the actual race start was postponed to about 9:45am which meant that I waited in the cold in my race singlet and shorts for 25 minutes. Really not ideal as the goal was to be nice and warm for the race start.
As soon as it was time for the race start, I lined up at the front of the start line and off I went.
Don’t let the smile fool you. It was insanely cold and my legs and lungs were not used to the quick burst of speed. It took me a while to get warmed back up and I had felt sluggish during that first mile, a tad off my recommended pace.
Through out the race, I kept thinking to myself that it’s only 3.1 miles. I’m training for my fourth full marathon. That’s 23.5 miles longer. I can do it. I just kept repeating this to myself because I really started getting on the pain train and my calf started nagging me in the middle of the race.
All I kept thinking was that the end would be near!
As the end approached, I hear people cheering and shouting my name. My Oiselle teammates, sisters Nolana and Morena, came and cheered me on! Seeing them really helped propel me forward. Thanks, ladies, for making it out and cheering!
I also saw Joe at the finish line. He’s my rock and forever race cheerleader. And official race photographer. 🙂
Official Time: 22:51
Splits: 7:34, 7:29, 7:24, 0:24
In addition to a 14 second PR, I also got 3rd overall woman and 2nd in my age group. It was a great racing day!
I really enjoyed this race and loved the community feel. In addition, pros to this race were: chip timed, great volunteers, and post-race food spread was amazing!! I mean… seriously, PB&J sandwiches on Dave’s Killer Bread, chocolate milk, bananas, etc. Did I mention PB&J? 🙂
After the race, we went and got coffee and shared a croissant at Columbia City Bakery and then headed home. I proceeded to go back out and do the rest of my “cool down” run for an additional 5.27 miles @ 8:56 pace to run out the day with 10.48 miles.
A couple days after the race, my calf tendinitis flared up significantly and I went to my sports doc to have Graston and ART performed and took essentially a week off from any running. Three weeks later, I’ve been on the mend and back to marathon training.
Here’s to hoping for good health for the rest of the marathon training cycle! And big thanks to Coach Kevin for training me and forcing me to back off or rest during this injury.
Sarah, You are an amazing, beautiful runner. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself! I’m sorry we started late in January. Out of 50 races we have started late 3x. So many people showed up so close to the start time we couldn’t get them through that late. I have changed some things at our check-in process to hopefully help this in the future.
And trust me, I ran cross-country in college, and I remember our November races, the singlet in the cold, YEAH!
Good luck to you. You go, girl! And hope to see you again!
Thank you so much for the thoughtful reply! I had a great time running the 5K and will recommend your races to others.
Good to know about the late start rate and changes during check-in process. That would be nice if we could pick up our bibs or register in person the day prior, too. Perhaps partnering with a local running store such as Super Jock N Jill?
Overall, great race and I look forward to future ones!
Congrats on your 5k PR! I have a feeling you will be celebrating a marathon PR as well in May with that speedy time!
And congrats on the new job! 🙂
Thanks so much, Nicole! 🙂 I’m hoping so. It’s been discouraging putting in all this hard work but then being injured. You know how it is! Hope your training is going well!