the Boca Hawaii - Norman Tamanaha 15k
6am, 8.24.14 (originally scheduled for 8.10.14)
in my last marathon chronicles, i mentioned that i was starting to feel the burnout, so i was a little nervous going into this race. i had just started to get back into my running groove and wasn't feeling 100% confident at this point. this race was only a mile more than the great aloha run (which i'd done twice before with no problems), but it was hilly for most of the course. and that's what i was worried about.
PLUS, in the days leading up to the race, i learned that this was a smaller race (<800 runners) comprised of serious runners.
AND, the time i guestimated for myself wasn't even close to the finishing times of previous years.
seriously, no. pressure.
so when i found out that they had a earlier 5:30am unofficial start time for walkers/runners with slower paces, i took it for fear of coming in last!
a 3am wake up call allowed plenty of time to get ready and have breakfast (a cup of coffee + a small bowl of cheerios with protein).
my friend and i got to the park at 5:15am giving me just enough time to pick up my timing chip and head to the start line. i wished my friend a great race and was off (she started at 6am).
the weather was great for the entire race. it was still dark for the first couple of miles, and even though the sun came out at 6am, it didn't get miserably hot.
i started out at what felt like a comfortable pace and ended up jogging the entire course without walk breaks (except through the water aid stations).
miles 1-6 were fairly easy - i was tired, as to be expected, but i wasn't experiencing any pain or problems. since i incorporate walk breaks throughout my training runs, completing the first mile without stopping should have been the first red flag for me. in addition, my training runs with walk breaks are usually at a 17 minute pace, so hitting that first mile in 12 minutes should have been the second red flag.
mile 1: 12:28
mile 2: 12:05
mile 3: 12:35
mile 4: 12:35
mile 5: 12:12
mile 6: 12:25
here's where things got tough. i saved my energy gel for the water aid station at mile seven hoping it would give me a burst of energy for the final hill. can't say it helped. the last hill was brutal, and i should have taken a walk break. i slowed down but kept moving. i started to feel some hot spots (rubbing/blisters) on my feet at this point, too.
mile 7: 12:41
mile 8: 13:58
then it happened. mile nine...my left calf muscle cramped. i stopped and stretched until i was able to move again. i didn't get much further along when my right calf muscle cramped. i started to panic a little, but after a few minutes of massaging, i was able to push through and make it to the finish line.
mile 9: 13:21
mile 9.3: 13:36
official time: 2:04:55
i was feeling ok...i grabbed some gatorade and fruits while i waited for my friend. i could feel my muscles tightening again, so i kept moving. i couldn't fight it off...my right leg cramped up so severely that i almost dropped to the ground. i clearly couldn't walk it off, so i sat down, threw off my shoes and started to massage my leg. my toes were literally curling and i felt like the pain would never end. definitely scary.
by this time, i found my friend, and we sat for 10-15 minutes chatting about the race until our ride came. fortunately, the cramps subsided, and i was able to walk to the car.
i was eager to get home to an ice bath and
my recovery protein drink.
i don't have compression socks [yet], so i grabbed whatever bandages i could find and wrapped my legs. this definitely helped to improve blood circulation, reduce swelling, and aid in muscle recovery. i continued to hydrate, stretch, and elevate my legs throughout the day.
hydrated with nuun tablets.
race fuel: honey stinger gold energy gel (mile 7)
the good: i ran the entire 9 miles!
the bad: muscle cramps (mile 9/post-race); hot spots at toes and top of feet
in the days following: i was sore from head to toe on monday. i used this recovery day to stretch and drink a lot of fluids, including my protein supplements. i did an easy 45 minute walk on tuesday to stretch my muscles, and i was back to a three mile run on wednesday.
actions to take: increase stretching and strengthening exercises, begin to increase my training run pace + decrease the amount of walk breaks to reach a happy race day medium, hit the pavement (vs. treadmill).
next race: 20k, september 7th. since the 15k was postponed due to the hurricanes, it messed up the race intervals. instead of a month, there's only two weeks until the 20k. my friend and i are considering skipping this one and doing a run on our own.