My IT band had been bothering me a bit in the weeks leading up to this race so I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d be doing it and I left it to a race morning decision. It always seems to be better when I do this because it helps me relax the night before thinking that there might be a chance that I’m not going to run in the morning. I got a decent night’s sleep so when I woke up I decided I would go ahead and do the race after all. Unfortunately, I hadn’t done my pre-race night planning so I was totally unprepared. I was doing my pre-race morning on the fly. Fortunately, it was a very short race so I didn’t need to eat. I would only need to take a GU Energy Gel about 15 minutes before race start. I only had about 15 minutes before I needed to leave the house so I quickly gathered everything I thought I would need. I put on my Forward Motion Race Club kit, some compression socks, and my new Nike Lunar Trainer shoes. I love these shoes!!
I arrived about an hour before the race, quickly found the registration and then found out that the porta pottys were not delivered that morning. Fortunately, I co-host track workouts at Los Lomas high school on Monday nights with Christine Brighton so I was familiar with the track and knew that there was a porta potty there. So I took this as an opportunity to get a small warm-up in and make a last minute decision whether or not I was fit to run. As I was doing the warm-up I could feel a little tightness just below and to the outside of my right knee but it seemed to be a little bit better than it had been recently. So, I decided I would definitely run. I got back to the race start location about 10 minutes before the gun and did some quick stretches a couple strides and got into the start corral with two minutes to spare. There were approximately 750 racers waiting to start either the 5K or the 10K. I lined up in the second row. Eric Miller, the race director, did the countdown and we were off. I hadn’t been training as much as I’d like to have lately so I was really careful to keep my pace what I thought was comfortable for the first half mile or so. I noticed Steve Chavez was running just ahead of me and I was keeping pace with him so I knew I was probably running a little faster than I should. I eased back on the pace a little bit and saw him slowly put some distance on me. I settled into a pace that I thought was comfortable. I checked my watch at the 1st mile marker and saw I had gone 5:52. This was definitely beyond my current fitness and I hoped that I wouldn’t blow up. I continued to run by feel. The racers were now nicely spread out and all the kids that had sprinted in the beginning were now behind me.
At about 1.5 miles into the race, Oleg Khryashchev and another guy passed me, I not used to this because I usually pace myself very well and people do not pass me mid race. I kept my head straight though and didn’t try to catch up to them. I knew I wasn’t 100% race ready and any extra effort I made would either cause me to blow up or cause me to be very very sore for the next week. This wasn’t an A race though so I decided to do what I thought would allow me to continue my workouts in the days immediately following the race. My only goal was to get on the age group podium. Over the third and final mile the two men that passed me continued to put a little distance on me but I held my distance on everyone else. There was a short out-and-back section and I’d already made the turn and was seeing a lot of familiar faces running the “out” part. It’s so great to be a part of such a large race club, I never feel like I’m running alone. Now I was about 2.5 miles into the course and I was happy that the race would soon be over. As I passed the 3-mile marker I looked at my watch and noticed that I would be able to finish in under 19 minutes. I was happy with this so I just kept my pace steady through the finishing chute. I quickly learned that I had finished 9th overall in the 5K, good enough for 2nd in my age Group. My day was a success!!
I am always reluctant to do races because I know that they will be extremely uncomfortable and I’m usually quite sore for the few days afterwards. But, I always have a feeling of elation once the race is done AND it’s always great to look back at the results and see how I did. I don’t ever have regrets having thought that I could have gone harder. If I could have gone harder, I would have gone harder. There was a good Forward Motion turnout and I was happy to get to spend time with some people that I have not seen recently. As always, the Forward Motion Race Club had a very good showing on the podium and there were many people among the top 15 finishers for both events, both men and women.
I’d like to give a shout out to all FMRC Sponsors and especially Dr. Matock with Precision Sports Medicine and Chiropractic for keeping this old body moving efficiently and pain-free. He’s helped me get to many workouts and races that I otherwise would have missed.