Just when you thought it was safe to jump back on the treadmill…the shin pain lurking just below the surface… Yes, my #stupidshin is acting up again. Not to the extent it was last summer, but in an effort to avoid a 7 week layoff, I took most of this week off of running and focused on cross training, stretching, and icing. I’ve been trying out some new shoes to replace my Transcends because they were over correcting and hurting my knees, and I think the shoes/treadmill combo started the shin stuff a bit.
So, this week looked like this:
M: 3 mi treadmill <– this is what starts my shin problems. Anybody wanna teach me how to run on a treadmill?
F: rest S: Azalea Trail Run 10K
So on Saturday I got to race again! The Azalea Trail Run is a local 10K that at one time was one of the premier 10Ks in the country. It’s one of the bigger local races with a few thousand runners. I’d never really been interested in running it, but I’m always looking to better my corral placement for Disney races and we had a 10K on our training schedule. That and there was a really good deal on registration. It is a flat course, and pretty familiar, since it’s basically the same course as the Senior Bowl 10K, but run backwards. Unlike the other race, this one gets tons of course support, both official and unofficial.
I joked the week leading up to the race that I wanted a 1:20. Totally unrealistic I know, but I knew a PR might be, and 1:25 would be in the realm of reality, but a pretty big reach. My 10K PR was 1:27:23, from back just before the Wine and Dine half when I broke my foot, and I was in pretty good shape then.
Instead of a general packet pick up, there was a for real sure enough race expo on Friday. Well, as much of an expo as you can expect for Mobile, Alabama.
Luckily by Saturday, all the TLC had my shin feeling just fine. There might be some frostbite on my leg from all the icing I did though.
I gotta learn to lay my flat runners out more neatly. This ensenble was paired with my new ASICS Gel Nimbus 17s.
We hopped in the car and pretty much did our daily commute, but when we got downtown, all paths to the parking lot were blocked for the race, even though it was the end of the course. So we picked a spot on the curb, making sure there wasn’t a “No Parking” sign, and prayed we wouldn’t get towed.
We wiggled our way through all the 5K runners and into the mass start with less than 3 minutes to spare. Thus no starting line selfie, and major adrenaline making my heart go bonkers for the first mile and a half. I even forgot to take my pre-race Gu.
And we were off. And, apparently, blessed with Holy water. That’s a first.
I should mention that I’m working really hard not to watch my Garmin so closely, so I really only looked at my pace at the mile splits. From this point on I present to you my race recap in stream of thought style:
Mile 1 (13:32)
I forgot my Gu! I’ll just take it now, never mind that I have no water, swallowing it at a full on sprint, and don’t know what will happen when it hits my stomach! Get out of my way, registered walkers! Why were you lined up right behind the Kenyans? (Notes: a. you could register for this race as a walker. They had yellow bibs that said “walker” and were asked to start after the runners. b. Yes, this race attracts for real sure enough elite runners, most of whom are Kenyan, sometimes Ethiopian.) Well, of course that was too fast. Faster than what I even thought too fast might be. I’m still flustered from wheeling into the start line so late.
Mile 2 (13:49)
I still can’t breathe and my heart rate is all over the place. Better stop for a second and get it together. (“Mark, I need to stop for a second.”). Damn, still so fast! Oh cool, belly dancers!
Mile 3 (13:38)
Oh, when can I have a Gu? I’m getting hungry. Oh, water, I’ll take some, thanks. Why does this feel so hard today? (watch beeps) Oh, THAT’S why this feels so hard! I’ve never strung together 3 consecutive sub: 14 minute miles together before. Who do I think I am?
Mile 4 (14:02)
DOWNHIIIIILLLLLL! And Gu! Thank goodness Mark carried his handheld today. God the road here is bad. I can quickly walk this quarter mile and make up the time later, or I can run and tear up my legs for the rest of the race. I choose A. All I really want is to get in the first 4 miles in under an hour. I can slow down after that. Hey, there’s the mile marker! Let me sprint to it!
Mile 5 (13:28)
Stop singing “Frozen” music, USS Alabama Crewmates. Try “Eye of the Tiger” or something.
Mile 6 (13:05)
This isn’t even humanly possible! I simply cannot run this fast. Yes, Mark’s right. Leave it all out here! Oh look, there is the female prisoner cheer station. Those ladies sure are having fun. Am I having fun?
I’m never telling Mark I want to PR again. I’m really starting to get hot. I feel like I’m slowing down. I’m definitely slowing down. Where did all the other runners go?
Mile .2 (11:50)
What do you mean, random group of guys on the side of the road drinking beer? We’re not almost there. Oh wait, is that the finish? I thought we had to make one more turn. Awesome! I’m gonna get 1:25! Got my kick on, smiling, fist pumping, there is the camera, this is going to be an awesome finish line photo!
Thanks to Mark’s encouragement, I blew my PR out of the water with a 1:24:31. My official time was the gun time of 1:25:53. I don’t know why they bothered to chip time, but either way it was a massive PR. I’m still in disbelief. I honestly didn’t know I could run that fast. I wasn’t even sore the next day. Guess I’m in better shape than I thought. Bring on the half marathon!
Official Finish Time: 1:25:53
Female 35-39 147/167
For a local race, pretty good. There could’ve been some better organization at the start though. Having the 5Kers blocking access to the 10K start was not cool.
Flat and familiar. Nicer than in the fall because of all the flowers blooming.
Well manned water stations at every mile. I think there were port-a-potties too, but I didn’t need them.
This is pretty much the only race that residents tend to come out for. There weren’t tons of people, but when there were they were having yard parties, sometimes complete with table cloths and candelabras. Nobody was sharing their mimosas though. There was official entertainment ever mile or so. It really helped to distract us.