Training for a Run… but not from Running

So, I’ve been doing CrossFit for a little over four months. Before CF I was training for a half marathon for four months. Then I blew out my meniscus and I haven’t really been running much since then.

In early 2012, during my half training, I averaged a 11:00 min/mile (or so). Looking back at my log, my “fastest” runs where I averaged under 10:30 were the short runs (3miles or so).

This is the weekend one of the biggest St. Louis running weekends. The annual Go! STL marathon, half marathon, and relay are all taking place tomorrow. I registered for the 5k run/walk last fall, as I was recovering from the knee surgery (and before starting CrossFit). I saw it as serving two purposes… #1 I’d have something to “train” for and yet at the same time #2 I wouldn’t be over committed.

Well, then… I fell in love with CrossFit. I started going to 314 several times a week… and I’d only run if it was programmed in the WOD.

I forgot I had this 5k… until just a few weeks ago. I told myself that I’d run for two weeks leading up to it. 

I didn’t. I went to CrossFit instead.

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When I thought about “opting” out and not showing up at the starting line today, Gregg helped set my mind straight. I had to go.

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Waking up this morning, I felt off. My stomach was upset with me (probably nerves) and I had no idea what to expect from myself.

I showed up at the ‘packet pickup’ promptly at 715am. It was 45 mins before the race was to start. I hate being pre-race solo. I didn’t like it for the Halloween run downtown and I hated it this morning. So I decided to set a goal for myself, I wanted to maintain a 10min pace and not take any walk breaks. I knew this was a “stretch” goal for me, considering how I felt on during Friday’s WOD that had three 400m runs.

But without a lofty goal, I won’t push myself.

In the starting line I met a young middle school girl who was clearly nervous. She had never run a race before and she was only doing it to participate in her school’s “Read, Write, Run” program. I told her the most important thing was that she had fun…. 

 And then, it was time to run.

The first mile felt slow. Very bogged down and crowded. I lined up too far back from the starting line.

At 1.5miles they had a water station. It seemed silly and unnecessary for such a short run, but my lips were feeling chapped and I needed just a little something. This was a bad idea, I didn’t stop, slow down, or try to pay attention to my drink. Sloshing it all over myself I took a sip, half of it going down the wrong pipe, and throwing the cup away. Only a quarter of a mile later I got a cramp/stitch in my side that lasted the next full mile. But I just kept running… 

Keeping an eye on my time and being mindful of my pace… I realized I was going to make my goal! 

Crossing the finish line at 29:58 I felt so good. My ankles and knee ached but I accomplished my stretch goal!  I finished 27th in my age division (top 11%).

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Honestly, I was shocked. Not having run any distance longer than 800m with any consistency in the past four months, I went out and ran 3.1 miles (no walk breaks). Compare that to the Halloween 5k that I ran in October (33:04) with several walk breaks and that’s a HUGE 3:30min PR.

 

I may not have been “Training” for a 5k…but I am certainly stronger. Both physically and mentally. I’m learning how to push myself. I’m learning how to set goals…. and achieve them.

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And now, let me tell you a secret… the racing bug may have bitten me again….. 

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