For months I have been having various issues creep up during my runs. I chose to bury my head in the sand.
Then it all came to a head during the race a few weeks back. My right ITB, piriformis, knee and foot did this to me:
So I rested and stretched thinking it would all go away. During my training I also made sure to wear good running shoes. I track my mileage and replace pairs that are getting to old. I have flat feet and I tend to overpronate so I wear a stability shoe because, as I am Queen of Denial, I can correct my own problems. I don't need the extra support. Well, push came to shove and I picked up a pair of motion control shoes. Oh my. First run in them, almost all my problems seemed to have disappeared. Well, not all of my problems as I still have to read the Nikolai Bernstein article for my Adult Neuro class, but that's another story. My right leg felt great the entire run. Today was my second run in them. Still feeling good. So my year of denial is over. Or I am in denial about not being in denial?
Today's run was good. I went out after Wingman left for work. The temperature was still somewhat cool and the wind was starting to pick up. I had a 4 mile route mapped out so I changed, put on my shades (because my future's so bright, I gotta wear shades), grabbed the iPod, laced up and headed out. I started out at a nice pace and tried to enjoy the morning. I didn't realize the wind was at my back until I got to the halfway point. All this time I am thinking I'm a superstar.
Holy cow, after the turn I swear I was running in a wind tunnel. I had to work so hard to keep my pace because I was too stubborn to slow down. I figured this was a short run so what's the big deal, right? The big deal was that these last 2 miles turned into a suffer-fest. The problem with running out here is there is nothing to block the wind for you. It's just you and the elements. I know it can make me a stronger runner, but when you are in the moment, you can't see that. Then the strangest thing happened. This song came on and I hit my stride. Even the wind seemed to die down for the duration.
I have to confess to a guilty pleasure here with this song. Good stuff. I did hit the back button at the end to hear it again. Couldn't resist. I still struggled to keep the pace, but held on to finish strong. I guess the combo of tripping out with Donovan and the runner's high kicked in.
So the Army 10 Miler is next weekend and I am thinking about my strategy. Usually my race strategy has been to start slow and finish slower, but I am not sure that will work for me this time around. I did this race last year and was miserably under trained for it so I have a pathetic time to show for it. I would love to PR it by at least 10 minutes. So do I start out like a bat out of hell and hang on for as long as I can then let the wheels fall off, try to run an even pace the entire race, or try to run the first 5 miles a little slower and pick it up for the last 5? I am open to suggestions.
My run went so well today, that I am chomping at the bit for the Ridley 5k in October (yes I am still on a high from my run this morning). I run this race every year and have set a 5k PR each year from 2002-2006. I'm in a bit of a dry spell the last few years because my running had not been consistent. I am feeling it this year and I think I can break it. Today's pace of the 4 miles tells me I am close. I am tempted to get a 'pacer' for this race to keep me on track. I've done that before. I bring someone faster (yeah, like that's real hard to find....) down to the race to run with me so it will shame me into running a little faster and not letting myself slow down.
I forgot to mention that last week I picked up the ultimate trivia game:
Well, it looks like the Queen of Denial is still here. I have avoided that Bernstein article long enough. Time to go read............