There were many reasons I was looking forward to this New Year's Day 5k, but the most important was that I would be able to run the race this year. Last year, my wife and I signed up to run the New Year's Day 5k and then BAM! Herniated disc. See ya later activity. What could I do? Walk. That was it. I technically wasn't supposed to walk for more than 30 minutes a day, but I had already paid for the 5k. I was going to do it. So my wife and I got out there last year on 1/1/11 and walked the 5k. It took about 48 minutes to complete. I felt accomplished, but upset I couldn't try my hardest.
So once the race registration opened for 2012, I was on it. I was determined to run it this year. Yes, I know I just got diagnosed with an IT band/patella injury, but the PT told me I could run today. I had withheld from running for 2 weeks so it was okay to test it.
Getting off the bus and walking to the pre-race area was a rush ... not just from the wind gusts Chicago was rocking today. Wow! I have really progressed since this time last year. Heck, I lost 27 lbs this year ... that alone was monumental!
Despite feeling some soreness in my knee, I was ready to complete the run (plus it was MUCH warmer than last year). I had my patella brace on. I was stretched. I wasn't going to push for a PR since my eye is on the F^3 Events Lake Half on January 28 - but I wanted to finish in under 27 minutes if possible.
(Note: Crazy that I now push for sub 27 min 5k. My first 5k was 38 min and for years I tried to get under 30 min and now, now I amaze myself)
I kissed the wife before we started and we were off. Wow! Did getting back on the path feel gooood. I didn't care that my knee hurt. I hadn't run in two weeks and my body missed it.
Throughout the first 1/2 mile, I felt some sharp knee pains, but I adjusted my knee brace and pushed on. There was NO WAY I was going to stop running.
As the race went on the pain turned to more of a dull, constant pain. This is to be expected the PT said.
I saw the sign for Mile One and was psyched, I was sub 9 minute miles and ready to push myself. I got back into my normal groove and started to pick up the pace. As I saw the sign for Mile Two, I realized my pace was about 8:20 per mile. My PR is 8:14. Okay, time to go all out. I knew I wouldn't be running for a few more weeks so might as well give it all I had today ... now that there was a shiny PR in sight.
I got to Mile Three right as my Runkeeper announced 25 minutes. Okay, time to go all out.
I crossed the Finish, hit the Runkeeper, looked down and saw an unofficial time of 25:26 (8:13 min/mile) ... A PR by 8 seconds! You gotta be kidding me. :) I couldn't stop smiling. I knew I would have to wait for the official results, but my Runkeeper isn't usually off by that much.
My knee was sore after the race, but just the same dull, nagging, constant pain.
After realizing I had dropped $12 out of my pocket (Happy New Year whoever found it), the wife and I headed home and I iced my knee/foam rolled.
I really hate how long it takes some organizers to post the results, but I understand they have post-race parties/lives ... but still. I am anxious! :)
Finally got the results...
My Runkeeper was off by only one second: I got a new shiny PR of 25:27 (8:13 min/mile) and cut seven seconds from previous PR (25:34)! I finished 155th overall (out of 753), 40th among women (out of 411) and fifth in my division - F 25-29 (out of 49)! Okay well tied for fourth on the last one. The girl listed before me had the same time (25:27), but must've crossed just before me.
But, man I will take it. Last year, I could only walk the race and this year I PRed. I am feeling truly lucky and blessed right now. So happy to have reclaimed my love of running!! Because if you didn't know...
Running Changes Everything