I am feeling very grateful for a successful training run/race at Tobacco Road.
After battling an injury for almost a month and not running more than 10 consecutive miles in a month, I went into Tobacco Road with no expectations. Yes, hopeful for a miracle but no idea what the day would bring. Goal was to run pain free for the first time and get in a good measure of my current fitness.
Just 6 days earlier, I had to bail on a workout due to intense calf pain and asthma/breathing issues. And 4 days pre-Tobacco Road, I still had some residue tightness which peaked in my 8 mile easy run. On Friday before Tobacco Road, coach and I made the final decision to run it and see how it went but be ready to back off and run easy if the calf felt restricted.
Race Morning - Kim and I arrive at Tobacco hopeful..She is coming back from hip issues that set in after her marathon. Her goal was to get through the 13 miles without further aggravating her hips and shins.
Temps were gross - Low 60s with high humidity but I thought the rain that had come in hours earlier would bring pollen levels down which would allow for me to breathe but the humididty it brought in just sort of nixed that benefit :-) Took a couple of deep breahtes from inhaler and said a prayer.
Around 6:30AM, I said good-bye and good luck to Kim, headed to bag check, dropped clothes, started warm-up and pre-race stretch. Wow..it was my lucky day as I just had a slight feeling a tightness that was quickly eased by the mile easy run with some stretching. Bam - I plugged into my ipod and line up with the rest of the sardines.
Race start was insane..no corral managment and it was impossible to get a decent location. I settled somehere by the 4:30 pace leader..ugh I knew it was going to be a climb out for a couple miles. I went out at my easy pace for the first mile and was playing dodge'em most of that mile. Finally @ mile 2-3, I was able to start to settle in to a decent pace. I was feeling pretty good and calf was a non-issue so when the marathon split from the half @ mile 3, I decide to drop the pace down into half marathon pace range hitting 7:38 for a couple miles, than 7:32, 7:30, 7:50, 7:37, 7:30, 7:30 and was really feeling good phyiscally although I could tell that my breathing was getting more labored not from aerobic capacity but rather struggling to get air. It was more of my wheezing and chest tightened that asthma brings on and than my chest tightened up to terrific extent that my only option was to back off pace @ mile 10 and let my breathing settle down. I also needed to relax my mind as it is very easy to panic when you feel this tighten up. About the same time, my stomach starting cramping, lovely - double whammy. Mile 10 was 8:49 but I gathered my wits fought back to run 7:50s for the rest of the way in..finished 1:45:00 on the dot. Given that I ran the first 3 miles easy and had that bleak mile 10, I am super happy with the day. Just 10 days earlier, I couldn't manage my 4 mile tempo effort due to calf so to hit tempo pace for 8 miles yesterday is something I am celebrating in my heart.
All I see is more progress head....
Pretty Happy about mileage for this past week -
Monday - 8 easy
Tuesday - 8 with 3X2 mile - #1 (7:38, 7:39) #2 (7:24, 7:22) #3 (7:29 - shut down run due to calf & asthma/breathing)
Wednesday 4 easy
Thursday - 8 easy
Friday - 6 easy
Saturday - 4 easy
Sunday - 1 W/U mile + 13.1 Tobacco Road = 14 miles
Total Miles = 52