Note: I wrote this three months ago but it’s the start of some of what I failed to post
You know, it’s a good thing my blog is small-time or else I would be sued for all of the song lyrics and movie references I use for my titles. Oh well… this title completely fits my running life at the moment.
This past weekend (June 20th) I ran the Kalamazoo Klassic. It was the 37th anniversary of this race and the motto is, “the thrill, the will, the hill”. And they are not lying about the hill, but more on this momentarily. Last week I signed up for it since I have a 1/2 this coming weekend, I wanted to make sure I could at least run some mileage over 6. Yep, I am well trained for this bad boy. Anyway, I signed up for the 10k followed by the 5k.
The starting line is about a 5 minute drive from my apt. I got up there about 6:50 am for the 7:30 am start and parked. As I was driving up there my stomach made some unfortunate gurgling sounds. I searched my car for some antacids but alas, none were found. I hightailed it back to my apt, dosed up on meds and then zoomed back to the race. I didn’t need to fret so much as I had plenty of time to hang out at the start and watch a small gathering of people come together. It didn’t take me long to calculate my last place finish. Not to mention they had pace cards set up and they only went up to 9 min miles – gah?!
Thankfully, the running crowd grew and the 11 and 12 min group leaders came into view. The race started right on time and the weather was pretty cool with nice and thick humidity! The race is two loops of the course with the second round hitting the FREAKIN’ GIANT AND LONG hill. Crepes. Even my friend who has trained much more than I did was blown away by it. I remembered it from the last time but not quite the pain! Anyway, even walking up the hill had me winded. The rest of the course is pretty hilly as well so it’s not an easy 10k. They were stocked on water stops though, which is always nice and the volunteers were great. I came into the finish line, tired, my quad displeased with me and not too much time before the next race. And the announcer pronounced my last name correctly! Bonus!
The 5k started a little further down the ruthless hill so these runners/walkers got a little taste of it as well. Since my buns had already been kicked by said hill, I walked a bit at the start before I started running. I was tired. I ran (with some walk breaks) the 5k and tried to stay in the moment rather than thinking of the rolling hills in front of me and my impending
doom 1/2 marathon. My pace finally picked back up the last mile and about 1/2 way through it my knee started hurting good and plenty. I had to walk a bit to calm it down and still, my knee was cursing me.
I have two thoughts on this: 1) I haven’t trained enough for this distance so of course my body is going to riot. 2) One aspect of this course I really don’t like is it runs along some really slanted road. My right leg HATES these slanted roads with a passion and as much as I tried to find some even ground, I could tell this was playing a factor. 3) My right quad is not strong enough to support my knee. I don’t know why my left quad is stronger but my right one always hurts more after these races. You better believe I iced when I got home. The whole rest of the day my knee was whining and yesterday it was sort of “eh”.
My stomach made it through the races. Between the 10k and 5k, I grabbed a small banana but wasn’t able to finish it. I went straight for some coffee after finishing the 5k (I parked at the top of the giant hill – close to the starting line because I’m sick in the head so I walked up the hill for the THIRD time). There isn’t much to eat at finishing lines for me, since it’s a gluten-fest. I got a chocolate milk but that was it. I got home, showered and then started making breakfast. This is important because by this time, I was starving and at the same time feeling nauseated/light-headed. I made a baked potato with an egg and sausage crumbles. I wasn’t able to finish as my stomach was so angry. In fact, I felt horrible the whole rest of the day. Considering this is my longest run since this past October, it was the first time testing my stomach and the results were less than desired.
Anyway, the dumb part was signing up for these back to back races. It’s a crazy cheap deal – $35 for both and I wanted to make sure I could run some sort of distance. But an injured knee is not what I want going into this weekend. The dumber part is not freakin’ training enough for these races. Seriously, what is my problem?! I found running to be really discouraging these last couple of months so I would skip planned long runs and walk more during my running. I was fairly apathetic. I also haven’t added any strength training – for the love of Pete, Amy, do some damn squats!
I’ll make it through the 1/2. I’m going to work on slowing my pace from the start – I didn’t monitor it this weekend and I felt it. And accepting my inevitable struggle and enjoy the scenery and swag (seriously, it’s some good stuff). I’m going to cradle my knee in Rocktape and keep my fingers crossed.