Like a virgin

Like a virgin

I’m nervous. Nervous like I’ve never raced before. Like I’ve never run a half. Like I’ve never raced in a new city. Like I’ve never raced without friends.

I’m always edgy and anxious before race day, especially out of town races. I’m anxious about getting there, getting there on time, packing the right gear, getting to packet pick-up, getting enough rest (never happens; I don’t sleep before a scheduled early morning run or race), waking up on time, fueling, finding the start line, using the port-a-potty, warming up,  staying warm, starting on-time, finding my family after the finish line, getting cold, cooling off, stretching, getting back to the hotel, recovery. It’s a litany.

I’m particularly nervous this time. I’m doing a back-to-back 5K and Half at the Gulf Coast Marathon Weekend and I haven’t run more than 6.2 miles since breaking my foot in August. My hips and knees are achy from muscle weakness and being off-balance for 12 weeks.  I did as much walking and strength training as I could and got back in the pool as soon as I was cleared, but there’s no substitute for actual time on your feet.  What I could do just wasn’t enough.

My pace is a full 2 minutes slower than my PR back in the spring.   I know this because I have raced three 5Ks and one 8K since August. I walked two of them, the Rise Up & Run/Walk like MADD 5K in September and the Atlanta 5K in October. I ran the Esprit de She 5K early in November; the very evening after getting the all-clear to run. I was so amped to be cleared to run that I may have over-done it a bit. Hello achy knees. Last week, I ran the Turkey Day 8K in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I am so glad they reversed the course this year so the hills weren’t as punishing. I did better than I expected because of that course change. I even found a little oomph to get across the uphill finish before the clock ticked over another minute.

I should be feeling more confident.

I’m not. I’m a anxious mess. I just don’t have the running fitness at the moment. So, new strategy and new goal: timed intervals and finish without being swept.

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this boot was made for walking

this boot was made for walking

Rise Up & Run/Walk Like Mad 5K – September 10, 2016

You can’t keep a good woman down and I certainly wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to strut, as much as one can strut in a walking boot, across the 50-yard line of the  soon to be imploded Georgia Dome just days before turning 50.

Course-wise it’s typical Atlanta terrain, looping around the Georgia Dome and Philips Arena, and up and down a few hills. It’s not the most scenic route but it is pretty fast. I could see setting a PR on this course.  Seeing the new stadium going up next to the old stadium was interesting (I’m still trying to figure out the necessity of tearing down a roughly 20-year old functional stadium for a brand new stadium. On the other hand, it will accommodate two teams instead of one. Go, Atlanta United!)

The best part is the final 40 yard sprint across the 50-yard line and, of course, racing (rather slowly) with friends and passing Arthur Blank on the course. Walking or running, it just felt good to be out there!