Saturday, December 12, 2009

Club Oly Tis the Season for a 5K at Pioneer Park Tumwater 12/12/09

About a week after my last race I had a severe and unexpected flare up of plantar faciitis in my right foot. It happened on an off day after an easy run day and I do not have a definitive explanation for why it happened. I could not walk without a limp for four days. I had to take a full week off of running. Dedicated icing and gentle stretching brought the internal inflammation down and I gradually got back into running. I was disappointed to not be able to race over Thanksgiving weekend, but I am running again and I have a fresh and profound sense of gratitude and joy to be able to run. One week from today is the Pigtails 50K race with so many of my Marathon Maniac pals. Having had three "did not starts" in marathons in the past two months (for three different reasons) my main goal is to not injure myself today so that I can make the start line next week. It seems to be the speed work or short races that cause "microtears" in my plantar, so as long as I take it easy I should be fine.
I arrive at Pioneer Park nice and early. My first time racing here, a new location for the final race in this series. The course is just over a mile, so we will do three laps to make it a 5K. I am early enough and want to get some miles in, so I run three loops prior to the start. I bring the camera along during the warm up. As you can see the weather is freezing fog. The trail is flat but mostly somewhat loose and large gravel. Not the best footing. On the side of the gravel is packed dirt, but in places it is very bumpy. Lots of opportunities to twist and ankle, another good reason to take it slow. Billy and Tammy join me for part of the warm up and I snap their picture coming out of the one forested very bumpy section.

Start - I line up in the back and when we start I am amazed at how fast some runners are going and how quickly we spread out. Ruhama and I are together in the back. I'd be happy just running with her, but I am afraid that this pace may be a little quick for her and I would be more comfortable going just a little faster. Tammy is next person ahead so I catch up to her. I like this pace and settle in with Tammy.

Mile 1.4 - On our second lap. I like this pace. We pass one runner. Tammy is looking at the ground in front of her, a wise choice with all these bumps, but she misses the sharp turn away from the river and starts down the path to where the river has eroded the old trail. About five more steps and she will tumble into the river. I shout and grab her to safety. That was funny.

Mile 1.7 - I thought this could happen and here it is. Jesse Stevick is lapping us. Its one thing to be super fast on the roads, I just don't know how anyone can run so fast on this uneven surface with all these twists and turns. Just a moment later Rich Brown laps us too.

Mile 2.6 - Still with Tammy. We are holding a steady 8:25 pace. Through the twisty woods, then the final straight way to the finish line.

Mile 3.1 - I want to push Tammy to finish strong and I want her to pass me at the end. She seems to want to finish exactly together. I slow a bit, then she slows and we end up crossing at about the same time. I think she was a half step ahead of me.

A couple of us do one more lap as a cool down. That makes seven laps for me this morning. Foot feels great, so I should be good to go much longer next week. Congrats to Bill for running a speedy time, I'm not so sure I could have kept up with him if I had given a full effort. And big congrats to Ruhama for winning the shoes again this year. She may not be the fastest runner, but she makes it out to every race of the series, earning enough points to be the overall winner, while having a fun time.

Results Pending
Race #179, 5K#49

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