Mike and I met up with Amanda at 7:00AM in Royal Oak at the Detroit Zoo. Amanda and I were all set for the 10K, Mike the 5K. Amanda has been having shoe issues and knee issues, and I have been having those nasty speedracer outbreaks (AKA shin splints), so we all opted to do the 5K in the end. SMART move on my part.
We line up and head out towards the start line. Off goes the gun, and we start moving.
I. Am. So. Geeked!
Everything was going swell for the first 1/2 mile or so. I was comfortable at the pace we were going (without the Garmin so I really am not positive the true pace) but I was taking my time to not rush things... too much. Mike was long gone behind us, and Amanda's knee was giving her issue so I took off and decided to pull it into a higher gear because I wanted to see what I could do out there.
"Go Speedracer, go Speedracer, go Speedracer, Gooooo!" Passing people left and right (horrible spread in the crowd). "Go Speedracer, go Speedracer, go Speedracer, Gooooo!" Mojo is pumping. Speedracer is kicking some major ass. I feel roughly the same as I did Thurday for the miracle mile - pace was good! I feel as though I can pull out the mile in 10 minutes or so...
*fade to black*
I am down. Seriously down. I am talking physically down.
My inner cheer turned from speedracer themes to obsenities. How did that happen? Where is this pain coming from????? And why am I on the ground?
My shin cramped up completely - I could not lift my foot. I was in pain and toe-tap or attempt at massage was making it worse. It felt like the fibers in my muscle were being torn to shreds with every movement. *sigh* OK Speedracer... you are so grounded when we get home.
Amanda and Mike come by and stop to make sure that I am OK.
Mentally I am fine. Physically I am not so sure.
Mike takes off to finish, and Amanda and I decide to walk for a bit. It takes me a good 1/2 mile or more before the pain subsides enough to start running again. I take off slowly and make it only to just past mile 2 - where I end up right back at the pain I had just left only worse.
You know what? I started this race. I will finish this race. Walk schmalk - I could care less about time. Right now, I just need to focus on getting through the pain and enjoying the course around me.
So I did.
I walked the rest of the way. And, I finished with a smile on my face - running it in like a champ at the very end of course. What I did out there today on that little 5K course made me realize that I am stronger.
A year ago I would have sat there thinking negative thoughts about my abilities. This year I sat there thinking 'wow! If I didn't have these shin splints I'd really be kicking ass out there, still! That is awesome!'
I like the me of now a LOT better than the me of past.
I know that I need to get back to toe-taps every night and stretching out better pre-run. I have another race before the half-marathon. It is the Big House Big Heart 5K in Ann Arbor. If I am doing everything right, I should have a strong showing... without any shin splint occurances.
Tomorrow is rest (swimming and strength), so Tuesday I am going to go out for 4 miles or so to see how I feel. I should be shin splint free soon... which means one very happy RunnerGirl.
I will not give up!