2011 Spring Forward 15k

This was my fifth consecutive Spring Forward Distance Run (15k).  My thought process leading up to the race was roughly this:

“Hmm, 35F and sunny…applying my race-weather rule that means dress as though it’s 45 or 50…”

“So I should wear light weight tights…but I hate wearing tights and I don’t want them when I race…but I was so cold at the last race…”

“OK, no tights.  I’ll wear all black to stay warm.  I’ll wear my base layer and more shirts if necessary”

I had a LOT of clothing on before the race and even brought my tights in case I changed  my mind.  I’ve been naked in my car before at a race, why not again?  As race time neared I shed my pants and jackets and headed out for a couple miles of warmup.  I ran nice and easy and found that it was actually quite nice out especially in the sun.  I made the decision to wear a short sleeved shirt, shorts, and throw-away gloves.  I even decided not to wear a winter hat!

The race itself went very well, for the most part.  I chose not to look at my watch during the entire race.  As I ran past mile markers I recorded splits but did not look.  I just ran at what felt comfortable for the distance.  I really, really, enjoyed racing this way.  This is how I used to race.

About half way through the race I was warm enough to lose my shirt so I ditched it at mile 5.  Shortly after that my race started to go downhill.  I felt good but my abs started cramping.  I’ve been having trouble with my right abdominal muscles since December.  It’s intermittent but seems to crop up primarily during races.  I was very sad when I cramped but reminded myself that it’s only a race.  So I stopped at mile 6 and was surprised at how much the muscle hurt when standing still.  After a while the pain started to subside and I walked for a little bit allowing many runners to pass me.

For the last 5k I battled the pain in my abs.  I tried breathing slowly by pursing my lips.  This seemed to help but I still was forced to stop a few times.

Overall it was a great race.  I did better than I expected.  I was only 55 seconds slower than my 15k PR but this course is far more difficult than where I earned my PR.  I was almost a full 2 minutes faster this year than last.  I was also very pleased that I was able to run!  I’ve been having trouble with my left leg and considered skipping the race.  I felt some pain during my warmup but (stupidly) ran the race anyhow.  I experienced no pain during the race.

I ran a 1:03:15 and placed third in my age group.

Best of all I know I’m ready for Boston no matter how little training I do between then and now.

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