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Fast Firecracker 5K- 2014 edition!

Fast Firecracker 5K- 2014 edition!
Fast Firecracker 5K- 2014 edition!

The Fast Firecracker- I love this race.  The course, the atmosphere and the fact that it’s on the 4th of July.  Did I mention it’s also very fast?!

Last year was my first time to experience this race and as soon as I crossed the line I knew I would be back!  This race will always be special to me as it was the first time I ever saw a 17:xx on the finish clock.  I hoped the magic of the course would rub off on me again this year but I knew it would be a little harder with my pesky foot trouble (plantar fasciitis in my right heel).

Going into this race I had about six weeks of 5k training which including two other short races: The National RRCA One Mile Championship and the Arkansas 2 Miler. At almost any other time of the year a 5K would feel like a sprint of a race but after racing a one and two mile race a 5K felt like the perfect distance.  Unfortunately, the last two weeks of my training has taken a major hit because of my injury.  I’ve cut my mileage in half and I’ve been biking and swimming to get in some easy cardio days.  After every run my right foot would hurt and I’ve had to adjust my schedule a lot.  I just wanted to make it through the race!

This year my oldest daughter decided to run it so I was excited for her. I even talked Jackie into racing it too.  As you can see Jackie was wearing the coolest tights EVER!

Pre-race pic with Jackie and Abi

The race started at 7:30 so we got to packet pick-up by 6:45.  The weather was perfect for a summer race- mid 60’s! That doesn’t happen often in the summer around here so I was very thankful!

My only suggestion for this race would be to have more bathroom facilities.  There were over 1700 participants and only 5 port-a-potties.  Needless to say the line was LONG.  We jogged to the nearby Starbucks but there was a long line there as well.  After we finally got through the bathroom line Abi stayed with some friends so Kem, Jackie and I could warm up together.  We didn’t have much time but we got in a little over a mile and did some strides before we headed to the start.  I lined up right next to last year’s female winner- a college student who ran a 17:05!  I introduced myself (“hey- didn’t you win last year?”) and she seemed very friendly.  I hoped I was able to go sub 18 but was not sure if my foot would cooperate.

The Fast Firecracker is a point to point race.  It starts at the corner of University and Kavanaugh and heads down Kavanaugh and Van Buren.  Then it finishes up at War Memorial Stadium (where the Arkansas Razorbacks play).  The course has a lot of downhill (over 320 feet elevation loss)- mostly in the first 2.5 miles.  But there is over 140 feet elevation gain- most of which is from mile 2.5-3.

Last year my miles splits were: 5:39, 5:38 and 6:00. I hoped I could run something similar this year.

The Race

Mile 1- 5:40.  Within about 30 seconds from the start I found myself in position of 3rd place female.  My foot was off but it was still manageable. 

Mile 2- 5:43.  My foot started to hurt more.

Mile 3- 6:17.  By this point my foot was in extreme pain which intensified with every step I took.  Then there was the hill at mile 2.5 which felt like a MOUNTAIN.  I was also getting passed by what seemed like a flood of guys during this mile but there was nothing I could do but finish the race.

Mile 3.12– 0:44 (5:54 avg.)

Total- 18:24 (5:54 avg.).  3rd out of 861 female finishers (1st and 2nd finished in: 17:16, 17:48)

Official Results can be found here.

Then I jogged back to find Abi.  When I found her she was just about to the top of the hill.  She was only about 30 seconds shy of her personal best which I thought was great considering it was just 3 days after her 10 mile birthday run.  She finished in 25:22.

Abi kicking it in

It was also very wonderful to see my little sister Tara at the finish line.  She lives right down the road from this race and came out to cheer for me near the finish.  I always love when she comes out to my races.

My little sister Tara- due any day with baby #3!

A Few Fast Firecracker Shout-Outs:

Jackie finished in 19:11- her new personal best!

Natalie, another training buddy PR’d with a 19:17!
Kem also PR’d in 19:46- and won the Masters age division!
Beverly PR’d with a 21:18!

 
Three of my running clients around the state also went to Little Rock to run in this race:
 

Brandi (on right) ran 23:08- *new PR!

Lucinda with me at the finish.  She ran a 23:50- *new PR!
Heather (2nd from left) ran a 24:06- *new PR! 
Abi & Jackie know how to refuel after a race!

And a few more pictures from the 4th…

The tradition continues… we make a flag cake every year!

Relaxing and watching movies after the race with my big girl
Watching fireworks from the lake in Heber Springs
Watching fireworks with J.  ♥ this guy!

What’s Next?
I can tell you what I won’t be doing for the next two weeks- running.  I have decided to take a few weeks break from running.  It’s been four days now and my foot is feeling much better already but I know it’s not right.  I have an appointment scheduled with sports medicine doctor and a podiatrist next week (soonest I could get in).  If I can get in to either one sooner I will.  I definitely want to get a professional medical diagnosis- not my own from wikopedia.

In the meantime I have been biking and swimming.  On Saturday I biked and even did a little open water swimming at the lake.  Let’s just say I have a lot of room for improvement… Right now I am biking for about 45-60 minutes and hope to get in a one mile swim about four days a week.

My sister is letting me borrow her road bike since she will not be using it in the next few months.  I am seriously considering registering for my first triathlon in September.  I would like a goal to motivate me during this cross training phase.  I have no idea how long I will be on this running break (I’m hoping just a few weeks) but biking and swimming will really help me stay active.

Plantar fasciitis– have you had it?  If so, how did you get over it?

Local runners- have you ever participated in the Conway CATS triathlon?  It’s in September and it looks interesting…

31 Comments

  1. I’ve never had PF (and I’m convinced it’s the most difficult injury to spell), but I am wishing you a speedy recovery because I know how much it has sucked being injured for the past 8 weeks for me! I’m glad you still managed a good time in the race even if it was not your best, and that so many of your friends and clients also PRed. Congrats to Abby too for doing so well only a few days after her long birthday run 🙂 . I love Jackie’s pants and your shorts too… those are so awesome. I bet a lot of runners were dressed very patriotic.

  2. I had it for a YEAR and tried everything – physical therapy, stretching, icing, Graston, FAST technique, laser therapy, Strassburg sock, night splints, two pairs of orthotics . . . I was scheduled for a fasciotomy when I made a last-ditch attempt at ASTYM and it worked. I did find the sock and rolling my foot on this (http://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/products/SUR103/sure-foot-foot-rubz) to be somewhat helpful. Message me on Facebook if you have questions or need someone to commiserate. Hopefully your recovery will be MUCH shorter than mine was!

    1. Ughhhhh. I REALLY hope this doesn’t drag on that long but I guess we’ll see. Thank you for telling me about ASTYM. I have no idea what that is but I will research it and ask my doc when I get in. I wonder if anywhere around here does that. I hope so!!

  3. Congrats on the race. I have kind of wanted to do that one, but haven’t done 5Ks in years and years. I have battled PF in both feet. I ended up tearing it in my left foot. Like Sara, I actually ended up doing the Graston treatment (ouch btw), lots of icing, rolling, stretching, resting. I used KT Tape to support my arch day-to-day. I will swear by rolling out the calves and IT band, especially calves. Once I got mine loosened up, it was almost instantly better. I do a lot of calf raise as well as toe and feet exercises to keep them strengthened. And I think I mentioned I keep a golf ball in my purse LOL

    1. It was a PT – I was seeing her for my piriformis issues as well. I can’t remember the name of the clinic to save my life – but it is in the same building as the Little Rock Family Practice on University.

  4. Congrats on a still solid time in the race despite the foot pain, I know it wasn’t what you wanted though and that can be frustrating for sure. I’m sorry the foot is still bothering you, I hope that the time off and focusing on cross training will help. You are being smart about it and I believe that is so important. I’ve never had PF (knock on wood), but I know lots of people who have. I think the biggest thing I can suggest is make sure that you are stretching and strengthening EVERYTHING. Majority of the material regarding PF when I got my personal trainer cert centered around the fact that everything is connected and it’s usually caused by deficiency somewhere else. Make sure to stretch and strengthen those calves and achilles- that will make a huge difference. I’d also recommend using a stretchy band and really stretching the feet out doing circles and the alphabet. You are strong and smart and will bounce back from this, that I have no doubt . I really enjoy following along with your journey and admire your strength and speed!

  5. Tia enjoy your vacation from running. It’s a smart move on your part. I agree with a lot of the tips others have posted especially rolling your calves with a foam roller and writing the alphabet with your feet. I swear by chiropractic and active release therapy for relief and recovery from PF.
    Hmmm a triathlon…sounds fun! I like your thinking of it as a way to stay motivated!
    Thanks for the shout out though I can’t claim the PR status, but it is a PR for 2014!!!

    1. Thanks Beverly! I started to think that you probably ran a faster 5k at some point but it sure was a fast time! Congrats on the 2014 PR! 🙂

  6. Plantar fasciitis is nothing to be toyed with. One of my squad had it and ended up tearing the fascia. He was in a boot for a couple of months and out of running for even longer. Look after yourself.

  7. Ugh! I am SO sorry!!! I hate being injured!!!! I know a friend that used a strap/boot type thing when he had PF. I use a foot rubz to help prevent it and have never had it. I read somewhere too that you can free water in paper cups and then peel off the paper when it is frozen and that makes a great foot roller :). You did so AWESOME and the fact that you had the injury and did that is amazing!!!! Abi did just awesome too!!! Great job guys!

  8. Great race, you’re a ridiculously fast young lady! Sorry about the PF – you’re doing the right thing taking a little time off. Hope it feels better soon. And you guys have a wonderful family!

    1. Thank you! Not quite as speedy as you on the 4th! 🙂 Yes, hope the time off helps. This is probably changing fall marathon plans. Prairie Fire may have to wait…

  9. Yes, I’ve had PF, so I feel your pain!! I got it while training for my 1st marathon. I dealt with it the usual way – tape, cold laser tx, roll on a bottle of ice (all the time), massage, Straussberg sock, stretch, some rest, and wear good shoes around the clock (never barefoot). But I think this whole experience is going to turn you into a triathlete! Mark my words! 😉 And I find it so inspiring how you balance your athletic endeavors and your family. You are a talented, gifted runner but it’s so clear that your first priority is your beautiful family! Love the blog!

  10. Aw, get well, injuries are the worst. I haven’t had PF, but I think people who do aggressive soft tissue stuff (graston dry needling, etc) do better than those who just rest.

    1. Ich liebe Spargel, ich muss bald auch mal heimischen kaufen!Den Film habe ich bisher immer bewusst ignoriert, aber wenn Du sagst dass er gar nicht so schlecht ist, und mein Mann sagt auch das gleiche, dann sollte ich es mir mal üieElegen!rbne schöne neue Woche,viele liebe Grüße,Yvonne

  11. I had a bad bout with PF a decade or so ago. I think there were three things that helped me overcome it: (1) treatment with a good podiatrist; (2) in particular, my podiatrist had me stretch my foot every morning before I got out of bed – I put my foot out of the bed and drew the alphabet with my foot – it sounds silly but it gets your foot through the whole range of motion (even now, if I feel the tiniest twinge, I start doing this again and it takes care of it); and (3) I made myself wear good, supportive shoes ALL the time (even in the house, where I am almost always barefoot). I wore clogs or running shoes all the time. PF is no fun. I hope you feel better soon. Erin G.

  12. Thank you Erin! I love the idea of drawing the alphabet with your foot every morning. Sounds so simple and easy but very practical. I will start incorporating this too!

  13. Wow, you are FAST! I haven’t had PF myself, but some friends have had it and they’ve just gotten rid of me it by not running very much. Although my Ironman friend was still running marathons so I guess it’s relative 🙂

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