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A 5k, a 10k and the Ups and Downs of Racing Often

A 5k, a 10k and the Ups and Downs of Racing Often

Yesterday marked 4 weeks since the Little Rock Marathon.  Since then I’ve actually run in 3 other races- a 2 mile race, a 5k , and a 10k.  While I do love to race I probably would not have been so quick to pin on a bib number (especially 3 times!) had it not been for the Arkansas Grand Prix series.

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photo credit @ Shelly Mollette

When you race often you just have to know that not every race is going to be a PR or even be a good racing experience.  Many times I chalk it up to a good workout which was the case for my last two races. Neither went as well as I’d hoped but maybe my expectations were a little high?

After the surprising outcome of the 2 mile race one week after LRM I was feeling good.  I felt unstoppable.  I should have known.  That’s when things usually go south.  I spent one week nursing a hip that felt a little off.  Thankfully after reduced mileage and massage therapy it went away.  Then I ran in the Spring Fling 5k in Cabot two weeks after LRM.  I went out a little too aggressively and paid for it the second half.  My finish time (18:49) was one of my slowest times on the course.  While my race did not go as well as I’d hoped I did enjoy getting to run the last half mile of my son’s race with him.  Then I turned around and ran/ walked the last half mile or so with my dad. I loved getting to finish with both of them.  Official results can be found here.

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Three weeks after LRM I had a pretty decent training week (mid 50’s mileage) which included one 18 miler.  This was be my one and only long run before the Hogeye Marathon (this weekend?!).  Two days after this long run I started feeling bad.  At first I thought it was allergies but once fever set in I knew it was some kind of virus I must have caught from my youngest daughter who’d also been sick.  I spent the first half of last week home and in bed.  I couldn’t run. I didn’t go to work. My daughter and I went to the doctor Wednesday and actually started a round of antibiotics.  I’m sure most normal people would have ruled out running in a 10k that weekend but obviously I’m not most people.  I was still holding out hope that within 3 days I would be feeling better.

The medicine helped and by Saturday I really was feeling a lot better.  I decided to go ahead and race since I was already registered and my older two kids were wanting to run it.  My coach had advised me to start conservatively because I was still taking antibiotics.  I hoped a 6:08 first mile was conservative enough for me.  It wasn’t. Each mile slowed down by a couple seconds.  I started cramping at the end of mile 2 (antibiotic related I’m sure) and just tried to hold on the best I could.  When I finished my overall average was 6:14 (the same as my recent 15k pace) and to be honest I was surprised I wasn’t even more off. Lesson learned! Official Time- 39:08.  Results can be found here.

My kids ran well and my son actually broke 60 minutes. In fact, he ran a faster pace for the 10k than he did in the 5k two weeks earlier!  I also had four students from my running class I teach participating in this race and they all did great running even faster than their goal time.


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After the race with two of my four students

Since Saturday’s race I’ve had some time to let everything sink in.  I also finished the round of antibiotics yesterday so I’m ready to get back to normal. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep pushing even when my body needs a break.  I genuinely love racing and competing but I know I can’t be at my best at all times.  Running a marathon takes a lot out of me.  It’s hard to accept that.  Especially when I want to be in peak physical condition any given weekend.  Obviously that’s not possible!

This weekend is the one and only marathon on the Arkansas Grand Prix schedule for the year so once again I’m running 26.2.  I’ve heard the course is even more challenging than Little Rock but I’m just going to do what I can.  I’m going with a couple other ladies in my club so we’ll have a complete team.  After Hogeye Marathon it will be time to regroup.  I know I’m getting to a point that I need a short mental and physical break from racing- even if just for a few weeks.

How do you know when it’s time to take a break?

Have you ever run Hogeye- full or half?

 

4 Comments

  1. I’ve never run that race or heard of it, but I live in SC so I don’t know much about Arkansas racing besides what I read here (and have a friend who ran Little Rock so I know a bit about that one).

    I can understand needing a break from racing. I love that you do so many because I also like to race. Last summer, in May I did 5 races and then did 4 in June, and I got a bit burnt out myself. I feel like people emphasize the physical aspect of racing and post-workout recovery but the mental aspect of being “on” for so many miles is really draining to me! My race Saturday was a 10K but it was sooo nice today to go for a 5 mile easy, easy run and let my mind wander. I hope you can find a balance after this weekend, but I wish you good luck at Hogeye and hope you represent well in the Grand Prix!
    Amy Lauren recently posted…Weekly Rundown: March 28-April 3My Profile

    1. It was tough. 4 of those races were part of a series. I have signed up for that series again this year and have the same scenario a few of the weeks- 5K on Thursday night followed by another on Saturday. I’m thinking about just asking if anyone wants me to pace them for those Thursday races so I can give 100% in the Saturday ones.
      Amy Lauren recently posted…Weekly Rundown: April 4-10My Profile

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