I got out of the house later than usual on my way to the AREC training run Saturday morning. To compound the problem, part of the freeway was closed and my usual exit was not accessible so I had to drive farther to get to where I wanted to go. That delay cut into my usual warm up time so I had to cut that short after I arrived at my destination. No time for pre-warm up chit chat today, so I just took off and managed to do a 1.2 mile warm up before the group got started.
After the usual short speech by our club president, Todd, we were off for a 7 mile run. As usual, I hooked on with the 10 minutes per mile pacers and we hit the first mile slightly faster at 9:49. I started picking up my pace with the plan of chasing and recovering like I did a couple of weeks before (http://noeldlp.blogspot.com/2010/05/chaserecoverdrive.html). That worked pretty well for the next three miles, but after that, the rest of the runners were separated by huge gaps that I couldn’t bridge. My breathing felt like I was racing a 5K by this time. I even considered running back to rejoin the 10 minute pacers so I can catch my breath. I caught up with a last group at a water stop but their pace was slightly faster than mine and they pulled away in the last two miles.
This is how my stride felt from start to finish: my footstrikes from miles 0 to 3 went flick, flick, flick, then miles 3 to 5, they felt like flop, flop, flop, then by the last couple of miles, my feet were going thud, thud, thud.
At about 5.5 miles, my body’s check engine light went on, indicating a problem with the right axle (ankle). Not wanting to make it worse, I pulled the pace back a bit and that was when the people ahead of me left me behind. Still, when I hit the last hill, I managed to pick up the pace again to finish strong without further hurting my ankle. Other than the discomfort of putting in a lot more effort than I planned, it was an altogether satisfying run. Why? Well, because I finished.
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