Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Virtual 3.5-mile Race Recap

In honor of her 34th birthday and her 1st "blogiversary", Toni at Running, Loving, Living is hosting a virtual race!  

Obviously, I signed up right away. Why not? Just another great excuse to push myself to run at my best.

Today was when I planned to do it.  It worked in well to my running schedule for the week.  The only glitch was that I'd meant to do the run in the morning, but I awoke, got dressed to run, applied EverStride, and affixed my heart rate monitor, only to discover that my Garmin battery was drained. Oops!  So I plugged it in and postponed my run until noontime, and spent my morning fueling up and doing some reading for classes.

Finally, up and out!  This was the perfect day for a "winter" run, and it was actually beneficial that I waited until later in the day, because it was quite warm out!  Sun shining, crisp air, and a dry path; what could be better?

I was planning to run as long as I  could for the first 3.5 miles to time myself for the virtual race, and then do the last 1.5 as best I could, with intervals or something to keep it interesting.  The first half mile was a challenge, but then I found my groove and just kept going.  The only thing really interfering with my stride was the intense winds coming at me.  Pushing through that resistance was not easy, but the first twenty minutes, not so bad.  I actually ran the first two miles at a 9:10 and 9:23 pace, respectively.  Not bad!! After 2 miles, short of breath, I slowed down for a minute before trying to pick back up.  But then...


My knee. What is going on? Why does it feel like someone is slicing off my left knee every time my foot hits the ground?  Aren't I too much of a beginner to already be having these types of injuries?

So, I powerwalked. Easy on the impact. Every so often I tried to jog, essentially limping, and then returning to a walk.  Sigh... this is not how this run was supposed to go!

But then, I saw that, 36 minutes in, I was almost done!  Is that possible?  I was walking!  Guess my running speeds made up for it?  So for just one minute, I forced myself to pick up speed, run through the pain, trying to finish the 3.5 miles within 37 minutes, a very good time for me.  Run, run, push, push... until I hear that beautiful beeping music from my Garmin.

Wow. I finished the race in 36:59:99. Just in time!  

To recap: the first two were not bad, smooth strides, steady pace, just barely below my comfort level.

The third mile and a half were a struggle against my knee, mostly powerwalking, but slipping some 10-second jogs in here and there.  You can see, below, my pace drops off dramatically at the 2-mile-marker, but I still tried my best!

So, success!  I was very happy with my time of 37 minutes.  My goal had been to finish between 35 and 40 minutes, 35 being the best I could possibly do, and 40 being not my greatest effort. The truth is, an average 10:34 pace, if kept at a steady jog for 35 minutes, would have elated me.  I was only disappointed by my knee troubles interrupting my flow.  Still, in the end, I'm very happy with how it turned out, especially considering the pain and walking in the middle.

After the semi-successful run

Now, for the first time, I am icing my knee like a "real" runner!  Look at me!  Not that I am by any means happy about this.  It's fine for tomorrow--Spinning and Pilates won't impact my knee.  But will I be able to run again by Thursday?  On the treadmill will probably be worse; should I switch to elliptical?  That wouldn't count in my training for the week, wouldn't contribute to the 20 miles I need to log! What to do?!

For now, I simply ice, and rest, and share my race recap with all of you :)

Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Love the virtual race idea, be careful with that knee.

  2. Be careful with your knee...I've been there. :( virtual races are so fun!

  3. You look so cute in that pic. And it looks like a perfect running weather day, I can just tell! Love the pink iPod, you are adorable.

    God for you taking it easy on the last mile to protect your knee. Sometimes it's hard to hold back and go easy on an injury but you did the right thing!

  4. Elliptical instead on Thursday. Ice and ibprofuen. Ice at least twice a day. Are you doin weights to build up muscles in your knee? If not lets talk on what u need to be doing to protect those very fine muscles. Don't run until Sunday. Rest on Saturday and then use the treadmill Sunday more forgiving

  5. Great job! Hope your knee is feeling better!

  6. Good job on your run! So excited about the virtual race, I just registered for it!

  7. Thanks for participating!!! Be careful with your knee...I know too well what it feels like to be injured. It was great to meet you yesterday!!!


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