Wanted: One good left leg.
Then Kent Christmas Rush is one of my favorite races but I haven't been able to run it for three years because it always conflicts with Cross Country Nationals. But since I didn't run Nationals today I decided to give the Kent run a shot.
To be totally honest, I was really nervous I wasn't going to have the fitness to even hold 5:30 pace. As it turns out, my fitness is a bit better than I thought, but my luck is not.
Start of the race was frigid. 28 degrees. That temperature is cold enough with a heavy jacket and pants on. But it's a lot worse when you strip down to shorts and a long sleeve tech shirt.
My goal was sub 33:00 although I wasn't so sure that was possible. First mile was in 5:11. Everything felt great. Mile 2 was in 5:13. Still feeling great but looking forward to the turnaround. Mile 3 I crossed in 5:15 so I was well on pace to break 33:00 by the time I hit the turnaround. I was also a solid 250 meters ahead of the second place guy. THere was a pack of guys who stayed with me through one, but when we passed through in 5:11, I heard a collective sigh indicating they weren't wanting to go that fast.
Mile 4 felt good as I hit 5:14. Other than feeling a bit out of tip top shape, I was pleased with how things were going except for the fact that my fingers and other body parts were about ready to fall off. But fitness wise I felt fine and I knew I was on pace for a sub 32:30.
At Mile 5 things started to get a bit dicey. I was coming up on all the 5k runners and having to do a lot of darting and weaving. I hate that. And then shortly after the 5M mark, disaster struck. My left hammy totally seized up. I've never had a hammy go out on me ever. Not in training. Not in races. Never. Until today. As I winced in pain I could hear behind me the "Oh No's" from the 5kers I had just passed. I stopped for about 15-20 seconds trying to stretch it out and massage it. Started to jog and it still felt terrible. I couldn't fully extend my left leg. I stopped again for about 10 seconds to stretch it out again to no real avail.
At this point I cared less about finishing the race and more about getting my wounded self back to my warm car. So I started jogging along and slowly I was able to get some semblance of a stride back. But Mile 6 came in at something like 6:19. Ugh. Right at Mile 6 is when I heard the footsteps of the second place guy. I tried to stave him off but with about 100 meters to go, my limping stride was no match and he passed me. At that point I just hobbled it in. What a bummer. First time I have ever been injured during a race.
So I am ready to sell off my left leg. I'm not sure if Craigslist allows this. The only thing I haven't hurt on me left leg in the least three months is my knee.
What I'm really concerned about is how long it will take to recover from this. If I can run on Monday then I would be thrilled. If this sidelines me again for another week or two, I'm going to throw a fit.