May 19, 2008 at 1:59 pm #9393
Just a bit of history in case anyone cares. 2 years ago this coming November I had back surgery. My lowest disk had torn and left me nearly crippled in my right leg. This was only 4 months after my first real racing attempt at the marathon. I went from the best shape of my life to almost unable to walk in that short time. My doctors told me I'd never run competitively again…which still may be true.
This spring I was feeling well enough to begin testing the waters again. I've been running one day then take 2 days off. Just taking it easy for the most part. No structured workouts of any sort. My back is sore off and on, but that's to be expected. The nerves in my leg get a little crazy at times which can get scary.
Saturday came and it was a good test for me as it was a nice soft course on an abandoned railroad. My goal in the back of my head for 5K was sub 19 (while staying under 100% effort). I wanted to maintian form and prevent any cramping in my leg. For reference I was probably in close to 16 flat shape on the same course 2 years ago. So my goal of 19 is slower than my marathon pace from then! That hurts the ego 🙂
I ran with my training partner Joe. This is not a notoriously competitive race. Until Saturday the course record was 17:15. Joe and I started out with one guy ahead of us. He stayed way ahead as he ran a 16:50.
So the deal was I was going to hang with Joe as long as I felt comfortable. We thought it was possible to run together the entire way. Joe is a consistent 18:30 guy at this race. Of course he pulled me out in 5:45. I was never comfortable the first mile. I'm not sure if it was just too fast for me at this point or if my lack of a complete warm-up left me feeling stale. I immediately fell off the back of Joe at the mile in an effort to maintain a better level of comfort. I had no idea how hard or fast I could push.
The second mile was tough for me. The race actually goes underneath I-94 and turns around and comes back. I slowed considerably, but stayed in third place comfortably. 2nd mile was a 6:39. Yikes I ran 20 milers at that pace 2 years ago 🙂 At this point I'm getting pretty comfortable again and am 100 meters behind Joe. I decided to push a bit again and was able to accellerate considerably toward the finish. I felt pretty good. A nice controled effort. I didn't want to crash. Last mile as 6:03 and 18:57 was my time. Third place and just under 19. I felt pretty darn good at the finish. I'm not saying I was fresh, just not completely spent.
Bottom line is I think I'm ready to start competing just a bit again. I'm already greedy and have my goal set for sub 18 next race. I've set my self a limit for this season of running no more than every other day and no races longer than 5K. I might sneak a 5 miler in to finish the season depending on how the back holds up. It felt GREAT to be back that's for sure!!
May 19, 2008 at 4:01 pm #25185
Chris, it's great to hear that you can get into some running again! Good job. I think most people would be very happy breaking 19 after going through as many difficulties as you have gone through in the past year and a half.
May 19, 2008 at 5:54 pm #25186
Chris, nice work. Great way to bounce back after such an extended time away from racing due to your injury. Congrats on reaching your goal and knowing that you're feeling well enough to get back into competition. Best always, Ski
May 19, 2008 at 9:25 pm #25187
Great report Chris. I can't wait to see more of them this summer. Yah!
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