On Sunday I ran a local 10-mile road race. Once again (I have to break this pattern) I signed up the weekend before, and did not do specific workouts leading into the race. I knew I was fit though, so I was hoping I could do a repeat of the First Half half marathon and hold a strong tempo pace throughout. My goal was to run consistent from start to finish, to hold my form, and to not go out too hard. Despite needing to eat my gel 10 minutes into the race, I succeeded. I tried the new Vega orange zest gel for the first time (I know your not supposed to try things for the first time in a race, but this was not exactly life or death). I have to say it’s the first time I’ve enjoyed a gel that isn’t chocolate. There were 4 girls jostling for position the whole race, and I yo-yoed between 2nd and 4th, and in the end finished in 3rd. It’s funny - I’ve just been doing long easy runs all winter as well as strength work, and for the first time in my life I can push myself for 16+ km without breaking down physically or hitting the wall. I’m really enjoying my new ability to keep going and the strength I have.
After I finished I was on “mission recovery”. I knew I wanted to race a local cross-country race on Wednesday (my birthday). The only issue: on Monday my calves felt like rocks and I could barely walk. I try to do most of my running on trails, so to go out and run 10 miles hard on asphalt does not feel good the day after. I epsom salted like crazy though used copious amounts of muscle cream and was “okay” by Wednesday afternoon. Actually 90 minutes before the race I was more concerned about the massive vegan chocolate cupcake I had devoured coming back up, rather than the state of my legs. The girl who won the 10-miler was also racing XC so I just stuck on her shoulder right from the gun. I remember thinking at 2.5km (out of 4.5), “okay I can do this, only 2km to go,” only to come out of a trail and see that I was at the bottom of some massively steep and long dirt hill. I swore out loud (to the amusement of the guy next to me) and barely made it up the hill without walking (okay I walked a little bit :S). I finished the race in 2nd and was then very happy to head to Brewsters brew pub with some good friends for a raspberry ale and a burger with yam fries! It turned out to be a great birthday. Plus the Canucks won =)
The next races I have planned are 3 more local cross country races the next three Wednesday evenings, and then I plan to run (and maybe train better for) a half marathon on June 3rd!