Monday, January 14, 2013

The Hotcake Hustle 5K -- Running for Pride

This past Saturday I ran the Hotcake Hustle 5K in Addison, TX.  Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal to me, since this would be my fifth 5K race in the past 4 months, but this was one race I absolutely had to run.  You see, I was running hurt in this race. 

The Wednesday before was rainy and I decided to do a run on the treadmill at the gym I use.  about 20 minutes into my run I felt a sharp pain in my right calf and I tried to run through it for about 30 seconds but had to stop my run.  I think what I had was either a grade I or grade II calf sprain.  Over the next two days I used the RICE method on my leg.  Resting it with no runs or exercising, Icing it every hour on the hour I was awake for 20 minutes at a time, Compressing the leg by wearing a compression bandage on it, and keeping it Elevated as much as I could.  Trust me in that I was getting strange looks at work, wearing an ice pack on my leg outside my pants, but oh, it was so worth, not feeling pain!

 When race day dawned, I dressed and headed over to the race site.  My leg felt pretty good, with no pain or twinges at all.  I did however bring a few things with me, just in case.  Ice packs, another compression bandage, and a pain patch was in a bag waiting for me after the race.  I hope I didn't need it, but I had it there, again, just in case.  The weather was interesting, to say the least.  100 percent humidity and 65 degrees!  I was so glad I didn't wear cold weather gear for this run!  There was rain in the forecast and a cold front was on its way towards us, but fortunately for us, the rain and cold held off until after the race.

Before the race started, I did test my leg.  I did more stretching than I normally do for a race, making sure I targeted the calves.  After I stretched and warmed up, I decided to run about a half mile at various paces to see how my leg would react.  Everything felt good, so I was ready to race.

The crowd in front of me.

Ready to race the Hotcake Hustle!
The crowd behind me -- 2400 strong!

The race got off to a good start and I went into this race with only one goal in mind: to finish it.  Even though this is my fifth race, I have not, and do not want to have a DNF on my record.  I have quit too many things in life and I don't want to start doing so in racing.  So I figured that I would be good with about a 10:30 to 10:45 pace and leave it at that.  I knew in my heart that I would have a slow time.  So how did I start?  I started off with an 8:20 pace, then started slowing down after that.

The course itself was easy enough, pure roadway, though crossing I think 4 railroad tracks, even inset into the road was not fun.  One good slip and there goes an ankle!  There was one bridge we crossed; I don't know the incline but it felt steep to me at the time.  I held up pretty well during the race.  I would start to push myself to go faster and then have to slow down as my right calf reminded me that I was running hurt.  It never really hobbled me, but I was reminded of it, believe me.  About 400 feet from the finish line or so, I was running side by side by this younger, fitter man and we were matching each other step for step.  That's when the competitive side of me took over and I glanced over at him and then back at the finish line and sprinted the remaining 400 or so feet, coming in ahead of him by several feet.  I know he probably didn't care, but for me it was a matter of pride.

My calf let me know about it too. 

Long story short, I am taking the next couple of weeks off from running, to let my calf hopefully heal up fully.  I finished the race with a respectable time, at least for me anyway, and I have the coffee mug given out to the ones that finished out the race.

Here is my unofficial time, as provided by my Nike iPhone app:

Here is the official results:

I'm not sure why there is such a discrepancy between the Nike app average mile pace and the official pace, but hey, with a bum leg, I'll take it.

I'll definitely run this next year, but next year, it'll be the 10K, not the 5K.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

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