About eight weeks ago I came back from a long run and felt a soreness in my foot. I figured it was just fatigue or muscle soreness from a rapid increase in road mileage. Over the winter I had signed up to run the Half Marathon Unplugged in Burlington VT, however I didn’t follow any real training schedule since I’ve always kind of just run the mileage and pace that felt comfortable in the moment. I was honestly a little over confident and figured I could just put in long miles the last few weeks before the race and be fine. Boy was I wrong. Turns out it wasn’t muscle soreness but a slight stress fracture. After a few trips to the Dr’s office I was in a boot and off the road.
Fast forward six-ish weeks and the Stonyfield Yogurt Earth Day 5K is here. I also paid for this race months ago, and unlike the half marathon that I missed I figured I was well enough to easily jog the race and not worry about my time. Well once the gun (which was a cow’s moo) went off I couldn’t hold myself back. I realized at about .75mi that I was within the top 15 or so runners. This was pretty unusual for me since in the seven race 5K series I had been running I was never that far upfront. I decided that as long as my foot felt well enough I would keep pushing the pace. The course had a long slow downhill section that was nice on the way out, but coming back I could just feel myself losing time as my legs turned to molasses. In the end I ran 20:33, which was slower than the last 5K I ran, but it was good enough for 2nd in my age group and 14th overall! This was the first time I’d ever placed in a public race or gotten any prizes. I got a free blender bottle, tech-wick hat, and some protein powder samples.
After the race there was an earth day fair set up in the factory parking lot with more than 70 vendors giving out samples of organic natural food products, and showcasing “green” products. It was a fun post race event, especially for being a smaller local race. They had live music, discounts on products from Stonyfield and the vendors, as well as a small beer garden. I grabbed some snacks, cashed in my two beer tickets and found a nice place to sit and enjoy my spoils. I would say it would be a good race for spectators who weren’t running to even go to.
In the end it just felt good to run a decent race pain free. Hopefully I can continue to rehab from my stress fracture without over doing it too soon. I’m eager to run as I’ve felt cooped up the last few weeks, but I know I’ve got to take it easy for a little while.