Well I've had a week to mull the whole Half Iron thing around in my head and I've decided to give myself a little slack. First of all, I read all of the wonderful comments you people posted on my blog, as well as the many messages I received on Twitter, Daily Mile, Facebook, via email, and of course from my real life friends and family. You guys are right, finishing a Half Iron is a great accomplishment and I need to be proud of that and let the rest go.
Not only that, twice this week, I got to say to someone, I just did a Half Iron. :D No, I didn't even have to create the opportunity, they outright asked me what kind of races I did. And I got all kinds of impressed looks! How cool is that? I thought that was reserved for IM racers. :) Not one person has asked me my time or seems to care if I ran, walked, or crawled. So I'm going to be proud and happy with my race effort and move on.
Knee Pain Update
This week, I stopped into my local tri store and had them take a look at my shoes/cleats. For awhile, I considered switching to pedals/cleats that have more "float" - which means my foot can turn left and right a little, putting less pressure on the same part of my knee/leg for an entire ride. However, once they put me up on the trainer, they could see that my knees turn in a little, mainly due to my overpronation, and suggested we switch out bike shoe insoles for these Specialized Footbeds . They provide some arch support and have a number of removable metatarsal pads that can be switched out to suit specific issues, such as overpronation. As soon as I put them in, they could see my legs immediately straightened out. I am hoping this does the trick but I may have to ride in them for awhile to know for sure. It's certainly a much less expensive solution than new shoes/pedals/cleats. :)
A PR without a Plan
So today, Sunday, a week after my Half Iron, was the Women's 5k Run. I've done this race for the past 3 years, last year with my daughter. It was also the first race I ever did back in 2007. Back then, I had been running for all of 4-5 months and had finally built up to a 5k distance. I decided to do a 5k race to see what racing was like. I had no clue and went all out for the entire race, my HR was at max, and my legs cramped up at the end, causing shin splints which lasted for months after. But I had a surprising PR, 26:17. At the time, I had no idea that this was a pretty darn good time for a girl's first 5k race, and I've never been able to reach that time again. Until today.
I hadn't put this race on my calendar or even talked to Coach Jeff about it because I had no idea if I'd want to, or even be ABLE to, run a 5k a week after my Half Iron. However, I felt pretty good on Tuesday so I went for a 30 minute run and we decided that I could do the race today.
I talked a friend from work into coming to the race as well, since neither of my daughters were able to run this week, and we headed down this morning. I felt it was a distinct possibility that I would be able to come close to, and maybe even beat, my 26:17 time from 3 years ago.
There were 425 women in the race, about half doing the 5k and half doing the 10k, but we all started together. I knew from experience that I should start fairly close to the front so I don't get stuck behind the walkers, and women with strollers. My plan was to start out with a 5:30 pace for the first km, then a 5:15 for the next two, and then a 5:00 for the 4th and all out for the last km.
In reality, I started out faster. Like about 4:30-4:45. Ooops. Also, I forgot to turn on my Garmin until the 250m mark (actually I hit the lap button instead of the start button). Double oops. Then my stupid HR monitor wouldn't work. I even wet down the contacts but no go. Double rats because Coach Jeff and I were hoping to use the race data to get my running HR zones. Of course, at the finish, I forgot to turn if off....
Ah well, I just kept running. It was a hot sunny morning, already 24C, 75F at 8am. In fact, it was the first hot day we've had in ages and definitely the first time this year I've run in any heat. Thanks goodness it was only a 5k. When I reached the turnaround point, I could see there were only about 15 women ahead of me. I was maintaining a fairly steady 5:00-5:05 pace and decided to go with it. Maybe I'd even be able to get a 25 min 5k - that would be so cool.
By the 4th km I was getting a little tired. And hot. The last 1/2 km is on gravel and I slowed down a little to about a 5:30 pace. But I managed to cross the finish line at 25:41 - whoo hoo!!!
I really felt like I had redeemed myself after my slow run last weekend. I ran with no pain, in fact, my cardio gave out before my legs did. I really wish I had an idea of what my HR was during the race, it definitely like it was up in the 180's.
I managed to get 3rd place in my age group (I had to get thrown into the 50-59 group, even though the younger ones were 40-44 and 45-49) but I did beat all the women in my former age group 45-49 so I was content with that knowledge. :)