Monday, June 17, 2013

Rock n Sole 5k Race Recap

So . . . Saturday's race - the short story is the Hoan Bridge won again. 

Rock n Sole was my first half marathon - I participated in the inaugural event - yes, the one with all the heat and water issues. At the time, I thought I was so well-trained for the race, but in reality, I was just a clueless newbie runner! I was fortunate enough to not run into any hydration issues but the heat and humidity that day made for a miserable first half marathon experience. I remember feeling completely dazed at the end of the race and could barely gather myself enough to go find my mom who was spectating. 

The bridge definitely beat me that first race. But going into this year's event, I figured I'm a lot more experienced and also the weather was decent so it could add up to a nice race!

I lined up pretty close to the front because I wasn't in the mood to weave around slower runners throughout the first mile. Turns out it was a smart move - I took off as soon as the race started along the flat bit of course that led into the dreaded Hoan Bridge. 

The Bridge actually wasn't that bad and I even managed to pass several runners. During tough stretches like these, I like to focus on runners in front of me and see how many I can pass. It turns it into a game of sorts and makes the race effort seem a little less painful - or at least painful for a reason! Going into the hairpin turnaround, I counted 2-3 female runners in front of me.

Airborne near the turnaround

Running down the Hoan Bridge seemed like a piece of cake in comparison to the uphill. One woman passed me but I felt pretty confident I could catch her later on in the race. Until . . . it felt like someone stuck a knife in my calf. What started as a dull ache quickly progressed to all-out pain. I knew instantly it was a strain. I was forced to stop for a bit at the bottom of the bridge because the pain became too much. I tried massaging the area but it didn't help. I decided to try running again and hoped the pain would subside. 

Unfortunately, it did not go away and I had to stop again soon after the first break. At that point I wondered if I needed to pull out of the race. A bunch of runners passed me while I was standing at the side of the road and that motivated me to get going again - but I had to stop soon after and start walking. It was so frustrating because I knew I still had plenty left in the tank. 

It was only because more people were passing me that I forced myself to start running again. On a pain scale of 1-10, I was at about a 7-8 - not good, but there was no way I was going to walk the rest of the race. I grit my teeth and somehow managed to pass several of the people who had passed me before crossing the finish line. 

Flying toward the finish line

So ready to cross the finish line

Here are my results:

Time: 22:21
Pace: 7:13
Gender Place: 9th (tie)
Overall Place: 53/1,645

Looking back, it wasn't the smartest decision to keep racing as I could barely walk for the remainder of the weekend. My calf is still healing, so I'm taking another rest day today and will hopefully be able to run easy by Tuesday. 

The Bridge is now 2/2. I'm definitely doing this race again next year to try and even the score a bit!

Here are my questions for you:

  1. Did you race Rock n Sole this weekend? If so, how did you do and what did you think of the course?
  2. During a race, do you stay focused on your own pace or do you make it a point to try and pass other runners?
  3. Any tips for healing a calf strain faster?

Hope you all had a great weekend!

- ST

14 comments:

  1. I did the quarter marathon and man, did the uphills kill me. I've been working so hard on form, but coming back up the on-ramp, I think I was doing just about everything wrong.

    It helped to focus on one lady, wearing a sign that said "pregnant with baby #4, 3 months to go". If she could do it, I could do it! (Though she totally left me in the dust around mile 2.)

    Good luck with the calf!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol - I love that you focused on a pregnant lady and great job doing the quarter marathon!

      Delete
  2. I've never done rock n sole. Oh I make it a point to pass others or to hold them off! Its a race! I do pace myself (depending on the distance) so i might not be passing all the time, have to know when to surge & when to hold back! Calf...rest! If its a strain, got to let it heal up before you damage it further.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true about distance - it's easier to go for broke in a 5k than it is during a half or full marathon!

      Delete
  3. Wow, you were awesome even with the injury! I think with calf strains rest is the best thing you can do. But I am no doctor. :-)

    I did the half marathon. It was my second half marathon and I was aiming for a time under 2:10. I tricked myself by starting 2 minutes behind the 2:10 pacer but following the pacer during the race. ;-) I finished in 2:08:36! Totally happy with that, with the bridge and other elevation changes. I wasn't too crazy about running over the bridge. I loved running through Lake Park and I always enjoy running on the lakefront.

    For most races I pretty much just focus on my own pace. I am not fast enough to worry about other people yet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome race, Cathy! Congrats to you for beating your goal time!

      Delete
  4. Great finish, Sun! You're a lot tougher than I am - when I feel pain like that, I get whiny SO quickly!

    I hope your calves are feeling better! Rest as much as you need to and you'll be up and running in no time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alex! I sure hope I can get back to running again soon. Whenever I'm forced to take a little downtime like this, all I can think about is how much I want to be out there logging miles :)

      Delete
  5. Sorry to hear about your calf! Hope you get better soon!

    I raced the quarter--it was my 2nd year doing it. The bridge is always a bit of a challenge but I manage to get through it. I'm a sloooow runner. This year, I took it slow and paced myself with some people in front of me and took it easy. This is hands-down my favorite race and I can't wait to do it again next year..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you had a great race, Jen! Pacing by using the runners in front of you is always a nice strategy - nice work!

      Delete
  6. I have to admit, the reason I don't do that race is because of the bridge! But congrats on finishing, hope your calf is better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laurie - I think my calf will require a few more rest days but then I'll be good as new! Give the bridge a try next year - you may find you like the course :)

      Delete
  7. I was meaning to sign up for that race. I completely missed it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Foodie Fitness group is putting together a team for Run/Walk to Irish Fest - you should join us!

      Delete