River Run Classic

Sunday August 12 was to be my third and final half marathon for 2012.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I had some issues in the week leading up to the River Run Classic. After much soul-searching and wavering back and forth, I decided it was likely in my best interest to withdraw from the half marathon and run in the 5K instead.

Race loot. No half marathon=no medal. 😦

I was (and still am) unable to sleep lying down – when I lay down my lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints seize up instantly and I can’t get up again. If I try, the surrounding muscles spasm very painfully. My husband got sick of practicing his rolling techniques from First Aid so I’ve been sleeping in my recliner in the living room.  Doses of Robax Platinum and trips to my chiropractor keep me functioning during the day.

Saturday was package pick-up. I was feeling better than I had all week, but still not quite good enough. When I arrived at the pick-up I talked to the race director (who I had emailed the day before as well) and she helped me change events. My friend Morgan was running the 5K as well, and we were excited to find that the promised 25% off at lululemon coupon that was on the back of our race bibs wasn’t just for one item, it was for your entire purchase! Neither of us had our kids along, so we promptly went to lulu and spent a while trying on and selecting several items each.

The River Run featured a new start/finish point this year. River Landing is a newly developed area of the river bank featuring a waterfront promenade, ice cream shop, spray park, and fine arts centre. It’s a very picturesque area of the city, and it’s nice to see it being supported. My first half marathon had passed through here as well.

The national anthem was played (take note, Vancouver!), and Morgan gave me a sympathetic glance as I sadly watched the 108 half marathoners begin at 8:00, then the 157 10K runners at 8:10. We lined up with the other 5K runners and I discovered I knew 4 other runners as well, more friends who have started running this year! Morgan has been running for just two months, but is already completely addicted. In fact, I think it’s safe to say she was addicted after only one or two runs! Both former high school sprinters, we have very similar mindsets about running, and it’s been great to have a good friend to talk running with lately. This was her second 5K, and she was hoping to break the 30 minute mark. I had suggested that I could run with her and help her pace. At the start line we looked at each other and knew our plans had changed. We both knew we were too selfish to run together, and we agreed to meet at the finish line, no waiting for each other. Like I said, we have a similar mindset and we’re good running partners for that reason!

When the gun sounded, Morgan took off ahead of me. I’ve gotten in trouble by going out too fast in previous races and ended up burnt out too far before the finish line, so I’m really working on my patience in the first kilometer.  I also wanted to go out easy and test my back and hip to see what they were going to allow me to do that day. I hadn’t run in a week due to my fall injury, so I really didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t even know if I’d be able to finish.

We headed into a steady incline almost immediately as we crossed the Broadway Bridge spanning the South Saskatchewan River. We ran past Brainsport (everyone’s favorite running store, and a huge supporter of runners and running events in Saskatoon), around the block, and back across the river. I loved 5K races last year and the summer before, and this race reminded me why. My watch beeped at the 2km mark and I realized I only had 3K left to go! The whole race flew by! I caught Morgan at about the 2K mark and tried to get her to come with me, but she waved me on. She’s had persistant knee pain this summer and wasn’t sure how much she could safely push it that early in the race. My back was feeling good but not great, so I continued on without her.

The whole course was so scenic, it really helped distract me from the burning fire in my hip and lower back. It was frustrating to know that I am capable of running at a faster pace than I was, and that pain was the only thing holding me back. I crossed the finish line in 26:32, 1:08 slower than my personal best. I was pleasantly surprised actually, I had started the race unsure if I’d even make it through the first kilometer, so to finish strongly was a huge bonus! I ended up fourth of ten in my age group and 24th of 84 overall in the 5K.

I headed back along the sidelines to watch for Morgan. Either she was very focused or her iPod was blasting, because I cheered loudly for her and she didn’t even give me a glance! Lol. She finished in 28:02, smashing her goal of 30 mins! My other friends finished a few minutes later, and their husbands had been right behind me the whole time – I had no idea! (And yes, we forgot to take pictures afterwards! Boo.)

Overall, it was a great race. I learned that it’s okay sometimes to change my goal based on a change in circumstance beyond my control.  I also learned that I’m capable of more than I thought, and was reminded that running is truely a psychological game. I struggle with the voice in my head frequently. She tells me to stop and take a break and it’s hard for me not to give in. Sunday I was able to toss her in the river and silence her for good. She’s fiesty though, so she likely swam to shore to haunt me another day. Bring it on.

Gotta run.

Did you race this weekend? How did it go? Have you ever had to give up a goal race because of an injury?

(Follow me on Twitter! @RunMommyRun3)

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One response to this post.

  1. […] “the half marathon that wasn’t,” I had five weeks until my next race, a 10K. This will be only my second 10K of 2012, as I’ve […]

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