This past Saturday night was the Madison Twilight 10K. I have been so looking forward to this race because of its 8:00 p.m. start time. I love night runs. There is something mysterious and mischievous about the night, and I feel like I run better at this time of day. So, armed with a neon shirt and a battery operated glow stick (provided in my race swag bag) I set off!
The last few weeks leading up to this race did not go very smoothly. Three weeks beforehand, I started getting a nagging pain in my left hip, probably from overuse. I took a lot of days off and only went on about four training runs in total for two weeks (very, very bad for someone who is training for a marathon, but I needed it something fierce). Shortly after my hip issues started, I had a pinched nerve in my neck, which made it impossible to move my upper body without feeling pain for about a week. A couple days before the 10K, things in my body were finally starting to feel better. I was very optimistic. My feelings of good juju settled in just in time for me to get a cold. A runny nose, sneezing, coughing, big headed feeling sickness that sidelined me for another few scheduled training runs. All in all, about five runs over a three-week period, when I should have done about twelve.
I was still feeling a little sick at the start of the 10K, but I love race day, so I was still very excited. I had decided that I was going to go easy on myself. I think runners can be very hard on themselves, feeling guilty if they skip a training run or let down if they don’t hit the time they hoped to in a race. After much internal deliberation, though, I knew that I needed my days off and that I was slightly undertrained because of it. I knew that I was still feeling the nagging effects of injury and sickness, which meant that this was not going to be my best race. And I was okay with that. I love running, even if I’m not at my absolute best. I was going to haul my butt six miles and I wasn’t going to kill myself doing it. I would walk if I needed and slow down if I felt inclined and I wasn’t going to let myself feel bad about it.
I finished in 1:22:03, which is about an average 13:13 pace. It’s very slow, even for me, but I’m fine with it. Given the hurdles this last month has thrown at me, I’m glad I finished and I’m ready to push forward in the next phase of my training.
The race was very well run and everything went smoothly. With the exception of Observatory Hill (that relentless bitch) the course was decently flat and easy to run. There were so many helpful volunteers passing out water, marking the racecourse, and cheering on runners. I’m very glad that this is the same organization that is putting on my marathon this fall. I got a very cool shirt and finisher medal, as well as free pizza and beer at the finish line (Ahh, nothing says good health like pizza and beer!).
With the unofficial start of summer this past weekend, I have a lot of things to look forward to. My next race, the Lake Country Half Marathon, is not until the end of August, but Ultimate Frisbee summer league starts next week and I could kiss someone I’m so excited. Training four days a week and playing Ultimate two days a week is exhausting, but so incredibly fun. I can’t wait!
Hope your summer if full of adventure! And knitting, of course!