After a two month writing hiatus, and a 4 month exercising hiatus, I am happily back to both! I began having some problems with my knees over the summer. I was training for a half marathon, and noticed some weird things happening with my knees – they were popping out of joint randomly, swelling, just generally making me not enjoy training, or really anything active. Fast forward through some physical therapy, a couple of doctors, ice baths, an MRI, and some injections…and I went for a walk last week, and decided to sign up for a race over the weekend.
Running from an Angel was my first race of 2015. It is my second year doing this particular event, and my 38th race. It also happens to be the last year this race will be produced by Calico Racing, as the event has been sold to another company – BBSC.
I was feeling a little nervous after picking up my packet. Other than going shopping a few times, and doing some exercises to help with my patellar-tracking issues, I had literally walked 3 miles once since August. I had a good dinner Friday evening – some grilled chicken, veggies and brown rice with quinoa, then I taped my knees with Rock Tape and got a good night’s sleep.
Saturday I woke up at 5:30. I take a medication in the morning on an empty stomach and have to wait an hour before eating or even having coffee, so I needed to make sure I had time to brew some
life-blood coffee, for the road. Protein in the form of cottage cheese, carbs in the form of a Trader Joe’s Cereal bar, and a liter of water later, and out the door we went.
It’s an hour drive from my house to Lake Mead, where the race is being held. We got there in plenty of time to park, use the restroom, and line up. As always, Joyce, the race director, gave instructions and off we went. As I was 100% walking, and not caring about my pace, I stuck to the back of the group, and steadily made it up the hill from the start line to the paved trail. I was feeling a little winded and out-of-shape, but that feeling soon subsided as my focus soon drifted to the glorious scenery surrounding us.
The weather was absolutely perfect, and I was very comfortable in running capris, a tanktop, and sweatshirt-type pull-over. My shoes began rubbing a large blister on my heel prior to even starting the race, and my ankle started throbbing – both indicators that new shoes need to be purchased soon. I try to replace my shoes every 300-400 miles, but with not training as much last year, I didn’t realize how worn out these had become.
We maintained a steady pace throughout the course, and although we had a slow time, I was pleased that I was only :06 of a second from the “best case scenario” time I had in the back of my mind. Honestly I was also pretty happy that after being relatively sedentary for 4 months, I was able to jump back into a 5k, with very little muscle fatigue, and even the next day – no soreness or swelling in my knees.
As always, Calico races are very organized, and you get a really nice shirt and beautiful medal. Having volunteered with BBSC in the past, and having several friends who participate in their other races, I am confident that Running from an Angel will be just as well organized next year, under their race management. I look forward to my next Calico event! Excellent way to start out my 2015 race calendar!