For the first time ever I am approaching a race weekend not entirely sure if I will make it to the start line. I have been looking forward to the Manotick 10 Miler since I signed up for it waaaaay back in the fall when you could get 50% off the entry fee.
I have great memories of last year’s 10 Miler. I started the race not sure I was feeling like it was going to be a good run. But then something kicked in and my body wanted to go faster. I remember passing the 5:40 min/km pacer thinking at some point I would tire and he would then pass me. I remember deciding that since it wasn’t a goal race I would just push hard and if it all fell apart so be it. I also remember fighting a head wind and thinking there was no way I would make it to the end at the pace I was going. But somehow I did keep going and finished the 16 km at a 5:33 pace. It was then that I finally felt certain that I had a sub 2 hour half marathon in me, which proved to be true not once but three times in 2014.
This year I had set a goal of finishing with an average pace of 5:30 or less. I say it in past tense because that was before I badly pulled my calf muscle last Sunday while orienteering. One minute I was running in the woods, the next minute I was limping along. I finished the course – it took over an hour – almost all of it was at a walk. On the upside, the slow pace allowed me to focus on my map reading skills which, to be blunt, desperately need some improvement. For those who have never participated in orienteering, map reading skills are essential. There is no GPS in this sport!
I knew as the day went on and my calf became more sore that I was in trouble. So for the first time ever I actually went to a physiotherapist. I have had other times when I probably should have done so, but just could never be bothered. This time though, I had 7 days to recover and I had a feeling it wasn’t going to happen if I just relied on some rest.
I have now been twice, with a third visit tomorrow. I have gone from hearing I had a “50/50” chance of running on Sunday to a “I think you will be able to do it”. I have had massage, ultrasound, electrical current and stretches. I have also not run one single step since Sunday. Oddly, I have not missed it as much as I thought I would. I think that largely has to do with the incredibly awful, cold, wet, windy weather we have endured this week. But now I am getting a little antsy and I want to hit that start line Sunday morning. I will change my pace goal – maybe aim for a 5:40 to 5:45 pace in the hopes of not causing another injury, I have several races coming up so I don’t want to do anything that will stop me from running them. Right now I will just be happy if I can comfortably run the Miler. I am not so sure what it will feel like after a week off, particularly given the fact that it seems the less I run, the more junk food I eat. I am hoping the fact that, working backwards, the last four weekends have seen me do two 16k long runs, a 15k and a half marathon.
Now, off to do my calf exercises….fingers crossed!