The question of the day was: how was the calf going to hold up during the race? Saturday I got out and did a brisk 4 miles (more like 3.86 but whatever) and it held up good until around 3.5 so my hopes were high. Even if the race was going to be 3 miles longer, and significantly hillier, and faster. But those were all minor details. There were about 11 club members that showed up for the race and the weather was excellent so you just knew it was going to be a good day.
We got to watch the start of the 5K (when was the last time I actually got to watch a race start without being in it?) and after a few minutes of hold time we set off. Naturally the pace was fast out of the gate and I got pulled along with the rest settling into around a 6:40 pace. So far so good.
John, Maureen, and myself stayed pretty close together for the first mile or two before I began to pull away. Maureen was the lead female at that point so I thought she had a good shot at taking it. Right around mile 3 I could hear her gaining on me and getting ready to pass me by. But then I realized it wasn't actually her, it was some other girl. Ok, no problem, I'm cool with that. Except that she stopped her surge and kinda just settled in right near me. I soon passed her again on the uphill and then she surged forward past me on the flat. This went on for the next mile and a half. While that is annoying in its own right (pick a pace!), she was wearing an ipod and it was blaring. I hate that. Even worse was that I had to listen to the crowd the whole time yelling that she was the first female. One, she can't hear you. Two, thanks for cheering me on as well, or not. So that spurred me on to leave her behind around mile 5. Bye bye Lisa.
Calf was feeling good the whole race; no tightness, no pain. I had modified my stride to shorten it up a bit to keep from overextending and it seems to have worked. That had the unfortunate side-affect of keeping my pace down but I really couldn't complain. Final turn onto Common St and I was still passing people with one hill left. I gave it most of what I had left, too little training the past few weeks left me tired, and there was the finish. I got surprised at the end by someone flying by me as we turned into the High School but by that point I was really happy with my performance.
Now here is the only part I can complain about; I came in 18th overall (psyched about that!) but I got 8th in my age group. What! That sucks. If I had run in the 20-29 age group I would have gotten 6th. There are just too many good runners in my age range.
Today the calf is just slightly sore, feels almost normal post-race soreness so it probably was not as badly injured as I had first thought. That's a relief. But my shin on my other leg has started to act up. Here we go again....
5 1/2 weeks to Bay State. Maybe I should think about starting my training up again?
P.S. I think everyone in the club had a great race. We got a top three female, age group placers, PRs all over the place and a party that afternoon. Good times.