And thus February ends with another race–that’s one race per month (roughly) for me, which is pretty neat. I feel like some sort of athlete (not.) Well, for all intents and purposes, I kind of am. Today was my 5K at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, CA; it is the second qualifying race for the OC California Race Series. This is my third ever 5K but my first time doing a series, and so today’s general mode was somewhat interesting. There’s a part of me that enjoys race day and its exhilaration and pitfalls. I always learn something new about myself and the world when I do so, so it’s been great getting into this hobby.
If I had to give that day’s mood a description, I would say it was pretty distracted. Several things were at play: first, I underestimated the amount of traffic flowing into the base, not to mention I didn’t give myself much time to get there. Added onto my own delay was the poor management of parking at the site, so when I finally parked I had 20 minutes left to get to the starting corral. Thank goodness it was just a short race and I didn’t need to drink any more water or use the restroom–I would have had very little time to do so because the lines for the potties were also very long. The last thing that played heavily on my mind was whether or not my right arch would last–it’s been bothering me for the last two weeks after I increased my half-marathon training milage to eight miles. Many thoughts and not too much time to get settled in. Soon the gun shot went off and we were off.
Since it’s a 5K there wasn’t really much to do but just go. I’ve been doing quite a few increasingly long runs since Star Wars 10K (which probably contributed to my foot problem, as I ramped up pretty quick) so I wasn’t worried about stamina. I just wanted to focus on my form, keep a close watch on my foot’s performance, and aimed to finish under 40 minutes. Race on the Base (heretofore ROTB) is much much smaller than SW 10K–only 4,000+ participants in all four events: 1K, 5K, 10K and Reverse Triathlon, so the corral was not as full and I was able to start jogging right away. The course is just a loop around the Army base airfield, flat and cemented. It was just like one of my regular running days around home, but without stoplights.
Because my morning prep was poor, I didn’t quite get as hydrated as I wanted to. After the first mile I did pick up a cup and worried that I might spit up, but it was fine. I was close to 10:40/mile at the first half, but slowed to 11:11/mi or more after the second mile. Right foot pain resulted in leaning on the left foot and a tightening of the right calf. I just tried to concentrate on keeping as steady a pace as I could without further aggravating the right foot. Pain level about 3-4, noticeable but not acute/sharp.
I kept pace with some people for the most part. There was a platoon of servicemen and women running together and they passed me at mile 2. My foot pain’s persistence really kept me from gunning it. At mile 3, I picked up a little bit (even though I knew I wouldn’t break my PR) to spring the final 0.1 mile in.
Final time: 34:38, 11:11/mi
Hopefully I can get to the doctor’s soon to see about this foot! I want to get back to training for OC Half