So today was definitely a full day. A quick recap: drive to Long Island, run a cross country 5k, drive back, lunch with last 10 mile nyc marathon runners, shopping/dinner with a friend, stuck on a train for 1/2 hour after hitting a person (I think?). Oi. Not sure what happened but if I heard "Ladies and Gentlemen - we are being held due to an injured person on the track" one more time, I was going to scream. Over and over. Meanwhile, the screaming baby was on my car. Like a nightmare I tell you. After being freed, people were trying to look to see the "injured" person. Ugh, why do people have such an interest in seeing that stuff? It was like Law and Order, only the real life version. I'd like to stick to the TV version, thanks.
Anyway, this morning I ended up running a cross country 5k out on Long Island (what a change from a year ago when I was running 26.2!). Since my leg is still being finicky, I wanted to try and stay away from going too hard. Famous last words. I knew I wasn't going to PR but wanted to try and get a good, hard run in. Oh and that I did. The fun part of LI races is the fact that there are maybe 200 people total, instead of in your age division! I ended up getting to the start with Sponge and AB about a minute before the start. It actually worked in my favor as it kept my muscles warm and avoided any chance of my leg getting angry from the start. AB and I decided from the start we would run off each other, hopefully putting in a 7:30-7:45 effort. I figured between the trail running and gusty winds, it should help pull me back. EV wanted to go for a new PR and sub 23 so I told her to run her own race. So we're off. I'm feeling good and see EV slightly ahead of me. Mile 1 comes up and I realize, oh crap, AB and I ran 7:01. That was not the plan! Mile 2 I cooled the jets a bit and ran a 7:25 which is much more with what I expected. In the middle of this second mile, I was trying to pass a kid but he was wavering all over the place. As I attempted to pass, his back kick hit me on my bad shin! Arrrrgh! The final portion of the race was completely into the headwind. It was unreal! Brought back memories from April 2005 when Sempre Libera and I ran a 5k down in DC. I finished in a respectable 22:43 (7:19 pace) good for second in my age group. I'm pleased with the performance given the tough conditions. Each and every short race I do, I feel like I"m learning a bit more about my abilities. Even though cross country races do slow you down a bit, I thought it was a blast. I loved the mud, puddles and wet grass! Naturally, there were people that were all afraid of the puddles and mud. Made me wonder, did they realize that they were running a cross country race??? LOL.
Of course, the best part is the after race refreshments. REAL bagels (not the lenders crap they serve you in NYC), apples, arizona iced tea, water, M&Ms, reflective pumpkin necklaces, pretzels, licorice. :-)
So what's next? I'm planning to tone it down a bit this week and try to do another cross training type of week to rest my leg a bit more. With no real goal race in the horizon til January, no sense in doing something to hinder the healing process. Oh and of course next Sunday I've got a little cheering to do for that small race. Eh, no big deal:-p