I'd hoped that the early 2019 fitness efforts would result in yet another decade 5K PR last weekend. It was not to be.
I'd been averaging 18.18 miles per week for 2019 (including walking when I remembered to enter it), so certainly, I didn't have volume on my side. But, I'd been having some success in my hard workouts, so I was still hopeful.
My last hard workout before the Run Rocklin was a treadmill workout in Cabo. I hit decent paces and time intervals and left feeling confident, although my pesky left hamstring insertion was annoyingly triggered by it. Then, I bruised my heel walking barefoot in the resort post workout, or so I thought (turns out, I actually stepped on a teensy-tiny piece of metal (think glitter sized) that embedded itself in my heel, and after a week of "bruising" that seemed to be getting worse, I finally inspected it and realized I needed to remove the intruding metal splinter that was causing inflammation with tweezers).
The week after we got home, before I realized what was going on with my heel, I aggressively dialed back my workouts to recover from the "bruise" but even so, I still felt like a decade PR was totally doable -- I was just extra-tapered.
And then, the day of the race came. I was, as planned, tapered. The highs were projected for the low 70s, but we saw 80F in the car on the temperature readout later in the day. After more days of rain than Norcal is used to, no one was complaining about the first gorgeous true day of Spring. But it was hotter than I expected and I'm not great in the heat, so secretly, I had some complaints.
Also, D (my Rocklin running buddy) is not a morning person, and E managed to forget to pack his shoes, so we showed up as a rag-tag group trying to find our way to bib pick-up and only succeeding after much confusion just as they started the 5K. After the gun (and bib pinning) we ran from the bib building to the finish arch only to be informed that the start was actually the non-marked chip crossing "way over there" much closer to the bib pick up. Good times.
Eventually, we crossed the start line as the last 3 runners and proceeded to weave our way through the walkers for most of mile 1. This did not lend itself to race pace effort.
I hit mile 1 at 9:45 and knew this was going to be a good workout, but nothing spectacular. My goal had been 9:20 miles and I easily let that go. I trailed E & D, who were clearly faster and more fit than me, catching up to them each time they stopped to get water or walk uphill. Eventually, around mile 2, E admitted that he was going to walk the remaining mile because he had a blister from running in his Simples.
I finished sub 32 on a course with lots of turns and a few hills. I ran a race in my hometown and coupled it with a visit to my brother, sister & her husband and nieces and nephews as well as D and her extended family. I was sore the next day in that pleasant "Oh, yeah. I totally pushed myself" way. It was a weekend well spent.
Also, while I didn't hit my time goal, thanks to E's failure to pack his running shoes, I have my first 5K where I beat E in the last decade or so, so that's something.
And now, while I'm still chasing my decade PRs and my 2019 running goals, I'm putting dedicated running goals on hold in lieu of some general fitness goals such as lots of yoga, healing up my hamstring, and good nutrition coupled with general purpose aerobic fitness (including biking and hiking in Morocco and the UK). I'll dial back in to a more dedicated running/training goal in the Summer, but for now, I'm happy to just enjoy moving my body.