Continuing with my much abbreviated marathon training plan, I was off racing in a 5k yesterday. This week, I headed down to south Charlotte for the Flat & Fast 5k. This race was held at the Steele Creek YMCA just off Tryon Street by 485.
The course description said the race was flat and fast. After running, I am in agreement with their assessment. There is one very slight incline during the first mile and that was pretty much it. The last ½ mile goes gently downhill back to the Y.
The course takes the shape of a Y. We start and head along one street to pick up the main course. We then return along a Tryon Street back to the Y.
The course was coned off and had plenty of volunteers and police presence. I give them a thumbs-up on the course design.
Standing at the starting line, I was looking up the street and here comes Jay Rao with his son and daughter. I hadn't seen Jay since Summer Track which seems like eons ago.
They count down the start to the race and we are off. For a small race, 175 runners, they took off similar to the way people took off at the Big South 5k. Although, I am now beginning to think it is me and not them. I am just going out so much slower.
Tony Rao takes has a solid lead over me before the mile. We both make the turn around and start meeting other runners still coming out. I meet Jay who is battling Ryan still headed for the turnaround.
I am not making up any distance on the Tony.
My hamstring is not cooperating very well. I feel the tightness and at the same time, I feel a weakness in it. Sometimes, during the weak moments, the hamstring doesn't slow the forward leg swing well. This causes my quad to full extend and I land on my foot awkwardly.
Mentally, I have no trust in it.
The other thing that I am starting to notice is tightness in my ITB. Because my running gait is different, I am favoring my right hamstring, I am aggravating other areas. In this case, my ITB seems to be getting the worst of it.
Crossing the finish line, I was so frustrated that I don't stop my Garmin. 5:43, 5:47, and 5:46 were my splits – 18:14 2nd OA. Cardiowise, I don't feel pushed at all, but physically, my body was just struggling. Mentally, it is just so exhausting to block out my hamstring issues.
Finished off a 3 mile cool down and headed home.
Hard to believe, I posted in September about having a perfect day. Four weeks later, my view of the world has totally changed.
Maybe another week and things will look better.
Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner