This morning I participated in the Atlantic City Festival of Running. It was planned originally to be my very first half marathon, but unfortunately due to the shin splint issue(not stress fracture, thanks X-Ray!) I dropped down to the 10k in order to not strain myself too much yet still participate and receive my medal at the end. I also don’t want to kill myself and not be able to do the Philly Half that I really look forward to. So the goal was to finish running or walking, but get it done and be proud that I didn’t do anything. I think nerves/adrenaline really helped me get through those 6.5 miles. Because on the way down I almost threw up and when I stood in the jumble bumble of runners before the race started I felt slightly sure I could do it without stopping. I looked up to the heavens and asked God if he wouldn’t mind letting me finish by running and not, running then being in too much pain and having to walk. I think he heard me because as soon as I took off the pain was a mild throb. I took it slow. I watched as people passed me and told myself not to get upset and to remember that my shin splint would only be aggravated more by pressing hard too fast.
I ran at an 11 minute pace until about the 2.5 mark when I felt a burst of energy push through me so fast that not only did my shin not hurt but I felt that I could reeve up my speed a bit. I started to pass people who had passed me. I felt like a totally different runner. Something was landing differently as I ran that had been feeling off since my injury. I knew I could make up time. Not make my 54:44, but at least not end up past the 1 hr 15 min mark as I had worried about for the past 24 hours since deciding to drop down. I felt like a bullet. I can’t explain how effortless my run suddenly became because it really felt like I was moving differently. Is this what good form feels like?
What sucked was when we came to the divide of 10ks here and halfs and fulls here. I ran down past a woman directing and she corrected me to which I corrected her and said I had dropped down. That was the shameful part. At registration I explained I was dropping down but didn’t receive a new bib stating 10k instead of half marathon. So I ran with people thinking I was a half marathoner (good/bad?)for a bit, but when I finished so early I’m sure people got it. I just felt sorta more defeated at the idea that people thought I was that awesome and had finished so early. Err. Wrong. Sigh.
As I got to the finish line alley I saw a man running ahead of me and of course I like to pretend that everyone is out to beat me because that’s so healthy and I saw him as a challenge. Pass him. So I sprinted. I sprinted like I never sprinted before. I finished before him and man did I feel awesome. I got my medal and my boyfriend and took a stroll to keep the blood flowin. On the surface I felt I could have done those 13.1 miles and finished when I had, but deep down I worried that perhaps it might have been good, but it mighta gotten bad. I finished, bum shin and all, at 1:04:25. Now I’m not sure if it’s possible to gain 10 minutes from a previously run 10k, so miles might be off or timing? Not sure. All I know is that it was alot better than I thought and when I put it into the pace calculator its a 9:50 mile, which is wayyyyyyyyyy better than I thought I’d do. I was thinking 12 minute miles at worse and 11 at best.
I’ve IcyHott’ed my shin and rewrapped the ace around it and iced it. I go see a sports doc on Thursday and we shall talk. It’s not a stress fracture, thank God, but this shin splint issue is driving me mad. I only hope he has some stretches I can do to loosen it up or perhaps it’s time to look into acupuncture. We shall find out.
But I definitely learned something from 10k one to 10k two…
1.) Eat bagel with peanut butter before run, stays with you longer.
2.) Stop and drink at water stations instead of run and try to sip something like water/gatorade
3.) Slow start means faster finish and possibly no shin issues
4.)Must get back into the gym and stop being so pitty party like about shin, muscles felt a little weak in areas that used to be strong, but I guess that’s the shin just slowing me down
5.) Wear old shoes, not brand new.