On Saturday, Jay and I ran The Returning Warrior 10-Miler Race. After the Halloween 13K last weekend, we almost immediately decided to sign up for another race. I thought that I was ready to sign up for another race, but I was honestly not too excited about running 10 miles. Since the Buffalo Marathon, which was at the end of May, I have only run 8 miles a total of three times and I have only had a few 6 mile runs. I have been running a lot still, but I have not been doing a lot of distance running. I did not feel well-prepared for a distance race so I was not sure how well this race was going to go.
If you have followed my blog, then you know that I was having trouble bouncing back from the marathon. I did not write too much about why I was having so much trouble because I am not one to share too much of my personal life on my blog. This is a blog about my running adventures and not about my personal life. However, some health issues have been affecting my running and that is why it was so hard for me to really get back into running. As the new school year and cross country season began, the stomach issues progressively got worse and my body was telling me that it was time to cut back on the running. I chose to ignore what my body was telling me and continued running quite a bit. I got to the point where it just did not feel good to run and I knew that it was time to listen to my body.
Last week, I decided that it was time for my body to take a break from all of the running. I knew that it could not be a good thing to have your stomach hurt so much during a run and after a run all of the time. Since I had taken the entire week off from running, I was a little nervous about this race on Saturday. I decided that I was not going to set a goal for myself for this race because I am pretty sure that running too hard and too fast all of the time has contributed to the problem. I told Jay that I wanted to maintain a pace of around 10:00 min/mi and I was expecting to finish the race between 1:40 and 1:45. I knew that this race would be a lot easier on my body if I did not push it too hard.
Saturday was nice and cool and it certainly was a beautiful day for a race. There were about 350 runners in the race, but about half of the runners were in the 5 mile race and the other half of the runners were in the 10 mile race. I was majorly impressed with how well this entire race was organized. The course was very well marked and there were even clocks at most of the mile splits, which was nice to be able to track your progress. The race followed a 5 mile loop in Otsiningo Park so the 10 milers had to run 2 of the 5 mile loops. The other thing that I loved about this course was the fact that you ran back up some of the same paths that you ran down. It was awesome to be able to see the people running in front of you and behind you. I even got to see Jay and high five him a couple of times.
I decided to start the race in the back of the pack because I knew that
I would be slower. When the race began, I turned on MapMyRun so that I could get voice feedback at every mile. I wanted to have the feedback so that I could be
sure that I was running a pretty decent pace. As I ran the first couple of miles, I slowly began to pass people and that is my favorite thing about starting in the back of the pack. I did not even feel like I was running that fast, but I was maintaining a pace well below 10:00 min/mi. When we reached the 5 mile mark, the 5 milers crossed the finish and the 10 milers continued running. I hit the 5 mile mark at 47:46 and I could not believe that I was running so fast. I was not sure that I was going to be able to maintain that pace for another 5 miles, but I was feeling pretty good. I ended up finishing the race in 1:35:47 and was extremely happy with how well I did.
The Returning Warrior 10-Miler was the first race since the Buffalo Marathon that I did not feel awful during or after the race. I have run a couple of times since then and I finally feel pretty well again when I am running. I think that cutting back and taking a break from running was exactly what my body needed. I am going to run a little bit more conservatively for the next couple of months to give my body time to fully bounce back. I plan to have no running plan over the next couple of months. I might still do a race or two, but I am not going to do way too much running like I have been. I am finally feeling good again, but I am going to listen to my body from now on when it comes to running. It might take some time, but Michele the runner is making her comeback!