This race didn’t turn out like I had planned. I didn’t take time to do a warm-up mile before the race so my heart had to elevate much too quickly as I took off. I should have known better.
I started off at a 6:52/mile pace but the jolt to my heart rate and the hills slowed me down quickly. I finished the first mile in 7 minutes and 31 seconds. I finished the second mile in 8 minutes and 38 seconds. I ran another .48 miles before I had to stop and averaged an 8 minute 42 second mile for that stretch. 

I had not been getting in all of my training runs recently and so I hadn’t rebuilt my mental strength and racing endurance. Somewhere around the 1.25 mile point and then again around the 1.75 point and the 2.25 point, I stopped to walk for 5-10 seconds. I just couldn’t push through.

As I look back over my heart rate readings during the race, I was pushing the limits (like I always do). My 5K race heart rate usually gets up to around 185-192bpm and hangs there until I cross the finish line. My mind, as would be expected, tries to shut my body down because it doesn’t like my heart beating that fast. Unfortunately, I listened in this race. I only stopped for very short intervals but … I had to stop a few times. When my calf injury happened, my heart rate went to 196bpm!

I only had .62 miles before the end of the race when a searing pain in my right mid-calf developed. The word “developed” makes it sound like it came on slowly, though, and that would be incorrect. It wasn’t gradual. It hit instantly. I tried to keep going but the pain was too intense and I slowed to a walk (actually, it was a hobble). I tried a couple of times to resume running but couldn’t.
As I rounded the final turn and I saw the finish line and the crowd cheering for those nearing the finish line, I felt pretty embarrassed. I had experienced injuries while training before but never in a race. Mack Bucy, who finished the race in fourth place overall (pretty impressive!) came running to encourage me along to the finish line.
After finishing (with a time of 30:16 – my slowest time by far!), I went to the pavilion where Russ Shemberger massaged my calf and easily found the trouble spot. His massage felt pretty incredible (Molly Franklin took a picture of me on the massage table. lol). He also told me that I need another pair of shoes (I didn’t realize that I’ve logged almost 500 running miles on these). I also need to do a little better at hydrating during the day.
Hopefully, this doesn’t mess up my half marathon in two weeks. I planned to run it MUCH slower than this race but if my calf doesn’t heal up, I’m not going to get into an endurance race. I’ve got some healing and choices to make in the next 13 days.