Or maybe "blame it on the pollen". I feel like crap.
I was gifted with another encouraging race performance today and I'd like to be floating around on cloud nine about how shockingly effortless it was, but instead, I'm flat on my back with a throbbing head, dripping nose and a hamstring that twinges painfully whenever I move my leg.
Almost two full weeks to the 26th though, plenty of time for everything to work itself out. I hope.
Today's race was just a four miler. It's not really part of any marathon plan, but it counts towards points for our local club competition, so I didn't think it would hurt to give it a decent effort.
I always forget how incredibly crowded these short races are, since so many people come out to rack up nine races for the year to earn their way in to the NYC marathon. I left myself 10 minutes before the start when I showed up after my warm up, but that still left me wedging myself into a crowded corral pretty far back from the starting mat. I rationalization, fairly I think, that that's actually better for me since it forces me to modulate my pace over that first mile when I'm most prone to going too fast.
It took 20 seconds to get to the line after the gun, but I just stayed relaxed and wove around people as efficiently as I could. The first mile went by in 6:15 and felt pretty comfortable, so I just stuck with that effort level. Mile two was 12:20 and the normally challenging, hilly mile three was 18:40. What a difference a week of lower mileage makes...everything felt SO much easier that those 6:35s from the half last Sunday.
Shortly before the two mile mark, I felt a sharp pain down the back of my right leg, mostly localized in the hamstring, but shooting a little bit down into my calf. I could feel all the diagnostic systems go into action: analyzing the pain, targeting the source, evaluating what the proper response should be.
|The little engineers in my brain took about a quarter of a mile to switch the flashing red light over to a flashing orange light and the supervisor sent a message saying that the system was good to go for two more miles as long as we didn't push it any harder, but that he couldn't guarantee there wouldn't be any residual damage to clean up afterwards. I told him that we could probably take a day or two to shut down the plant for repairs after the race and he agreed that would probably be okay.|
By the three mile mark I'd gotten used to the flashing lights and industrial warning horns, so I revved up the engines just a tiny bit more and finished up with a 6:04 for the last mile.
I jogged the two+ miles home at a really slow, easy pace, took a hot bath and put myself back to bed. I prodded the sore muscle a little bit, just to try and figure out what's going on back there, but I'm going to try and leave it alone now and let it do its healing thing. I'm headed off to Richmond tomorrow any way so I'll take the day off completely and then plan on an easy jog Tuesday to see what's what.