Doral 5K, Excalibur 10 Mile Race and a 50+mpw. I'm back!

So, after last week's race and surprising time, I decided it would be nice to race this weekend too.  You know, cause I'm stupid!  The weather in Miami for March has been unbelievably cool, although next week Summer will be here.  But the Doral 5K, a race that's run very close to my house, was going to be very nice and cool and would be a good way to get my miles in and get some speedwork to boot.  I also noticed the Excalibur Run was not full this year and my husband and I needed a 10 miler as our long run for this weekend, so we signed up for the race last minute and planned to head to Central Florida on Saturday afternoon. Overall, a nice weekend of races.

But, this being the week I could potentially go back to my normal mileage (around 50mpw), I did not want to miss the chance to run 50 miles this week to see if I was really back.  So, I knew that the 5K would not be fast by any means, but at least I wanted to see where I was at, even if with no taper and no training whatsoever.  It was not pretty, of course.

Last week, I ran 41 miles or so, and I started the week pretty good.  All runs felt great, PT went well, and Pilates helped with whatever kinks I would get.  On Thursday, I ran 10 miles, mostly outside, since the temps were 50F at 6am, but when I finished on the TM and got off it, I slipped on my bad leg. Of course!  Nothing major happened but of course I panicked like every time since the meniscus tear and imagine I tore it again.  Went to Pilates and ran/walked 5 with hubby that same night so it was definitely not torn.  But, being the first time I've run 15 miles in one day in a while, I was SORE! Knee did well but it was a bit tight and swollen on Friday, so I kept the 6 miles that day very easy.  But the soreness and the tightness remained.  At that point, I assumed my 5K would be done at easy pace if I was lucky.

Woke up at 6am to get some food in me and prepare to run the 3 miles to the start line.  According to what I had read, the race would start at 8am, but apparently, I was an idiot because just as I was leaving the house, I decided to check the map once again to make sure I wasn't mistaken as to the park where the race was.  Nope, same park, just DIFFERENT START TIME!  7:30am!  So, here I am, 3 miles from the start, at 7am.  Thought of driving it, but at the same time knew that parking would be an issue and the street would be closed by then, so it was running it or nothing.  My plan was to arrive and see if the race was delayed or if the start was still ongoing.  Part of me thought I would run there and then get back home for being late.  Stupid.  In my 9  years of racing, I have never done this.  Sheesh.

Ran there and fortunately, I had no red lights that took their time.  As I am getting closer, I hear the start begin so I sprinted to it, and arrived just as the walkers had started. I could see the fast runners already at 0.30-0.50 of the course.  Saved my warmup miles, immediately started my TomTom again and walked past some walkers but still started last or second to last in the field.

I turned my TomTom and my racing music and went.  No pause, no rest from my sprint to the start, no nothing.  This race was a fail even before I began.  I had to pass at least 25% of the field, which were walkers, to be able to run without issue.  So, maybe I ran the first mile too fast (although it was at the same pace as the 4 miler average pace from the week prior), or I don't know what, but when I crossed the Mile 1 marker, I was done.  In more ways than one.  9:45mm.

I concentrated on lowering the pace a bit because I knew I couldn't sustain that effort much longer.  It's been a while since I have raced a 5K, so I have forgotten they are supposed to hurt, and apparently, I wasn't in the mood to hurt.  Second mile was much slower, 10:14mm or thereabouts.  HR was at HMP effort, but my legs, with all the miles I did, the oops, I ran 10 miles outside in 50F a bit too fast, and my PT and Pilates, were done.  But I still pushed.

With one mile to go and I was already on the turnaround and back, I pushed.  I felt much better after the "fast" mile and the "slow" mile. I guess I had finally warmed up for this race?  Ha.  I am still passing many runners (I passed all the walkers in Mile 1).  And no one passes me.  It is only later where I realized how many people I had passed when I see the results.  I passed half the field!  As I head into the finishing chute, I see a friend of mine watching the event and I wave by, but I'm concentrating in giving it my all.  Some people pass me at the end of the race but I had nothing else to give in speed.  Nothing.  Crossed the finish line in 31:16 per my TomTom (for some reason, the race still has me with a gun time of almost 33 minutes, but I really don't care about getting it corrected.  It is not a PW only because Disney races exist, LOL.  I wanted 30 minutes or thereabouts, as the 4 miler seems to say I could do, but I was tired this week, had run a shit ton of miles, and my knee had gone through surgery 7 weeks prior.  I think I should stop whining, really.

Overall, a strong effort, and maybe ran it at the fastest pace I could this week, but next time, I need to pace better.

I still can't find official pictures of the event, but one of the local running groups I'm in took pictures of their members.  I am a member, but knew about them around the time I went through my surgery so I really have not met them in person.  But, while they were photographing another member, I find myself passing her and I got some nice pics:

All that field you see behind me?  All passed in 2 miles.  My placing was 412th (with my gun time, not my chip time), of 800+.  I guess I did something right after all?

Ran back home for 9 miles total for the day.  Got ready to leave with my hubby to Melbourne, FL, to run the Excalibur 10 Miler Race on Sunday as our Long Run.  My knee was still sore but nothing major (it didn't even say hello during the race), and I was running the race at my husband's run/walk pace which would help.

We arrived 3 minutes after they had closed the expo, but we were allowed into the running store to pick our packets up (mostly because I was wearing INKnBURN and it opens doors - per their words). :)  We checked into the hotel after 5:30pm only to realize I had left my sports bra at home, so we went shopping for women's bras!  Got some nice martinis and Mexican food at Tequila Azul near the race start and went to bed early.  I was exhausted, between the time change and work, and running.  I needed the extra sleep without kitties bugging me through the night.

We woke up at 6am and got ready.  Start was at 7:30am but we wanted to leave at around 6:40am to get a good parking spot, etc.  We left and forgot our protein shakes so had to go back for them!  Arrived at the school at 6:50am and found parking.  We spent the rest of the time walking towards the start before meeting our friends Beth and Shane (and their friends).  INKnBURN extravaganza!

The race started and the weather was nice (maybe not for a goal race marathon but yes for a 10 miler and an easy run).  My knee felt fine until we arrived at the sandy parts.  Around 3 miles of sand trails, where my lungs protested and my Cliftons didn't have enough grip to help.  Glad the PT has had me do a lot of unbalanced things because my knee did well, but I had to slow down a lot.  I caught on to my husband after we left the sand.  We don't have many official pictures of the event except for these ones.  We finished a bit over 10 miles (2:02 or something like that), and for some reason, my chip didn't record at the 10K mat.  Funny since I remember crossing over it.

It was a great event, and fun to see friends.  Will do this race again!

Oh, 51 miles for the week.  In the words of John Wick: "People keep asking me if I'm back and I haven't really had an answer. But now, yeah, I'm thinking I'm back."


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