More quick sketching – catching back up!
More like anatomy/rushed art post but I need to get back on track so quick will have to do! Spent all day working with ankle images at work and listened to a foot/ankle presentation at grand rounds a couple weeks ago…
Discoveries from Sunday:
- I’m out of shape…but not all the way
- My hamstring healing is going better this time around
- Last-minute teammates = awesome 🙂
After a hearty breakfast (thanks awesome AirBnB host!), Fish (my running buddy from grad school) and I arrived at the course. The air was chilly, and an overcast sky promised cool racing weather. We had 90 minutes until the race so we spent some time grabbing our team packet, getting our beer wrist-bands (wootwoot!), and walking around the course.
We were joined shortly by another Oiselle teammate, giving us what we thought was our full 3-people-score team (5 allowed but we’d had some illness and injury hit our team before the race). However, when we went to pick up our shirts the race director had two last-minute entries with her who wanted to join a 5-person team! We happily added them to our Fierce Flyers roster and set off on our warmup to get to know our new teammates and scout out the course.
The course started on bumpy grass, and then went in a sharp-cornered double triangle figure-8 on gravelly single-track around two brushy fields. The hills were mild and we were all excited to race a relatively flat 5k. All of us were in early-season/’running this as a workout’ mode so we did a relatively short warmup before changing shoes and lining up in the grassy field for the start. I skipped my usual drills and strides since I was trying to save the hamstring and prevent myself from going out too fast.
The small field bunched up for the national anthem and then, with a yelled “Go!” from the race director we were off! I tried to find ‘fast tempo run’ pace and followed the lead woman, a speedy young girl in second, and one of my new teammates out over the bumpy grass and onto the single track. I passed my new teammate at around the halfway mark but otherwise didn’t move around much, working to hold a steady tempo without excessive straining. I was paying close attention to my hamstring and was happy to make it through without any twinges or tightness. I got lucky with a clean finish that didn’t temp me to kick, and finished first for the team in just over 21 minutes. The rest of the team filed in close together, making for an excited cheering section as we turned gasping post-finish breath into cheers for incoming teammates.
Awards followed shortly after and we were happily surprised to get called up as the winning women’s team! We got a nice shoutout for winning as a last-minute team, and enthusiastically thanked our ‘ringers’ for joining at the last minute.
Fitness and hamstring recovery takeaway:
After two very-low-mileage weeks I was feeling a bit out of shape, and this race was a bit behind where I thought I’d be back before the hamstring blip. However, I was pleased to be nearly a minute faster than my opening 5k race last year in May – not bad for being rusty! My projected 10k time based on this race is about 30 seconds over the cutoff for the wave that I entered for BolderBoulder, and I’m hoping I can whittle that ‘extra’ time down in the few weeks leading up to the race. I’d hoped to hit the time needed to move up a wave next year, but that would require a full two minutes off of the fitness I’m at now so I don’t think that’s quite a reasonable race-day expectation. My post-5k runs this week have definitely been tough and my legs seem to have forgotten a little how to run more than three miles, but my hamstring rehab has been going much more smoothly, so I hope to get back to actual workouts sometime in the next month before BolderBolder on Memorial Day.
Guess what happens when you decide your little hamstring injury is gone (in spite of only having been running pain free for oh, 3 days…not counting the workout where things *did* twinge just a teensy bit) and then run 12 glorious miles on it?
Oh, and throw in slacking on strength work for that hamstring since you’ve travelled back home and away from the marvelous hamstring-curl exercise ball. And a sudden cease in painful hamstring massages since your 6′ 2″, manual-labor-doing husband apparently has weaker hands than your 5′ 8″, 120 pound, noodle-armed sister [insert smirk here…].
Did you guess that the almost-gone hamstring problem is going to reemerge the day after that 12-miler as a vicious cramp, forcing you to walk the last half mile home and then essentially squashing any training for the next week and a half as you’re finally forced to be reasonable and take some time off? If so, congratulations, you are CORRECT!
I’m now at that week and a half point out, and have finally gotten back to very short, but pain-free runs. This second injury flare-up has forced me to really buckle down and I’ve been doing hamstring curls (with a theraband), straight-leg hip lifts, and the glute/core activation routine daily, and have been forcing myself to dig into the sore muscle with The Stick of dooooom every other day before going to bed.
I’ve reached the weird point where I’m simultaneously excited about getting back to workouts and dreaming about all the fun I’ll have when I get back to full running, and also being completely convinced that I have lost every shred of fitness that I ever possessed. Runner brains are weird sometimes…
On the fitness side I don’t think I’m actually *that* badly off. MountainMan and I spent last weekend hiking all over in the blazing heat of Grand Junction, CO and I did a long swim and a tough circuit workout this week to make up for the lack of running. I’m actually running a 5k on Sunday (foolish in light of everything I’ve written, but I signed up for it quite a while ago and it’s a team event so I’m kind of stuck…will jog it in if things are sore). Also, I just took a look at my excellent Excel running mileage versus month plot and even with the hamstring-induced dip I’m well within last years daily average mileage range, well above 2015’s daily average mileage maximum, and above all but two months from 2014. It’s a big drop, but not the fitness-killer that my panicked runner-brain keeps thinking it is.
Here’s to not being an idiot going forward (apart from Sunday’s 5k, which I hope to treat more as a tempo/fun-run) and keeping up the mildly unpleasant hamstring routine in order to get back out to enjoy the rapidly thawing trails!
Fell behind a week so doing one quick sketch tonight, another coming tomorrow!
I started off trying to sketch from an Instagram photo of Stephanie Bruce kicking the 10k’s butt (such a beautiful finish-line shot!)
I gave up on getting the likeness after several fruitless attempts, but am content with the overall happy/tired generic-runner result 🙂