September 18th, 2011

running, shoes

Not setting any speed records

So, back in July or so, before I'd ever heard the words "trochanteric bursitis", I signed up to run two races in September: the Race to the End of Summer 10K, and the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. And then I started getting pain in my left hip after running, and went to the sports medicine doctor and got a diagnosis of bursitis and instructions to lay off running for a "few weeks".

So, this morning was the Race to the End of Summer 10K. It has been a few weeks since my visit to the doctor, and I'm thinking that I will try to ease back into running soon, but it's hard to ease into anything during a race. Even though I'm not a particularly competitive runner, when you've got a timing chip on and everyone else is out there blazing away, you kinda want to give it some oomph.

On the other hand, the race registration is non-refundable and walking doesn't seem to hurt my hip. So I figured I'd turn up, walk the 6.2 miles, see if the race is something I want to think about doing seriously next year, and collect my T-shirt. I've done stupider things for a T-shirt.

So, I had a nice brisk walk along the Coyote Creek trail. For about the first half mile, I kept looking at the pack of runners pulling further and further away from me, and thinking, "If I run now, I could catch them!" And then thinking, "Yes, you could. Don't." Eventually I succeeded in convincing myself that I really was going to just walk this one. One of the advantages of walking is that you get to see more of the scenery. The course was nicely shaded for a few stretches and they had lots of water stations. I think I will try to run this one next year. I did run the last tenth of a mile, because walking across the finish line at a race just seems wrong, and I know I can do that much without injuring myself. (I regularly run about a quarter of a mile on the treadmill as part of my warmup before lifting weights, without causing myself any pain.)

I also have to say that this was one of the friendliest races I've ever done. Like most races, there was plenty of cheering from the sidelines from volunteers and spectators. But I really didn't expect to be cheered on by the half-marathon runners who passed me with shouts of "Good job!" or "Keep going!", nor the spontaneous chant of "5K! 10K! 5K! 10K!" that went up from the finish line volunteers as I finished. It was slightly embarrassing in a way, since honestly, I was not pushing the limits of my stamina, although I did work up a sweat and my calves and feet were a bit sore by the time I'd finished. But it did a lot to reassure that part of me that was afraid that I was just going to look silly walking a 10K. So, I'd definitely recommend this race to anyone who's a bit new at this, and maybe feeling a bit shy about the competitive aspect.

It is entirely possible that I actually finished dead last among all the 10K competitors. (Not many people walk the 10K distance - 5K is a lot more walker friendly.) Which would be kind of cool in a way. I guess we'll see when the results come out.

And my hip, so far, feels fine. The second race I'm signed up for is on Wednesday, and it's just 3.5 miles. I'm planning to walk it, but I might throw in a few cautious short jogging intervals. We'll see.

And then I'm not signing up for any more races until I'm well and truly sure that this injury is sorted out!