As most of my regular readers are aware, I’ve been working hard to come back from my hamstring/hip injury. The holiday season is one of my favorite times to race. I love the costumes, the festive atmosphere, the families that come out and run together. I was not about to let my injury ruin all of my holiday fun so I signed up to do the Run With Santa 5K.
Run With Santa 5K
When running is good, running is very good. When running is good, you can pop out for an “easy” 3 or 4 miles and not think anything of it. A 5K is often a warm up to a longer run. However, when you least expect it, the rug can be pulled out from under you. Bam you’re injured. Running can be oh so humbling. What is a piece of cake one day, can be impossible the next.
As I have worked my way back to running 60/30 intervals, I decided to take on the Run With Santa 5K. I knew, this would be my longest “run” in 7 weeks. I was so much more nervous than I expected even waking up way before my 6 am alarm. With temps in the mid 20’s, I was not sure exactly what to wear. I usually run hot but I would not be running my normal pace and I would be walking- a lot. I chose a base layer and my new Athleta jacket.
We met up with a few other MRTT ladies for some pre run photo fun before lining up for the start. I had no goals for this 5K at all except for finishing the 3 miles without any pain. Did I mention I was nervous? My 30 second walk intervals seemed to fly by while the 60 second run intervals often felt long. One mile turned into two and I was confident, well mostly, that I would make it to the finish.
That last half of mile was hard, really hard. I was tired and hot and then cold. I was elated when that finish line was in sight. That day, I remembered that the 5K distance is something to be respected. Every mile is a gift. Watching and listening to other runners achieve their goals, reminded me yet again that every finish line is a victory. While that 3.1 miles was probably my slowest to date, for other runners out there it was perhaps their first 3.1 miles.
Returning from injury has reminded me that every mile is a gift. Running health is something to be treasured and something to be respected. I will slowly be working my way back and hope to be stronger for it. Have you run a race while actively recovering from injury?