Somehow, I managed to get a PR during today’s NYRR Ted Corbitt 15k in Central Park. This makes three races in a row with a PR. I had hoped I would get this PR but I wasn’t sure it would happen. Sometimes I need to stop thinking and just go with the flow.
For the past couple of weeks my left calf has been bothering me. I can’t tell if the muscle has knotted up but it’s sore, hurts to stretch it, and at it’s most painful sore to the touch. I have been stim treatment, foam rolling, sticking it, easy stretching, and ice with the occasional ibuprofen. I even rested it for a week.
Since my scheduled long run for this weekend was nine miles or a 10k with some miles at half marathon race pace I thought I would split it up a bit. But as I was going to bag check my calf started to make itself known. Excellent timing, calf.
Not wanting to make it worse I readjusted my plan a bit, in particular how to attack the hills, so that I could at least get this long run in.
One of the hard things I’ve had with this newfound speed is trying to figure out how to approach a longer distance race. I now know I can run a 5k or 4 mile race with an average pace somewhere in the high 10 minute range. But how would this translate to a 15k? One way to find out.
So, with a revised strategy for the hills I took off and the calf felt tight but thankfully it started to warm up and feel better in the first mile. The first challenge was going up Cat Hill. My new strategy was to take shorter strides because my calf hurts the most when going up hill and stretching the calf out fully on a long stride.
After getting up and over the hill pain free I was then able to take advantage of my speed a bit. I love that I can run faster and feel comfortable doing it. No huffing and buffing thank you very much!
Things were going along nicely until I got the five mile mark when my calf said, “WTF are we doing out here?” But at five miles we were going to finish. Suck it up calf. My pace did slow down a bit and my original hopes of getting a huge PR were dwindling. I kept looking at my Garmin and doing math, it would be close. Then I would remind myself to get some PT this week. This is how that entire mile went.
I decided to walk up the upper half of Cat Hill on our second loop to make sure the calf would make it through the rolling hills of the west side. I don’t regret that one bit. At the time I thought it would kill my chances at the PR but the calf started to feel better, bot awesomely better, but enough so where I could but some speed on.
As I approached the seven mile marker, my quick math told me my PR would be close but I had to push when I could and I knew that I would have to do this on the downhill segments. Thank you, west side of Central Park.
So yes, as I said right off I got that PR and I got it by three minutes. I was hoping for 10 minutes when everything was feeling great so I will happily take this one. My average pace was 12:02 the exact same pace that I got my Half Marathon PR. That makes me excited.
If I ran this race on the hills of Central Park with a bum calf, this puts me in good shape for working towards that PR in Miami at the end of January. I am incredibly excited right now.