Monday, March 17, 2014

First Race Back!

Happy Monday, everyone!  I am happy to report that my first post-stress fracture/RA diagnosis race is complete and went really well. Those who have read my blog for awhile know that I had to take a loooonnnggggg break from running due my stress fracture and RA diagnosis.  I went from April 16th until January without running which was very hard on me as running is such a big part of who I am.  But after the race this weekend I feel like I can safely say that I am back to running!

Before getting into my short race report, I thought I'd address how I got back into running.  I was pretty quiet about my return to running and only told two people that I was starting to run again because I was afraid that something was going to happen or that my body would not tolerate it.  But luckily it did.  I started off by doing run/walk combos with intervals of 1/4 to 1/2 miles of running at a time.  I gradually increased the amount of time I spent running until I was able to run 3 consecutive miles.  I also did not and still do not run consecutive days as my rheumatologist said I needed to give my joints a day off between running when I did return to running.

While I hadn't ran in a very long time, I was using the elliptical, going to water aerobics, and taking spin classes so I had a base level of cardiovascular fitness which made my return to running 'easier'.  I use the term 'easier' loosely because it certainly did not feel easy at first and was pretty humbling.  But what has been surprising is how fast I got back to a fairly quick tempo of running (~8:45-9 min mile pace).

It was fun to have my first race this past weekend.  I went into it with no goal besides having fun and finishing with a smile on my face.

And here I am, post-race, with a big smile on my face and a time that I am really proud of.

Here is how my splits broke out:
Mile 1 - 8:31
Mile 2 - 8:28
Mile 3 - 8:39
Mile 4 - 8:27
Mile .05 - 7:55 (the course measured a tad bit long)

Overall time = 34:23, average pace = 8:29

I am really surprised to see that my pace was so consistent for the whole race as there were a lot of downhill parts in the first 2 miles and I just kept thinking that I was going to pay for it on the way back but I was magically able to maintain that pace despite the uphill segments during the last 2 miles.  The street where I usually run has rolling hills so I guess my body was prepared for it.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, so the perfect day for me to stage my recovery to running!  I can't find the words to sum up how great it is to be back to running and how much I need this stress outlet right now.  I definitely felt a runners high after the race and feel more confident that I really am back to my favorite sport.

I have to give a special shout-out to my friend Lori who suggested that I register for this race.  I wouldn't have done this race without her recommending it.  It was fun to do a race with her and especially fun to celebrate afterwards with a yummy brunch.

For now I am going to continue running every other day for 3-4 miles at a time and will be slowly increasing my weekend running distance up to 6 miles as I am hoping to run a 10k race on April 12th.  I will see my rheum during the first week of April and am hoping that she gives me the OK to train for a half marathon.  I have my sights set on one in the San Francisco area in September so clearly have a lot of time to prepare and have high hopes that I'll run a strong race.

Are you training for any races in 2014?  


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Yay, so glad your first race was a success!!!
I also cannot run back to back days or my knee gets angry, I have a feeling the vast majority of people probably shouldn't but some people just get away with it better than others.
I'm impressed at how speedy you were :) you are doing a great job taking it slow and hopefully that will pay off so you can do a half in Sept!

Caroline said...

Yay congrats!! Must feel so good to be back!

Becky said...

SO proud of you!!!!

J said...

Great job Lisa! SO glad you are running again! Awesome race!

Leigh said...

Congratulations on a great race back into running Lisa! I have no doubt that you will be training and running that half marathon in September :)

Nora said...

I'm so very happy for you! Way to go on the time, too. Love to see you smiling =)

Abby said...

I am so extremely happy for you! What a feeling it must have been to cross that finish line, considering everything you've been through this past year.

You have gotten so speedy! That is awesome! I think you did a really smart method of getting back into running. I'm sure that took discipline, as we runners just want to get out there and run! But it paid off. I, too, no longer run on consecutive days after having 3 injuries this past year....I learned my lesson.

I'm excited for your 10K and pray that your rheum gives you the go for doing a half! I'm going to be in the San Francisco area racing in September, too!

Carolina John said...

Yay! Welcome back. Running has missed you just as much as you've missed it.

Lisa-Marie said...

I am really proud of you - I know you'd been wanting badly to get back to running, so this success is lovely!

missris said...

Yay you look so happy!

Stephany said...

I love the tone of this post so, so much. I am SO happy you are back to doing something you love AND that it is going so well for you! That is so wonderful.

I will be crossing fingers and toes that your doctor ok's the half in September!


Jeanie said...

I just love that big happy smile! Congratulations, my friend!

CharisFaith said...

Your last mile was your fastest, I'm in awe!!! You did amazing and I'm thrilled that you ran this one! I'm going to try and register for the 10K on Friday provided nothing crazy comes up between now and then. I checked the route and it's not as bad as what I thought. You rock!!! Fingers crossed that you get cleared for your half!!!

Marisa A. said...

Yay so happy you are able to run again! I actually ran the Get Lucky half this weekend and despite the somewhat miserable conditions. (Below 20 degrees at the start and the last 6 miles running straight into a 10mph wind :/ ) I actually did well! I didn't reach my stretch goal, but I did reach my goal so there is that.

Amber said...

I am SOOOOOOOO happy to hear you are back to running! And I really think it's amazing how fast you are now despite such a long break. I really think if you can't do long distance anymore you should focus on quick short distance races! I would even consider trying some track workouts. You might find the softer cushiness of the track is easier on your legs/joints?

I actually never ran consecutive days before but since I started trail running I have no problem running back to back days (and did a lot for ultra training) but I honestly think it's because of the softer surface in the trails. Running back to back days on the road too much is hard on my body because of the hard pavement.


Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

I'm so happy for you, Lisa! You definitely kept your return to running a bit of a secret as I didn't know until your post about you and Kyria sharing your shoes for a run on the treadmill! And your pace for the race was great. Here's to continued pain free running and hopefully a 1/2 marathon in the fall!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Yay!!!! I'm happy for you :-) Very exciting!!! No training for me ... maybe this summer.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...


Redhead Running said...

Look at that big smile! Woo hoo! You are back girl and speedy too!

I'm so glad you had such a great race and that you're playing this smart and not pushing it. Patience pays off, just look at those splits!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I cannot imagine how frustrated you were in 2013 when running was not an option. I've experienced frustrating moments when I'm not running, but a lot of that has to do with internal motivation, not a physical ailment holding me back.

Your forray back into running has served as an inspiration to me. Seriously. Reading your thoughts on running and how important it is to you reminded me how important it used to be to me, too ... and kind of served as a catalyst to push my running beyond super casual outings with Gavin. I am thinking 2014 will be the year of the half marathon for me, too, though I have yet to officially sign up for one.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am so glad that it went so well! And... darn girl, you are super speedy! That is a really good pace! I can't wait to see how you do as you increase the mileage and run your 10k! This is just what you needed, as that runners high and the stress relief is so important and I am sure you have missed it a lot over the past several months!