"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt
December 6th is really early for me to be "racing" at the 5k distance. Heck, I'm less than a week into my first mesocycle of '09. Having 1.) already done Tabata's on Wednesday, 2.) still having pain every day, and 3.) beginning to prepare for a 30k nordic race at the end of January I thought it would be wise to turn the event into a "long" training unit. Christine's Crusade 5k Trail Run presented by TEVA was an event that we were supporting behind the scenes with volunteers and event management consultation. The RD, 'Drea McCusker, is a teammate of ours and her sister is the namesake of the event. My two oldest and I arrived early to help fellow teammate, Steve McCusker (husband of the RD), set up. My car thermometer read 16 degrees when we pulled into the PCA campus in Dover. I felt pretty good about the decision to set the course the day before as the ground had frozen pretty solid overnight. After setting up I decided to begin the first of 5 loops I planned to do on the course. I wanted to get in somewhere in the ballpark of 7-9 miles that morning. At the beginning of the second lap I spotted local elite runner Jim Johnson scouting the course in the opposite direction. I had not met Jim before, but learned of him through another teammates blog and had begun to follow him through his own entries. After introducing myself he was gracious enough to switch directions and finish his warm-up with me. By the way, that would be the last time we'd run together that morning...more on that later. Jim discussed a little of his background, his current team (Central Mass Striders), and his plans for the coming snowshoe racing season. While we ran and talked we met up with another local elite runner, Tim Cox of PR Racing. Tim, his fellow coach Brent Tkaczyk, and a strong showing of their CBNA track & field program were there to race and support the cause. Turns out that Tim and Jim knew of each other but hadn't actually formally met. Those two would battle, along with Mainer Bob Winn, for the lead with Jim ultimately pulling away and winning the event. Having already run 3.5 before the start of the race and not really needing to run the next 3.5 hard I forced myself to hold back when the "GO!" command was given and the race began. To be honest, I probably ran a negative split on Lap #4 overall as my competitive juices flowed and I saw a number of friends and acquaintances ahead of me and within "striking' distance. Within 200 meters of the finish I finally caught former UNH prof Bob Kenefick and ran with him to the tape. Can't remember the last time I crossed a finish line and neither looked at the clock or my watch...I still had another loop to run. When I looked at the results later in the day I actually ran 7:17's. Not bad. I lingered in the finish area for a few minutes, drank a couple of cups of HEED, and went out to sweep the course for my final 'glory lap'. Although the course was mostly flat, it was the longest I had run in a couple of months and I really didn't have any significant pain issues while I was moving. This morning was a different story unfortunately. Predictable soreness in my left AT which renders me hobbled for the first 30 minutes or so when I get out of bed. I think I'm probably going to go back to the boot and perhaps a week or so of the 800 mg of IBU daily. It probably also wouldn't hurt to get back into the habit of my Hammer Nutrition Whey just before bed in an effort to promote protein catabolism and tissue repair. The first week of training went pretty well. Taking today as a zero day before hitting it hard again tomorrow. My first race of '09 is six weeks away. Plenty of time.
"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction." - William James