Yesterday I had my first run in six weeks. I do not recommend taking six weeks off of running but if you have to, you absolutely can start again. Be warned: it hurts.
On Saturday morning I got up to chilly temps and headed out to the Run to Remember Alexis Saunders 5K at Al Lopez Park. I had one goal: finish the 5K without walking. It seemed like a great plan at the time.
|Pre race optimism rears it’s smiley head.|
This race was arguably one of the smallest races I’ve ever run. It coincided with the Humane Society’s Bark in the Park event that I had raised funds for. It was really a win-win-win for me: a great cause, running, and puppies.
The 5K didn’t start until 9 AM and I got there entirely too early due to my excitement at running. I had some time to peruse the expo that was starting to form for the Bark in the Park event. This booth, of course, caught my eye.
It neared race start time and I lined up with no real idea of how I’d feel. The 5K began and as per usual, we were off and I may have started out a tad too fast. I can’t help it. I get caught up in the excitement at the start of almost every race. I looked down at my Garmin and saw an eight minute something and thought, this is a bad, bad idea. I forced myself to slow down.
As I hit mile one I was much more comfortable at a nine minute mile pace. However, this nine minute mile pace felt really fast. Six weeks off, remember? I fell in step behind a dad and his eleven-year-old daughter and used them as rabbits, even though I had a feeling they’d pull away.
I chugged along at my nine minute mile and paid attention to my body. My lungs hurt. My legs hurt. My ego hurt. But, I was running. And at that I smiled.
Close to the 2.5 mile mark a few guys were talking about races. I took the opportunity to chat them up about my upcoming 5K (ABC – Always Be Closing). One of the gentlemen fell in step with me and we chatted about our 5K times. He told me this was his first actual race and he wanted to hit a 28. I told him we could stick together and get that PR for him.
|Smiling through the ouch with new friend Todd.|
I admit that I was struggling near the end. I used my buddy, Todd, as a way to push myself and try to get him in by 28 minutes. I find that helping someone always helps me. We arrived at the three mile mark and I told Todd it was time to push it. He left me in the dust. I had no pick up. It was hysterical. Oh well.
We finished at 28 and some change and Todd let me know he actually needed under 28 to PR. Well damn. Had I known that I would have sent him on his way cause a 28 minute 5K is my new PR. Heh.
After the race I had time to head back over to Disco Donuts and celebrate my first run. They were the most delicious little donuts I’ve ever eaten. It was still chilly out so these warm, tiny, fried donuts were the perfect post run treat.
|Mmm donuts, mmm.|
I had a great time walking around Bark in the Park with my fundraising “pack.” We wound up coming in third place and raised over $2,000. Yay!
I’d consider this a successful first run back. Even though I currently feel like I ran a 1/2 marathon (hamstrings: ow ow ow), it was so worth it to make my first run back more of an event than just a run around my ‘hood.
Have you ever taken an extended break from running? How long did it take you to come back?
I LOVE Al Lopez. I've done a few races there and love the small feel of it. Congrats on making it back to running (and blogging!) 🙂
Yay! Congrats on your first run back. And I have never done a sub-30 5K, so you are amazing. AND there is no way you are going run/walk at my 15 min/mile pace at Sarasota. Oh well. It will still be great to see you!
You are back! Congratulations on you and Todd's almost PR 🙂
ABC = Always Be Closing
I have been reading/following your blog for 2 years and enjoy your writing style and sense of humor. Sooo glad you are back and congrats on your run.. whoot-whoot! Houston, Texas
Hurts so good! Welcome back beebs!
Yes, I took that break when I was in PT last fall, but I made sure that I did enough spinning, yoga, and elliptical to drive myself insane. Took me a good month or two and I feel like I am just now picking up where I left off and building. Glad you're back!!
It'll only take you a couple of weeks to build back to a pace you're more familiar with. After my surgery in August I wasn't allowed to do any working out at all for 6 weeks, and once I did go back to running I was on day 3 of my marathon training plan! It took a bit of time, but I got back with it after only a couple of weeks. You'll be great. I'm excited we'll both be training for Chicago. Maybe we can meet up for a run sometime when you aren't trying to hit a certain pace.
Way to get 'er done chica. I definitely would not have been able to keep up. Never made it under 30 mins either. Welcome back to running!
Yayy! Glad ur back:)
Nice job after the break! Try taking off 16 months…my first 5k back last weekend was pure misery. Last time I do that.
I've had several extended breaks from running due to injury so I definitely know how hard it can be to come back. Physically and emotionally. You had a great smile on your face the whole time though, great job!!
You'll get it back, just have faith and go at your own pace. You don't have anything to prove to anyone except yourself.
Hey, you gotta start somewhere. Im sure with some consistency youll be back in shape in no time! mmmmmm Donuts. we need some of those trucks to show up at races here in chicago.
I'm impressed your first run back was a 5K! I would have been like lemme start with a mile, k?
Congrats on being back at it! Can't wait to run with you again!
Oh, and where can we find those donuts again?? Brink them to your race!
U are crazy!! I would never do a race as my first run back, but I guess it forces you to not take it too easy on yourself. Heal up fast.
Only you takes off 6 weeks and then races a 5k her first run back. YousocrazyBoo.
I wish I had long legs so I could wear short shorts like you. Stupid stumpy czechoslovakian genes.