So part of the training plan I've been loosely following involves races, and it called for me to run a 15k this weekend. Lucky for me there was actually a 15k to be run! Part of the Locomotive series, the 15k today was a great practice race leading up to the half. The course was just challenging enough with some hills that I handled better than I anticipated, and the water stops all had cold water which was really nice!
Let's start at the beginning.
Picking up my race packet was pretty good - no confusion with t-shirts, names, or whatnot. Port-o-potties were available (good since I had to go!). The only hiccup was they delayed the start of the race due to the crowds needing to use the restroom, but that's okay. I was anxious to get started but it all worked out.
The 5k started at the same time as the 15k, and we ran together on the same course until about mile 2.5 where we split off. There were more people running the longer portion than I anticipated. Usually the 5k is the super popular race. That was still true today but it was nice to see a decent turn out for the longer portion.
Hills! I knew there would be some hills, but I didn't think about them too much until it came time to actually run them. My tactic: keep running no matter what but take the ascent slower while reasonably making up time coming down. I checked my heart rate on my watch to make sure I wasn't pushing myself too hard going up. I feel pretty confident about running the course in October now.
Finishing was great! I got my finisher's medal right away and was able to get some water (again nice and cold!). The walk to the car was short since everything was being held in the mall parking lot on a Sunday, so no one else was there.
The race was well organized, well planned, and (in my opinion) well ran! 9.3 miles in 1:46:30.
After the race, I grabbed brunch so no icing my foot right away. I traded my running shoes for my casual sneakers with the orthotics in them and used my compression leg sleeves. Both seemed to help quite a bit. My left heel is still pretty tender but nothing like the hobble I had to engage in last week after my long run. I think I'm on the path to a healed foot soon but it will take some time. At least I'm seeing some improvements, and I'm still able to run.
Phew! Now that the race is done, it's time to focus on a couple more weeks of training and then the big 13.1!