On the road again


Cover of "Rocky II"

Cover of Rocky II

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving with those you care about most.

Mine was a hectic one, filled with family, work, and my first race since the Flying Pig Marathon in May where I incurred three stress fractures in my tibia.

The race I ran Thursday was very short in comparison to the Pig. It was the 102nd annual Thanksgiving Day 10k. I ran the same race last year in between having completed my first half-marathon in October and preparing for full marathon training in January. (What a mind boggling year I have had.)

I wish I had news of some super Rocky 2 return to running with the 10K (you know when Rocky actually beats Apollo Creed). Alas, I do not. No new PR for me.

I am not ashamed at all of how I did though. I was actually much more worried about my performance going into this 10K than any other race.

Comparatively, last year when I ran the first 10K I was still on the closer end of 10 mile runs, running 5 days a week, and feeling that high, injury free, from the half-marathon. I also lacked any base for comparison.

Flash forward to this November: My current running is a little more checkered. As mentioned in previous posts, it’s been hard lately to get moving for those runs. I do three a week at the max here lately, usually for no more than four or six miles. Granted, I still swim from time to time too and try to lift, but it’s just not the same type of fitness as running regularly. And considering I didn’t really run for most of the summer . . . well, I hope you can understand my concern going into this run.

Then there are the phantom pains and worries that the stress fractures will return. Yes, I’m still dwelling on that.

Luckily though I have a small group of runners who keep me motivated, who convinced me to run the Thanksgiving Day 10k this year because they were (who says all peer pressure is bad?).

With about six thousand more runners on hand (15K this year compared to 9K last), and being slightly further back in the pack than last year, I ended up finishing my second Thanksgiving Day 10K race just over 48 minutes at a 7:48 minute pace. Pace-wise, that’s two seconds slower than last year’s chip time. Add into the mix that I wore my Garmin GPS that had me running 6.32 miles at a 7.39 minute pace (which feels right with all the dodging and weaving I had to do getting around walkers and strollers) and I feet really good about the results.

Either I held back last year (which I didn’t think I did) or I maintained more fitness than what I thought possible after my downtime this year.

The Thanksgiving Day 10K results was something that brought an extra heaping helping of gratitude this holiday season for me. I officially feel like I’m back, and though never the fastest in the pack, I definitely feel as if there is real potential for endurance and speed growth as I contemplate a training schedule in January for a spring marathon.

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