Well, Saturday was certainly interesting. I decided to do a 5K. A couple of days ago, while I was looking at a website for a local running store, I saw that the American Cancer Society Run/Walk was taking place this weekend. TDS used to sponsor this and paid the entry fee for any employee who wanted to participate. They stopped doing it last year (lack of interest I think), but I had done it all the prior years.
I thought about registering the day of the event, but wasn't really sure if I should. Well, yesterday morning, I woke up and decided I would go. I showered, put on my workout clothes, new shoes, and put some music on my new Sansa mp3 player (it is tiny and I love it). I headed out to Warner Park, registered, and waited for the event to start (about an hour since I had gotten there early).
My plan had been to follow my normal scheduled workout plan, which included 8 min of running. Well....it did not quite go as planned. See, I have never run outside before. Since I started this two months ago, I have only used the treadmill. I knew that running outside would be different, but I was not sure how different. I have heard some people say it is harder to run outside, and others say it is easier. Well, it was most definitely harder for me. It did not help that we had a strong wind (other than that the weather was perfect). I was able to run 4 one minute segments. I just was not able to do anymore than that. I tried, but it was too much.
Even though it was harder to run, I was able to really push myself on the walking. I actually beat my previous best pace. It was 17:27, but my average on Saturday was 16:46! I actually did the first 2 miles in 32 min, which is a 16:00 pace!
Towards the end of the walk, my feet were hurting a bit, but other than that and being tired, I was feeling pretty good. When I crossed the finish line, I headed over to the food/water stand for some water. After I slowed down, my leg muscles started quivering. That has never happened after my treadmill workouts. I drank a bunch of water, stretched a little and then headed home.
Here comes the BIG MISTAKE!
I had noticed that Valvoline was having a one day special for $19.99 oil changes. I really, really needed to have mine changed and so I decided to stop on my way back home. I thought I would get a "quick" oil change and then go home to eat lunch. OMG! I waited in line for nearly an hour and a half!!!!!!!!!!!!! The whole time, sitting in my car. At least it was a really nice day out and I had the windows down and radio on.
Unfortunately, what I did not realize at the time was that as I was sitting in my car, my muscles were tightening up. When I finally got home and got out of the car, my legs HURT!! I don't mean they were just a little sore, it hurt to move! I barely got up the stairs. And, I hurt all day. I tried to do some stretches throughout the day, but the damage was already done.
Also, I was really tired the rest of the day. I think that might have been because I only ate a small amount for breakfast. I had a banana and half a bagel...and then did not get lunch until almost 2pm.
Today (Sunday), I am feeling much better, but I do have some soreness still in my legs and I have mild shin splints.
So, overall I am glad I did it, even though I learned several lessons the hard way.
1. Eat a decent breakfast before a race and have a snack with me for after the race.
2. Bring water with me; there might not be any water stations along the route (like on Saturday).
3. It is harder to run outside (at least for me). My goals need to be more conservative than they would be on a treadmill.
4. When I am not on a treadmill, it is really hard to determine what pace I am walking/running at until I pass a mile marker. I need to learn how to pace, otherwise, I am likely to overdo it (which I think I did on Saturday).
5. Recovery after a race takes longer than after a normal workout. I need to stretch more, and take my time before leaving.
6. Do not sit for a long period of time after a race.