Run for the Hill of It 5 miler (34:09)

On Saturday I ran my first race post injury. It was no PR, and it was incredibly hot and humid, but it was my first race back in 10 weeks. As I type this out two days later, I feel the same amount of residual pain as if I’m running normally.  I’m still dealing with minor aches but I’ve been carefully monitoring my foot and so far so good.

To the race recap:
I didn’t have plans to run the race until a few day before.  I knew the race existed, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to race.  If I woke up and didn’t feel good, I wouldn’t run.  I made the executive decision on Friday that I would probably run.  When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was a bundle of nerves.  I hadn’t raced in over ten weeks and had no idea how the race would go. I figured if anything hurt, I would just stop. It was only a big deal if I made it a big deal. With that, I headed to Wissahickon park with just my husband and good friend J, knowing my Saturday morning plans.  Race day was extremely hot and humid. I warmed up three miles and sweat through my clothing.

The race went off right at 8:30.  The first mile was exhausting and honestly it was the hardest mile I’ve run in a while.  My legs were tired; it was hot, and I was mentally frustrated.  Why do I feel so bad?  Why is it so hot? Why are all of these people so darn fast? WTF am I even doing here? I questioned everything in the first minute of the race. I ran with a pack, and we hit the first mile in 6:30.  I was pleasantly surprised, but I knew I couldn’t hold that pace. I didn’t feel that fast but I was heating up quickly.

During the second mile, our pack began to spread out.  I was running alone and as third women overall. I had no goals for placing and my dream goal was to run under 35:00 (7 min pace). My primary goal was to finish injury free and stay smart.  Honestly, that will be my main goal for a while.  I ran a 6:45 mile.

The course was out and back.  I hit the turnaround, grabbed water and went back the opposite direction. My clothing was drenched, it was scorching, and it was hilly.  I was in a dark spot and miserable.  I finished mile 3  at exactly a 7 min pace.  I reevaluated my ankle which felt okay, and I continued.  My mental game was weak, and I felt like I had given up.

I ran the fourth and fifth miles by myself.  To be honest, I struggled through those too.  Mentally I was exhausted, physically exhausted and over it.  I haven’t raced a race that hot in a long time.  Possibly since the RNR Half Marathon.  A woman blew by me around mile 4.  She was running fast, and I knew there was no way I could stay with her.  Another ego blow but I brushed it off.  I ran both miles in 6:52.  When I crossed the finish line, I felt exhausted and tired.  I didn’t feel incredible, and I didn’t have a “Runners High,” I just felt tired.

Run for the Hill of It
Image from Flickr

I did a short cool down and went to my car. I had no idea until I looked at my blog post last year but I ran this year 30 seconds faster this year. I do believe it was hotter than last year.  Past that, I don’t have any complaints, and I’m looking forward to getting out there again.

The most important part was my ankle didn’t hurt during the race.  The race itself was both physically and mentally challenging and I was exhausted.  Not every race can be wonderful or a PR, in fact I don’t expect them too be.

Questions for you:
What’s the hottest race you’ve ever done?
Do you like trail races or road races?

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  1. You did good for 10 weeks off. I’m glad you didn’t push it ,just getting back into the grove of a race is a good plan.
    Seeing how your ankle would do.

    I think last August in Woodbury was the hottest .it was 97degrees at 10am when the race started.

    Um I like trail races once in a while ,like to look at nature while I am running.
    Happy running hollie.

  2. I know we are all hard on ourselves, but that was a really strong race given everything that you’ve dealt with. To be faster than last year is great too. Doesn’t it seem like it would be nice if they would start races earlier during the summer? By 8:30 it’s getting pretty toasty! I’ve run some pretty hot 5Ks during July and August (in Alabama), but worst hot race experience that I have had was Boston 2012. It was close to 90 degrees for the majority of the race. That was not a good day! LOL 🙂

  3. The heat wave is brutal for running, you ran an impressive time regardless! I’m glad you’re feeling pretty good and able to get back into running and racing again. The hottest race I ever ran in was 96 degrees at my very first cross country meet up a ski mountain. Talk about brutal.

  4. i have been struggling all summer with the heat its just kicking my tail. im glad you finished injury free and got your first race post injury out of the way. it may have been a rough race but you killed it!

  5. Give yourself some grace, Hollie. After so many weeks off running and recovering from an injury, you ran faster than last year on a trail, in a hotter race. Even if you finished feeling tired and you feel like your mental game was off, you did a great job.

    Congratulations on a strong finish and glad your ankle did not bother you!

    1. Thanks Amy. I think it’s all relative. I can’t pretend the race felt good, so I won’t. I’m happy to run again but the race itself wasn’t that great. LOLZ blog is always an open and honest recap of my running journey, the good, bad and ugly. 🙂

      1. I agree that it’s relative- and finish times at a race never tell the whole story. Still, it has to be a pleasant surprise to run the same course a little faster than last year, coming off of an injury. Maybe the cross training kept you from losing fitness?

  6. People like you inspire me. I broke my ankle a month ago, and I’m in the process of healing, so I love to read about overcoming injuries. Even though you didn’t feel like you had the best race, its still very heartining to read that you not only healed well, but improved on your time. Thanks for the pick me up!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your ankle. Which bone did you break? I hope you heal quickly 🙂

      1. Thanks! I broke my tibia and fibula, and had surgery a couple weeks ago to re-align them with titanium plates. I plan on being up and running in no time 🙂

  7. Way to dust off the racing dust and get it done in tough conditions. I’m envious of athletes who thrive in heat and humidity. Fingers crossed, the humidity finally broke here in NYC, and I actually had a not-so-sweaty run after work.

  8. Wow! First run back and that’s your pace? Maybe not a PR, but pretty darn good I’d say. I’ve only done road races (except for Spartan Races) but am looking into NJ-based trail races for the fall.

  9. The heat is such a killer and can eat up your mental game. I hope you’re glad you went out there and tackled it in the heat and even beat your time from last year. Just remember why you were out there in the first place. Mission accomplished!

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