The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon event was celebrating its 50th year and as much as it would be nice to collect a huge belt buckle for my collection, my training only positioned me to run the 10k, especially since I am running a 19.1 km leg in the Banff to Jasper relay this coming weekend. Last year I ran the Calgary 10k event for the first time as a visitor to Calgary, as this event fell on the same weekend I was here buying a house, this year I was running as a local proud Calgarian.
A month ago I ran the Sport Chek 10k in 54:31 and although I wanted to better my time by a least a minute this race I purposely set my watches virtual partner for 55 minutes for I needed to be smart about this race. Unfortunately two weeks ago over the long weekend, my left calf seized up completely and after consulting the internet I realized after the second run of the weekend that it could mean a tear to the muscle. Petrified that I would be sidelined for both races I stopped the stretching I was doing thinking that the muscle was just tight and hung up my running shoes until I could get further guidance. When I phoned on May 20th for an appointment at the recommended sports physio clinic nearby they couldn’t get me in until the 26th, I nearly freaked at the delay but I didn’t want to just go anywhere. So I did no exercising all that week and babied my calf like my life (/sanity) depended on it, which it kind of did. As the week progressed my calf greatly improved and by Monday, May 26th I thought I should test the waters and go for a little run before my physio and to my great relief it was still tight but a fraction of what it was the week before.
At Physio, she couldn’t confirm whether it was a tear or not but there was definitely an issue. She asked whether I would be receptive to Medicinal Acupuncture. I said I wasn’t familiar with this type of acupuncture but if it is covered I am game for almost anything. Since it was covered, she went ahead and inserted a needle(s) within my calf muscle, glutes and lower back and let’s just say I have some tight muscles all over. She warned me that it might be difficult to walk on my one leg for 1-2 days after and she was right. I was worried based on the after effects of the treatment whether I would recover in time but by Wednesday I was feeling like I had a new leg and I went out for a cautious 7k run. No issues. I then ran again on Saturday morning for an easy 5k with and again no issues. Let’s just say I am a believer of this type of acupuncture and would highly recommend it to other athletes.
Even though I was part of a small healing miracle I wanted to be safe running this past weekend. The great thing about this year’s event is that I have met many people and I somehow convinced one of my new running friends to run this event as well. Although we agreed to run our own races it was great to be at the start with a familiar face.
The Marathon and Half Marathoners started at 7.00 am, and the 3000 of us in the 10k group started at 7.30 am. The first 5 k felt great, I didn’t have to resort to any mind strategies to get me to the next kilometer mark but then by 5k the running flow that existed for the first half of the race was gone. It left me, I looked around and it was no where to be found.
1k – 5:17; 2k – 5:09, 3k – 5:18, 4k – 5:26 , 5k -5:37, 6k – 5:40, 7k – 5:11, 8k – 5:35, 9k – 5:33, 10k – 5:08
I can see now looking at my stats, that I started off too fast and then was all over the map, no wonder I had a not as great back half to the 10k. There is no question I need to work on my pacing!!!
My final chip time: 54:35
Based on my gun time I ranked 26 out of 270 in my age category (35-39), which puts me in the top 10%. Next year I will be in the next age category and my goal is a sub 50 minutes. It is doable.