Two Lives, One Lifestyle

Cherry Creak Sneak Recap by Katie
April 26, 2010, 10:03 pm
Filed under: 5k, Katie, Races, Run

I’ve run for years but never started racing until I signed up for the marathon. Talk about over-achiever.  My first competitive run was a St Pat’s 5 Miler with my sister and Kelli and ever since that race, I couldn’t wait to do another (oh and that pesky surgery stopped me from doing the Platte River Half Marathon).  Enter: The Cherry Creek Sneak 5k.  I went with the 5k distance since I’m more of a sprinter-lover than an endurance fan.  Plus, I ran 9.5 miles the day before so I didn’t want to overdo it.  Why good morning Colorado!

When I woke up on Sunday, I was so glad I was signed up for the 5k instead of the 5 miler because my left knee was killing me.   The knees are always stiff the day after a long run so I just grabbed some ice and hoped for the best.

John and I drove to the Cherry Creek area and walked about 1/2 mile to pick up our numbers.  Realizing we forgot some things, we headed back to the car (1/2 mile) and then jogged to the start (1/2 mile).  There were so many pretty flowers blooming!  Springtime flowers are my favorite.  Give me daffodils over roses any day… actually if I randomly got any flowers any day I’d be pretty happy.

They had some signs posted for people to line up based on time but there were definitely some people in the wrong areas.

Between the little warm-up, my adrenaline, and my competitiveness my knee either really didn’t hurt or I blocked it out.  I started out with John, running a 7:30 pace for the first 1/2 mile. I was a little shocked when I noticed how fast I was going so I slowed down to around an 8 minute mile pace and John sped up.  I think I paced myself well because I didn’t have much left to sprint to the finish.  I sped up but it was far from a sprint.

After checking out results from previous years, we both made our goal to finish within the top 100 of our sex division.  And we both accomplished our goals (no pictures of us… how do people take pictures while running?!)!   At 25:08 I finished 48th among women and 7th in my age group (including the top 3 women, who were in my age bracket).   I couldn’t believe my average pace was 8:05 or something like that.   I can’t wait to do more shorter distance races post-marathon, on fresh legs, and without nagging knee pain.

As soon as I finished my knee was feeling AWFUL.  We hobbled back to the car to grab a change of clothes and my camera (1/2 mile) and then back to the post-race party (another 1/2 mile).  I had to stop to buy allergy medicine because I was sneezing every 30 seconds. It was so gross and hilarious:  there was snot and Clif bar crumbs flying everywhere but I was laughing because I couldn’t do anything about it.  I’ve never sneezed so much!

Anyway, on our way to the the free beer tent, I noticed the free massage tent.  Races are worth it for all the schwag and free stuff!

I got a GREAT massage therapist, told her what was hurting, and 15 minutes and some good-massage-pain later… my knee was totally pain free.  I couldn’t get over this miracle!  She told me that my outer quad muscles were super tight and imbalanced with my inner quad muscles.  She suggested cupping or foam rolling or massages (as she works with mostly elite athlete clientele in their homes, I sadly cannot afford her) while I work on strengthening my inner quads.   Apparently my right IT band was so stiff she was surprised that nothing on that leg was bothering me. Good to know for future pain prevention.

Since so much time had passed, we went to the finish line to try and spot some friends running the 5 mile race.  My uncle Pat is in the black shorts at the left side of the frame. Go Pat!  His girlfriend is the blonde behind him.

Finally, we headed to the beer tent (so we’ve walked at least like 3 miles) and guess who realized they didn’t have their ID?  Ughhh… another walk back to the car.  This time we decided to drive closer to the post-race party but man, 4+ miles of walking with a race in the middle plus 9.5 miles yesterday was not ideal.

A few beers and a BBQ sandwich later, it was nap time!

Oh and how fabulous is this addition to downtown Denver?  They just placed these bike racks all over the city and you can rent it for 30 minutes for free, or pay about a dollar an hour for more time!  As we passed this one John said “how cool would it be to live near here and then ride bikes over to Whole Foods for dinner?”  Um, swoon?  😉