A Weekend Spent On the Sidelines

The Our Boys 5k raises awareness of Batten Disease

Saturday

Yesterday, with this nagging little achilles issue continuing, I was reduced to spectator at the Our Boys 5K (raising awareness of Batten Disease – check out the video here) .  But I had to go to cheer on my friends, namely Kevin, but also Todd (Spears – I have a boatload of running friends named Todd), Dean, and Chad Randolph (only 2 Chad running buddies, Crockford being the other).  If I hadn’t been hurt, this would have been the third race in a row that Dean, Todd, and I all ran – I can’t remember the last time that happened.  But for now, the 2011 PMT 3 Amigos racing streak stands at 2.

I rolled into Moss Creek around 7:30 and as I cruised through the neighborhood in search of Odell Elementary School, site of the start, I happened upon Kevin running his warm-up.  He hopped into the car and directed me to the school.  He grabbed his race packet and his chip and then we were off for a warm-up.

The pain in my achilles was so minimal during the warm-up that I contemplated registering for the race.  But by now, I am experienced enough with injuries to know this was a bad idea.  Kevin and I ran the first bit of the course, discussed race strategy, then headed back to the school.  The Our Boys 5K is a small race, held in Kevin’s neighborhood, and he was in it to win it.  By virtually everyone’s account, Kevin was the heavy favorite.

I chatted with all my buds pre-race.  I so wanted to jump in, but fought off the temptation.  While the gang lined up at the start, I found a nice vantage point some 200 meters up the road that had a good view of the start and the first quarter mile.

The start was signaled and everyone took off.  As is typical of a small race, kids sprinted out to the front but quickly faded.  Before the running throngs were out of my sight, Kevin, as expected, held the lead.

I played around on my Iphone as I waited for the gang to come back in.  In less than 18 minutes, I expected to see Kevin crest the hill near the finish and triumphantly sprint in, arms raised, to break the tape.

Shortly thereafter, the pace car crested the hill and I was confused at what I saw.  Some other guy was in the lead.  I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.  Seconds later, here came Kevin, in second place.  What the hell?

When the leader blazed past me, I shot a surprised look to Kevin who raised his arms, not in triumph, but rather palms up, in bewilderment, to signal to me, “I’m as surprised as you are.”  When Kevin came by, I asked, “Who the %$^! is that?” to which he  just quizzically raised his arms again.

Afterward, Kevin talked to the winner, one Paul Kyle who ran a 17:30 en-route to his victory.  Apparently, he ran track in college and has ran a sub-16 5K.  The thing that was most bizarre to me was that I didn’t spot this guy beforehand.  In a race this size, I can usually scan the crowd and spot potential speedsters.  Somehow I missed Paul.  The fact that he didn’t wear split shorts or a singlet must have helped him fly under my speedster-seeking radar.

Moral to the story – no matter how fast you become (unless your name happens to be Usain Bolt), there’s always someone faster out there.  You just gotta hope they don’t show up at the race you expect to win.  Luckily, Kevin’s recent win at the Bunny Run helped to alleviate any pain second place in Our Boys may have caused.

I cooled down with the runner-up and friends.  While I had no pain during the warm-up, I hurt considerably during the cool-down.  I was grateful we only ran a mile.  Waiting around for the awards, Chad snapped the following pics:

The runner-up hangs out with the crippled guy

Dean and Todd, 2 of the 3 PMT Amigos (somebody please get Todd a hat and/or sunglasses)

Chad sporting a sweet new DART singlet (oops, I said Chad snapped all these pics - obviously someone else took this one)

It was fun to hang out with my pals, but it was tough not being able to race.

Sunday

This morning, I headed over to the Davidson trails in hopes of running.  I ran.  For exactly 51 seconds.  It only took 51 seconds for me to realize that there was nothing positive to be accomplished – the achilles hurt so badly that my form fell apart while I adjusted to avoid pain.  If I continued to run, I would do more harm than good.

So 51 seconds after I began, I turned around and walked back to my car.  I drove to the Y and started my new regimen of cross training.  I spent an hour on the elliptical machine.  Luckily, this did not seem to bother the achilles at all.  Looks like the elliptical and I will be spending a lot of time together, at least until this stupid little injury heals.

The best news about this injury is that it occurred during a time when I had no big races scheduled.   I was looking at jumping in Grandma’s Marathon in June, but luckily I hadn’t signed up when the injury bug bit me.

Now the goal becomes just maintain as much fitness as possible, trying not to lose too many rungs on the fitness ladder.  The closest ‘big thing’ on my calendar is not until August when I’ll make my Hood To Coast debut.  Time to be cool – be like Fonzie.  With the injury and all the personal stuff going on, I may be MIA on the blog for a while.

In the meantime, keep running and I’ll see you when I’m healed up.

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4 Responses to “A Weekend Spent On the Sidelines”

  1. Paul Says:

    hang in there buddy!

  2. Danielle Says:

    I’m sorry your achilles is acting up! Get better soon.

  3. Todd Says:

    Allen-Have you considered compression socks for the achilles? I’m thinking of trying a pair.

  4. Audra Says:

    Not running was the right call Allen. You’ve been doing a lot of races lately so you probably need a rest. I’m out with a knee injury right now, so I know your pain.

    @Todd, I have a couple of pairs of compression sleeves and socks. I recommend the sleeves over the socks bc the socks tend to slip down which is annoying. I find the compression idea great for preventing calf cramps and soleus injury. I would assume it would work for achilles. I use Zensas, but I’ve heard good things about McDavid’s brand as well.

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