Saturday, Jennie and I ran the Heart & Sole 5k together. The Heart & Sole run is the annual Valentine’s Day run for the area – just a little after Valentine’s Day this year.
This was my first time running since my toe injury. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I had tried running on Thursday but stopped after about a quarter mile and walked home.
Prerace, I had to decide which shoes to wear. My Brooks DYADs that have more cushioning and a narrower toe box or my Sauncony Kinvara which have a wider toe box and less cushioning. Unfortunately, because they used the D-Tag chips at the race I had to make a firm decision because I couldn’t easily swap the tag between shoes. I decided on the Kinvara and I think it turned out to be the right decision.
The race started at 8:30 and we got to the MAC, a nearby athletic club, at about 8:00. This race was somewhat unique because it started and finished indoors on the tennis courts/track. It was a good way for everyone to stay warm before the race, but there were some issues.
We snapped our prerace self portrait before lining up. We are going to try and take a pre-race photo before each race this year and then compile a collage. Think of it as a more appropriate version of this guy’s annual collage.
While waiting around for the start, we ran into a bunch of familiar faces. The more races we do, the more people we meet. After chatting for a bit, it was time to line up.
This is where the the indoor start/finish got tricky. Below is a picture of the starting mat.
As you can see, not a lot of room. There were 230 runners, so not a huge race, but still a lot of people to squeeze through the one doorway. If that wasn’t bad enough, there were a couple obstacles just as you got started. First, as you exited the building, you crossed over the indoor track. At the edge of the track, there was a large bump sort of like a speed bump. After that, we had to climb over a berm. On the downslope of the berm was a giant, ill-placed tree stump. They had a volunteer standing in front it warning runners. Needless to say, it was a very interesting start. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the fact that we were less than 100 yards into the race and it was looking like a Warrior Dash or something.
Right out of the gate, my foot was killing me. It hurt like crazy. I would have stopped then, but I realized it wasn’t really my toe that was hurting but my whole foot in general. I decided to stick with it and make a decision at the half mile point. I continued to run with Jennie evaluating my options with each step.
Once we got to the half mile mark, my foot was feeling a lot better. Not 100% pain free, but the pain was minimal. It was almost like my foot/toe was just really stiff and had to loosen up a bit. I relayed the good news to Jennie and she told me it was OK if wanted to take off and run on my own. I decided to just stick with her though so that we could finish together.
The course looped around through the neighborhoods. It was a fun course because the entire course was contained within the neighborhood and we didn’t even see a main road the entire time. Even though I have run through the area in the past, I never realized how hilly it was. It seemed liked it was rolling hills the entire time.
My toe held up pretty well the rest of the way. The down hills were a bit rough, but nothing that overly concerned me.
We ended up plugging through to the finish together. We had to climb over the berm one more time before entering the building. It was cool to finish together because when they announced our names, they said, “Now let’s welcome back the Neumann’s, Kevin and Jennifer.” That is first time we have been welcomed back as a couple.
Overall, it was a fun race. I was most happy with the fact that I was able to run the entire way with minimal pain. I was worried that after I was done, my toe would flare back up, but that never happened. I am going to continue to take some time off, but I will hopefully be able to ease back into running by the end of the week.
Finally, Jennie’s Valentine’s Day present finally arrived in the mail. I made the shirt using Spreadshirt and am really happy with how it turned out. I had wanted to make a tech shirt for her, but the only colors they had were black, white, and a dark purple – none of which would have worked with my design.