As I’ve said in the past, I finish most races with a beer — even if it’s just at home. So the IL Brewery Running Series race I was going to do was the perfect fit. However, the particular brewery (Jolly Pumpkin) still hadn’t reopened, and thus the race was cancelled. When I went looking for a replacement in-person race, I found the FraidyCat 5K.
I had run this race in the past, and it was a lot of fun. Well, except for that climb when you went around the back of the building (school?) and up the hill at about 2.75mi.
At some point earlier in the week, I had done something to my left knee. It wasn’t serious enough where it hurt all the time. But it hurt enough that I kept off of it most of the week. I also did a lot of extra stretching that morning to try and get it as loose as possible. I thought it would lead to the best possible outcome.
And then about 20 feet into the race, my left leg went down into a minor pothole and jarred the knee. This would become an issue later in the race.
During the first mile, things went OK. The pacing was a little too fast early on, but we managed to get it more in line before the end of the first mile. For most of mile 2, things were OK with the knee. But by the time we made the turn into the neighborhoods, it started to act up.
During the last mile, it became a run/walk scenario. I’d run until it got to about a 6, and then would walk until it was down to about a 2.
Even with all of the knee challenges throughout the race, I did still shave 6 seconds off of the last race time. And I’m closing in on being down 5 full minutes since getting back to more consistent running.