For the tenth year in a row, I ran in Nashua's Great Gobbler Thanksgiving Day 5K race. It is the only yearly race streak that I have left. The strategy was to jog through it and keep my hip safe and pain-free. After a year of trying to get my running going, I did about the same as I did last year just months after my hip surgery. I checked and I have only done about 50 miles of running since the beginning of September so that explains a lot and I have done no run longer than 4 miles since then. Last year, I had put in some 8 milers before the race. I will say however that I felt so much more symmetrical this year. I enjoyed the mechanics of the race. I am just horribly out of shape. Last year was my slowest 5k race ever. This year I was a few ticks faster on the clock. I don't often get to do race reviews anymore, so I will recap the race from my slow-motion vantage point. There is nothing exciting here, expect if was a slow motion replay of many races I have run in the past.
Before the race, I was talking to a few Gate City Strider teammates rows behind the front line including Jim Belanger. We are both old-time gung-ho marathon runners who have lost our mojos. The gun went off and it took awhile to get to the starting line (at least according to what I am used to!) and off I went jogging in a pack of slowish moving runners of all types (young, old, male, female, skinny, fat). I was in the pack. I felt good as I merrily jogged along and was very happy that my hips felt centered and great as I only got little twinges in my glutes and adductors throughout the race. The course changed this year and had over 800 runners. Most of the first mile was on the paved surfaces of the high school parking lot and entry road. It was right before this point that something very familiar happened. Jimmy B. caught up to me. We ran together for a while and entered Mine Falls Park. I recall remarking to Jim, that this was like racing just a few years ago at The Boston Marathon. Here we were running in a large pack of road clogging runners, but both of us were going slower that the marathon pace that we used to run. I usually start out races fast and have run countless races where Jim catches up to me, we run together, and then he slowly pulls away to beat me. A couple of years ago, Jim ran his 15th and final Boston Marathon. I seem to remember him constantly running between 2:50-2:55 year after year. Here is a photo of us both after finishing one year (late 1990's or early 2000's-I have no clue what year this is).
|Spacemen after the 1996 (100th) Boston Marathon|
I am still anxiously awaiting a visit to the physiatrist next week to see if there is something to do about the tightness around my hip and glutes. I have good days and bad days. I was happy with the race as I was only limping around a little bit afterwards and my hip did not tighten up much at all during the day. I was even able to put in a couple miles the next day. It was another low mileage week.
Monday: 2 miles
Tuesday: 0 miles
Wednesday: 0 miles (resting up- ha ha!)
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: 2 miles
Saturday: 2 miles
Sunday: 0 miles
Total: 9 miles
The muscles around my hip are extremely tight and I finally found a hip flexor stretch that doesn't stress out my joint. I have been using it that past few days to some success. Kneeling stretches just haven't worked well for my hip.
I also have started doing some deadlifts for my glutes. I wish I had more weight than my 50 pound kettlebell. Gray Cook expertly teaches the deadlift here:
Here are my Great Gobbler Race results over the past 10 years:
Great Gobbler race results:
2003 19:59 16th originally called a Nashua High School Alumni race.
2004 19:38 15th
2005 19:19 7th (Awesome snowstorm during the race!)
2006 18:16 13th
2007 18:09 18th
2008 20:10 28th
2009 20:46 31st
2010 22:00 77th (off the fumes of summer training as the labral tear kept me from running much)
2011 24:45 170th
2012 24:33 Chip time 24:42 Net time 166th
It should be easy to improve on that next place and time next year, but that is exactly what I said last year and nothing much changed!