Today I went to the 29th Anniversary 15K, a race put on by the Annapolis Striders at the beautiful Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland. I had never been there before, though I had often been in the area, and I've missed a lovely gem! I definitely plan to return to make use of the 6 miles of jogging/biking paths that wind through the woods, along with the nice-looking playground!
My running buddy Dave carpooled over with me - it was nice to have the company and the navigational assistance.
I had been hoping to finally break the 1:00 10K barrier in this race. However, the Race Gods had other plans for me.
It started well - cool (~38*F) and no winds made for good running weather through the woods. However, the terrain was considerably hillier than I am accustomed to and there were slippery wet leaves on the trails - which brought my pace down slower than I had hoped.
First three miles:
1: 10:17 (okay, maybe I'm too slow for a 10K PR today, let's keep running and see how it goes - ouch, stop and remove a stone from shoe, don't slip on the wet leaves!).
2: 10:14 (that's better, but maybe we'll work on a 15K PR today instead of 10K. Walk to get in some water at the aid station).
3. 9:58 (let's see, 3 miles in 30:31 - I'll have to have a huge negative split to go sub-1:00 in the 10K, but I'm game to keep trying, I'm feeling good).
At Mile 3.5 things ground to a halt.
It felt like my right lower quad cramped and then suddently it was too painful to fully straighten my knee. I could only limp along slowly, in considerable pain. Several runners were nice enough to ask me if I needed help, but no, there was nothing they could help with. Fortunately the course looped around close to the car and the finish line at 4.0 miles so I pulled out of the race.
I was able to see Dave make his excellent finish under 1:20, however! Well done! It was a really great event and we're planning to go back and train on those hilly trails later this winter, since there are no nice rolling hills like that anywhere around home in our county.
But first I have to fix this little lameness issue I have. I'm thinking it was some type of quadriceps cramping and tear. While the muscle was cramping it would have pulled on the patellar tendon enough to make it acutely painful at first. That pain subsided after about 20-30 minutes enough to walk fairly comfortably, and now it's just a low-level ache.
A quadriceps muscle pull is a lot better option than any kind of major muscle or tendon damage or tearing, so I'm going to work under that assumption for a few days and see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
If you've got any other diagnoses or advice for me, I'm all ears! Naturally I'd like to resolve this quickly and without further incident!