April 11, 2015
The Winter Haven Hospital Foundation has changed the name of the Citrus Classic 5k to the Brick Dash 5k this year. The event is held at LegoLand so the name change is certainly fitting.
I love this race. Not only is it my 5k PR, it’s local, and it’s an opportunity to run through LegoLand which I personally think is a lot of fun. Since I have been sidelined by a pesky little stress fracture, I haven’t been running, or even exercising, at all for about seven weeks. That isn’t entirely true. I did go to the gym a few times and tried to walk or do some cardio on the elliptical. But, since my rule of thumb to follow was “if it hurts, don’t do it” and pretty much everything I tried to do was hurting, I figured I should spend a few weeks refamiliarizing myself with my couch. I hate it but I also don’t want to risk prolonging this injury. The usual healing time for a stress fracture is six to eight weeks. It has been seven weeks for me; five of which I spent in a walking boot; and I’ve been given the clear to start easing back into my exercise routine. I. AM. ECSTATIC!
I head to the gym on my first day back with a plan to just walk and see how it feels. It takes me 47 minutes to go a little less than three miles. I am not speedy but it feels good to walk. I do this same thing for three days in a row. My leg isn’t hurting at all but I am easing back as my doc suggested. I am not taking any chances.
Since I got through the week without pain in my leg; clarifying that my muscles were TIGHT and this caused some pain but nothing that stretching and foam rolling didn’t take care of; my doc has suggested that I start adding in some jog intervals. I am not to run hard; just easy jogs to see how my leg feels and no more than one minute at a time. I do some intervals and find that I am pretty tired even jogging after a minute. My stamina definitely isn’t where it was before this injury.
I registered for the Brick Dash knowing that I wasn’t going to be setting any personal records during the race. I fully plan on walking a good portion of this race. Besides my injury that I am still not back 100% from, Cheertator is running with me and he has a slipped meniscus that has been treated and is still not 100%. We’re basically a broken mess but we’re going to do what we can and just try to have a good time. Cheertator hasn’t ever been through LegoLand and he’s a big Star Wars fan. LegoLand has some cool Star Wars displays. He’s in for a treat.
I picked up our packets ahead of time so that we wouldn’t have to worry about it on race morning. We met in the parking lot at LegoLand about 40 minutes before the race start. We walked around a little and tried to get a spot in the middle of the pack at the start line. There were people everywhere and folks with strollers lined up as close as they could get to the front. I point this out to Cheertator and we try to move to the opposite side. I dislike when people don’t follow good race etiquette and having a stroller and a toddler near the front of the pack is just not get etiquette.
After the National Anthem, we’re sent on our way. The race course is a bit different this year but we still make a loop through the parking lot. We aren’t even a half mile into the run when Cheertator looks at me and yells (because he’s got his music loud in his ears) that he doesn’t think he’s going to be able to run this. We move to the side and start walking. I don’t care how much we walk so we walk for a bit and I wait for him to tell me when he wants to run.
We would run for a minute or so and then walk for a few minutes. My leg was feeling alright and his knee wasn’t. So, we just didn’t push hard. And, since he had never been in the park at all, we took our time and checked things out.
The course took runners through the gardens and then around mini-town USA. In mini-town USA, there are replicas of famous cities; like Las Vegas, New York, and San Francisco; made out of legos. Along this area is also where the Star Wars exhibits are. We stopped and took several pictures with the Star Wars displays.
We headed back towards the main entrance of the park and to the finish line. The finish line is near the new LegoLand hotel. It hasn’t opened yet but it is scheduled to open soon.
We cross the finish line in 54:45. This is a slow 5k but it isn’t my slowest. I also noticed that my clock time and net time are the same. This isn’t correct because I didn’t start at the very front of the pack; I started about midway back so my clock time and net time should be about 20 seconds or so different. This isn’t a big deal for me since this isn’t a PR and I can’t use the time for proof for another race.
After we finished, we collected our medals and walked back to our cars. We decided to go have some breakfast since neither of us really ate this morning. We head to Perkins for some pancakes.
My leg feels good considering that I’ve done very little running since I’ve been given the OK to resume activity. It felt good to get out there and run even if I didn’t run hard or run a lot. I know I can’t push myself too hard and too quickly. I took it easy but I did push myself a little when I was running just to see how it would feel. And, all in all, it felt good. This is a weight off my shoulders going forward.
This is a fun race. I love that it is so close to my house and that runners get to run through the park. I also love that the finisher’s medals are made of legos. I will definitely be back to run this one again.
Until next time…gotta run.