Monday, June 2, 2014

VII Carrera Liberty Seguros

I expect this will become the most commented post on my blog as well as one of the most visited, as the spammers seem to pick up on the word "seguros" (insurance) as a good reason to offer unsolicited, unwanted and irrelevant promotions for insurance and other financial products. Oops, I just said "financial products" so that will probably attract even more of the pointless bastards.

After the slightly disappointing taste in my mouth from the Bupa London 10,000, I decided to enter another 10K this weekend, one that I had done a couple of times before (in fact, I ran the very first edition 7 years  ago). As I say, it's worth the entry price just to have the widest roads in the center of town all to yourself (and the other 6,000 runners in this case).

This time I'm not going to go into all the gory details of the race itself, because that wasn't the important thing. The headline is that I ran exactly the same time as I did in London, down to the second: 36:51 - but this course is somewhat more difficult with a steep hill just when your legs are feeling it most. It was also 16 seconds slower than my time over the same course last year (although it was slightly hotter). Anyway, the point is, who cares? I put in my best effort, I felt good about making the most of a sunny Sunday morning and I got to see a few of my friends in the bargain, including Jacobo who went with me on the training camp in Morocco and I was surprised took up to the 8th kilometer to overtake me! There was one small incident of note during the race: I overtook Martín Fiz (ex-World Champion Marathoner). This in itself was no big deal as he was clearly accompanying someone else; no, the point was that I must have cut a little too sharply in front of him because he gave me a little push that was nearly friendly than aggressive in nature, so I apologized.

What made it more special this time was that I had signed up my youngest son, Adrian (9), for a 250m race. What I found especially gratifying - more than his finishing position - was how he took the whole thing with just the right amount of seriousness and determination: not too much and not too little. I think he also found it quite exciting and was very proud of his t-shirt and medal (which only cost €1, by the way!). He's quite keen to do another race, so we will probably take part in the Proniño race in two weeks' time - I will be running as a pacer with the 40' balloon, as I did last year. (Last year I went directly to Boston after the race; this year I am going to Miami, but not immediately after the race this time!).

I've also come up with a rather convoluted theory as to why my foot has recently started to give me problems when I haven't changed my training or my shoes. I have, however, been following the exercises to strengthen and hopefully align my hips, as part of the Functional Movement System. I can certainly attest to the fact that it has helped prevent the build up of lower back pain that was limiting my training for the Half Marathon I did back in March and I might even go so far as to say my posture is beginning to improve. The theory I have is that, as I correct my hips, my back becomes less curved, my head doesn't jut out so far forward and my feet will land more directly under my center of gravity when I am running. All this is good, of course, but this also means I will land less on the outsides of my feet, putting more pressure under the big toe. Perhaps a combination of the damn bunion and the relatively sudden increase of impact forces there have contributed to some nerve damage. I was able to avoid pain during the race by consciously landing on the outsides of my feet but I'm not sure that this is a particularly good idea in the long run (in both senses of the words): it might mean that I am doing something weird like dropping my hip in order to achieve this, that might lead to some related injury, or that I am fighting against the very thing I am trying to correct. A visit to the foot doctor and another FMS session should help clear things up.

This seems like a reasonably positive note on which to close another chapter in my blog (unlike the previous post!), and to make a Blog2Print book out posts over the last year, including my experience in the New York Marathon. Now to enjoy the series of local road races in and around Madrid, before the heat of the summer fully kicks in.

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