Shuffling To A New 10K PR After Making A Novice Runner’s Mistake

Happy Sunday friend! After a glass of wine too many last night, Sunday started off a bit slow. Thankfully, after a huge bottle of water and a delicious chocolate protein pancake, the day is feeling a bit more normal. But in true hungover fashion…

I’m never drinking again.

We had lots to celebrate yesterday… a friend’s 30th birthday, St. Patricks Day, and a new 10K PR!


Yesterday morning I woke up nice and early to eat breakfast, drink coffee and get to the start of the Shamrock Shuffle, a race in the historic district of Summerville, SC. Downtown Summerville is one of my favorite areas in Charleston. It’s quaint, beautiful, and has and old school charm about it.

The Shamrock Shuffle was my 1st 10K of the year and my attempt to get a seeded spot for the Cooper River Bridge Run. The run has gotten so big and chaotic that I vowed to only run it if I was in the front and out of the mess.

The only problem? To get a seeded spot you have to have proof of a 45-minute or faster 10K time. And considering that my PR was a 49 and some change, I had my work cut out for me.

The Shamrock Shuffle

I got to the race about an hour early to make sure I had plenty of time to warm-up, get into the porta-potty lines and meet up with a few friends. It wasn’t a huge race, so there weren’t any issues at all.


Source: YMCA

As we made our way to the starting line, it suddenly hit me… I made a stupid, novice mistake:

My breakfast had been protein pancakes. Pancakes made out of nothing but an egg and scoop of JAVAPRO protein powder. I had neglected having any simple carbs for breakfast! I was getting ready to run a race, and had made a dumb decision for my pre-race food. All I could do was hope that I had enough energy to let me race hard. I definitely think this affected my run, even it was mental.

The race started about 10 minutes late due to the timing mats, but once we took off, I felt great. Because it wasn’t a huge race, there was no need to weave in and out… it was straight into the race.

Miles one and two passed with sub 7 minute miles. Whoo hoo.

At mile 3, I started to feel sluggish and my pace slowed a bit. It was around this time that my friend Amy took the lead (we had been side by side) and it was right about this time that my calves started to cramp up.

At mile 4, I realized that the 45 minute goal wasn’t going to happen. My calves were so cramped that I had to mentally force myself to keep running. With only 2 miles left, I told myself I wasn’t going to give up. If I couldn’t get 45 minutes, I could at least get a PR.

With the last mile before me, I turned up the music on my iPod to try and keep my mind off my calves and turned up the pace.

I ended up with one of those epic finishes…

I had a lady pass me with the finish line in sight (and a large hill), I saw the clock and decided to give that last little bit everything I had. I sprinted… full out to overtake the hill and the lady. It was awesome. Once over the line, she walked over to congratulate me on the strong run and thanked me for the extra dose of motivation to finish fast.

Love finishing races like that.

As soon as I was finished I felt my calves cramp up even more.

I spent time stretching and drinking water while chatting with friends and waiting for the times to be posted.


I ended up taking off more than a minute from my previous PR for a new time of 48.08 and got 3rd in my age group. My friend Amy (Aka “Tiny Terror“) ended up 2nd in our age group and also walked away with a new PR.  I’m glad she snapped this picture of us!


We also realized that this would be our last race in the same age group, since I’ll be moving up in 3 weeks… which we’re actually happy about because we won’t be race against each other!

Running Calf Issues

Back in December, I suffered from a foot issue stemming from tight calve muscles. With rest and lots of stretching and foam rolling, I was able to recover and make a full comeback.

Last week while on a relaxing run, my calves suddenly cramped up so bad that I had to stop my run and ended up walking (shuffling) back to my car.

Lots of stretching and using the SuperNova helped but they were still incredibly tight and for the remainder of the week I was left feeling as if I had done 100 calve raises.

By Saturday morning things were feeling better and I kept my fingers crossed that the cramping had been a random problem.

Apparently, it wasn’t and even today they are still sore.

With the Palmetto200 just two weeks away, I am doing everything I can to remedy to situation. After talking with Amanda, I am going to decrease my mileage, increase my electrolytes, increase my water, increase my stretching/foam rolling, and see about getting a massage.

Dan is nervous, after doing some research he is convinced that I have some achilles issues going on. Of course I am staying optomistic and think it’s just tight muscles, but I did promise him that after the relay, I would really focus on my body and allow it to make a full recovery.

Have you ever had calf issues? What did you do?


  • Congrats on your PR! I hope your calf issues get resolved quickly!

  • Kim

    WooHoo!! Great job on the PR even with the cramping calves!!!
    And, every once in awhile that extra glass of wine happens, huh?!

    It is rare for me to have calve issues but my Achilles is another matter entirely!!!

    • Haha, yes that extra glass does seem to creep up from time to time!

  • Congrats on the PR!!!! Exciting!! Hope the issues go away quick. Love your hair in the first picture

    • Thanks! I hope this little issue goes by fast too!

  • Congrats!! Love finishes like that too. I have super tight calves that have lead to major plantar fasciitis issues over the years. I feel like I do nothing but stretch and roll them along with my feet. I also try to be consistent with strengthening exercises. But, mine never cramp up on me. The only time I ever have that issue is if I’m not hydrated enough. Could it be a combo of that? Hope you can get them loosened up!

    • Thanks! I am def working on hydration!

  • Foam roll, trigger point with a lacrosse ball, and wear compression sleeves at night. It has worked wonders for me. Definitely wouldn’t recommend protein before a race. Probably after if anything.

    • Thanks Alex. I know, I don’t know what the heck I was thinking with that! Brain fart at it’s finest.

  • congrats on your shiny new PR! I used to have calf issues when I just started running. I did too many miles too soon and my muscles just weren’t acclimated to it. I had some pretty bad runs where I could barely run normally because my calves were so tight. Not very smart of me :

    • Hopefully you’re better now!

  • We did an awesome job yesterday and both of us have a lot to be proud of. Regardless of the situation, how we felt, how we raced, etc… a PR is a PR. We will have other races and chances for more PRs and seeding next year (although I think the seeding standard is entirely ridiculous and anyone who thinks they can finish in 45-60 should have to submit a race result, IMHO). We both deserve wine, hydration, and massages.

    I absolutely cannot much protein or fat before I run! I can’t even eat foods with peanut butter in them. I’ve eaten PB on bread before training runs and it just didn’t work. I just have a sensitive stomach. The night races are the worst because I worry about what I’ve eaten cooperating with my stomach all day long (I am usually a morning or lunch runner).

    I cannot believe our first two miles were sub-7 (I don’t Garmin in races but since we were side by side, I will assume if yours were sub-7 mine were too). Yikes~ we really did go out way too fast…

    I love Summerville too~ it is so beautiful there and I don’t get there nearly enough. I like running the races there because they’re not as flat and the streets are beautiful with a small town feel like I’m used to, rather than downtown Charleston or the suburbia feel of West Ashley.

    Good luck with Palmetto 200 and Amanda coming to visit. I should go check out her blog, I think I have read it a few times now that you mentioned her.

    • We were on fire for sure! Def need to work on the whole pace thing! I don’t know what I was thinking with the pancakes, it was one of those things looking back at I want to slap myself.

      I love Summerville too, it’s one of my favorite all time places in the area. I don’t know why I don’t run there more often on the weekends.

      Congrats on the race, rest up, stretch and let’s get back at it! haha

      • Agreed :). Good luck with Palmetto 200 as well.

        BTW, updated my blog post this afternoon to link to your recap!

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  • So I work for a physical therapist. The patients with tight calves we typically stretch the calf with a wood block then take them through heel raises, squats, ankle weights doing inversion and eversion, weights on the toes doing dorsiflexion and plantar flexion. As well as biking instead of treadmill!!

    • Thanks lady! They seem to be doing much better! Massage, stretch and cutting back on the speed work has done wonders. Glad you got that job!

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