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Off to the Races

No previous posts about running so here's the scoop. I've been running on and off for the past 10ish years. I started doing local races in May of 2018 at "Best Fest", a 5k in Portage, Wisconsin.

Before my late 30s I did virtually nothing athletic which saves me from comparison to a younger, fitter version of myself. 😉 I also feel no shame getting medals at small races that have maybe 3 or 4 other people in my age category. I'm turning 47 this summer.

Racing Season

During the winter I have occasional opportunities to run outside or on a treadmill if I'm desperate, but mostly switch over to indoor cycling and cross country skiing. So, a running season for me takes shape from about April to October.

But another terrible factor that annually shapes this season is injury. I've experienced a consistent pattern building up mileage until something hurts too bad to keep running and I have to quit for months. Its usually a knee or hip.

When this happened last year I went to a physio to see what was up. "Your not injured" was the diagnosis I received. Hmm. It was determined to be a neuromuscular issue where my brain was not fully connecting to some muscles. Or something like that.

Exercises were assigned, checkups were scheduled and they got me back running. I also became more cautious about building milage and really do try to keep occasional strength exercises in the schedule. I also brought back regular yoga. At least twice a week.

All this to say that I'm really trying to keep anything but winter from taking me off the road or trail.

The Plan So Far

This year, I'm into it earlier than usual. My first race listed below happened in early April. And after a mistake at my second race of the year, I added a new gadget to my running, a Garmin Forerunner watch.

Using the watch I've started to structure my training to a plan Garmin provides and adjusts based on recorded data. I'm trying a "Training for a 10k" plan with a target race being one in July.

The plan has me doing things that I've not done before. Like "strides". Basically interval training with short bursts of speed work. This almost sent me back to the bench last weekend with what seemed like a pulled groin. So its not perfect. I believe I'm out of that trouble today and have not had to stop running. Which is good news as I've already signed up for several more races, including...

I've signed up for my first ever half marathon. The Madison Mini. I would prefer this milestone not be called "mini", but it will none the less be a major achievement for me. A distance I've never run before.

To further apply the pressure to stay injury free I signed up for an in person training program specifically for the 'mini where I will meet with other runners, coaches and pacers twice a week starting in June. This is something I'm really excited about as running has been such a solo journey for me so far.

Races I've Run So Far in 2023:

Cottontail Classic - 10k (April 8th)

Thoughts and comments:

Chilly morning. Easter themed so, pastel colors on the shirt and a person dressed as the easter bunny. Bunny ears were available to registrants, but I opted out for fear of a detrimental effects on my aerodynamics and ego.

I kicked off from the start line way too fast and burned out pretty bad a quarter of the way through.

Finished 11th out of 80 45:09.48 (chip time)

Run the Rock - 10k (April 23rd)

Thoughts and comments:

This time my race crew (Mom) was along. Again a chilly morning. I started at the top and held the lead for the first half. But the joke was on me as I ran pass the turn around point and its seemingly despondent volunteer who simply waved me along.

It wasn't her fault, I could have asked. But because of this (not my first) SNFU, I bought a Garmin Forerunner 245 on the way home.

Anyway, the race was a benefit for childhood cancer, that was the real point.

Finished 5th out of 16 49:30.15 (chip time)

Upcoming Races

Mother of a Run - 13k (May 13)

Run Madtown - 5k and 10k (May 27 and 28)

The Rec Run - 10k (July 22nd)

Madison Mini - Half Marathon (August 12)

blog author finishing at the cottontail classic race being followed by a very happy looking woman
Me finishing a race. That woman behind me has an attitude I aspire to.