Monday, September 28, 2020

WWC TreadBrightly Trail 1/2 Marathon

My Google alarm with off at 7:01 AM. I rolled over to tell it to turn off. That's when ache in my legs reminded me of what I did the night before and the realization set in that I was about to do it all over again. 

I pushed out of bed, gathered my stuff, and headed off to the WWC TreadBrightly 1/2 marathon. After all, the the trails had already been open for over an hour. 

I chose to not go off when the trails open at 6 AM. I felt that I had enough running with a head lap for a while. 

A little after 8 am, I warmed up and then headed for the starting line. The music was blaring, and people were already finishing the 4 miler. 

I checked the monitor. No one had finished the 1/2 yet but I had to assume that at least a few were already on the course. 

My legs felt heavy when I pushed away from the starting line. They unwilling went from easy running to a little harder running. 

I was passing more people this time. I passed this young guy on Academy. I didn't think much about it but a short time later, he dropped in behind me. After a mile or so, I attempted to open a conversation. Nothing! After a few more attempts, I gave up. We ran together with only shared sound was our breathing. 

He had stayed close on my heels so when we hit Needle on the way back, I expected him to pass me. Toward the end of Needle, there is a nasty little hill. I dug in and pushed hard up it. When I made the u-turn to go back down, he was about 30 yards behind me. 

I used the downhill to pick up the pace. Out of sight out of mind was what I was thinking. If he didn't see me, maybe he wouldn't give chase. 

The few times that I peeked over my shoulder, I never saw him again. 

Passing 10 miles, my legs were feeling the miles. I could tell that I was slowing. Every hill seemed like a mountain. 

I passed by the boat docks, and I checked over my shoulder one last time. No one was in view. I was truly happy about this. I did not want to be racing hard to the finish. 

I popped along the channel and happily let my legs carry me back to the finish line. 

Two half marathons in two days, I was happy to be finished. 

I ran 2:04:36 which was 17 seconds faster than the night before. I finished 9th overall and first in my age group. 

Jumping back in to racing was hard. My body clearly wasn't ready for it but I survived. I learned, and I will work on improving before I strap on my racing flats for my next race. 

Tails from the trails,

The Cool Down Runner

Sunday, September 27, 2020

WWC Treadnightly 1/2 Marathon

 After months away from racing, I jumped right in to the deep in of the pool with the WWC Treadnightly 1/2 marathon. I should have tried something easier but this was the first race that I felt comfortable trying. 

I think that the WWC guys did a good job putting on this race. Runners had a entire week to pick up the packet. They had a long window to start the race so that there was no mass start. Runners winning awards can pick them up at Outfitters over the next month. 

I kind of liked the changes. With no waiting on the start, I could start as soon as I was ready. Once the race was over, I got my medal and headed home. I was back at my house twenty minutes after finishing. What's not to like about it. 

All week long, I was hoping for dry conditions. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate. Rain left the course soaked and sloppy. 

I started under a little drizzle falling. My plan was to start shortly after they opened the course. Only a few runners were in front of me. Jake and I quickly linked up and started catching people. By 4 miles, we had caught everyone that left before us. 

There were plenty muddy spots. I was doing my best to choose where I put my feet down carefully. 

We made our way along North Main to Figure 8, to Academy, to Thread, to Bandit, to Panda, back to Bandit, to Needle. Jake and I had been chatting back and forth which really helped pass the miles. 

Jake was only doing this race so he told me that wanted to pick it up over the last 3 miles. I told him to go for it. I was racing the next morning so I needed to save a few matches for the next day. 

As I got back along the river, fog started to roll in to the woods. I had to give up looking ahead and focus on the 3 or 4 feet in front of me. When I looked up, I couldn't see anything. My Black Diamond heads put out a lot of light. They just don't cut through the fog very well. 

Last couple of miles of the 1/2 overlapped with the last couple of miles of the 4 miler. I encountered a few runners and walkers. Everyone was super nice and gave me plenty of room to pass. 

I exited the woods along the channel and headed for the finish. I could breath a little easier now. There were no roots or rocks to trip me up. 

I finished in 2:04:54. This was faster than last year when we ran in a pouring rain. I am not sure how that happened. 

It felt good to get a race under my belt. The rust was very evident. I am not in any type of racing shape but I can work on it. Now, that a few races are starting to reappear, I am going to get in a few more speed sessions. Hopefully, this will help with my leg turnover. That's the theory anyway. 

Hope your running and racing are going well.

The Cool Down Runner

Thursday, September 24, 2020

WWC River Jam Virtual 10k - Sept Edition

 So I ran my September WWC River Jam Virtual 10k race. I don't know. I felt like I was running faster than I ended up running. I ran 48:58. This was some 30 to 60 seconds slower than usual, but then, I have been sick, and I am still getting back to full strength. May be I should not be so disappointed in myself as I felt by just looking at my Garmin.

Looking at September, I went for it because I expected more rain this month. Rain means the trails are closed so I would have no opportunity for a time. Since I was doing the entire virtual series, getting in a time albeit may be slower needed to be done. 

If there is one bright side with this being a virtual race, I can hold off to the last minute submitting my time. Then, if an opportunity to do 2nd run arises, I can take advantage of it. Right now, I am hoping for next Tuesday morning. If the stars align, I will be going after a 2nd time. 

I am definitely feeling strong. Hopefully, feeling strong will result in a faster effort this time around. 

Hopefully, everyone is stay well, and we can all look forward to getting back to some normal racing '21. 

The Cool Down Runner

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Getting back in the groove

 This weekend I went 20 on Saturday and 10 more today. It wiped me out more than I thought yesterday. I was ready for bed by 8:30 PM last night. Gaining back my strength just takes time. I don't want to rush it. I definitely don't want to get sick again. 

Stay well my friends,

The Cool Down Runner


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Under the Weather

 I am sorry. I have not felt much like posting lately. The last few days of August and in to September, I was really under the weather. 

It all started when I noticed some soreness in my shoulders. Then, the next day came a low grade fever. The next days, I could only garner enough strength for a couple of miles of running each day. Otherwise, my travels limited to going between my bed and my couch. I took some ibuprofen help with the fever. I had no appetite and no energy. The headaches were a awful. Nothing seemed to help. 

After about three days, my temperature slowly started to come down. It took a full week before it was normal again. 

With this pandemic happening, I figured that it was my time. 

However, once I got well enough that I could drive again, I got tested. 24 hours later, I got back my test result, and to my surprise, I did not have Covid 19. 

Apparently, I just had the yearly flu.

It really took it out of me. 

It has been over a week now, and I am still just getting my strength back.

My daily life has pretty much returned to normal. Running, however, is still coming along. That strength that I have come accustom to leaning on during my runs has not returned yet. I am trying to be smart about it so I am taking things slowly. 

What I really cannot figure out is this. I wear a mask. I don't venture in to large groups. I wash my hands regularly.  I sanitize them when I go out, and I am probably more careful now than I have ever been in my entire life yet I still caught this "flu" when I am surrounded by the Covid 19 virus. Life makes no sense sometimes. 

Feel better, 

The Cool Down Runner