I haven’t done any running races in the past 11 months. After doing the Silver Falls Half Marathon last year, I was kind of just done with running. I had some calf injuries leading up to last year’s race and was just sick and tired of being injured. Cycling and hiking don’t destroy my body like running does, so I took some time off from running. I stopped in late January 2016, ran once with Paul when I was back in NH for my dad’s funeral and then didn’t run again until September of this year.
I’ll be approaching my mid 40’s this year. One of the things I have promised myself the past 3 years is to do more strength training year round. Needless to say, I’ve not done a good job of keeping that promise, but a wellness incentive through work allowed me to get a 24 month gym membership for a ridiculously low price. Since the gym is literally less than 100 feet from my office, there is no reason to not go.
So, once I started running again, I also started hitting the gym a couple times a week. Low and behold….the combination of easing back into running and actually doing some strength training has equaled no running injuries (so far). I’m hoping to do 1-2 running races a month between now and the end of February before cycling kicks off in earnest again. I’m aiming mostly for 5K and 10K for the time being.
That led me to pick the 2016 Halloweenathon put on by the folks at Uberthons. I’ve done this race twice before, but not since 2014. I like the low key atmosphere and I love how they preach to the kids to exercise, eat right and Have Fun!
I’ve stated many times before that I am best described as being at the fast end of the slow guys. Not having done a race since last November, I was honestly going to be happy with anything under 24 minutes. I would be psyched with under under 23. So I surprised myself a bit yesterday with running a pretty solid 21:42, a sub 7 min/mile pace (barely….it is a 6:59 pace). I ended up 3rd overall, 2nd male, 1st in age category! Pretty good way to spend a Saturday morning.
A good friend who shall remain nameless, once again accused me of finding the “least competitive running races in Oregon”. However, my counterpoint is that I can only compete against those who show up. I think of it as I’m choosing races that pit me against people closer to my skill level. To equate it to bike racing, I’m doing the category 3-4 races and avoiding jumping into the elite and category 1 races. I don’t do this to “win”. I do it to keep in shape and because I’m goal oriented. Targeting some race or two every month helps me keep focus and not get overly bored.
I try to deny it as much as possible, but I do take bike racing a bit more serious, and maybe that is why this year included only 1 mountain bike race. I never felt in killer race shape and felt like I was going to be “disappointed” with any bike race result. We’ll see how the winter goes, and also try to calm the heck down in regards to bike racing. I do have this thought of trying out the OBRA XC Series again…..but doing the fat bike category………we shall see.
That’s about it for now. Thanks for reading,