Year 4 of the Bacon Race!
I’m finally back to signing up for races and participating in these events. I have yet to really race one as I’m still terrified of reinjury. I have not run a 5k since the Bacon Race last year. I sign up for these things to have fun, to test myself, to run, all kinds of reasons and yet haven’t actually raced something in so long I almost forgot what it was to do that. Once the forecast for the race came out I changed all goals to don’t die. I think this is a pretty valuable and attainable goal.
The Bacon Race is held in a park not far from my house. In fact the start line was probably 100 yards from where the start line was on Sunday when I ran (almost died) the Cudahy Classic. I never had any intention of racing that. Basically I just wanted the water stops on my 10 mile run. This may not have been the best idea and I was rudely reminded why I don’t do my long runs on Sundays, but I did survive and then promptly did nothing else that day.
The Bacon Race is always a Thursday evening during the hottest part of the summer. You would think I would remember this from year to year, but apparently I block it out. Since I’m kind of in peak week of my non-training plan for the Madison Mini I decided I needed more than three miles on Thursday. Sara agreed and with the summer weather we are finally having we decided to run an easy three before work and then the 5k in the evening. As we got closer to the race the weather seemed tolerable as in not humid and not horribly hot. There was a breeze, not a cool one, but moving air. The shade was downright pleasant. The sun was not.
Sara and I took off and I was kind of impressed with how I felt. I was also thinking I should have actually warmed up, not just walked back and forth to the car. When my watch beeped at mile 1 (8:00), my initial thought was “shit, I should not be going that fast.” We avoided the bacon stop around mile 1.5 and kept on trucking forward. I did not check my pace, but paid attention to my legs. Mile 2 beeped in at 8:16, which I felt better about. Still much faster than expected. I started hurting and Sara was still pushing ahead so I just dug deep and kept up with her. Mile 3 was the slowest, but that’s okay (8:31) and we were able to finish strong at a 7:21 pace. We crossed the finish line and I wanted to die. We got our bacon and some water, found the shade and waited for my mom to finish. She looked strong coming across just under 30! Yay mom! She got 3rd in her age group. I ended up 10/69 in my age group so I’m pretty thrilled. Sara and I realized it was our fasted Bacon Race since the first year, also exciting.
88 Degrees – 3.1 Miles – 8:14 pace – 25:45 – 10/69 AG
Post race was fun per usual. Lots of bacon snacks and some beer. There was a fun band and lots of friends to chat with. I’m sure I’ll run it again next year. I just can’t stay away. I do need to find a morning, fall 5k though.
Next up: Madison Mini
I slugged through a 10 miler this weekend. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fast and it made me hate that I hadn’t run that distance in over a year. I miss the days of a 10 miler being normal. I won’t call it easy, but I could set out on the weekend and run 10 miles and know I wasn’t going to die. I took this for granted a few years ago. I assumed it would last. I thought running 10 miles would stay a normal part of my life. It didn’t for any number of reason. Then Saturday happened; I had grand plans of getting up early and getting it done with. Well, Mother Nature, the bitch that she is, had other intentions and there were a storm, including lightning and high winds and all the not fun stuff, so I couldn’t go early. Around 7:45 texted me with “are you more had core than me?” My response was something along the lines of “nope, I’m in bed watching Netflix.” We texted back and forth for a while stalking the weather. We had plans that day and getting the 10 miles done were part of them. I kept stalking the weather and finally decided to just go. I didn’t want to have to run Sunday and the weather looked not terrible.
I ran 8 hilly, hot, humid miles the week before so figured this had to be better. This thought process proved to be mostly true. The humidity dropped thanks to the storm and there was actually a lake breeze! I was slower than I wanted, but reminded myself speed didn’t matter on this run and let that go. I kept moving forward. Thankfully my route includes three places to refill my handheld if needed and a lot of shade. Not enough shade though; I am rocking a nice racer back tan line. The miles really weren’t too bad until the last one. If this had been a 9 mile run it would have been great. That last mile was miserable and horrible and I hated everything about it. I thought about quitting and asking my parents to drive me home (they live a mile from my house). I thought about just walking, but that would take longer so I sucked it up and made it home. And promptly laid on the floor on my yoga mat for 45 minutes to stop sweating/not move. I thankfully recovered pretty well so that was nice. Recovery was assisted by a lovely afternoon at the local beer garden, dinner on the grill/breaking in my new patio, and a lazy day by the pool on Sunday.
I finally know I can do the Madison Mini and finish without wanting to die. I have another 10 miler next weekend and another chance to feel better out there. I have modest goals for the half next month. It’s really to see where I’m at and what I can do. Plus I get to run a beautiful course in Madison. Race day is 33 days and counting.
Turns out I’ve been working with my trainer for over three months now. I’m not really sure where the time has gone. I know I went to Italy, ran Ragnar, and summer is here, but other than that, how is it July? Whatever, that’s not the point. The point is I have been meeting twice a week for half an hour with a personal trainer for several months now. I can actually see a difference. In addition to the physical therapy I did for endless months last year I continued to work on my ankle strength and as of now my right and left feet/ankles seem to be equal in strength which is huge to me. My left foot was weaker for so long; this is all very exciting. I can do push-ups, real ones. I can tell my core is getting stronger which is something I never did on my own. I only thought about it and talked about it; shockingly that does nothing to improve your core strength. The time and money is completely paying off and I’m glad I’m doing it.
I hope, and assume, it is helping my running. Stronger muscles and more well rounded exercise is good for you. I’m running semi-consistently and still have no idea what to expect for the Madison Mini next month. I vacillate between believing I’ll be ready and thinking I have no business running a half. I want/need another run like my second leg of Ragnar. That felt so magical and amazing and made me feel like my old runner self. I know it takes time, but I’m getting tired of it. I’m really glad I have my strength work. It keeps everything fresh. Plus she asks about my running and I can’t have no answer. Only 45 days until the Madison Mini. That’s not many so I better keep on running.