Again with the back.

As it turned out, I did not sign up for this past Saturday's Smitty 15K, so I went on a 12-mile training run with the Galloway group. Not saying it was a big mistake, but my body rebelled at about the 10-mile mark. I walked most of the last two miles.

And the back injury that laid me low in September reappeared. Better now, after five days. Also, hope is on the way as the Mrs. and I went mattress shopping. I'm ready to buy; she wants to look around a little more.

But less than 10 days to go before the half-marathon. Despite my surprisingly good run last year on much less preparation, I don't think I'll be anywhere near PR shape.


Welcome, sweet springtime.

Time to put the winter running clothes away for good (I hope). What a strange, confusing winter this was, seeing as how much of it had stretches of summer-like weather.

I like racing. I can't help myself. I'd rather race than go on training runs. Something about pinning on a race number (and, if I'm honest with myself, getting the swag) appeals to me.

Here, then, are my upcoming spring races:

4/1: Richland Creek Run. A lovely five-miler that benefits and largely incorporates the paved greenway trails in my fair city.

4/15: Purity Dairies "The Smitty" 15k. This longstanding event added a 15K last year. The downside? The event sponsor, a dairy, ran out of promised ice cream treats before those of us who did the longest distance were through. (The sponsor, to its credit, sent a coupon for a box of whatever item--e.g. nutty-buddies, ice cream sandwiches--a few weeks later.) My advice: Don't let the kids of the people who ran the 5K raid the stash.

4/22: Shade Tree Trot 5K. Haven't done this race before, but I have a friend who works with the race beneficiary, a free medical clinic. This course goes around the campus of my alma mater (Go 'Dores!).

4/29: Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Half-Marathon. Too big, too crowded, and most likely too hot. And yet, last year, though I thought I was not even close to race-ready running shape, I came within 70 seconds of my PR.

5/29: Chattanooga Chase 8K. My favorite race. Let's put it this way: This race is old enough that I remember being a kid and thrilled that runners wearing actual numbers on their singlets were running on my street, past my house. My mom still lives in that house, and I'll be running past her and other assorted family members. Circle of life...

 

In the meantime, enjoy this springtime treat:

 

 


Global warming.

This time last year, I was lamenting that the school system (my former employer) had gone beyond the allotted five snow days and therefore was going to shorten my (and everyone else's) spring break by two days.

This year? Not so much. Global warming has been good running and walking weather, but...global warming is still a thing, and it's real.


One month in.

OK. So I've exercised for at least 30 minutes for 32 days in a row (Dec 31 + all of January). I have dropped the weight that I overdramatically gained over Christmas. With that in mind, here's a video to enjoy:

 

 


22 days straight.

I am doing John Bingham's 100 Day Challenge, seeing as how I have a bad tendency to let all training slip by the wayside far too often. More days than I'd care to admit (especially after sleeping through Saturday morning running group), I've had to take the dog out walking late at night. But so far, I've colored the first 22 blocks on the shoe in--I ran a very slow 5K on December 31, so I had a head start on this New Year's resolution of sorts.

Link to PDF of shoe chart

Note of irony: I've lost most of my holiday-gained weight by going alcohol-free this year. Tonight, I tried to buy some O'Doul's Amber, just so I could have something beer-ish-tasting. Got carded (of course), then the cashier pointed out that my driver's license had expired. She couldn't sell it to me. "Even O'Doul's?" I said. She said, "No, because there's a small amount of alcohol in it."

Imagine that. Fifty-five years old, and I get carded. And since it's expired and therefore invalid, I suppose (ahem) that I used a fake ID.

 


First race of the year.

So. I guess this is my second race in the 55-59 age group, and first one in this calendar year. So many upsides to this race. For starters:

  • Fourth in my age group. Fourth out of 10! I languished at or near the bottom of most every race I did last year. (And I finished 6th out of 8 just over two weeks ago.) On December 31, I ran a very sluggish 34:24. Today, 32:02, better than two minutes faster. Not a super-fast age group, and a deceptively hilly course (Woodland Street is, for large parts of it, a long damn incline). But I ran at what was obviously a pretty good pace for me at this point in the year.
  • I did not feel the need to walk at all (other than through the one water stop on the course). That hasn't happened in I don't know how long.
  • I weigh about 8 pounds less than I did on January 1. That helps.