Hey running friends –
I know I have been too busy to post much on running, but I have still been running. I wanted to take a few moments to update everybody on how that’s been going.
In September, I ran the Pleasant Creek Trail Run 30k. It was awesome! It was an out and back loop around Pleasant Creek in Palo (outside of Cedar Rapids, IA). I honestly don’t remember how fast I ran it – I stopped paying attention to that recently – but I can remember it being a blast. It had rained for several days the night before and it was muddy. On top of that, it was also hilly. In fact, most of the last mile was up hill and I had to get creative on how exactly to stride – using my normal stride basically helped me go a few inches each step because I would slide down and the mud would fly everywhere. Eventually, I settled into what I would describe as a mix between a power hike and a ice skating – a lot of side to side movement, with big arm swings, that resulted (somehow) in forward motion. Maybe I’ve stumbled upon something and I’ll have to make a demonstration video (although, I’m not sure who would watch it, exactly). All in all, I was pleased with the outing. I met some awesome people at a “down home” event, got 8th overall and 3rd in my age group. I would encourage everybody who can to check it out, running either the 15k or 30k option.
In October, I ran the Twin Cities Marathon. I struggled getting my long runs in, so I was very nervous for this race. To top it off, even after changing my estimated finish time from the BQ I had originally looked for to a more realistic time, they kept me in the same corral, so I was surrounded by people much faster than I would be. As the gun started, it was discouraging to see people flying out ahead of me knowing that there was no way I could catch them. It was chilly outside and the sun was shining, though, so I figured that as long as I couldn’t reach the goal I had originally set, I would do my best to enjoy the run. And I did – there are some color characters and awesome people out on the course, with almost the whole course having at least a handful of people in sight on the sidewalks to cheer you on. Then, mile 19 happened. Except mile 19 seemed to stretch out for a long time – until mile 23, in fact. I didn’t feel quite human until mile 23. The hill and the lack of endurance took their toll, plus I was a little worried about what would happen if the protest by Black Lives Matter, a group which I support, was going to happen at mile 25. Turns out, I got through those 4 miles and the BLM group moved their protest to the finish line and I had my strongest finish ever at a marathon. But, in an ominous event, my watch died exactly at mile 25, right where the protest was going to take place. And I’m okay with that – I will let that be a reminder to me of what it more important than running, especially the lives of people who have been struggling for so long to be heard. At the finish, my wife and my oldest daughter met me with big hugs – my oldest is a huge cheerleader for me, yelling, “You won! You won the run!” Not my best time, not my worst, but a wonderful lesson in priorities and learning to cope with adversity.
Peace, everybody. We carry each other.