Hewitt Pumpkin Run race recap (2015)

I think this is the fifth year I have run this 5K.  And this is the third year I have run it with Jaden.  It has become something of a tradition for us.  One that I really hope will continue.

There are several reasons to love this small race.  First, it doesn’t start until 9:45.  That means that everyone gets to sleep in.  Second, it benefits the local volunteer fire department…a cause near and dear to my heart.  Third, they open up the church so that people can stay warm, and have access to the restrooms.  Fourth, amazing volunteers (many of them firefighters) and organizers. 

Jaden utilized the church to stretch.

The course changed this year from a loop to an out-and-back.  I’m not normally a fan of out-and-back courses, and this one was no exception.  I understand that they wanted to get the runners off the roads and onto the trail for safety reasons (and to show off their new trail).  The trail is mostly gravel/dirt.  There was a short portion just before the turnaround that was paved.  This may have been the new part of the trail.  It looked brand new…and it would be a great biking trail.

The day was pretty windy, and for the majority of the ‘out’ portion, we were running into a head wind.  I will also make note that the trail is not very wide and it was quite crowded at the beginning of the race.  Just another reason why I preferred the old course.  The street had plenty of room for the typical congestion at the beginning of the race.

Jaden had a hard time at the beginning.  It seems that he struggles the most during those first two miles.  There was a lot of encouraging on my part and quite a bit of ‘mom, can we just slow down for a little while’ on his part.

Another difference this year was the addition of beer at the water stop.  An interesting addition.  I didn’t partake because I didn’t think that would do much for my performance, but I offered some to Jaden.  Smile  He decided against it as well.

On the way back, we had the advantage of the wind at our backs.  Jaden still struggled a little bit.  At one point, a kid in his age group passed us with his mom.  I tried to play on Jaden’s sense of competitiveness.  I bribed him.  (don’t judge me)  I know what Jaden is capable of and I want to try to bring it out of him.  So, if I have to offer doughnuts to get him to dig deep, I’m willing to do that. 

We passed that kid and his mom.  As we kept working toward the finish line, we saw another kid in Jaden’s age group.  I told him that we could probably pass that kid too. 

I know he is serious when that hat comes off!

We did end up passing that kid too.  Jaden worked hard during that last mile and it gives me a look at what he is capable of when he really digs deep.

The numbers:

Mile 1: 10:51

Mile 2:  10 58

Mile 3:  9:13  (see?!?!  He can totally do it!)

Mile .13  9:50 pace

Total: 3.13 in 32:18

Super proud of that kid.

Post race thumbs up.  He did a great job but the cold weather got to both of us after the race and we decided head home rather than go to the post race get together at the town hall. 

Overall, Jaden and I both had a great time and we are already looking forward to next year.  Jaden even mentioned that maybe Logan can come next year and run the kids run.  I love running with this kid.

As for my injury, the piriformis started hurting within the first half mile.  It was sore throughout the race, but I guess the good news is that it didn’t hurt any more than usual after the race.  This is the first time I have run more than 2 miles at a time since the first of August.  Getting through this race without any additional discomfort is a victory for me.

Looking forward, Jaden and I are tentatively planning on running the local Hot Chocolate 5K on December 12th.  We’ll see how I’m feeling at that point. 

How are your races going?

October Month in Review

I didn’t really have high hopes for October.  I have been dealing with this injury for a few months now, and it wasn’t showing any signs of letting up.  I’ve been going to physical therapy and doing my stretches and exercises.  I’ve noticed some relief from the ultrasound, but overall, the pain is still there and I can’t really run much at all.  I’ve been limiting myself to two miles (s l o w l y) about three days a week.  I would love to run more, but it just hurts too much at this point.

I had another injection to deal with the back pain on October 27th.  I’m now a week out from that, and my back feels great.  So, I guess I should be happy with that news.  I just wish that the piriformis issue would have responded as well.

I managed to run 37 miles in October.  Which vastly outnumbers the 7 miles I ran in September….so maybe I should focus on the progress, right?  We have been blessed with an unusually long stretch of lovely weather (in the mid 60s today) in Wisconsin and it seems that everyone is out enjoying it.  In fact, today would have been the perfect day for a long bike ride, but I don’t think that would be a good idea.  And, I have tried so hard not to be too jealous of all the runners I see enjoying this perfect running weather.  (It is like September in November.)

My physical therapist (who is so positive that I called her Pollyanna today) is giving me some additional stretches to work on lengthening and stretching the nerves along my back and legs.  And we will advance to some more strengthening moves at some point.  They are counterintuitive at this point, because anytime I try to work the glutes or hamstrings, my piriformis fires and I end up hurting.  Baby steps.  I’m thinking that I may schedule another massage in the near future.  That way I can have someone really work that area and try to make some progress.

I’m really hoping that I can run the local 5K with Jaden this weekend.  We have done the Hewitt Pumpkin Run for the last 4-ish years.  He really wants to do it again.  I just don’t know if I can make it for 3.1 miles.  And I know that if I take Jaden, Logan is going to want to do the kids run, which adds on another half mile or so for me.  The things we do for our kids, right?

I’m trying to stay positive, but it is proving challenging.  I really want to be able to do another half marathon this spring.  And of course, I just heard everyone’s wonderful stories from the NYC marathon.  (someday, I hope)  I’m heading into what is going to be a long winter and I don’t have access to my most effective stress reliever.  I hope to be able to move a little bit every day and avoid the seasonal depression that tends to creep up on me this time of year.  And, I’ll just keep doing my stretches and exercises and maybe things will improve.  I just have to keep hoping.  Maybe I can find an easy 5K in December.

Forty Three 2015

Jaden-old photo of him when he was an only child-about the same age Logan is now (hey-I’m on call this weekend and I didn’t get a picture of him during the week).

Logan-cutest little skeleton.  He loves that shirt because it glows in the dark.