July month in review

Running: Only 48 miles in July.  Not a lot.  I’m trying to be okay with that.  It takes me up to 530 miles for the year.  My mileage is down.  I should focus on the fact that I am still able to run. 

Biking: 123 miles in July.  I really love my bike.  I’m not very fast, and my back injury keeps me from going more than about 2 hours.  I can only ride once or twice a week, but I just love it.  There is something so peaceful about riding through the countryside.  I wish I could do it more often.  235 miles for the year.

Swimming:  I only got in the pool three times in July.  I wish it was more, but the timing is difficult.  I just don’t have easy access to a pool.

Races:  I did 4 races in July.  I set a 5K PR without doing any speed work…and I paid for it for about a week.  I ran a 5K with Jaden, ran our local 5K, and competed in my favorite duathlon .

 

I wish I could say that I have an amazing August planned or that I was diligently training for a fall half marathon.  Unfortunately, none of those things are true.  I’m currently dealing with some significant back/hip pain that has me sidelined. 

I am going to do a water-based obstacle course with Jaden next weekend in Iowa when we visit my sister.  Other than that, I have nothing planned for the rest of the year.  I have some things I would like to do, but all of that will depend on my ability to get in to see a surgeon for a consult and the possibility of getting another injection.  I hope to get the pain under control, so I get back to running.  It certainly makes me happier.

So many races…

We are so busy racing and living life that I am falling behind on getting the race recaps up.  So…here are the last two races we did.  But, actually it is 4 races.  we like to race.

The third weekend in July is our local town festival.  It includes a race on Saturday morning, the Jamison Kampmeyer Memorial Run-named after a fallen firefighter and local hero.  I have been involved in this race every year for the past 6 years.  In fact, this year’s race fell on the exact day of my very first race ever, when I ran the 5K six years ago.

This year, Jaden decided not to run the 5K and instead to run the 1 mile kids run with Logan.

They got to see their cousins at the race.

The starting line is a little chaotic.  Lots of kids and quite a few parent running along with them.

I let them take off and then hurried off to see them further on down the course.  They are having so much fun.

Jaden ran most of the course with his brother and then took off to finish on his own (Logan wanted to finish with me….a mile is a long way for a 4 year old).  Jaden got a great high five from Fish as he was finishing.

It took some convincing, but I managed to get Logan to run to the finish line.

This may be my favorite photo ever.

The kids love their trophies.

5K/10K start.  Tim and I ran together for the first 2 miles and then I ran ahead. 

I ended up with third in my age group.

Tim finished with his fastest 5K time of the year.

Pros:

*Local Race, great cause, great people, etc.

*Kids all get trophies

*Loved that the kids race was before the 5K/10K this year.

Cons:

*It was hot

*Most people didn’t know about the switch to moving the kids race earlier.  Caused a little confusion.

Overall: A-

I love the switch to doing the kids race earlier.  I think the communication needs to be a little clearer.  I’m sure it was on the flyer, but when people are used to doing things a certain way for so many years, change is hard.  I love my local race and I plan on doing it for as many years as I can.

 

The next weekend, was the Hub Cities Duathlon.  This is another favorite race.  I have been involved in some way since it started.  Last year I volunteered because I was injured and couldn’t participate.

This year, they added a kid’s duathlon.  It consisted of a 1/4 mile run, 1 1/2 mile bike, and 1/4 mile run.  Jaden was very excited to participate.

All the kids taking off at the start.

I love his focus and determination.

Here is his run into the transition area after the first run.

He took a while to get his helmet on and his bike ready. 

 

He was really looking forward to the bike portion.  He thought he would do really well here, but a lot of the kids have road bikes or bikes with gears and he just has his mountain bike.  His spirit was in it, but I think his bike might have slowed him down.

Running toward the finish line after the 2nd run.

He worked hard because he didn’t have much left in the tank at the finish.

Duathlons are exhausting.

Check out those run splits.  Talk about consistency.  He lost time on the bike.  Might be time to get him a bike with gears.

He finished third in his age group.  Way to go, buddy.

It is only appropriate to have a massive ice cream cone after your first duathlon!

Jaden had such a good time that he said he wanted all of his races to be duathlons!

The next morning, it was back for the adult’s turn.  The course is a little over a 2 mile run, about a 14 mile bike, and a little over a 2 mile run.  They changed the run courses a little bit last year, but because I was volunteering, I didn’t notice. 

Strong start.  Women start 2 minutes after the men and two minutes before the relays.  The first relay runners caught me at just over half a mile.  Super fast!

It is hard to see from this picture, but my back tire is really low.  I noticed it about 3 miles into the bike portion and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.  I know that it slowed me down.  Grrr!

I look like I am struggling….because I am!  It was hot.  And I was having a hard time getting my legs to do what my mind wanted them to do.

Thumbs up.  I’m almost done.  The second run leg is almost entirely on the trails.  This would be great for a lot of people, but not for me.  I am really clumsy.  Really.  My dad still calls me ‘Grace.”  I was so worried that I was going to fall or trip over a root or hurt myself.  I was very preoccupied with keeping my footing.

How I managed to snag 4th in my age group is a complete mystery to me.  Everyone else must have struggled with the heat too.  The competitive part of me wonders how I would have done with a properly inflated back tire.

Unlike the kids, our run sections were slightly different lengths.  First run was 2.2 (8:05 pace).  Second run was 2.1 (8:52 pace).

This was not my fastest time on this course, but it was my hardest effort.  I really struggled.  I know it was hot, and I know I had a low tire, but I really thought I was in better shape.  I guess I’m not.  I think I will set a goal to work hard and come back next year ready to compete.  (Assuming my back injury cooperates.)

Pros:

*The kids race.  Loved it.  And I loved that they had the timing mats set up for the kids.  They didn’t do awards and everyone got a medal-which is exactly how it should be-but it was nice to be able to show Jaden how he did.

*Wonderful people.  I really love this event.  I see a lot of people I know.  The volunteers are wonderful. 

*The food.  THANK YOU for having veggie subs.  And the cheese is awesome.  And so is the granola.  It is some of the best post-race food.  Much better than just half a banana.

*Lots of transition area spectators.  The transition area is really well laid out.  Jaden was there and was hanging out with my friends’ kids and they were able to see us several times and easily stay out of the way of all the athletes.

Cons:

*I’m an idiot and didn’t triple check my tires.  Next year, my friend Bill has put himself in charge of my tires.

*The bike course just isn’t all that interesting.  Not much can be done about that.  Maybe I just remember more spectators along the bike course in previous years.

*I don’t like trails.  Everyone else would probably list the trails as a ‘pro.’

*Kids race transition area.  There were parents and adults all over.  They were lined up in the way of the kids who needed to rack their bikes.  I was afraid someone was going to get hurt.  I know that some of the kids needed help in the transition area, but I hope that next year we can find a better way to do that.  I’m sure they will.

Overall: A-

I will certainly do this race again.  (remind me to get vacation next year, so I’m not on call.)  I know Jaden will want to do the kids race too.