It took me a while to recover from the Trail Rail Run. I had developed some gnarly tightness in my right IT band that really made things awful for a few weeks. It's starting to get with the program again, though, thanks to a knowledgeable massage therapist.
My comeback race after the ultra was the Star Valley Half Marathon in Wyoming. The race takes place in a little town called Thayne. The area is quite lovely; it reminded me of where I had run in Montana just three weeks before. And there was the same promise of maybe seeing a moose. (I did not see a moose, however. The search continues.)
The race started up a nice little canyon and continued into some bucolic farm land. I was actually feeling mostly okay for the first 9 miles and then my leg started to rebel. I decided to switch to a 2:1 run/walk interval and it got me through the last 4 miles without incident. After the race, we drove up to the Tetons. And while the trip was totally worth it, my leg didn't appreciate all the sitting in the car.
|Pretending to cross the finish line, after it was missed the first time.|
|A really nice shirt and medal, and the race was fairly inexpensive.|
The next weekend I ran the Timp Half Marathon. My leg gave me fits from the start of that race. All the driving from the weekend before had tightened my IT band right back up. I have loved this race in the past, but this year, there was an element of panic associated with it. The problem was, the Timp people didn't get the same permits as they have in previous executions of this race. This year they had to impose a strict cutoff of 7:30 a.m. to be out of the canyon, which is just over 7 miles. Now, on a good day, this is no problem. But with my leg restricting my movement the way it was, I was terrified that they were going to end up picking me up with the sweep vehicle. I managed to make it out with time to spare, but it made for an unpleasant amount of worry and stress. I finished with a decent time overall and as usual, the shirt and medal is very nice.
|Their medals are always so shiny!|
Just this week, I did a charity 5K, the Potter Run. It was a fun little Harry Potter themed run up in Liberty Park. It was nice to get the chance to run there, even though a race at 6 p.m. at the end of July is stupid hot... And it was stupid hot out there, making for a very slow finish time for me. But it was still a nice way to spend a Thursday evening.
|A medal for a 5K is always nice.|
I have also finally (finally!) dipped my toes into the dusty/muddy world of single track trail running. There is a trail running series here that goes on up in the Wasatch mountains, where once a week, a race is held on the various trails. That sentence seems awkward, but I really don't know how to change it, so enjoy its awkwardness. Anyway, this trail series is really nice. They offer two course lengths so I can choose the short course and not be the last person out on the trail.
Let me just put this out there. Single track trail running is difficult. Crazy difficult. As in my pace per mile went up 4 minutes difficult. But while it is so challenging, it is also a great experience. I don't like the steep climbs. I walk them with a disgruntled look on my face. But on the flats and the downs, I have a blast! There's a certain level of decline that I can comfortably cruise down while picking my way over rocks and roots that really stimulates my mind. When it gets too steep on the downs, I start to panic and have to slow down. But when conditions are just right, I've never had so much fun while running. I appreciate this race series for helping me to get out there and get dirty. I have had a lot of trepidation about it, getting lost, getting hurt, etc. etc. But this gives me other people to help if something happens and a set course. I'm feeling better about trying to tackle some trails on my own in the future.
And that's what's been going on. Hopefully, I will be able to blog more entertainingly about my next races. Until then, happy running!