Today was the first time I repeated a race. I ran the Dirty Secret Trail Run in Cool. This was the first trail race over 10k that I had run last year and the first time I ran a race in which I had run before.
Last week I ran a half marathon and both knees and my back were sore by the mid-point. I started out on pace to a personal best, but I slowed badly on the second half and finished in 2:10, 11 minutes off my previous best pace.
A 10 mile trail run compares well to a half marathon, so this was a chance to test my healing of my knee and to check my progress from a year ago.
Last year I completed this race in 2:20. This morning I finished in 1:54, a 26 minute improvement over a year ago. More importantly, my knee didn’t hurt.
This was encouraging for many reasons, but especially since I have signed up to make a second attempt at completing a 50k this year. I began a 16 week training program to prepare for the Run On The Sly in August.
I’m still on target to run in 13 races this year and, now, it seems, I am healthy enough to do it. My other goal to do 1000 miles for the year will be more difficult to reach since I am behind my pace for that, but it still could be possible if I train consistently and avoid any further injury.
I’ve also joined a gym to help me build upper body strength in preparation for the Tough Mudder in September.
Truth be told, my real goals are to run 13 races, including a 50k and a 4:30 marathon and my 1000 miles goal is something I thought could help me achieve that, but if I reach my main goals without it, that would be ok. Even if I don’t, the improvement in my health, the new friends I’ve made and the pleasure I get from running trails will still be worth it.
I’ll keep you posted.