july 18/RUN

3 miles
mississippi river road path, north/south

Cooler again this morning. Writing this a day after, so I don’t remember much about the run except for that it felt good and I felt fast. A few other things:

  • Right before the greenway/railroad trestle there was a long line-up of cars, waiting at the 3 way stop. It felt great running past so many of them. What joy to be out on the path and not trapped in a car!
  • The friendly smile of a runner as I encountered her twice.
  • The green of the floodplain forest.

5K race (3.2)
walking/running with kids
last mile alone, all running
Torchlight

It was difficult racing with the kids and I probably didn’t handle it as well I could have, but it doesn’t matter because they finished it. More than 10 minutes faster than I thought they could and with smiles on their faces! Towards the end, they encountered a fast walker on the bridge, going past them. He called out, “I’m an 80 year old diabetic with an artificial hip (as he hit his hip), and if I can do it, you can too!” This inspired them to fire up and run the last stretch of the race. That story, which they both told with great enthusiasm, and the picture that Scott took of them just coming off of the Stone Arch Bridge is how I will happily remember this race:

They made it! #torchlight5k

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july 7/BIKESWIM

bike: 8.6 miles
lake nokomis

swim: 2 mile race
lake nokomis
59 minutes/1st place 35+

Today I swam in my first open swim race. And I won for my age group. So cool! I can’t quite express how proud I am of myself. Not so much because I won–which is great–but because I did the race at all. Since I was diagnosed with a macular degenerative eye disease 2 years ago, I’ve been nervous to do an open swim race. Whole sections of my central vision are gone and I have a lot of trouble sighting the buoys. I was worried I might get too far off course. No problem today. Lots of other swimmers around me for the first section. Then, I swam behind another swimmer for the rest of the race so I didn’t have to worry about looking for the buoys. I tried to do an open swim race 2 years ago, right after my diagnosis, but it was too foggy and I was too overwhelmed by my new lack of vision. I tried again last year but a month before the race my kneecap displaced and I couldn’t walk without a brace for 2 months. Now, finally, after overcoming injury and my doubts about my very bad vision, I swam and loved it.

I got to swim all around the lake, not just across it. Past the little beach, the overlook on the small hill, the big bridge and the boats. Didn’t encounter any fish, but I did swim through some milfoil. Again, the water looked pea green. Don’t remember thinking about much except for staying close to the swimmer ahead of me.

may 20/RACE

10K: 55:06
women run the cities

A beautiful day for a run beside the river! Sunny. Not too much wind. Not too warm. I decided to run this race to redeem myself for the get in gear 10K that I ran 3 weeks ago. In that race, I fell apart in the second half and walked a lot. In this race, I did much better. Starting slower and running through the bad moments. I still walked once–for about half a minute–and ran much slower than I have in the past, but I feel good about the race. What do I remember? A long line for the porta-potties. The energetic and entertaining way the women in front of me gestured with her hands as she talked. The woman behind me, describing her late night drinking and ordering domino’s pizza. The woman ahead of me in the race corral discussing meeting a random guy while running a marathon and then stalking him online later. The extremely off-key version of The Star Spangled Banner someone sang right before the race. A woman making this weird waving motion while running beside me. What was she doing? Being confused at the start of the lake street bridge because everyone was running on the sidewalk and not the road and then almost missing Scott cheering me on. Running up the Summit hill and hearing a woman encouraging her friend: “you can slow down but don’t walk.” Feeling grateful when “Back in Black” came on my running playlist and pumped me up. Trying to avoid all of the potholes. Crossing the Ford bridge and then seeing the long stretch of road before we turned down to the falls and wanting to stop and walk–but not doing it. Turning down to the falls just as the theme from Rocky started playing. Smiling as I finished.

bonus: Later, Scott and I biked to the game. 12 miles total. We weren’t biking too fast, but it was some nice cross-training. It’s always easier for me to bike when I’m following someone else. With my vision, I can bike but it can be difficult. Sometimes–not every time–it takes a while for me to really see the path, especially when going down hill. I see that it’s there, but I can’t quite find the edges. Usually, I trust that I’m following the path, even when I can’t completely see it.

april 28/RACE

45 degrees
6.2 miles/55:43/get in gear
ford loop

A beautiful morning for a bad, disappointing race. As usual, I ran too fast in the first mile and then fell apart in the second 5k.

What do I remember from the race?
  • the giant American flag and Scott remarking, “not sure where it fits on the ‘perkins/gander mountain spectrum’ but it’s big!”
  • the funky black and white shorts on the runner just in front of me
  • listening to other people sing along with the national anthem and feeling unpatriotic, tired of nationalism
  • feeling like the 15 minutes we were waiting in the start corral was taking forever
  • not seeing or hearing any of the annoying pacers
  • hearing the steady striking of moving feet of all the runners around me
  • a runner who hovered near me smelling like watermelon, which made it hard to breathe.
  • running close to the curb in the grit (mostly soft dirt, some sand), shuffling along–a satisfying, calming noise.
  • feeling like I wanted to stop, feeling like the St. Paul side of the river road was taking forever
  • a runner running by blasting heavy metal music through her headphones, so loud I could hear her approaching from a few seconds back
  • hearing a kid calling out, “mommy, mommy” as we approached the ford bridge and then a runner stopping to get a hug and drop off their hat
  • running on the sidewalk of the ford bridge with most of the runners while only a few ran on the blocked-off road
  • a car horn honking loudly–was it in support of us runners? annoyance for blocking the road? a warning?

feb 10/RACE

5 degrees/feels like -something
lake nokomis
5K: 25:52

Cold but sunny and not much wind. I learned today that the Valentine’s Day 5K is the oldest winter race in Minneapolis. This is my third year running it. Random things I remember:

  • the dude who sang the national anthem before the race started was good.
  • my big toes were very cold waiting before the start. I kept singing “my big toes are froze.”
  • loved seeing bright, electric blue shoes. One person had an electric blue jacket to match. Someone else had hot pink running tights. Not too many costumes. I remember a zebra. No one in shorts or a tank top or short sleeves.
  • I can’t get Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” out of my head because they played it after we were walking back to the car.
  • Scott and I split up about 1/4 of mile from the start. I went ahead because it was too crowded to run together.
  • The road was completely clear–no ice or snow at all–but at least two people were wearing trax that made an annoying clacking noise with every step.
  • Managed to say “thanks” to several of the volunteers.
  • Did I look out at the lake even once while I was running next to it? I don’t think so.
  • Don’t know my splits because I didn’t have my watch on but I’m pretty sure each mile was faster.
  • Noticed several people wearing bright yellow shirts.

nov 25/6.2 MILES

33 degrees
downtown minneapolis
moustache run 10K race

A great race. Slow but successful. Ran the whole thing with Scott. Biggest accomplishment: running the big long steep windy hill without stopping! also, finishing with a big smile and sense of accomplishment. Not too bad considering I’ve only been running for about a month since my injury.

Beautiful sun.Β  Not too cold although I recall saying to Scott about a mile in that I had cold fingers, hot hands and a burning face. Not quite slipped on ice a few times. There were patches of it near the cracks in the road. Tried to distract myself from the BIG hill by focusing on the ice patches.

Favorite spectator: the women standing at the top of the hill congratulating us for having run up the hill and saying “That hill sucks but you did it!”

Least favorite pacer (for the 1/2 marathoners): the women who called out 1/2 mile into the race “only 12.5 miles to go!”

Least favorite bro-runners (brunners?): the guy who said to his friend, just in front of us, right before we passed them, “I like running the half, more time to look at runners’ butts.”

Second least favorite bro-runner: the guy very near the end who was walking and then suddenly yelled out “are you guys ready?!” and then started to full out sprint.

Least favorite road on the route: the Cobblestones!

I hate these cobblestones.

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oct 27/3.1 MILES

32 degrees
Halloween 5K
Riverfront Minneapolis

I raced a 5K! I raced a 5K! And I didn’t stop or feel much pain. Only the second time I’ve run that much without stopping in 2 months. It wasn’t fast, but it felt good and Scott and I did negative splits on each mile. Many people were dressed up because it was a Halloween race. I saw 2 Mr. Incredibles, a bunch of Waldos, a Gilligan, a few Wonder Women, Thomas the Train, the Doodlebops, a bright blue fuzzy monster with fabulous fuzzy legwarmers, a donut, a reindeer, a mother and son as black and white striped robbers, Dwight from The Office, a few Minnie Mouses and Cruella deVille. That’s all I can remember. No zombies. No vampires. No ghosts. No homicidal maniacs. And no witches. Why no witches? Well, I did hear someone say they saw Hermione, but that doesn’t count. Scott and I agreed that this 5K was one of the easiest we’ve ever run.

july 19/3.3 MILES

71 degrees
86% humidity
5K race/downtown minneapolis

This race was supposed to be a 5K (3.1 miles), but they measured it incorrectly and we ended up running extra. This error was very upsetting for Scott because he would have achieved a great PR, but not for me because I didn’t care. It wasn’t my fastest time and I was just happy to have only briefly stopped once and to be done. My time ended up being decent: 27 minutes for 3.3 miles/8:10 pace. I’m very happy with that!

Things I Remember From the Race

  • It was really cramped and uncomfortable in the starting line. A young runner (in high school) was standing/stretching/jumping up and down right in front of me. I was afraid he might land on my foot.
  • Hennepin Avenue was in bad shape. Lots of manholes and deep impressions that could twist an ankle.
  • For much of the first 2 miles, I ran near a mother and son. The mother was wearing a red clown-hair wig; the son was probably 9 or 10 years old. The son kept bolting ahead. The Mom kept saying, “slow down!” until she gave up and said, “Go ahead. I can’t run any faster.” He stayed with her while I ran ahead. They passed me again around mile 3.
  • Running on the Stone Arch Bridge, not quite near the end, I heard someone’s timer go off: “You have run 3.1 miles.” I was confused until later, when I found out that the race was long.
  • Hearing “Whoot there it is” playing as I passed two male runners who were blasting it as they ran in daisy duke shorts and no shirts.
  • Listening as one runner ahead of me thanked every volunteer and police office as he ran by them.
  • Nearly getting hit by a clueless, speeding biker who was biking recklessly on the race route.
  • Nearly twisting my ankle on the cobblestone right after exiting the Stone Arch Bridge.
  • Just as I was passing one runner, another runner approached and called out, “Hi Sara.” I looked over and then quickly realized that he was greeting the other runner, who must have been named Sara too. I wonder, does she spell her name the right way, without an h?
  • Usually it is very hot at this race. One Β year: 95 with a heat index of 99 or 100! This year, only 70 degrees. It still felt hot to me. I really dislike running in hot weather.