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Dueling Dashers

Dueling Dashers

Bladder challenges, heat training, a spitting egomaniac, sore feet, fit people, kind gestures, gray shirts, cute buns, limping, humbling and mind expansion. ¬†Bloomsday 2013 was fast for Annie and I for the first two miles. The rest was spiritual growth opportunities! It felt brutally hot, exceptionally tiring and even painful. The low energy and pain were surprising, considering our training with good speed, effective recovery and best-yet endurance. Some days you’ve got it and some days you don’t! On the off days, we do what we can. On the days when we suffer pain, we search for reasons, solutions, rehabilitation strategies and relief. Is life tossing you some lemons? Lemonade is good! (but it’ll cost you $3 at the top of Doomsday).

Annie set a personal record for the first two miles, taking it out in 7:50 and 7:50, despite the crowded start. I was right behind her. I focused on keeping her in sight for the first mile, amid the mass of humanity, then reeling her in over the second mile. Then came obstacles: hills and heat.

Maybe karma kicked me after I belittled Doomsday Hill after the Badger Mountain Challenge. Perhaps it just wasn’t our day to go fast. After all, I’m not Ricky Bobby. I know we’ve put in a lot of training. To have my foot become sore on a short run, after faring well on longer runs, is perplexing. It certainly is confirmation that we never know what’s going to happen. How will we respond?

I managed to beat Annie to the finish line, despite a strong urge to pee for the entire race. We chose good starting positions over bathroom breaks at the start of the race; our strategy backfired! Annie was even more hydrated than me! After we got separated, I didn’t know whether she passed me or not. I only knew that for the last 5.5 miles, I had no zip, other than a short dash to the finish. I just couldn’t seem to get enough oxygen. But our 2013 challenge series just got more interesting, as we’re tied at two wins apiece. Where should we race again? What will offer a great climax?

How will we recover from our injuries? Annie has a foot issue that was compounded by new shoes. It appears that plantar fasciitis has returned to me after many years. It seemed to come on fast. I’m wondering about the cause; is it related to calf tightness, increased mileage, mechanical issues, speed work, accidentally running in old shoes or my residual ankle soreness? Should I run the marathon? Should I cross-train only until then? Taping?

Silver linings appear when we are ready to see them. Bicycling! Paddle boarding! It’s time for more passionate fun! No time is right to get discouraged. There’s too little time available! I’ll finish my marathon training on my bicycle, if I need to. I’ll do golf ball stretching, night splints, arch support, naproxen sodium, icing, etc. I’ll do all the seemingly right things, then see what happens. I’ll do my part as the mystery unfolds!

Another cool shirt!

Another cool shirt!

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Big Red and Super Peach, just before Bloomsday 2012.. What will be new for 2013?

Big Red and Super Peach, just before Bloomsday 2012.. What will be new for 2013?

I get to race again on Sunday! That’s evidence of a youthful heart, is it not? I hope my legs feel young and strong! Cool, clean air and clear lungs would be great too.

It’ll be fun and revealing, however it goes. I’ll see how I am. All kidding aside. Me, my shoes and shorts and twelve kilometers of rolling asphalt. Plus over forty thousand other people, firing energy into each others souls. I’ll feel alive! Eventually I’ll be out of breath, spent and then on a natural high! Along the way, a part of my mind may try to get me to slow down. Another part may want to press on, push the envelope and go to another level of exertion. It might even come down to a sprint to the finish, side by side with Annie. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Bloomsday is a rite of spring, a tradition of exertion, a display of wellness and a challenge to our spirits. It is short enough to attract diverse people, yet long and hilly enough to challenge serious runners. It draws me back, hoping that one day I’ll zoom up the infamous Doomsday Hill. ¬†Will this be the year? Now I’m really getting excited!

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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