Still catching up 2015: Oregon, Massachusetts, New Hampshire races

17 01 2016

After giving myself another Achilles tendonitis flare by doing the mid-April half-marathon in New York virtually untrained, I limped along for a few weeks while gradually rehabilitating myself with the PT exercises and stretching that have been my mainstay for years.  One of my favorite stretching routines comes from the UntitledActive Isolated Stretch DVD by Phil and Jim Wharton, the athletic trainers.  I use it for both rehab and maintenance of my running-related appendages, but obviously not as much as I should.

I spent much of the summer working on some necessary weight loss and muscle building after 3 sedentary months of studying for the boards recertification from January through April (a/k/a sitting in front of a computer and eating), and then went back to more consistent running again in July.  Intending for 2015 to be my fastest year ever, I quickly ramped up mileage and speed for the next race in my 50-state quest:  the Homer’s Classic 8k being held in Silverton, Oregon, on August 1, over a weekend I was attending an educational conference in Portland.  And what a lovely outing it was!

The race is described by several local sources thusly:
“Scenic, flat and very fast, the 8K course features Gallon House, the only original covered bridge in Marion County and an Olympic-style finish. All races start and end at the Silverton High School track, 802 Schlador St. (corner of Schlador and James Streets). Watermelon slices and other goodies are served at the finish.”

Along with the beautiful scenery and very pleasant weather, it did live up to its billing as fast because I set a new personal record for 8k time (even though I was indeed slower than the 82 year old who finished one second ahead of me).  I highly recommend the Homer’s Classic to anyone looking for an 8k near Portland in the summer.  Friendly people, a great course and sweet ice-cold watermelon at the finish — good stuff!

Oregon 2015

Photo credit for start line photo to and runner photos to GCC Photography.

Now here comes the really funny part of the story.  I had just rehabbed my Achilles tendonitis, right?  Well I plunged so wholeheartedly into wanting not only my fastest 5k but also fastest half marathon in 2015, that I ended up with a wicked case of plantar fasciitis in August that pretty much wrecked the rest of my fall season.  Can you believe that?  I mean, who’s that stupid?  Me apparently.  Because that’s how it turned out.

Regardless, I continued undaunted in spirit and gimpy with heel pain to the two-state New England jaunt planned for October, although I did dumb down from the half-marathon to the 5k in New Hampshire.

First on Saturday came the Somerville Homeless Coalition 5k in Boston on a rain-spotted October 3 morning, a race that I pretty much walked.  The event was well organized, everyone was friendly and the autumn beauty was abundant.   It turned out to be a fun day amid the fallen leaves with a great cause to support, and walking it felt actually quite serene.  This is another race I would do again if I happened to be in the area.

Boston 2015

The following day it was on to New Hampshire for the Smuttynose Rockfest 5k.  It was blustery and cold alongside a choppy grey ocean but the runners’ spirits were high and that always makes iffy weather more tolerable.  Some unfortunate signage confusion on the turn splitting off half-marathoners from 5k runners caused a bunch of us to go the wrong way and then back track.  It was okay with me because I wasn’t pursuing a time goal, but hopefully they’ll fix it for 2016 because some people were understandably pissed.  They were also out of water at the end of the 5k by the time I got there after 41 minutes of running.  It was with bittersweet enjoyment (especially since I should have been doing the half-marathon had I not screwed myself with poor training) that I concluded that 3.1 mile jog and rewarded myself with a post-race lobster roll.   Although I finished smiling, as always, I don’t think I’d do that race again.  Organization seemed lacking for this rather large event.

NewHampshire 2015

So that’s pretty much it for summer and fall 2015.  A couple more months of rehab followed, this time including acupuncture, before I proclaimed myself cured once and for all with the year’s final race in December.

Up next:  the Holiday Half-Marathon and 8k in Point Clear, Alabama.




One response

17 01 2016

I heard the smuttynose race was great, congrats on a good race! Looks like you’ve had quite a year of running and more for the next year!

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