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Overoptimistic or just inspired? First Race on one of Pre's trails!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I just started jogging on the treadmill more than 1 minute at a time last week and I just registered for my first 5k tonight. My right ankle has hurt since that 9.5 minute treadmill run, when I happened to be wearing shoes I bought at a thrift store. It doesn't matter that I might not be being prudent. I, who am normally a worry-wort, am not feeling the least bit prudent. I want to do this. So I am buying shoes this week.

The 5k I picked is on a course I've walked a couple times, Alton Baker Park in Eugene, Oregon on June 23rd. It's a reasonable-for-Oregon path, part along grass and gardens, part along the Willamette river. It's a good enough path so my ankles should be fairly safe if I'm wearing decent shoes and I pay sharp attention. (I'm an under-pronater.) There are no hills. The only real hazards here are slippery duck poop, slippery moss, trippery roots poking up through the path and people who were tripping moments before and now won't move out of your way, so you have to veer around them on soggy grass.

To make it extra cool and meaningful, I can Pre-meditate before the race on Pre's Trail, named after University of Oregon/Olymian track legend Steve Prefontaine. This is a bark path just a few hundred meters away. Prefontaine himself used to run on the same path the 5k will be held on, also. I would NEVER compare an oaf like me to him in terms of athleticism, but he was also an idealist, and volunteered time at schools and a local prison. He honestly wanted to do good. And in that way, I feel connected and honored to make my first run on his turf, whether I am "ready" or not!

P.S. There is also a "Grapes of Half" race the same day, but since it is half a marathon and half a hundred dollars, I decided I was REALLY unready for that one. It includes several stops at wineries. I might be too tempted, if my ankle acts up, to stop and never start again.

I will also skip the next local race, the Dirty Dash, which includes mud pits. Apparently they INTEND for you to fall down. From the advertisement:

"Don’t let your life get stuck on the slow boat cuz of your own dirt drought, filth famine, or slop shortage. You’ve got big pants to fill and you aren’t gonna fill ‘em wearing padded spandex tri shorts, swimming through crystal clear waters and road racing for 13 miles of pavement pounding agony. The only way you fulfill your dirty destiny is by belly-flopping into a mud pit and breast-stroking your way to a mud makeover courtesy of The Dirty Dash... Unlike most races where you emerge a little leaner but with labored breathing and a lifeless look in your eye, you’ll finish our race 5 pounds heavier, 3 times homelier, and 20 times happier. You’ll be Tweeting about it so loud the Ducks will think it’s a mating call."

Um. No thanks. Maybe 30 years ago. But not now, thankyouverymuch.
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  • PASCAL921
    I am SO EXCITED for you, and a little jealous too. It sounds like such a nice place to run. I live in the dessert where lakes are lakes are hard to come by. That other run sounds like fun too, but not something to take on by yourself. You need some friends for that one.

    So when is your race? Keep me posted with all the details. emoticon
    2043 days ago
    You Go Girl! Just look after that ankle in the meantime. emoticon
    2043 days ago
    This is so exciting! So much to inspire you along the way. Of course you can compare yourself to Prefontaine - both of you runners!

    I've passed on all the mud events - I see no sense in risking injury since I'm no spring chicken (or duck).
    2043 days ago
    I'm also a fan of Prefontaine. He died way too soon. I'm glad you got the right shoes for you. I started running 25 years ago when I realized that 30 seconds was my max. Very gradual increases and at age 65 I'm still "in the race."
    Hang in there!
    2043 days ago
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