By Steve Peterson
Shortly after I started running again a friend told me to sign up for a race. Put them on your calendar. "They keep you honest", he said.
For someone like me who was slowly building to some adequate level of endurance, they also put a goal out there. I'm not looking to win anything, but do I wish to enjoy myself? If so, then I need to be fit enough to cross the line running, preferably with some wind in my lungs and a smile on my face.
I started with a local 5k road race. It was meant to be a simple goal. Short enough that I could sprint at a decent clip, build my confidence a bit as I got my head around a longer one later in the summer. In my preparation an injury popped up two weeks before the day. I rested some (a forced taper), then hobbled my way through my first race. I loved every painful second of it.
That is why I signed myself up for the Mountain Madness 25k, thinking that this huge jump in distance would definitely keep me on the up and up. I would have plenty of time to train as the race is not until the end of September.
This future race is keeping me brutally honest.
As I recover from some necessary surgery, I hope that my knee gets the necessary break. When all is well and I get back to the road and trail, there will not be time to rest and monitor, to break from the path that will get me through 15.5 kilometers of woodsy loops.
I am looking at a fairly motivated ramp up. I will have to force patience on my routine as best as possible so I don't aggravate the leg, but I will have to get my mileage up to a point where I can be confident on the start line. This will all be logged and analysed until I feel like I can finish running. No march of death for me come the 29th of September.