My running and racing life has been off and on the past four years after getting injured on a spill on a race in Turkey Mountain and the long rehab from that and then several others injuries and then getting told that as far as my knee cartilage is concerned, “Your tread is very thin.” So I just quit running and I would still enter races but just walk them.
So I have been experimenting with running old fat guy style. Running the downhills and walking uphill or just running for a short ways and walking and then running when I felt like it. And last week at the Tulsa Run 5K I did it and it worked. I thought I had a decent run so it’s like wow. This is great.
This week I signed up for two runs. On Saturday I did the GLA 5K. A first time run put on by a charter school in north Tulsa, the Greenwood Leadership Academy. It was a very nice, well organized run with lots of volunteers. I’m trying to diversify my running to get routes I haven’t run before and their location in the Gilcrease Hills was perfect. We started running right up a long hill. So I stuck to my walking up and trotting down and it worked fine.
It was an out and back course with a
beer stop turnaround at a church.
We also passed a couple oil wells. Welcome to running in Oklahoma.
The GLA 5K was a great run, great course, volunteers, organization, and runner support. What more can you ask for?
My second race was Sunday morning. The Turkey n Taters 10K, a trail race on Turkey Mountain that also includes 25K and 50K distances. I have run the 10K a bunch of times, the 25K two years ago, and have volunteered a couple times cooking hamburgers and hot dogs (nobody but vegetarians mess with the cook at these events, and I tell them to just chew on some grass, (actually some of the elite athletes are vegetarians and yes we do have things I cooked for them beside grass).
I walked the whole length of this race. Yes, I have had success running the the previous day but going twice the distance over some very rough and technical terrain meant that I wanted to be conservative.
I just hung out at the start until everybody else left and then I started walking. I passed these two ladies who said they like doing the race but never enter because they entrance fees are a rip off. I said okay, but I wanted to ask ” You do know this is a fund raiser for the West Side YMCA, right?” And by the way , the fees are very reasonable.
It was cold, about 37F and I had three layers on which is probably one layer too many but I like being warm so after a half mile I shed my down coat and wrapped it around my waist and was comfortable the rest of the way.
After that it was a matter of just walking the course. At some point I got off the course, I didn’t see any pink ribbons and started having that feeling. And then I ran into some going straight ahead and to the east, so I was like oh no. Officially I should have back tracked until I figured where I went off but I was not sure that I went off and I picked a direction and kept going and met people coming the other way but I wasn’t too worried because the 50K runners run the 25K course backwards when they finish the first 25K but then I had a guy ask me if he was going the right direction to the race start and I was like, uh you hadn’t started the loop back and he said no. And then I met a woman who I had been following and I was like oops, so I back tracked to where I made the wrong decision. So I didn’t run the official route, but I didn’t win any awards so I didn’t have any ethical considerations about since I ran the same distance. And you know, its a trail run.
So I finished the race, got my medal, a burger, a beer, a second burger and headed home.
A very nice weekend of racing. I had never thought I would be there again. After I quit running, it over a year and a half before my knees quit hurting and I am liking that. I have done lots of yoga, lots of water exercises, lots of bicycling, and elliptical machines and only longer distance walking once a week or so. So I won’t be able to run longer distances but I can walk a very long ways and I can do the occasional 5K or so and walk the 10K’s
Win, win, win in my book. Especially at 64 years of age. Staying in the game is my strategy.