I certainly donít recommend entering races without proper training, but thatís what I did at this yearís Statesman Capitol 10,000.
And you know what? It went great! (Check out my photos from before and after the race here.)
Iíve missed the race the past two years Ė in 2015 I was bicycling across Louisiana, and last year I was five months into a raging case of plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fasciitis isnít 100 percent healed, even after 17 months, but I decided itís time to try to running a little bit again. I miss it, and the sweet, physically satisfied feeling I get from cruising 5 or 6 miles a couple of times a week. So on Sunday morning, I rode my bike downtown and lined up at my favorite race of the year.
The race marked my third run in 17 months. The first took place five weeks ago, when I found myself, after a medicine ball session with Urban Animal Laura Cisneros, wearing running shoes and standing at the edge of the Butler Trail around Lady Bird Lake. Nothing to lose, I thought, so I might as well try.
That went well, so I signed up for the Bare Buns 5K in McDade two weeks ago. And no, I didnít bother to sneak in even a single other practice run before that race, which I managed to win. (Not much competition in the female division of a naked race, it turns out.)
Confidence bolstered, I decided to plunge into the Cap10K. I pedal a bike to work almost every day and swim on a swim team four or five times a week, so Iím pretty fit. But I also know that swimming and biking fitness donít necessarily translate to running fitness.
When I lined up at the start line, I had low expectations.
Sundayís cool, crisp weather worked in my favor. So did the energy of the crowd, which swept me up Congress Avenue, west along Enfield Road, down the Loop 1 Boulevard access road to Lady Bird Lake, then along Cesar Chavez to the finish line.
And you know what? After what Iím dubbing my ď16-month running taper,Ē my time didnít really fall off that much. I wound up with a 52:34, about a minute slower than my last Cap10K in 2015. That was good enough for 11th place in my age group, out of 698 runners. Iíll take it!
And hello, running shoes. Itís nice to see you up close again!]]