February 21, 2009

Racing Plans - How's That for Optimism!?

In an attempt to be optimistic about my future in running (injury-free, that is), I signed up for a 25K trail run in the upper peninsula of Michigan today, the Tahqua Trail Run. Now I'm all excited again!!! It is now okay if I can't run my marathon, because this race is in August (PLENTY of time to heal) and it sounds so FUN!! Matt and I love hiking and camping in the U.P. We've been to the Tahquamenon Falls area many times and always love it, even when I bring ticks back into the Jeep with me. haha! (Too bad they don't make Frontline for people.) I've learned to do a tick-check before getting back into my vehicle since my last trip in the U.P. I found a tick on me on two separate excursions that day! Sheesh! I think I was darn lucky they hadn't dug their little suckers into me yet, though being a vet tech, I do know how to remove them. Anyway, the race is part of the Great Lakes Endurance Series which was recognized by Runner's World several months ago as being one of the most environmentally friendly races in the country. Cool!

After another set of paychecks goes through, I'm also going to register for the Crim 10M in downtown Flint and the Brooksie Way Half Marathon in Rochester, Michigan. These are both races we (Matt and I) ran for the first time last year and loved. The Crim is a Flint tradition that really showcases what is good about Flint. (I was actually born in Flint and grew up down the road in Grand Blanc.) Poor Flint has had it hard over the years and the current situation with the Big Three is not making things any better, so events like the Crim mean that much more to those who still hold out hope for the city. Even though the Crim's longest race is a 10-miler, it still draws big name runners each year and the top 10 usually is filled up with Kenyans and Ethiopians!

Last year was the first year for the Brooksie Way. It takes place in the town where both Matt and I work, Rochester, Michigan. Rochester is the polar opposite of Flint. It is a nice, upscale suburban town. The race actually ends on the grounds of Meadow Brook Mansion (where Matt and I got married!) - "... a 110-room, 88,000-square-foot, Tudor-revival style home," with the most beautiful grounds and gardens you can imagine. It is on the campus of Oakland University. The inaugural race drew over 4000 participants! It was amazing to see such support for a new race. Of course, teaming up with the Crim Foundation was genius. That helped tremendously, I'm sure. This is a very hilly race. It was my first half marathon and I picked a doozy! I was thrilled to cross the finish in under 1:45! I hope to blow that time away this year. Oh yeah!

Another race still under consideration is the Volkslaufe in Frankenmuth, Michigan on July 4th. That could be a very fun weekend with fireworks, music and party in town the night before the race. Frankenmuth is a very fun little German town (very touristy, but still fun). The overall and age group winners actually get beer steins! haha!

As far as Fall marathons go, I've started thinking about the Detroit marathon (last choice), the Grand Rapids marathon, one of the Toronto marathons, Milwaukee, Columbus or Indy marathons. Chicago is OUT - waaaaay too expensive. Sheesh!

Guess I should throw my workout report in here. Did 45 minutes on the upright stationary bike today. I tried the Hill pre-programmed workout. It was called "Around the World". Not sure what it was supposed to be simulating! But it was still more interesting than just pedaling away. Matt actually joined me for core and upper body strength training today. Yay!!! We did free weights together so I was able to use the old-fashioned bench press since I had a spotter! It was much more fun today with hubby along!

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