Shamrock Shuffle 8K (3/20/22)

Typically, the Shamrock Shuffle 8K has been my first outdoors race of the year.  This year, it was my second, and unfortunately there were just as many struggles on the 2nd race of the season as there were on the 1st.

In the past, the AWD wave has been in front of the Elites.  While that created a little bit of anxiety for me (trying to get through the tunnel before they caught us), it also provided a really good pacing measure.  In that I knew that if I made it to the turn after the tunnel exit as they caught up to us, I was at the right pace.  However, this year we were towards the back of wave 1, which threw me off a little bit.  I remember my guide telling me that I was running something along the lines of 8:30 min miles early on.

While that would be great for a short run, those early miles came back to bite me in the ass later on.  Things were OK through about mile 2, but by 2.5 I was in utter pain.  So much so that it was painful to even walk. 

As I won’t throw in the towel unless it’s something really severe, like a broken bone, I struggled on.  My guide (Kelsey) helped tremendously during those painful miles.  And even as much pain as I was in, I still found a way to sprint in through the chute. 

After the race, I found that my running sock on the more painful foot had had holes in it.  While I don’t know for sure, my suspicion is that the uneven foot (two toes going through the sock, 3 toes in) created a strain that caught up with me.

ET Indoor Tri (2/20/22)

(Photo courtesy of my parents – thanks to them for the guiding help!)

After the struggles in January, I re-started the swim coaching with Coach Joe.  Things had also gotten a little better on the other two aspects during training.  So going into this race of the series, I expected better outcomes.

That did occur with both the swim and the bike, but not the run.  In the swim, it would have gone even better (as I was told I was literally 2 strokes out from another length), but had lost time asking how much was left.  While treadmills have always created issues for me, the run was even harder this time.  I just couldn’t keep the heart rate and breathing down/at constant levels.  So I had to keep going through a loop of running for a few minutes and then walking to get things back to par before starting the cycle again.

While I had hoped for a larger improvement from Jan to Feb, it was still a good step forward.  I hope to build on these successes when the outdoor season starts for me in April.

Super Shuffle 5K (2/13/22)

(Photo courtesy of John – thanks for guiding me!)

As I’ve mentioned in the past, this journey began from a simple premise of ‘that looks like fun’ without really thinking through all the pieces.  While my only regret is not trying it earlier, that thinking can sometimes lead to ‘interesting’ events…

During late 2020 and early 2021, I was constantly searching Running in the USA for anything to do in-person.  While these events were EXTREMELY scarce, I did come across a 5K for the morning of ‘the big game’.  Because conditions kept shifting, it didn’t work to do in 2021, but it was on my list for 2022.

Winter running isn’t the easiest thing for me, as my nostrils freeze at about 20-25 degrees.  That’s not a big deal when you’re just out for a run by yourself, but it is when you’re doing a race.  It had also been snowing a few days prior, so ice spots (and some ‘fun’ hills) were also a factor.

For safety reasons / nostril freezing, there were some spots where we had to walk.  However, it was still a decent run, and a really fun race.  I look forward to doing it again in 2023 — hopefully it’ll be a little warmer! 

Mind / Over Matter Alphas (2021)

Prior to the Indy Sprint Tri in June, I had an opprtunity to see the Mind / Matter community from the outside. Our Sherpa happened to spot a few Alphas while we were walking to the port-a-potties. Even though she hadn’t ever met them in person, it was still an immediate connection.

So as I started to look at the Tri puzzle for 2022, M/M Alphas was one of the edge pieces that I wanted as part of it. I am honored and excited to be part of Mind / Matter Alphas for 2022!