Closing the (Race) Book on 2017 (Part 2)

And we journey on in my race recaps. If you didn’t check out Part 1 on Wednesday, you can find it just below this post on the home page. If you did check out Part 1 and we’re anxiously awaiting Part 2 (because of course you were) here it is!

June – Things get kicked off in June literally a week after the Head for the Cure 5k. Like I said, it was a wild spring. The first weekend in June was for the second to last running of Dam to Dam, as 2018 will be its final year. I got talked into this one at the last minute, and signed up the week before the race.

I was heading down for the sole purpose of pacing two of my buddies to a 1:35 Half. It was an absurdly hot day, and I mean first weekend in June…what do you expect? So the race didn’t go as planned for the two of them. Meanwhile, I hit 1:35:03 on chip time, and 1:35:34 on gun time. Not bad.

The next weekend was for Relay Iowa. 339 miles across the state. Three days and two nights. It was quite the experience. It was also awesome! Lots of miles and virtually no sleep made for some exhaustion on Sunday. The whole Relay is too much to write here, but if you get the chance, I would 10/10 recommend it.

And the next weekend was Grandma’s Marathon. Somehow I thought I could run a decent race here, even though this was what, my fourth race weekend in a row? It was warm this year in Duluth, but definitely not unbearable. I just didn’t have the energy to hammer out a good race, or anywhere close to one. But Grandma’s is SUCH a good event that it didn’t matter. I’ve done this one twice, and would definitely go again.

August – But Ben, you skipped July. Correct. After a ridiculous May and June, I spent July training with no races. And in August I only had one, my all time favorite race: Gopher to Badger.

This was the fourth year I ran this one, and I hope to continue to do so in the future. I wasn’t sure what my fitness level was like here, so it was a good benchmark to see how my fall training was going. Turns out, it was going VERY well. I got in with a good pack immediately before I wrecked that with a 6:16 6th Mile (oops). But a PR by over a minute was in the cards for me. Now I can finally know that my Half PR is on my favorite course.

September – For the second year in a row I went to the Madrid Milers Labor Day Run featuring distanced of 2, 5, and 15 miles. Naturally I did the 15 again, done deliberately as a workout

Unless you’re running with a friend, there is a lot of alone time in this race because the field isn’t that large. But for a cheap race, and a certain 15 mile PR, this is a good event. You’ll also learn that there are, in fact, hills in central Iowa.

October – And that brings us to the Fall goal race. The Milwaukee Marathon. I think I’ve written enough about this that I don’t have to go into much detail. It wasn’t a good day for me personally, or for the race and race management. Bad races happen, and I’m glad it happened all in one day on a course that wouldn’t count.

Besides, I got to notch a marathon finish at the course I DNF’d at two years ago. AND I got to see my Dad finish his first marathon! So it was all in all a solid day.

November – And that brings us to now. Those of you who know me, or follow me on Twitter, Strava, etc., know that I’ve been dealing with an injury from the Milwaukee Marathon. It has definitely kept my running to a minimum since October.

So, much like two year ago, I wasn’t sure what the Turkey Trot in Milwaukee would bring. An 8k is quite intimidating when you’ve run over 5 miles once since October 15. Turns out, my training cycle was pretty good in the fall, and while I’ve definitely lost fitness, I’m not in terrible shape.

Full race recap is coming, but long story short here. Got out WAY too fast, suffered up the hill, found a rhythm, and survived the last .9. But got under 32 and walked away with a PR. So not bad.

Like I said on Wednesday, I have nothing planned until February. I’ll likely tackle a race at some point in January to see where I’m at. But until then, it’s time to train! Here I come 2018!!

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