The first race back after an injury and an extended amount of time off from training can be very intimidating. What is a realistic time goal? What if something starts hurting? Am I ready for this?
Usually I train and race often enough that I have very realistic goals going into any given race. In May when my plantar fasciitis flared up I was forced to hit the breaks on my training. After a few months of rest, physical therapy, cross training, and some easy running I started making progress. It’s been a very gradual build up but about 4 weeks ago my coach and I felt like I was ready to start introducing speed work back into my training. I missed a few Grand Prix races because I knew I was no where near ready but I was holding out hope for the Benton 20k.
The Arkansas 20K is one of the more challenging road races I run in Arkansas but I think that’s what brings me back to it each year. I knew in order to run it I would need to have built up to the distance and would use it as a progressive long run (not all out race). It’s always hot and the course is hilly but that’s part of the fun.
I’m proud of both of these races for different reasons. While my finish time was about 6 minutes off from last year I still consider this year’s race a big success. My foot did great and I finished strong. It’s also given me a great goal to work towards next year. I’m going to aim for my best Benton 20K yet…
And now for a few pics with Searcy Rush friends and teammates. Love this bunch!