Minnesota Zoo Tiger Tracks 2014 – Race Recap

This was a last minute race. Well, sorta.

I actually signed up for it the week before. We were getting ready to head out of town and the dates we had chosen sounded familiar. Hmmmmm. I usually run the Zoo run around this time. I wonder when the date is this year?

I looked it up, and it would seem it wouldn’t interfere with our vacation plans. And there was still time to register at the lower price.

OK, what the hell?

I usually run it with a few local girlfriends but I didn’t have the time before we went away to discuss it with them. I’d have to just commit to it even if it meant going it alone. Besides, I felt like I really needed to do a Saturday morning race again. I was craving it.

My running has been coming along fairly well these past few weeks but I had the familiar pull in my lower left calf that has been trying to almost message me subliminally. Something isn’t right. I’m doing something wrong. Or, I need to do something else.

My gut went with the latter.

What is the one thing I have cut out since this injury began? P90X Legs and Back. Why? My physical therapist didn’t want me to do that one workout. She had her reasons. And I haven’t returned to it since. But the one exercise I felt I need to re-include are the calf raises. Again, I don’t know why…but something in my brain was telling me to do this.

So, despite the fact that I ran every damn day of my vacation, upon returning home, I added the calf raises…every other day, while holding 10-lb weights.

The crazy thing is my calves didn’t get sore. And the following day, after just the first round, I ran like the wind.

And I ran comfortably.

Bingo.

Since then, I have added them at the end of my P90X and plank workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And it has made all the difference. So much so, that I got the OK to return Legs and Back into my itinerary. I’m excited to get my legs back into the training plan.

So how did the race go? Pretty well! I didn’t run nearly as hard as I ran it last year, so I didn’t PR. But I came surprisingly close. And I didn’t feel as crappy afterward as I did last year, either. It was humid, though, and we were all dripping sweat at the end. But it wasn’t very hot…so that was a bit of a relief.

This is a run through the actual Zoo grounds. And it is an out and back. There is one section where you first run down…then back up a wheelchair access ramp. And let me tell you, going down at the start is MUCH easier than having to run back up it at the end. Somehow this year, however, it was a bit easier than previous years. Again, it could be because I’ve been running more hills in my training this summer, or just that I’m in better shape, or perhaps because I didn’t push it as hard as I would normally do in order to get the PR. I ran the race last year in 21:27 and was completely winded at the end of the run. I didn’t expect to get nearly as close to that number this year. My goal was to just RUN AN EVENT and finish it with some semblance of decency. But, I felt so good at the gun, I ramped it up as the miles rolled on.

MN Zoo Tiger Tracks 2104 Results

MN Zoo Tiger Tracks 2104 Results

 

I ended up finishing 16th out of 601 runners, and placed first in my age group! My girlfriends, the one’s I met up with at the run, finished first in their respective age groups as well so it was a great morning! I wish I could have celebrated with them afterwards, but my husband accompanied me to this run since we had a meeting with an old friend following the event. He surprised me by getting this shot at the finish line. Yep, he’s ok…for the most part.

Finish Line

Finish Line

 

So, it is safe to say, I’m back. Next up, a half marathon…the Women Rock Half Marathon. It is a notoriously tough run, as it has some pretty wicked gentle hills in it. The course is a bit different this year, but I’m still expecting it to be a challenge. Unfortunately, none in my group are running it this year, so I’m on my own. But, I’m excited to be back in the game. Or should I say, back in the race.

What has been your best event this summer? Are you looking forward to any fall events?

One Response to Minnesota Zoo Tiger Tracks 2014 – Race Recap

  1. Jenn says:

    What a comeback! Amazing and I love that finish line photo! How great!

    So glad that you are feeling well and running without pain!

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