So over a year since my past running event and over two years since my last real running event (before injuries and plantar fasciitis), I hit the cemetery path for the Evergreen Pumpkin Run.
Seriously could not have lucked out with a more perfect running day. There’s just something about this race that lends to nice brisk and dry running weather. I’ve run this race 2 times prior (2011 & 2013) and both years was amazing weather as well.
I did the 10-mile distance back in 2011 and seriously, if it weren’t for my running partners that day, I never, ever, EVER would have gotten such a good time on this race if they weren’t dragging me along at the pace we were at. That was a pretty awesome accomplishment.
In 2013, I ran the 5k of this race even though I was suffering from Achilles tendonitis because a friend gave me her race bib. Who can turn down a free race entry? Not me.
Since the race falls around Halloween, many runners dress in costume and it’s a very family friendly race. There’s also a 10-mile distance in addition to the 5k so there are also serious runners in the mix.
Can I just point out how awesome it is that a race photo from 904fitness is only $2? That’s so cheap! I swear I remember when they used to cost $10+. I also love that it supports local business.
So this is not my favorite race photo. I can’t lie. To me, I don’t look at this and see an accomplishment, I see how much weight I gained while having plantar fasciitis. I see how much my back pain is holding me back from moving forward.
But putting my pity party aside, it is worth celebrating because I never thought I’d do another 1stplacesports race again.
Through my 2-year plantar fasciitis saga, I gained over 50lbs. Kinda hard to maintain when you can barely walk let alone workout. (Sure, haters are going to mention diet. They’ll say you can still work out, it’s only your foot. It really is more complicated than that. It’s so easy to judge. Have at it! 🤙)
Then when my plantar fasciitis went away, and I started working out again, a degenerative disc in my lower back introduced itself. I’m praying that with increased core strength and significant weight loss, that annoying disc will STFU. 🤞
This photo was almost to the finish line. The cool part was that fitness-wise, I felt great and absolutely could have run faster. Unfortunately, I was experiencing a lot of back pain by this point. It was 100% my back holding me back the entire 3.1 miles. If Anthony hadn’t been here snapping photos, I definitely would have been walking.
. . .
Writing this blog post now, five-ish months later, I can thankfully say I’m back to running short distances.
I have since switched my workouts around. I left Crucible Crossfit which I really liked and switched to Street Parking. I’ll go into this another day, but Street Parking is more aligned to my needs at this time as I come back from injury after injury after injury.
I also joined the First Coast YMCA. Here I sampled a Mat Pilates class. Instantly I fell in love and know this is exactly what my back needs. Thankfully, as long as I’m careful with my back, never skip a Monday (It’s only offered on Monday’s at 12 pm. with this instructor) and continue barbell work every week, my back is really good! I’m no longer in constant, daily pain. So lucky that I’ve been able to resolve those back issues with fitness. I still have a degenerative disc. My back is just stronger now so it’s less noticeable.
Fingers crossed that with weight loss (I’ve lost 7 lbs so far…) & continued strength, I’ll be back out here consistently!