Race report: 2018 UW-Stout Jamie Block alumni meet

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      One week after the Hootie Hustle, where I hurt my ankle, I was up in Menomonie running the Jamie Block alumni meet with a bunch of collegiate and post-collegiate runners, most much younger and faster than me.

      Most of the first and last miles of this race are run through the grounds of Riverside Park, on very soft and uneven ground. Given my ankle problems, I probably would have been well served to realize this wasn’t the course for me and either run it easy or just run before the race and sit this one out. That’s not in my nature, though. I couldn’t do anything but race it so that’s what I did.

      I did try to reduce the risk by not even bringing my race shoes. Instead, I wore my workout shoes for the race. I did my warmup and was feeling pretty good. Did a few strides on a park road and all was generally good.

      As soon as the race started, though, I wasn’t even 100 yards in before I knew this park was going to get the best of me. The uneven and soft terrain was doing a real number to my ankle. It was hurting pretty badly but I battled through.

      I got through the first mile in a somewhat respectable 6:41 before things really started going south. Given the terrain, I was feeling good about 6:41 and, now being on the Red Cedar Trail, I figured I should be able to reel off a couple faster miles. Well, the ankle was telling another story. It was really bothering me and I just couldn’t get a good drive off my left foot. I began sliding back through the alumni pack and was just doing all I could to keep things together.

      In the last mile, I had a couple of thoughts of just slowing down and easing in but, again, that’s not in my nature. I kept pushing through as well as I could and at least can say I maintained sub-7 pace through the finish.

      That’s about all I can say about this race. It wasn’t pretty. The ankle didn’t like it one bit. But I gave it my best and got through it, mostly in one piece.

      Garmin data: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2980835238

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