Closer to fine

“There’s more than one answer to these questions/ pointing me in crooked line/ The less I seek my source for some definitive/ The closer I am to fine” – Indigo Girls

 One of my favorite parts of going to the Twin Cities is the drive into the metro and dialing in Cities 97.1 FM, which always seems to provide great mood music.

While I planned to withhold details about my trip, it seems I just can’t keep it bottled up anymore. Two days after the Fargo Marathon, I decided to sign up for another race. So on 2 weeks of recovery, I found myself at the starting line of the Minneapolis Marathon, a 3-year-old event run mostly along the Mississippi River.

So I took the opportunity to head down to the Cities, visit a buddy and his family, and experiment with my running and recovery. Sometime during my driving around town, an old favorite from the Indigo Girls played on the radio. And I realized everything was just fine, even with my running, which was going to undergo a big experiment.

Then on race day, after showing up at the starting line early, the song began playing in my head. Everything felt great, and the only real test was going to be how my legs would hold up in the second half of the marathon.

For runners unfamiliar with the Minneapolis Marathon, I have a couple pieces of advice: This race definitely deserves to be on your list of marathons to try. There’s not a lot of frills, but its very well-organized and run along a beautiful course. The volunteers and spectators were excellent, and I was very impressed with the fans who cheered on runners. While there weren’t a lot of spectators, they were among the most supportive and encouraging I’ve ever encountered. The other thing you’d need to know about the race is that there are hills – not tons of them, but a couple long ones, a steep incline in mile 18, and a couple of short but tough climbs in the last mile.

Since I’m experimenting this spring and summer, I also tried out some compression socks during the marathon. Although I hadn’t used them on a long run before, I decided to break the cardinal rule of marathoning and try something new. And I’m now a convert: compression socks will be part of the mix for future races. The ones I wore are similar to my normal race socks, with the big exception that these covered my entire lower leg to my knees.

Overall, I was impressed with how my body held up with just 15 days between races. I felt strong in the heat and hills, and walked away feeling great. Recovery has been unbelievably quick, so tomorrow I’ll be back on the roads for a short run – and I’ll be closer to fine again.

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