Main image for Skunk Cabbage 10K 2023 Time to Read: ~4 min

First race since Philly

Scott and I signed up for the half marathon version of this. In fact, I’ve not done the 10K in years. But, my mileage has been low since my hamstring injury during the Philly marathon, and I deemed it prudent to change my registration to the 10K. I wasn’t trained for the load of a half, and I wanted to make sure this was an enjoyable experience.


After my injury, I stopped running entirely until Christmas, and then I put about 3 -5 miles a week on my legs (mostly in the form of the Winter Chill 5K series) as I finally accepted that PT may be a good idea. The mileage that followed that stint is as follows:

  • Feb 27 - Mar 5: 17.26 miles
  • March 6-12: 8.84 miles
  • March 13-19: 0 miles
  • March 20-26: 19.79 miles
  • March 27 - April 2: 14.02 miles (6 of those are race day)

Thus, the ENTIRETY of my training was 54 miles. I definitely didn’t want to hurt my hamstring again, so the choice to choose the 10K allowed me to run comfortably on the training I had. I did keep hiking and walking miles up during the late fall and winter, and had plenty of biking and yoga on my legs so I wasn’t entirely out of shape, just out of running shape!

With Laurel and Scott, pre-race

With Laurel and Scott, pre-race


This course is officially a no music allowed race, but in recent years, the number of people listening to music has exploded. This year, I decided to use my Aftershokz and enjoy the opportunity to run to music. After all, they are bone conducting and I kept the volume low which allowed me to hear all the sounds around me. It was my first time running the Skunk with music and I found it both separating and enjoyable at the same time. I was honestly embarrassed by my lack of training and worried about my hamstring. The headphones let me just tune into my own thoughts and tune out the world around me. It was a very cold April day, so it felt like a winter race. As the race started, I almost felt like I was just outside my body watching a group of people having fun. I didn’t feel totally present, and while I wasn’t especially happy, I also wasn’t especially unhappy. It just felt weird to be doing the 10K. The energy was different from the half.

Ready to run!

Ready to run!

Student Sighting

Shortly into the race, a former student ran by me. He was excited to see me and shouted my name. I smiled. Now a 9th grader, I had taught him just the year prior. He had a really hard year in grade 8 all around, so it was fun to see him confident and happy as he ran the course. Later, I’d see him again as he headed back, looking strong as ever. I cheered loudly for him as he ran by.

After the race, he came over to chat with me with his mom. It was his first 10K. He’d picked up running this year and was really finding it rewarding. As we talked, I thought about how running unifies people of all ages and all situations. It is something we train for, and continue to show up for, and it is great fun to motivate and be motivated by others. The energy post race was strong, and I felt grateful that we had made the choice to run the 10K. It was nice to be part of the day even though I wasn’t ready for a 13.1 just yet.

Kickoff to Spring Running

And that’s the thing about the Skunk Cabbage. It literally is the kick-off to spring here in Ithaca. It is the day that you see all the people you haven’t seen in months (or have only interacted with on Strava), and a day that reminds you of how amazing it is that we have this great running community. Today, I felt especially grateful that I was able to run at all. Injury has a way of making you feel like things are truly hopeless.

Shortly after my injury in the fall, I alternated between thinking I would never run again or accepting that I would run but it would hurt. Today, I felt grateful to my former self for seeking PT and for taking time to do the exercises once I attended PT. I also felt such gratitude to Chris Feely from Synergy for scheduling appointments for me before my work day began, during my lunch, and after my day finished. That made the entire process so much more feasible!


This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t at least mention the weather. It was COLD. We’d had some warm days, so I wasn’t particularly happy to have to run in the cold temperatures today. But, thankfully they stage out of Barton Hall at Cornell and there is ample room to hang out, stay warm, and then just scoot outside for the start. Once on the course, it was sunny and not too windy. It really was perfect weather for a 10K. I found myself a little sad that I wasn’t solidly trained as it was definitely a PR kind of day if you were!!

Near the finish line

Near the finish line

Race Results

Leone Timing

Time 56:25
Pace 9:05
Age Group 45-49 8 out of 21
Gender 57 out of 184
Overall 140 out of 329