Posted by: Drew | June 4, 2007

Catching up

I haven’t updated in almost two weeks, since reporting on the debacle run that was May 20th.  So what’s been going on with me?  Well, I’ve still been out on the road, if a little less frequently than I wished.

May 23

I actually got up early to get out and run before heading to work.  It took me most of the short (1.8 miles) run to loosen up, but it was still nice to be out when the world is fairly quiet.

May 28

Cletus and I went out and did our longest Rails to Trails to date (4.74 miles).  It was Memorial Day, 11 AM, and quite humid.  Though I did sweat quite a bit (this level of detail is exactly why you visit me here, and you know it), my breathing was near normal.  The pace (10:56) had a lot to do with that, but I’m used to laboring quite a bit in the humidity.  A good run.

June 1

Another morning run before work.  The same 1.8 mile loop as I did on the 23rd, but this time I loosened up by the turnaround (0.6 miles) and picked up the pace a bit in the second and third legs.  Humidity is getting to be an issue.  It’s not blazing hot this early (only 70 this day), but it hasn’t rained in quite a while yet the air feels like it really wants to.  It’s very heavy and difficult to breathe.  I slog on.

June 2

This day did not start off well.  One thing after another piled up on my plate and pissed me off.  By early evening, I was ready to explode.  Also, since I did the Race for the Cure, my 5k PR of 30:14 has been bothering me.  Since I did a four-mile race two weeks prior at an 8:15 pace, I’d been wanting to lower my 5k time.  The problem (if I can be selfish and dumb for a minute, here) is that every time I’d go out to run a 5k since then, it was either at an event not conducive to PR’s (Race for the Cure, which I was fine with), or it was with Cletus (who is slower than me).  I’d quietly set a goal of running a 5k in under 24 minutes by the end of 2007.  Without knowing (i.e. experiencing) my level of fitness at that distance, I didn’t know if it was a realistic goal or not.  I was worried that it was too aggressive, and yet I had no idea.  Yes, if I take 8:15 off my four-mile time I get 24:45.  But until I was able to run it, I didn’t know.

So I decided that this pissed off energy would be put to good use running a hard 5 kilometers.  I mapped out a double loop course that I usually run and figured out where the “finish line” was, got my gear on, and headed out.  I figured out in the first half mile that it was humid.  Many would assume I’d checked the weather before going out.  Well folks, I’ll do you one better.  I was outside no more than five hours earlier in the midday heat.  I knew it was hot and humid, yet it still surprised me.  I’m a pretty smart guy most of the time, but I’m still amazed that I’ll be 10 minutes into a run and hear myself exclaim internally, “Aw sunuvabitch… it’s hot and sticky.”  Some day I will learn to not be shocked by this.

I didn’t go full out, but I went at what I thought was a sustainably hard effort.  I would have loved to have someone to “race” against, but I sort of enjoyed the pushing-myself-hard-with-no-external-stimulus part of this run.  With 200 yards or so to go, I lengthened my stride, pushed and pulled legs and arms, and went for it.  I crossed “the line” (the middle of my neighbor’s driveway, so I didn’t have far to come home), clicked the watch, and started seriously sucking wind.  The day’s troubles melted behind me, I walked slowly back to the house.  I still hadn’t looked at my watch, but I felt pretty good about what I’d done.  I unlocked the door, hung up my keys, and looked down to see my time.

25:31

My eyes lingered for a half-second longer than necessary as I took it in.  Any one who has accomplished something (big or small) in life knows what personal pride feels like.  Let me tell you, it feels freakin’ good.  Moreover, I feel that my sub-24 goal can be considered “on the radar.”  It’s not going to be easy to drop 30 seconds per mile, but it can be done.  I’m not going to kill myself getting to this level, but it would be nice to acheive.

I’m going to try and head out tonight for a nice’n’easy run of about three miles.  Saturday I satisfied my need for speed.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you out there.

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Responses

  1. Hi Five!! I too have signed up for the Columbus Marathon…walking division though! Unless things change and I can suddenly run for more than 2 minutes without walking. Maybe watching Prefontaine over and over will help…


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