Yeah, that Nation's FLASH never really became more than a FLASH. Oops. Chalk it up to laziness and a small side of disappointment. But now I think I'll start blogging again. The triathlon season is long over and I'm in the midst of a short running season, attempting to regain some of my Spring 2011 glory, culminating in hopefully a good race at USATF XC Club Nationals in Seattle on December 10.
In a couple weeks I'll be racing at Veteran's Day 10k, and I don't really know why. I always do terribly at that race. 2 years in a row, in fact. Both were attempts at big PRs, and both were colossal failures. But I like to think I'm older and wiser (?) and this time I'll succeed... but this time I'm not going for a PR, just to get some practice in and hopefully a confidence boost. I guess I'm going for a Veteran's Day PR, which currently stands at 34:06, my 3rd best 10k time to date. 11 days after that I'll run the Turkey Chase 10k, another 10k I haven't had much luck in, but I'm doing it for the same reason as Veteran's Day, practice and hopefully a confidence boost. A course PR might be good too.
And I suppose I have reason to be confident going into races now, as I've had 2 fantastic track workouts, and hard ones at that. Last week it was 2x2000 + 4x1000, all at the prescribed paces (which going in I thought were too fast) and yesterday was 6x800 + 6x400. Both workouts I was able to not only FINISH (with Patrick Murphy, the first time in a long time we were able to do that with the souped-up B group) but also hang onto the group through all intervals. So, I have all that going for me. It's been really helpful having Coach Jerry getting involved with my running. I'm taking a break from swimming and only cycling easy 2-3 days a week, so Todd is giving me some freedom with my running. I'm turning to Jerry and he's been very supportive and helpful, as have my GRC teammates.
I also had an out-of-nowhere 17-mile long run on Sunday. I jumped into the Marine Corps Marathon at mile 8.5 with my pal Ryan McGrath, and we planned on running together until mile 20. We decided a mile or so later to stick with Falls Road runner Emily Hurley in her quest for sub-3 hours, so my long run now had purpose. Around the 18-mile marker, I made a decision to stick with Emily for a little longer, to maybe mile 23, since the course would only get tougher, and to be honest, I was feeling really good! I hadn't run longer than 11 miles in a while, so why not get to 14? Ryan hopped off at mile 20, his long run complete. I stayed just ahead of Emily, and within the next couple miles, the 8th, 9th and 11th place girls (Emily was 10th at this point) all came within 15 meters of each other. I could sense the competitive tension and spirit and I got really pumped up from it, getting visions of my races in the near future. In those moments I felt really excited to race again. I hadn't felt such fire since before Columbia! I was so excited in fact that I totally forgot I was going to jump out at mile 23 and ran with Emily to mile 26, a 17.5 mile run for me! Holy cow. I jumped out as she powered her way past some competitors and through the last .2 miles to a 2:56 and 10th overall finish. A mighty effort. As for me, I felt no worse for the wear, despite that being my longest run by at least 5 miles in the last 2-3 years.
I guess if nothing else, it made me a little stronger, more confident in my stamina and most importantly, excited to race again. So yeah, running is going well. I hope it shows in the coming race weekends.
Me, Ryan and Emily just past 13.1 at Hain's Point during MCM.