Friday, May 31, 2013

Reflecting the Conditions

It's race season again.

Sunday morning, I'll run my first stand alone 10K since April 2012.  And really the first one I've raced since 2008.  My current PR for a 10K was set at Age Group Nationals last year, where I ran a 46:46.  I've been thinking I should improve upon that this weekend, but doubts are creeping in.

I was putting away laundry last night and paired a set of running gloves.  That means some time in the last week and half, I ran in temps under 50.  Today the max was 93.  Sunday at 8am, it's supposed to be 72 degrees and 81% humidity.  Acclimatization will be an issue.

Then there's the course.  This is by no means a flat course, or even AGN with its steep but short hill, then slow decline for 5 miles.  This is a steady 4 mile climb.

Finally, there's a feeling that having spent most of my off season working on distance, that my speed may have suffered.

Then there's just the general level of distraction going into this race season.  For the last two years, I've had Age Group Nationals as the cornerstone of my season.  All races, every mile trained, led to Nationals.  At the end of the 2010 season, I knew I was going to Nationals 2011, and I knew I would want to go back to improve upon them in 2012.  I also knew that in 2013 Nationals would leave New England.  I could go back this year, but my desire to travel by plane for a race is negative.  Without this season anchor, tri season feels a little adrift.

I had planned the Newfound Lake Triathlon for this weekend, but it was cancelled.  I had planned the New Englad Trifest for the end of June, but had to cancel because of our honeymoon, which we in turn postponed because of work and buying a house.  A yes, there's also that.  In July, we'll become home owners.  After just over a year of searching and seven (yes, 7) offers, we are closing on a house in Belmont, just 4 days before my first tri of the season.  I have just 3 triathlons planned for this season.  I've tried to offset that with races like this 10K and a Trail Ragnar in West Virginia, the types of races I usually can't allow myself to do because of my triathlon goals.  And I am excited, especially for Ragnar, but it's just not the same as that goal that you build to for a year.

Where does that leave me on Sunday morning?  Newton. Running a 10K.  Trying my darndest to hold 7:20s.  And remembering that my performance is reflecting the conditions of the race and of my life, not of my effort or preparation.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Finishing the Race

It wasn't the sunny, clear day we had back in April, but it was lovely nonetheless.  For my long run today, I ran into Boston, to the finish line of the Marathon to watch thousands of runners complete their race.  

Crowds starting to gather
It was tear-filled, cathartic and soggy.  And it was wonderful to cheer on the runners.  It was also awe-inspiring to see our police out there supporting the runners, clearing the roads, watching the crowds, just like they do every year.
Here they come
Copley Square Memorial
I love this running community, and I want to keep this communal feeling.  Running can be an isolated experience, so from now on, I'm waving when I see people running.  6 minute miles or 12, if we cross paths, I'm gonna wave and smile.  We're a part of a secret club, and this is our handshake.

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