After maxing out my mileage in the lower 30s several times over the past year in my various attempts to get myself back in shape, I finally managed to crack 35 miles this week. Furthermore, I did a 5K road race in 18:20, which is the fastest time I’ve hit in the past year. It figures that this good news has to be dampened by the recurrence of an old nemesis of mine, my recurring groin injury. Nonetheless, my spirits are high and I remain hopeful that I can nip this groin pain in the bud before it grows into a serious problem. I’ve got a 4 mile race on my radar in about three weeks, so that’s my next goal. We’ll see how it goes and hopefully I can crack 40 miles a week in the near future. Take care, everyone.
This post isn’t so much a review as it is merely an attempt to collate my thoughts regarding Born to Run. Reading and I have had a notoriously strained relationship throughout my life. I doubt I read so much as a third of the novels I was supposed to throughout high school. So when my brother got me Born to Run as a Christmas present back in 2012, I had my doubts if I’d ever actually get around to reading it. After all, plenty of other books languished on my bookshelf, growing ever dustier.
Even when I enjoy a book, getting through is still a struggle for my poor attention span. It took me months of sporadic reading to finally finish World War Z (if you’re a zombie fan, I recommend it), the last book I read before Born to Run. When I finally decided to dive into the Christopher McDougall novel, I figured it might end up being much of the same. For having run all these years, I knew rather little about ultrarunning, major focus of the book, and I had doubts I would even find the novel interesting. But Born to Run proved to be exactly what I needed.
As I covered in my last entry, an entire, injury-plagued year went by without many miles to show for it. But I just finished up my third consecutive week of consistent running, which is a step in the right direction. My runs had been sporadic for a while through late March and early April, but I’d like to think I’m on the right track. I put in about 32 miles last week and for the most part, I felt pretty good. My legs feel pretty light and refreshed; I guess a year of never cracked 35 miles a week will do that for them.
Long story short: injuries, laziness and an ability to adjust to my first full-time job derailed my running for a full year. Hard to believe it’s been an entire year since my last update here. After the St. Luke’s Half Marathon, my knee refused to feel better, so I just never really got around to trying to run. But more than that, somewhere along the line, it was almost as if I lost that inner spark, the fire that spurred me on for so many years.
So here I am, ready to get back at it. I feel refreshed, recharged, recommitted, (mostly) healthy and ready to return from oblivion. Twice over the past year I worked myself up to about thirty miles a week before getting derailed again. I won’t really try to make excuses. My lack of running is mostly attributable to laziness. But I’m back now, and I’ll document my journey as I attempt to reclaim my former glory and more importantly, that true love for running. It’s good to be back.
I’d been planning on running the St. Luke’s Half Marathon for months now, but races still have a funny way of sneaking up on you. Especially when you aggravate a nagging injury a mere two months before the big day. I probably increased my mileage too quickly in order to get in shape for the half marathon today, but it ended up working out in the end. I knew I more than likely wouldn’t be capable of a PR, since I was in much better shape last September when I did my last half marathon, but ultimately I was happy with how I raced.
The tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon and the subsequent apprehending of the suspects has dominated the news over the past week, so I don’t feel the need to cover that extensively. I just do want to say that I think those acts of evil were disgraceful and horrifying. I’m impressed with the swiftness with which authorities worked in bringing those responsible to justice. As many others have already said, this tragedy did not weaken us. It did not break us apart. Instead, it only strengthened us.
It figures that after the last entry in my 2013 running diary, in which I happily proclaimed that spring had sprung, that Scranton would see to it to seriously throw that proclamation into question. Not by the temperatures going back down, but by having them skyrocket….and then they went back down later anyway. Monday through Wednesday saw temperatures in the 70s, with Tuesday being particularly warm and humid. Just one week prior, it had been literally a bit less than half that warm. In less than a week, we’d gone from 35 degrees to 75 degrees. Makes it a bit difficult to adjust.
I tried doing a workout on Tuesday, but it didn’t work out too well. Though mid 70s isn’t all that warm and would feel refreshing in the summer, after a long, cold winter, the dramatic jump into the 70s was brutal. I planned on mile repeats but I could complete only 3. All of them were around 5:37 pace. Then, as if nature was laughing at us, the temperatures plummeted back down, with Friday barely cracking 45 degrees. Frustrated with the weather, I poured all my anger into yesterday’s run, ending up with 9 miles at 6:25 pace. That gave me 56 on the week. I’ve realized that perhaps I’ve been upping my mileage a bit too quickly, so for the next two weeks until my half-marathon, I’ll just stabilize at 60 miles a week. I just hope the weather going ahead can be a little more consistent.