I don't know how long it's been since I posted. I could have looked, but got straight to writing again. It seems that I'm in a perpetual cycle of injury, recovery, try to get into shape and get injured again. Sometimes life is like that for some people. I must be some people.
Since the last update, I ran the Spokane Half Marathon. I didn't have a fantastic race, but I paced myself really well and finished with a decent time of 1:22:39, which is roughly 6:18 per mile. Not knowing what I was capable of made it more satisfying to have run roughly the same pace from start to finish ... slowing a touch at the end. Somehow, despite being able to see the leaders for several miles, I think there was a very odd wrong turn somewhere. I was expecting to see a 1:15 or so based upon the times leading up to the point I couldn't see them, but that didn't change the outcome of the race order ... just times.
I worked hard to get ready for the Columbia River Classic 10 mile. My goal was to run sub 6 pace, but I really didn't think I could do it. I worked hard, but had a lot of issues to work though. When race day came, my goal was to just lock onto a 5:55 to 5:57 and watch the times like a hawk. I didn't want to go too fast and I didn't want to go too slow either. Mile after mile I was holding sub 6. I had the 5:57 because GPS and courses sometimes end up adding time from a hill or faulty reading at some point. The 2+ seconds was my buffer. A couple miles were just a hair under 6, so the plan barely worked. At the turnaround, which is around 6 or so miles because of a loop at the start, I was feeling a bit better than expected, so I decided to give chase to the two guys ahead of me. The pace dropped to around 5:50 for a couple miles, then I pushed even faster for the final two miles. They paced themselves similarly and actually pulled away despite my attempt to run them down, which they could not see. In the end, I managed an official 59:37, but the course was a touch long as usual. I think I saw something like a 59:17 or 59:18 at 10 miles. Either way, I met my goal that I didn't think I could make.
Since then, it's been a struggle to find a balance in my schedule and time that I can train. Watching my little boy is fun and challenging. It can be so demanding at times that I wonder how any parent of a little one can ever stay in great shape. I'm not in terrible shape, but I am certainly not out there at the race every weekend. I'd rather sleep in and start my day later to recover a bit more. A bad case of insomnia doesn't help either.
So I have been living through others. It's been fun to see how freaking fast Evan Sims has gotten. 1:08:25 for a half marathon! I used to beat that guy. The times were a lot slower and I have never been in shape to run anything faster than a high 1:13. Anyway, it's amazing. Then this last weekend, I saw Josh Hadway ran a 24:48 for 5 miles! That's as impressive as it is intimidating. He's a triathlete and runs sub 5 pace for 5 miles? I need to find a new sport.
I've been putting in some serious time to get ready for the Armed Forces Championship though. It's a draft legal race, so my focus is on what will be best for me in that competition. It's the swim and run. We'll see what kind of magic I can find this time. Every four years is the Military World Games. This year it's in Brazil. I'd love to go, but I have to qualify against a bunch of other people who would also love to go. Not good odds if you ask me, but I will give it my best and see what that gets me. After that race, should I fail to qualify for Brazil, then who knows what I will work on. I'm low on motivation and perhaps am at a stage where staying healthy and fit will replace trying to win races and set records.
As long as I'm not terribly out of sorts, I'll actually update this a bit more often. I'll probably end up making all the pictures about Mercury. He's more important than racing anyway. Eventually, he'll be doing them with me in the stroller, but it needs to warm up a bit before I do that to the little guy.