It’s been almost 8 months since last I posted and I must say that I am truly disappointed… Disappointed with running, disappointed with some choices I have made and disappointed with our government. The big question becomes “Do I wallow in self pity or do I get my behind end in gear and do something about the things I can control?”. Well, I choose to get my behind in gear, so here it goes…
I participated in both the Redding California Marathon and the Illinois Marathon this past winter and spring. I say that I participated because by no stretch of the imagination can I actually say that I ‘ran” the marathons. Both races were between 35 and 50 minutes behind my PR. I think that the real issue that I have had has been that I “rack disciprine” (to quote Stan Marsh’s karate sensei) in my training. I can blame a lot of it on work or bad weather, but that is the easy way out. In advance of each race, I only went out and tried to cover one, only one 20 mile training run. Runs of 10, 12 and 15 miles were easy to cover, but real training occurs once I get past 17 miles. At the pasta feed dinner before the Illinois Marathon, Olympic champion Frank Shorter said something that really stuck with me. He said that his coach told him that in order to improve his race results, he needed to run more Sunday 20 milers. I am trying to take that to heart and so far, in advance of my next race (Portland marathon on October 9) I have one 19 miler (a week ago yesterday) in the books, a 20 miler yesterday and 2 more 20 milers before the race. My training pace has been around 10:30/mile and I hope to drive that down closer to a training pace of 9:45 for the long runs. I am also adding some half marathon races to the schedule to improve race day approaches. One thing I have found is that I am a climber; I improve my pace as compared to other runners when we are going up-hill. Last Saturday was the Mahomet half and even though my chest started bleeding (EMBARRASSING!!!!!), I finished in a little over 2 hours; which, considering that I had a 20 to do the next day, was pretty good. I still need to shave about 10 minutes of the half marathon pace and I hope to do that in Peoria this weekend or Chicago on the 11th of September.
I got new shoes (Asics Kayanno 17’s) last week and already have over 45 miles on them after retiring my previous pair (over 1,000 miles on those Asics Kayanno 15’s). Right now, I have improved my dedication to my training (I think part of that is that my girlfriend is reminding me that I have training to do, so that helps to keep me committed) and I have improved my diet (probably good that I am increasing the complex carb intake (and lowering (just a little bit) the beer intake, as well)). I am feeling good about the Portland race coming up and expect to finish somewhere close to 4 hours (trying to be realistic).
I am also feeling good about the Portland race because it will give me an opportunity to see old friends again in Redding and Portland. By taking the train along the coast from San Francisco, I plan to take it pretty easy and be in good shape for race day. I will be putting some finishing touches on past relationships out in California and cementing old friendships with people who continue to be dear to me. I am very much looking forward to my upcoming trip to the left coast…
I have been kicking myself lately over a few of the choices I have made since I have returned to Champaign. The funny thing is that those choices revolve around the limits to humility. There is a fine line between to being humble and being walked on. If you show that things that do not go your way do not bother you, you risk being serially taken advantage of and becoming a laughing stock. After being away for a while, I have often bent over backwards to re-build relationships and it has only resulted in me being seen as a sucker; an easy mark. Those choices have prevented me from developing closer relationships here in the Heartland. NO MORE, PEOPLE! I think that part of my own work in re-establishing my self esteem has also been driven by my new commitment to training. I have been re-building self-confidence and I feel pretty good about where I am and where I am going. Case in point, I am back on the blog after a long hiatus.
Anyway, things are getting better, work has its own frustrations, but I am proving my value to the organization. I think that a greater commitment to meditation will also help me (winning the lottery wouldn’t suck, either!). All in all, I am headed in the right direction.
I have some detailed ideas about the current political climate, the struggles in the economy and ways to improve the level of discourse in our capitals. However, I need to put on a few miles to put a little more substance to the thoughts. You will see them later this week.
Till then, remember 3 steps per second. I’ll see you on the road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!