"There are no miracles in running." I think I said this as recently as a few weeks ago. And for the most part I feel like it's true - but, this morning came pretty close.
A week ago Kendra and I moved from Baltimore to Winchester, VA. As moves go - this one wasn't bad. We had movers doing all the heavy lifting and it was only less than two hours away. But, moving to a new town is as much psychological as it is anything. Other than a hopeful hunch that our lives will improve dramatically with Kendra's job change - there isn't anything bringing us here. And Winchester is dramatically different than anywhere I've lived. Not that we can't make a good life here - but, one thing that all humans dread is the unknown.
Last Sunday I decided to explore a state park (Sky Meadows) ~20 minutes from Winchester. It was beautiful - but, the running wasn't exactly smooth. The first mile or so was completely uphill. Not only that - they have cows in certain fenced in areas of the park and I had to run off the trail to avoid a few of these massive creatures. I was supposed to run 20 miles - but, I ended up at only a little over 2 hours. Given my lack of skill on the Appalachian Trail - calling it 17 was more than generous. Not only did I not get in the run I wanted - on my way down the "mountain" - I had the worse case of tendonitis in my knees that I've had in a long time. I even had to stop.
Tuesday was hot. On the positive side I found an awesome mondo surface track at the high school, which is less than a mile from my house. But the heat caused me to run slower and less than I wanted.
Thursday I had a 3X2 mi planned. I decided to plan out 3 two mile routes on the USATF route tool. Well - I must have not been very precise because my splits were all pretty slow. Easy explainable, but not a confidence booster.
Then, that night it got much cooler. We left the window open and in the morning my neck was so stiff I could hardly turn my head. By Friday I was dreading Sunday. I had no idea what was going to happen. My confidence was as low as it's been for a race in a long time.
But this morning I got out of bed - had a bit to eat - and jogged over the start. On my way I encountered the swarms of people - instead of getting nervous - I felt a smile cross my face. I realized - I am ready. I've put a lot of work in this miserable winter and now I get put it all out there in a big race with fast competition in perfect conditions. Life is good.
Monday: 8.5 miles
Tuesday Morning: 4 miles
Tuesday Evening: 8.5 miles 4X(200m R pace with 200m jogs: 34.2, 35.7, 34.5, 34.2) + 2X(1k I pace with 2-min jogs: 3:05.4, 3:07.6) + 1X800 2:30.6 + 2X(400m R pace with 400m jogs: 69.6, 66.9)
Wednesday: 9 miles
Thursday Morning: 4 miles
Thursday Evening: 10 miles 3X2 mi @ T pace
Friday: 11 miles
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 14 miles Cherry Blossom 10 miler 52:47
Total: 73 miles
Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday Morning: 4 miles
Tuesday Evening: 10.5 miles 6X (600m I pace 1 min rest 400m I pace 30 sec rest 200m I pace 30 sec rest)
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 10 miles 3X2 mi @ T pace
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 11.5 miles 4X(1 mile @ T pace with 3-min jogs) + 6X(200m R pace with 200m jogs) + 2 mi acceleration run increases 5 xec per 300m with last 400m interval pace
Sunday: 17 miles
Total: 72 miles