Running is going fairly well these days.
A couple of noteworthy training accomplishments as of late:
1) Did Bush Park 5k series race 9/14 and it was a bit of a disaster with a bad sideache and unlaced shoe. Harder evening workouts are always kind of a crapshoot for me as I can never get the eat/poop thing dialed in. Still managed to cruise in a 17:20something. Not too bad considering I, like my shoelace, began to unwind early in the 2nd mile--even contemplating jogging the thing in. Still a bit of a disappointment as I was able to do that kind pace (or better) for a 10k on July Forth.
2) I've done some good long runs lately. Finally had the chance to explore some new trails around the valley's hillier spots despite a very busy summer schedule. Down at McCulloch Peak in the Mac I found some tough climbs, over at Silver Falls I finally linked up Shellburg Falls and Buck Mountain Loop, and had a chance to cruise the Wildwood Trail in my once a year pilgrimage to Portland's Forest Park. So much fun to get out in the woods for nice long runs. I am finally feeling stronger on long climbs after feeling pretty sorry at (and after!) the Dog Mtn. race's 2nd lap. Trails in large doses just have a way of balancing out muscles and making me feel good about running.
3) A workout last week called for a faster mile. I went to the track, partially because I was lacking creativity in choosing a route and partially because I wanted to see where I was with mile times. I did the mile in 4:55. That's the first sub 5 mile I've clocked. I may have one or two downhill-ish miles that were at that speed but I am not even specifically aware of them. Anyway, I was happy to check that off the list. Best part was it was hard, but not THAT hard. Legs never seemed like they were cooking and breathing was not too laborious. I didn't do some monster kick in the last lap or 300 or 200 or whatever.
4) Coach: I haven't mentioned it here but I am currently being coached. Summer is too busy a time of year for me to create and dedicate myself to a training plan. Last summer I struggled to stay on task and even though I got some very good workouts in here and there it was not ideal. I've got a big goal this fall and thought maybe I'd benefit from enlisting the help of David Roche. He's awesome. He's energizing and fully engaged with a custom plan and near daily comments on the workouts. I knew he was fast at the shorter end of endurance running and figured he must have some tricks up his sleeve that might help me get faster after a winter of mostly jogging. I also admired his "Pre-esque" racing strategy and affinity for writing about the digestive movements of humans and dogs. Right away he announced we were going for 10k fitness and longer runs on the weekends to keep endurance system intact/developing. So it's fartleks, hill repeats, short intervals, tempos, and strides galore. I didn't even know what half of those words meant a few months ago. For the time being I no longer go out for weekday 12 mile recovery slogs and do 10+ miles on the track. It's working great to have concise short workouts during these busy summer days. I joke around that I am getting into all the collegiate runner workouts I never did (I wasn't a runner then) and hopefully that will help me close the gap between them (the former collegiate runners) and me in future races. I can't praise David enough--it's been seriously fun to work with him so far.
Cheers dearest super fan! I know running stories are boring especially when they don't involve adventure, competition, or, at the very least, tangents into the world outside of running. I know... I am sorry, this must have been so hard to get through.