Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hard Lessons

Good intentions. I had plenty of them. I intended to maintain a high mileage base and start running faster. Well, that didn't really happen. Like last time, I patted myself on the back a bit. I ate too many peanut m&ms. I took a week off during spring break with my kids. As a result, I've slowed down. Ugh. When will I learn my lesson? It's better to stay fit than it is to lose fitness and then try to gain it back.

I ran a couple of races within a week. I didn't write reports on them because they were really lackluster. I came in 3rd and 4th overall, but I ran like I had bricks on my feet in both of them. Maybe I'm delusional and I'm not as fast as I think I am, but I really expected better times in both of those races.

First, there was the Scholarship Fund Run 8k in downtown Huntsville on April 7. This is a tough course, for sure. But we had perfect weather. I should have been well able to break 30 minutes on this course. I really should be able to break 29 minutes in an 8k. But 30 minutes on this course should have been very attainable. Not to mention that the weather was absolutely perfect. I blew a great opportunity to compete for a race win. The winner, Donald Bowman, ran a 28:53. I should be well capable of that. I know that Donald is a better runner than me and that he would have beaten me if we had been close. But I'm so disappointed that I didn't even come close. I ran the first mile at what felt like a 5:45 pace, and I actually split the mile at 6:02. I knew then, even though Donald was within reach, that I had no chance. From there, I just hung on and ran basically 6:05 miles the rest of the way to finish 3rd overall behind Donald and Dink in 30:14. Stinky.

Then, the following Tuesday, April 10, I ran the Double Helix Dash at Hudson Alpha in Research Park. Yet again, I stunk up the road. This was an interesting race. It started at 5:30 PM which is an unusual time to run for me. I'm a morning or lunch time runner. It's neat to do once in a while, but I don't want to make a habit of running at this time of day. In this race, I started out in 2nd place and held that position for two miles. I knew that I'd never catch Erik Debolt, the overall winner. But I did expect to break 18 minutes and I thought I had a chance at 2nd place. I ran 5:41, 5:48, 6:15, and :46. Both George DeWitt and Robert Whitaker passed me in the last mile. My legs were just heavy and would not turn over. 18:30? Why am I running a 5k that slow? It is a hard course, but that was the classic example of crash and burn. I started too fast and died. but I should be able to hold a 5:45 pace for 5k.

Oh well. Back to the roads and trails. Keep working hard and survive the summer.