Yesterday I took a study break to run the annual xmas relays around Lake Merced in San Francisco. The course is 4.5 miles and goes all the way around the lake — no cutting the bridge.
I really don’t know what to say about this race (mainly writing this post as an excuse to take a study break.) It was my third “race” in the last two months after a five month break from racing (and most running).
The first race was a charity 5k where I showed up slightly hungover and having slept 6 hours in the previous 48. Amazingly enough I ended up running an 18:07 (5:49 pace) despite my condition and limited training. While the race itself had been painful, hanging out with my old college teammates and friends had inspired me to keep training and get back into running shape (or at least something resembling it).
The second race was a 4 mile Turkey Trot. This time I had been training fairly steady for over a month, but again raced on little sleep. Running on a totally unknown course (Amy and I stopped to do the race in Santa Barbara on our way down to LA) I manage to run 23:19 (5:49 pace again!) This time the pacing was a little disappointing as I had hoped/assumed that a month of training and lack of a hangover would have resulted in a better pace improvement.
The third race was yesterday xmas relays. While my training has dropped of the last week as a result of finals, I was relatively well rested for once. This time I managed to run 25:58 (5:46 pace). Cutting pace over the further distance seems like more an improvement considering only two weeks between races (and only a week’s worth of training).
So as this year draws to a close I am left to ponder what will my running look like next year? Will I return to racing shape, continue this sporadic training, or fall off the bandwagon completely? Part of me wants to return to glory and test what my body is capable of before its too late. Another part of my remembers how hard and painful full time training is and wants no part of it. My rational self believes that training will continue, but sometimes sporadically and never at full effort. I just don’t want it bad enough to train that hard without teammates around to drag me out on those long runs in the cold and rain (or simply drag my away from wasting time watching tv on the couch).
I guess my goal is to train enough that I don’t fall out of shape and to keep running fun.