It may be a little early in the game but since my last post I’ve made a return to racing. Neither attempt was about setting a PR, but more about just participating in a group setting.
The slow and steady mileage buildup has continued. With seven weeks of running on the books I have yet to break 20 miles for a week. My longest “long run” has yet to break the double digits at “only” 7 miles. In weeks 5 and 6 rather than bumping any one run’s miles I added mileage by adding a fourth day of running to the plan.
Week 5, I ran on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with the additional run on Sunday. Because I we had a Thanksgiving travel plans during the end of Week 6, I ran Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. I’ve also continued to be a midweek early morning runner. This is a completely new concept for me. I used to abhor the thought of squeezing in my run before work, but with the time change and the early daylight I’ve really come to enjoy running then rather than after work in the dark.
Week 5 included my first race this time around. On Saturday, November 12th I ran the Kare Youth League 5K. The race took place only a few miles from my home at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area. The race was put on my Kare Youth League (KYL). Both my boys were involved in KYL from kindergarten to junior high. KYL is a year round sports league. The boys played football, baseball, basketball, soccer and track. The also enjoyed summer and winter camps. It was a lot of fun to go back and see the old coaches. I wore my youngest son’s Carolina Panthers football jersey to run in. I haven’t focused on speed at all at this point so I was running for the fun of it. My expectations were in the 27:00 range. The field was small. I was able to maintain my position and completely surprised myself with a 24:55 finish time (8:01 pace). Way faster than I expected.
Week 6 was spent mostly on the Isle of Palms near Charleston, South Carolina. I got in 3 runs there and then two more back home this weekend. So although my overall mileage didn’t really increase I bumped up the ante by adding in a 5 day of running. My hope is to maintain the 5 day schedule from now until my goal marathon next spring. Highlights of week 6 included running 3 miles with my oldest son. He joined the family in SC; driving down from Cleveland, OH. He and I, along with my wife, took part in the Charleston Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble 5K. Tyler’s goal was to PR which he did in 22:45. I finished my own race in 26:11. My race strategy hadn’t included a goal of improving on the KYL 5K time. The race is the largest 5K in South Carolina. The crowd of nearly 6000 made a fast time somewhat more difficult. I had lined up with the 24:00 to 27:00 estimated finish time and slowly worked my way up. I might have been able to run a faster race, but my primary goal of the morning was camaraderie.
Right now the main goal is to be running and to be running while keeping the heel pain that nagged me for the better part of 2011 in control. So far, I’ve been able to accomplish those goals and for that I’m thankful.