Just back from a week of travel for work. And a wonderful week it was. The first 4 days were spent in Boulder, CO hanging with good friends and sleeping in the basement at Jonseys house. My good friend Henry Guzman got married to his amazing bride Suzanne and it was a great way to cap off 4 days of happiness. Being back in Boulder was really nice and the respite I needed from the constant issues I am dealing with. I didn’t help my situation however when I joined Jimmy Carney, Benita Willis, and Tim O’Donnell for a run lasting 59 minutes (longest run in 15 months) We did take it very easy but with the altitude and the climbs I knew at about 45 minutes that I was making a mistake. Its just so nice which makes it very difficult to stop! After the run my knee swelled up pretty bad and I had a pronounced limp, but nothing a pint with Dafyd at the Hungry Toad couldn’t help me deal with. Next day I went down to Denver to see Donal and watch Spain loose in their World Cup opener. While I was sipping coffee at The Cup on Pearl street I realized that I miss Boulder and that it would be a great place to spend some time figuring out some of my issues with running and life.
Next stop was Peoria, IL for the Steamboat Classic Road Race, arguably the worlds fastest and most competitive 4 mile and an event Reebok sponsors. We have built a great relationship with the team that put on the race and our retail partners at Running Central. Its always a fun time and this year was no different. The same cast of characters and the same hangouts fueled by good beer and craic. One exception this year was the fact that I decided to race. We do a lot of these events and sometimes become so fried after the build up that actually running the event is very much an afterthought. However this year, with all the partying out of our system we actually want to run in the events we support so we all got numbers and at 6:50 AM we lined up with the masses. Here is where my obvious problems surface. Lee, Paddy, and Wardy (although he did the 15k) all decided to run a controlled effort, not much more than training pace. I should have joined them and ran the pace I’ve been running over the last few weeks. Since March 31st 2009 I have only run about 200 miles. Most of that has been made up of 30 mile weeks in November and last month. Apart from a fun 75 second quarter on the track at the end of a run with the Reebok lunch time crew I haven’t run quicker than 6:30-45 pace and certainly not sustained that pace for more than 3 miles. In a nutshell I am the most under ran I’ve been in my entire adult life. The bike has kept me fit and this is where it goes pear-shaped. The gun fires and with a number on my chest the inner competitive athlete takes over and I bolt away from Lee and Paddy. The pace up front is silly so I settle in just off the lead women and feel really comfortable thinking I’m running a bit too quick but not very fast. Mile 1, 5:05. Not good at all. I back off and find myself allowing the women to drift further ahead. My knee at this point feels fine and I am surprised at how easy the first mile felt. Mile 2, 5:10, not slow enough. I know now that I won’t slow down anymore. It felt like I was holding back so I just kept pace and kept running within myself. Mile 3, 5:05, now my knee starts hurting and getting tight but there is no cardiovascular struggle and my HR is no way near the redline. I attempt to run the last mile by winding down and bringing myself to a training pace which I successfully did only I ran 5:10 instead of the 5:30-40 I wanted. Finished up with 20:30. Its not fast I know, I mean the pace is what I believe I can run a marathon in if I get 6 months of training under my belt but it is still encouraging to know that with NO training for running other than 30 – 45 minute Jogs with the work crew and with Kim I can still feel comfortable running 5 min pace. I would say had I lashed the last mile I would have run 4:45. On the other hand my knee is killing me now and it is clear that no matter how fit I get, my body will always be a hindrance to my enjoying this beautiful sport. One 4 mile effort and my legs feel like I ran a marathon. My right knee is so sore that I couldn’t sleep with the throbbing in the joint.
Tomorrow I am going to Rochester to see Interpol. Yes, you could say I am pretty excited. Interpol are releasing a new self titled album in September and these small gigs are basically live practice sessions. I will be hearing all the new songs mixed with some old classics. They have apparently reverted back to their original sound on Turn On The Bright Lights which is darker and moodier than their more recent offerings, especially Our Love To Admire. The show is happening in a small venue so it will be great viewing and great sound. Their first live gig in 2 years, amazing. Full report will come on Tuesday.
Peace and Love,