If there is not, there should be, an unwritten rule in the world of competitive running. That rule is that when you set a personal best - any distance, any age, any race - there should be very little ifs, ands, or buts. With that, I was slightly disappointed with my 22 second half-marathon PR down in Houston nearly two weeks ago. I will take the time, as it was my first dip under 1:04 after running 1:04 low about three other times. But I really, really believed I was in better shape because I had done all hard training with Vega (AKA 'The Chilean Gaucho') and raced an indoor 3k a week prior to the half in a surprising 8:06 exactly to the line with young Antonio. There was no 3k paced work involved before this either. So to be a 1:50 behind Vega for 13.1 miles still leaves me scratching my head. Some of the boys who passed me towards the end of that thing, never really took a risk to go for the win yet there is no way on the face of God's green earth I would change being up in it early and vying for the win. I went through 10k in 29:35 and ran the majority of miles 6-10 alone. If I coulda just hung on for two miles from 4-6 things may have been different.
Anyway, I have fire in the belly at the moment and am just trying to exude as much positive energy as possible. I recently escaped the ice and frigid temps of Minneapolis for a three week hiatus to Phoenix. I am pretty much flying solo down here. My training partners are basically two weimaraners named Hope and Ten-K Schumacher. I cannot stress ENOUGH how good it feels to run on a soft surface, not slip and slide, and be able to let the stride do its normal thing.
Originally, Julie and I had planned a nice little weekend for next week, but things changed with a Reebok function now on the radar. She will be in San Diego for work, and will now make a one night pit-stop in Phoenix before leaving for MSP on Thursday at nearly the same time I depart for Boston. Sad that the trip has been cut short, but we will still make an afternoon of Sedona.
USATF Cross Country is next on the schedule Feb. 13 in Spokane, Wa. I have been fortunate to be on US squads in the World Cross Country Championships on three different occasions. I have been on teams with outstanding runners like Dathan Ritzenhein, Ryan Hall, and the late Ryan Shay in France, Japan, and Kenya, respectively. I have never ran particularly well at World Cross, and so I want to give myself one more chance to do so. It would be nice to have a fellow TUSAMN runner (AKA the rookie AKA Smythdaddy) on the squad also if fortune does indeed favor the bold.