The time has flown by the last few months. Finally, finally the weather seems to be turning for the better and all the Minnesotans can get their vitamin D levels back up to where they were before winter reared its head last October. May and June will be busy times for myself and Julie.
Three weeks from tomorrow is the BIG wedding day. We will be married at the Peace Garden near Lake Harriet. This area is a favorite of mine in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area and if the day is sunny and warm then it will be absolutely brilliant. It hasn't really hit hard until recently that my wedding day is actually going to happen after nearly 33 years of waiting for the perfect woman to come into my life. Luckily I layed down major 'game' the night I ran into Julie and she fell for it. I cannot wait to be married to her...she is just an awesome human being. And although the costs of putting on one day of celebration are utterly ridiculous, I would not have anything but an open bar for people that would take time to witness our wedding...it'll be a good time!
Then on June 18, I will run my fourth marathon this time in Duluth at the 35th Grandma's. I have made a few simple changes to the training this time around with the help of many folks including Dennis Barker, Schen-dell, Lehm, Lundo, V. Lucas Watson, Matt Downin, Nicoli, Kurt Decker, Nathaniel Jenkins and a few others I have spoken with about the tricky art of marathoning. These changes aren't major, but simple things like: not skulling out as many miles as I previously thought I may have needed, putting another day of recovery in between hard sessions if needed even if it's 3 days of easy running, finishing the last few miles of long runs with more effort, or maybe not running such long continuous marathon paced runs. In fact, it is very handy to be running the USATF 25k Championships in Grand Rapids, MI, in a week as this can serve as the major long, hard, marathon-type effort of this cycle for Grandma's. Although it will be a lot faster than the pace for the marathon, the effort will be very difficult especially with hills and this will be good prep.
I feel fit and really want to be able to put myself in a position to be in the top 3 at these events in May and June. The fitness has come a long way since the Gate River 15k back in early March and the racing last Saturday at Get in Gear 10k felt more natural then it has in awhile. I battled the Kandie-man for nearly 6 miles and then tightened the screws a bit over the last quarter mile. He couldn't match it, and I won the race fairly convincingly over that last stretch 29:45 to 29:51. It was a really good feeling to pull that one out because I know Richard Kandie's credentials are very solid and he is the best Kenyan runner in the area. He battle MacDonard Ondara to the line in Kansas City over 4 miles at the Trolley run a few weeks back, and MacDonard ran fast at the Bloomsday 12k last weekend so this is justification enough for me that my run was a good one.
So the bottom line is, I am confident about my running at the moment and if I compare it to where I was a year ago, it's night and day. I (fortunately) watched live Christopher Solinsky set the American record on the Stanford track over 10000m and then I subsequently finished dead last in the next heat, ran a miserable 30:10, and messed up my achilles which took me out for the summer. It was not fun. But looking back I realize I have fought hard and stuck to my guns and have put myself in the position to be able to challenge at Grandma's - this fire's me up. I have that Grit I used to have in high school where I hated losing on the track....hated it. You need that in competitive distance running. It gives you that extra edge where there is a fine line between mediocrity or relative success. I have been missing it for a year or even two but it's there and the results will happen as they do.