I did have some good track workouts. I've been able to consistently run 200s in 40 seconds, and 400s in 84, with a lot more ease than last year. That was a big improvement. But I also have done a lot of traveling. We went to NYC for Memorial weekend to visit family. Last weekend I was in Baltimore for a work conference. All of this meant that not all runs fit into the schedule. Letting go? Loosening up? Prioritizing? You be the judge.
In non running related news, my dissertation proposal passed last month! If you don't remember, last year, I hit some stumbling blocks trying to come up with a dissertation topic. I held onto the mantra "not in vain" - that all of the work would eventually pay off. After a year of hitting the books really hard and working with my committee, the proposal passed. It was a big milestone - it makes me now ABD (All But Dissertation). There are no other official benchmarks in the doctoral program until the dissertation passed and ABD turns into Ph.D. Needless to say, I had worked my butt off to get that, and that victory mattered more than any running one.
The weather in Rochester (yes, I'm home in Rochester visiting my parents - more traveling!) has been rather iffy. Granted, the much cooler temperatures have been a warm welcome after last week's 90 degree days, but the rain I could do without. Now, I have been fairly blessed in terms of race weather conditions. Sometimes it has been cold or windy or even a little rain, but I've never really raced in pouring weather. It was time for me to get what was coming to me. You pay your dues, right? I've had beautiful marathon weather - time to get drenched.
In a nutshell, it was a steeplechase. Huge puddles were all around the track. I lined up in the elite heat (sub 6) for women, threw my goals for the PR our the window, and was ready to go. And we were off in the rain. Lap 1: 1:28 - most of the girls were way ahead of me, and I was just trying to hang on. Feet were already drenched, and I was debated getting closer to lane 2 where it was less puddly. Lap 2: 2:56 or 8 - I'll really have to dig in, but can I? 4:28 for Lap 3 and I am feeling so over this. I finished in 5:59, just under the 6:00 heat, and happy to be done. With the warm up and cool down for the race, I totalled 8.5 miles for the day. Bring on the (gluten-free) beer!
So what I can I take away from all of this? Lessons learned (from the professor):
- I am not a miler and I knew that going into this. But it is still a good experiment to try that shorter distance stuff.
- These track races were not goal races. My big races of the 10k and 10 mile of the spring were the big ones. This was just - gravy? Another opportunity to get some racing?
- Consistent training leads to better racing. I admittedly slacked off in the past month. It had been a challenging semester and I needed something to give. Normally, I am consistent as anything and it pays off.
- But is it really slacking off? I'm starting to think it was a lesson in letting go. Not all races are perfect, and nor should they be. I had a banner season - I had ran 39:28 for the 10k and 1:05:52 for 10 miles. Those are great. We don't get it all, and I will take what I worked for.
And that's why we all got into it, right?