I decided early Saturday morning to scrap the tempo run from the store, since most of the team was racing in Kentucky or preparing the Jingle all the Way 10k the next day. What I got from turning off my alarm and sleeping until I was ready to get up was much more valuable than a tempo run with Chuck (no offense). The problem was, waking at 11:30 then managing to keep putting off my run until 2 meant I wasn't eating beforehand, and when I started running, I was going on a fast of more than 15 hours since i had some stromboli and carrots at Mary's party the night before, almost 24 hours since my last meal to speak of at NACo's holiday party. Four miles into wandering around Pimmet Hills, I was pretty much cooked, with no energy and little more enthusiasm, besides the desire to explore what could be a good neighborhood with little traffic.
Luckily, I had two interesting podcasts to keep me company as I slogged out about 7.5-8 miles. During some runs, I really need to listen to something so I avoid going too hard, in hopes of getting home faster. With a podcast, I have a human voice keeping me company and teaching me something, so I am accomplishing some simultaneous physical and intellectual enrichment, but I wonder how much of the mental and emotional utility of training runs is eroded when I am aided by my mp3 player. I don't want to be someone who needs to listen to something when he runs, and I am confident I won't get to that point, but I am trying to balance how much I use the podcasts. I also feel like it is different than if I listened to music.
In other news, I decided to place my hamper in the shower. I was keeping it in the bathroom, and it just seemed cluttered, but since my shower is out of use for 23 hours and 53 minutes a day, it is much easier to simply move the hamper when I am showering. I'm so friggin smart...
Meanwhile, in Lexington, KY, the GRC guys ran to a 19th place finish at the club cross country national championships, and in San Diego, Rad Guzenhauser was the first Mt. Lebanon runner to compete in the Footlocker Cross Country meet, finishing 24th. It doesn't quite make up for the team not making states, but it is remarkable that our first Footlocker qualifier was a kid who didn't win either WPIAL or state championships. We've had really good guys come through- Greg Costello, Shawn Cavanaugh (who didn't run Footlocker), Jim O'Toole, and each of them was dominant at least on the WPIAL level. Rad lost a few times to the NA kid, and maybe continuing to fight despite those loses prepared him more for the northeast meet when he wasn't in the lead. Or maybe he had some abilities the other guys didn't, or maybe it was just the race for him.
As much as my competitive side wishes I had gone to Kentucky with the GRC guys, I am just three weeks into running with them and I'm also in downright horrible shape. It would have been fun,though.