I'm taking another shot at the half marathon. I'm hoping any number of factors- no travel necessary, much better weather (a low of 43 and no rain anywhere nearby), and a sense of gratitude at having another chance will inspire a more...well...inspired performance.
Last week's race ended up being less a race than a tempo run followed by a long cooldown. Though I tried to think of it that way, it was a lot more evident Tuesday on a run with JARRIN where we hit the trails pretty hard in the afternoon sun and I felt better than I had in a week. Chris Sloane reinforced my thoughts on that and I knew by Tuesday evening I was ready to go and redeem myself at the half marathon.
Tuesday night I got some news that deflated me a bit, disappointed me greatly, but in a way makes me more tenacious. I'm not sure how much I want to elaborate on it right now, but suffice to say it put my future in a whole new perspective that truly frees me to do what I want. In similar circumstances, I've focused in races and achieved a lot, so I hope that happens again. By the same token, I have a new approach to how I will look at my running, one which removes a lot of restrictions on how I will go forward.
I needed a race, though. I kept hearing about the historic half in Fredricksburg, May 16. Plenty of time to recover and rev up. But it meant travel and staying a night in Fredricksburg, two expenses I didn't want. The Lynchburg Half in August seemed viable, and would give me time to prepare more, and it seems a fair goal. It's a month earlier than the Philly Distance Run, which was too close to Chicago for my tastes. Joe Wildfire's wedding precludes me from racing the Patrick Henry Half, so Lynchburg is now on the books. I figured I was settled on Lynchburg when I became aware of Jimmy Daly's plight. Like seemingly everyone on the GRC besides HUGE, he had an off day on Sunday, and was eager to get back at it I suggested Fredricksburg, which doesn't work for his schedule, but he told me about a race held by another shoe store, right in Arlington. Sunday. With much more favorable weather. Dare I, or dare I? I dare.
While I would like to still break 1:11, that will not be my singular focus this time. I just want to enjoy the race and see what I can do. I'll likely be in better shape to do it at Lynchburg, because I had 10 miles to nitpick my fitness on Sunday. That's not to say I won't, but I'm going to see where things take me tomorrow. I spent so much time tossing and turning the night before Pittsburgh because of the stress I put on myself to overcome the elements I know would be rough. I analyzed the course too much, staring at the map when I ended up standing on the Metro. I have no idea what this course is like, except that it's two loops. Arlington isn't THAT hilly and whatever hills I climb I'll have to come back down. This is going to be fun.
The Disney Cross Country Festival in 2003, another hot muggy race that went poorly but was followed by a lot of fun that changed my outlook.