Way back in late spring I had worked myself into very good shape. Months of steady mileage and long runs enabled me to break 35 minutes in the 10k for the first time since leaving NY. I also had a nice half marathon in May averaging 5:51 pace over a steadily rolling course. I kept up some solid mileage through June, but I was feeling worn out. Each run felt like a chore and after struggling to a 35:34 finish at the Capital City Classic 10k I decided to take some time off to rejuvenate. As you can see from the chart below, I never got it going again.
Needless to say, my race times didn’t improve with the drop in miles, but in my quest to win the New Hampshire Grand Prix I kept slogging through the events. First with the Boot Scoot’n Boogie 5k and then the Granite State 10 Miler.
In both those races I made excuses for my sub par times: it was hot, it was humid, the moon was too bright. But the simple fact is, you can’t fake it in running. Either you put in the work or you pay the price.
The full bill finally came due this past Sunday at the CHaD Half Marathon. I crashed harder in the last 4 miles of of the CHM than I have in any other race. I went from a foolishly optimistic 6:00 minute pace through 9 miles to a final pace of 6:16. Those last 4 miles were possibly the worst 4 miles I’ve run in a race.
I’m now face with some tough decisions. Am I OK training at a lower level and racing slower? Would I rather spend the next few years focusing on other activities (golf). Do I run just for health and don’t worry about time? Do I use this as an oppertunity to recommit my training and aim for another great spring of racing?
I’m giving all this a lot of thought. While I’m deciding I’ll keep shuffling along.