Running again

I haven’t run much in the last 3 months. And by not much I mean not at all until this weekend. With my back still hurting despite taking all that time off I decided I might as well get out there and run. 5 miles of shuffling later my back is the same. So… progress?

The Ladies Run, Josh Cheers

Sunday was the Holiday Hustle 5k in Newton, MA. The whole family went down to watch Lisa run it for the 3rd time, and to watch Hazel run her first 5k.

Lisa leading at mile 1

Hazel has been talking about running a 5k for a few years now, and she worked up the nerve to give it a try after a few months of training (running a mile two times a week).

Hazel all business at mile 1
Lisa with her giant trophy

Lisa crushed her race with a 20:42! We think this is her fastest time in the last 15 years, and considering it was 15 degrees out, I know she can do even better.

Hazel did amazing. Besides a quick stop to pour herself some water at the self serve water stop, she ran the whole way. She said her rib started hurting (breathing cramps) but she ignored it and it just went away.

I’m very lucky to have these ladies to root for while I’m on the injured reserve.

Fall Fade AKA What happens when you don’t train

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.

Struggling to run 6 minute pace down hill at the end of a 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.

Lisa’s Marathon Race Report

After years of media marathoning and not running a marathon, I can now say I’ve done both. I raced the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in Albany, NY on October 13, 2019.

Running a marathon doesn’t connect to this blog in name only: running has been an influential part of my professional life. Briefly, here’s why. (If you’re here just for the race report, think of this next part as the boring story about Aunt Edna’s apple pie before you get to the actual recipe.) Read the rest.