Grey morning. Took me a bit longer than usual to get out the door. Took it out to Falls Bridge, which meant taking old familiar routes to the Art Museum and then doing the Drives. Usually I look for something different, today I wanted familiar. I've been running this route as a long run ever since training for my first marathon back in '97.
When I got to the Drives I started paying attention to pace. My reach time was to do the 4 Kelly miles in under 30 minutes, but when the first mile came in in just under 8 minutes I wasn't very encouraged. Nonetheless the pace progressively quickened to where I got around 7 minute pace and managed to get up to the bridge in 29:30. Then I just kept this pace for the MLK four and managed a 27:42. Didn't think I had either of those times in me yet. The 3.5 or so miles back home were more a slog than a recovery, just running long on tired legs. All in all, 14.5 miles in about 1:56. This is encouraging.
I resolved to write up my 10 most memorable running moments of '07 today. I'm not going to rank them, nor are they necessarily going to all be high moments, but they will give you a good flavor of my year. In chronological order:
1) Jan. 30
- I just started training, in conjunction with a coach I just enlisted, for a sub 16 minute 5k. This day was an early track workout that I nailed and left me sitting on top of the world with all expectations that '07 would continue where '06 had left off.
2) March 31
- Adrenaline 5k. This was my shot at a sub 16 time. The race got postponed for two weeks due to a snowstorm, and when all was said and done I ran a 16:13. This is a PR time, and got me paid for being top Masters runner, and, except for the disappointment of not making my goal, was a fine time. Little did I know it would probably be my best racing performance of the year.
3) April 22
- Clean Air "5k". Ran this for one more shot at sub 16, and finished 3rd overall in a time of 15:52. I took in the glory of being a sub-16 runner for about a day and a half until it became apparent that the course was short. So it becomes my PR 4.9k time. I still feel the disappointment as I write this.
4) April 30
- Lehigh Valley Half Marathon. A nice weekend up in Allentown with Rebecca where I learn that prepping for a 5k does not get you in great shape for running 13.1 miles. Despite a disappointing time I still finish as top master runner, but feel adrift in terms of where my running is going. Any momentum I had from 2006 is definitely gone by now.
5) May 12
- I go back to self-coaching and getting back to basics - putting in miles. To mark this decision I run out to one of the most solid things I know, the Lansdowne Sycamore.
6) May 17
- One of my many runs through Tinicum Wildlife refuge. I could have picked any one of numerous mornings this year where I ran through Tinicum and was nearly overcome with its beauty. May was my favorite month for running here, as the flowers and wildlife are at their most active.
7) July 7
- Guerilla 5k. Third annual event organized by Ian. Third straight time I got half of first place. Friends coming together, running, and then celebrating the running and the friendship afterwards. Simultaneously everything that running should be and that running shouldn't be. Post-guerilla party was at Jim's, who moved out to the 'burbs. Looking through my blog entries I've come across numerous memorable runs with Ian, but alas he is also gone now, to NYC.
8) July 21
- Sunday morning run, seven and a half or so, through the deserted streets of Berkeley and Oakland. Took a trip out to Cali with my kids and met up with KJ, who's living out there after first getting his PhD and then going AWOL from Club West Philly. Another erstwhile running buddy who I'll miss.
9) September 25
- turned my ankle on an early morning run in Columbus. My training had been very lackluster for a variety of reasons up until now, such that I had already postponed my fall marathon from Twin Cities to Philadelphia. Now a fall marathon was out of the question. The ankle would get better only to have me reinjure it on Oct. 17.
10) October 7
- Delaware Distance Classic. I was on crutches cheering everyone on from the sidelines. It was this race in 2006 where Reba and I first met. We tailgated with champagne.
11) December 30
- okay, so I gave myself eleven memorable moments. You can see the details of today's run earlier in this post. I ran farther and faster than I have in a while. This gives me hope for 2008.