This morning was about as good as it gets for running in my opinion, Partly Sunny, 50’s, light breeze that got…well felt stronger when I turned around and ran back against it. I was also scheduled for a quality run of some sort.
My Thursday runs tend to be more go by feel and do the work based on my energy levels more than an actual formal tempo run at a certain pace. Honestly, I was still feeling a bit tired from Tuesday’s harder repeats, so I decided to run down-back 5-6 miles, see if I could stay around an 8:00 minute pace and not feel like I was dipping into the well.
I was surprised at the faster first mile and just picked up the effort level for the second mile down to a comfortably hard, but still a very manageable pace. However, during the third mile I lost focus on the deceptively long uphill section of the course and slowed down a lot more than I expected. Instead of working at running faster, I was just running comfortably and then realized what I was doing.
At that point I pushed the effort level back up to a bit harder.
Miles four and five were just keep it going at the comfortably, well until I got to the end of the tar road and had to go up the little grade to finish the 5.0 miles. I had decided that 5.0 miles was all I was going to do this morning when I turned around. I tried to push the uphill portion of the last 100 yards.
I did just okay with the pace/effort at the end, I should have worked harder, but I was getting tired and the uphill at the end of the hard part of the run was just a pain in the arse (which is exactly what I needed – to take myself out of my comfort zone – running hard uphill is tough for me), but I did what I wanted finished sub 40:00 for 5.0 miles.
Not by much, but I made it.
I shut down the hard part of the run at 5.0 and did a cool-down 1.0 mile instead of attempting to do too much. Which tends to get me in trouble physically, especially with Stevens Hill looming ahead of me.
A pretty good run and one that I was very happy with. I haven’t broken 40:00 minutes for 5.0 miles in training for a long time, so that was pretty good indicator of where I am in this training cycle. Better than I have been for a while and I attribute a great deal of this progress to one thing:
I have been able to run consistently since October 2017 and that is the biggest difference in my running. Being able to just run at least 20 just about every week since then has made a huge difference.
Tonight I am exhausted though, but smiling.
After running the faster 5.0 miles (for me), Mary and I did Berlin, NH the flip flop. It is Memorial Day weekend, so we have also been working on honoring our ancestors by cleaning up their gravesites and putting flowers there as well. It is a small thing, but something that I believe is important to do and so does Mary.
A small sign of respect.
Honoring our past and remembering those that came before us is something that I tend to believe is being lost a bit more with each generation – for various reasons that are well beyond the scope of this blog. How much of our families heritage and history is gone forever and will never be recovered?
Who were our grandparents or great grandparents besides those old farts who couldn’t move too well and were shrunken, wrinkled and too tired of life – that we knew as kids?
- Who were they when they were our age?
- What were their dreams, thoughts, hobbies and other interests?
- Who were those people, who’s name is on the headstone or who image is in the photo album?
- What questions would I ask them now, that I didn’t ask when I was younger?
- What stories would I be told about their lives?
Most of us don’t have a clue who they were and that is another reason that I blog. I want my grandchildren and who knows generations beyond, to know something of who I was. I am doing this because my family didn’t keep journals, diaries, letters that give me an idea of who they were and blogging is my way of documenting a small part of my life.
No, I am anyone special who is all that important in the scheme of things, but I am me and I would like to believe that at some point one them might want to read about their weird grandfather, who ran too damn much.
That is part of the reason that I am willing to drive 3.5 hours one way and back again, to clean gravestones, help put flowers out and spend time talking about the memories of family – good, bad and even the stuff that is not pleasant to remember.
Respect for my family and those who have gone before me.
A tough run, a tough drive to New Hampshire and back, but all-in-all a damn important day in the life.
Yesterday, we did my mother’s family graves up in Newport and her parents in Waterville for the same reasons.