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June 20, 2012

Running on empty — "We never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do."

This has been the most intensive month of road racing I've done in many, many years — and it's only 2/3 done.

Here's what's gone down so far:

Saturday June 2: 5K

Sunday June 3: 5K

Saturday June 9: 5K

Thursday June 14: 5K

Saturday June 16: 5K

Sunday June 17: 4-Miler

The three races in four days between June 14 and June 17 is some kind of record for me.

That's a lot of high-intensity mileage — over 10 miles at race pace, red-lining it, pedal to the metal.

Anyhow, long story short: I still haven't been able to reach my goal — cracking the 8-minute/mile barrier (24:48 for 5K), which I last did over four years ago, in early 2008.

I've come fairly close this month, my best 5K times being 25:37 and 25:42.

Toward the end of last year I decided to try to run a half-marathon pretty much every month for the rest of my life, seeing as how I'd built up a good distance base last summer training for last year's (October 30) Marine Corps Marathon, which I managed to complete but not very triumphantly.

No more marathons, I decided afterward, but a monthly half seemed eminently doable.

To that end, I did a half on December 4, 2012, then one on February 26, a 10-miler March 31, another half-marathon April 7, and one on May 6.

I'd planned to run the Kona Half-Marathon this coming Sunday, June 24, and in fact registered, but due to circumstances beyond my control the trip to Hawaii isn't going to happen, and so I've got no half this month.

To make up for that absence, I figured I'd do a lot of shorter races and then get back on the half-marathon circuit in July.

Hence the schedule above, with the three races in four days at race pace to me a fair trade equivalent of a half-marathon.

I felt it: Sunday night, I pretty much fell asleep as I lay down in bed and Monday I didn't do a whole lot of moving around.


Thursday June 21: 2-Miler

Thursday June 28: 5K

Saturday June 30: 5K

Two more shots at cracking the 8-minute barrier this month, and then on to the second half of the year.

I must say, it's kind of fun not reaching my goal and trying again and again; yes, I'll be pleased when I finally break through, but that same day I'll set a new goal and reorient my sights.

This one's familiar and in some strange way comforting even as I fail to get there.

It's not the easiest thing to do, like the song goes, but it's what's happening.

Bonus: In the finish area of last Sunday's race, the Charlottesville Men's Four-Miler, I saw my longtime UVA Department of Anesthesiology faculty colleague Carl Lynch III (below)


for the first time in at least 15 years (I left UVA in 1995).

I was amazed to see that he'd run the race: Carl was not by any stretch of the imagination a runner back when I knew him.

He said to me, "What are you doing here?"

I said the same thing (to him).

Turns out he's taken up distance running and is an integral part of 4-Miler race award-winning Team Anesthesiology, transformed into a lean, mean running machine.

Good on him.

June 20, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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Pounding sand in that 5k at 0630 Saturday morning. I don't think that I'll do as well as I had expected. Sand is bad stuff.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jun 21, 2012 3:51:44 AM

You should do one in Portland sometime! There are a lot here, many with beautiful scenery, and not all the races are run while naked and/or drunk (not necessarily, anyway)!

Posted by: Tara | Jun 20, 2012 9:23:09 PM

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