About a year ago I made a decision that took my life in a completely different direction. After two years of professional running in Flagstaff, AZ, I opted to return to school when I enrolled at the University of Arizona College of Law. The lifestyle is like night and day. My daily routine of running, resting and eating has been replaced with reading and … reading. Throw in a couple classes and a running schedule and that’s basically what I’ve been doing for the past several months. Aside from starting many of my workouts in the dimly lit hours of 5:45am, I’ve actually enjoyed the change thus far. The material covered in school have been mostly interesting, my classmates have become good friends, and despite my complaining, I’ve been able to get more miles under my belt than ever before. I think the trick to training in school is to time manage and not worrying about getting up early. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a decent race yet to give me any credibility on how to train while going to school, but hopefully that is coming soon. I’ve found that as long as you keep working at it, you eventually break through.
I thought my break through was going to happen at the Houston Half Marathon. As I mentioned, I had run consistently more miles than I had ever run in the past. My highest was 111, and I was above 100 for most of the late fall/early winter. Workouts were encouraging too. We were preparing to run 4:45 pace and all the ducks seemed to be in a row. I’m really not sure what went wrong. I felt very comfortable the first 5 miles which were on pace. Then, from about 5.5 to 6 miles, the wheels came off. I eventually dropped out at mile 9 when I realized I wouldn’t be finishing in the top ten nor with a time remotely close to what I was shooting for. I’m still obviously disappointed in the race, but I’ve learned after years of running that it is best to just let these things go and focus on getting better for the next race. Really, what else can you do? The next race is the Gate River Run on March 12th where I hope to have a race that reflects the shape I’m in.