Ever since my superman status sort of blew up in late 2016 (though it was really early 2017 when I started to struggle) and I couldn’t just count on dropping sub-six miles repeatedly, my goal has shifted to being better than the previous year in each specific race.
So far this year, here are the approximate results:
Gridiron 4 miler: -35 seconds from last year
Wash Heights 5k: -32 seconds from last year
UAE 10k: -57 seconds from last year
Brooklyn Half: +25 seconds from last year
Queens 10k: Didn’t run last year, but -27 seconds from two years ago
Team Champs: -15 seconds from last year
So, ignoring Queens for a second, that’s overall 4/5. No PRs (though UAE was very close and I’m kinda mad about it), but I’ve done well. Brooklyn is annoying, but I got hit hard by the sun and I just wasn’t weather acclimated, so it is what it is. Otherwise, though I’m not at my 2015/2016 peak speeds, I’m staying strong.
What’s interesting is I’m running less than I did the last two years. I’m still running a lot for a normal person (always at least 40, usually 50, though with more elliptical and/or bike days mixed in) and I haven’t suffered. Sure I am not at my absolute fastest, but the previous two years showed me that the super high mileage was basically breaking me down after doing it from 2014-2018, and this year I’ve found a more sustainable level.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get back to my BQ heights. I wish I hadn’t taken my unsustainable talent for granted when I had it. But honestly, considering how terribly I was treating my physical and mental health and not really enjoying the experience (as much as I was proud of the results), this is better. And a better lesson to set for a future child of mine, who doesn’t need to see Daddy running himself into the ground for no good reason.
It also shows me that so long as I’m running top speed a few times a week and pushing myself through the weather (whether cold or hot), I will race well.
Now to back off a bit for a couple weeks (no race until the Bronx) and then build up some endurance for the fall.