Sunday, April 19, 2020

Boston Marathon 2020 Postponed

With so much more pressing issues in the World than not having the opportunity to race the 2020 Boston Marathon on Patriots Day, I decided it would be insightful to reboot this blog and discuss some training, the Boston Marathon in the fall, and what lies ahead. Since the stay at home order and schools have been closed, I have slowly adjusted to this new schedule of working at home. A few weeks ago, I also took a week off to let some pain in my hamstring heal up. That subsided, but the weirdness of it remains. Luckily it doesn't hurt during running... which is the statement of every runner desperate to hold on to their running hopes.

So, moving onward to what will be some easy base mileage during the spring months, and then the grinding marathon workouts over the summer months. All this while adding another race to the docket - a hundred miler. Yes, I hope to compete and run the Javelina Jundred on Halloween. That race will be 6 weeks post Boston, and as many ultra marathoners in town have told me that it is totally doable; I have my doubts. For one, I am starting to feel the years of miles under my belt after I sit on a comfortable couch for prolonged periods of time. The rusty old body seems to need more oil on the joints these days, but that's substituted with either a beer or chocolate chip cookies. My mind seems to always be ready and thirsty to train hard, however I get reminded by my body to only work at a reasonable effort. This has been a good balance and it has kept me relatively health for the past 5 marathons I've signed up for.

With 21 weeks ahead of Boston, I have been thinking a little on how I would like to segment my training. I tried to keep things simple, and if all goes to plan, it will look a little like this:

April - Base Mileage and strides
May - Incorporate some speed sessions
June - Introduce some marathon workouts
July - Sustain those marathon workouts and longer long runs
August - Same as July
September - Start Peaking

Seems full proof...

Now I just got to figure out how to sprinkle in some Ultra Marathon training in there. I guess, I have a couple months to figure that out. Until then, this was my easy week back:

Monday - easy 4
Tuesday - easy 4
Wednesday - easy 6
Thursday - easy 6
Friday - easy 6 w/4xstrides
Saturday - easy 6
Sunday - easy 10.5

Total: 42.5

Random Boston Photo from Last Year with the Crew

Monday, January 13, 2020

CIM reflection and a New Year Ahead

Now that the dust has fully settled after CIM and basically started piling up as dust so often forms on the forgotten places like the backside of your TV shelf, I've had plenty of time to fully reflect on that race and think about what lies ahead. With the countless holiday treats and pints of beer over the last month, I found myself thinking why I had a cramp in the marathon. I've heard plenty of people tell me that they cramped up around mile so-and-so, and had to slow pace. Do some damage control. But, I never really experienced that in a marathon. At CIM, I felt great. I hadn't warm-up, but felt that the first few miles were a great warm-up for the daunting distance. In my mind, I had a goal time of 2:28, and with every mile the little Garmin watch would read 5:40 something, so I was right on pace. One guy even asked what I was going for in the race, and I told him 2:28, and just as the mile came up, we looked at our wrists for a sense of gratification, and there on the screen "right on pace" appeared!

Nothing could go wrong, as magical things always occur at the California International Marathon. Many miles pasted with ease, along with the occasional rain shower. Even when I approached half way in 1:13:49, I knew I was going to have a fabulous day! I thought to myself, "man, I really feel good, this pack is going to crumble at mile 24, and I'm going to break away and really put the hurt on.". I was definitely getting ahead of myself. Flashback to my training, and only the half marathon at the Duke City race indicated that I could run around 2:27 or 2:28 from that fitness. Yet, since that race, my training had stagnated and I was attempting to do workouts in the morning. Those workouts weren't the greatest, and were actually minimal in volume and speed. I think I was running around 5:50 pace at 5:50 in the morning. Not a solid indication of a 2:27. But, I was holding on to those infamous Race Indicators, and I believed I could crack 2:30 with ease. I was wrong.

Miles 13-17 felt good. I could start to feel the burning sensation in my quads, and the tiredness from the pounding. Yet, I still felt good and was trying to embrace that feeling. In my mind, I was going to cruise to mile 24 and then let go of the comfort. Then the twitch and subtle tightness in my left hamstring started to tingle. My first reaction was to move it out of my mind, not to think about it and focus on the positive of the pace and my surroundings. A few strides later it was still there. Around mile 18 or 19 I thought that feeling wasn't happening to me. I wasn't getting a cramp or twitch, or whatever it is that's going on with my leg. I stayed focused. Maybe if I switch up my stride the leg will magically feel better? Well, that didn't help. I realized I had to at least slow down a little. Again, in my mind slowing down by 20-40 seconds felt like putting on the brakes and the entire field was going to pass me. I had to slow down even more. 6:40 pace clicked on my watch, and I felt doomed. Then 7 something was scrolling on my watch and a few guys were passing me with the same look of despair on their faces, yet they were dredging onward. A few moments, I thought I wasn't even going to finish. But those thoughts of darkness were quickly pushed out of my head by the lamest excuse of positivity I could think of: If I don't finish I won't get a water bottle, how am I going to get to the finish line if I stop? and You've NEVER dropped out of a marathon, so just FINISH!

Embracing the distance. pc: Zach
Around mile 22 I saw Zach, and I could tell he knew I was in pain. I tried to smile to ensure him that even though I was going "slow" I was still giving it everything I had. Zach hopped on his rental bike and zipped along the course cheering and speeding ahead towards the finish. The slow disappearance of Zach was almost symbolic to the cramp that was subsisting in my leg. As each step towards the finish line was a moment less of pain. However, earlier I wanted to embrace the pain of running fast the last 2 miles, but now I was going to embrace the pain and push towards the finish no matter how fast I would be going. The agony would ultimately be what I was searching for, not a general speed, but the feeling of discomfort and satisfaction all rolled up into one immense feeling. Luckily for me, that feeling was still going to happen over the last 2 miles. The lungs and muscles burning with satisfaction as a few other runners were now fading as I repast them. An old friend that wanted a PR yelled my name from behind as he quickly approached. "Stew!!!" I replied, as he was in happy mode knowing he was going to PR with about a mile to go. I saw this as another sign to keep pushing and attempted to go with him and his running buddy. That didn't last too long, but the momentum of that wake helped carry me to the finish in a time of 2:32:51.
Somewhere along the course

After finishing 13 marathons prior to this one, I usually have a good feeling of where my fitness is, but that doesn't account for the actual outcome. This one goes without exception. As will my next one be determined as they all are - a reflection of your training and execution. This is why we run the marathon, to see how well we can do on the day. With that said, I'll be very excited to be racing Boston again. I know I still have a lot of work to do over the winter months, and I need to get myself in shape, but more importantly I need to stay healthy and hungry. There will be a lot races ahead, but I think I want to continue to embrace the suffering that parallels the races that I do. Either it be a 10k or even a 100 miler, I never want to look at the final moment of accomplishment, but rather the length of the sacrifices that lead me to that moment.

The crew with post marathon smiles

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A Year Later

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I last wrote a blog post. I’m still here and have had some decent races since Philly, not to mention an epic Boston Marathon with a ton of Dukes Track Club runners that occupied the starting line of that famous race. But, I may have been lost in void of micro social media post here and there, which ultimately took the time away from any hint of a blog post. Now I can honestly do a full review of the last year, and what lies ahead… I really want to gather my thoughts and cover what happened since my last post, then discuss my marathon “progress” over the last 10 years, and finally go over what looms over the horizon.

So, last December after Philly was abysmal. I was recovering from the marathon and not running a whole lot. Maybe some light workouts to freshen up the legs. I had already signed up for Boston and was very excited to race that and get my fitness in order to run a Boston PR! January rolled around and training was ramping up. I was finally running early in the morning and had a newfound glory to waking up before the sun rises. I had Corey and Sal to run with as they were getting ready for a speedy track season. Life was good. February came and I jumped into a 10k at the Super Bowl run, and had a good showing. Fitness was great and mileage was creeping into familiar territory - 80 mile weeks and even higher! 

When March came, a few of use planned a trip to Phoenix to race the Mountain to Fountain 15k. This is a great point to point 15k that is fast for the first 5k, then relatively quick for the next 5k, and finally a tough and hilly last 5k. There’s a team component to it where you can win your weight in beer, so that’s a huge incentive for any team to race their tail off. The Dukes took home the co-ed Victory with Arlene finishing 3rd Female, myself taking home 2nd place, Rachel Janson rounding out the top 10 female and Brant finishing top 10 as well. I don’t fully remember their placings, so I apologize for that. But we won and the Armijo’s podiumed with some gas money in hand! I ran 48:20 which was faster than the previous year, so I was very satisfied.

I ruined my confidence by running the St. Patrick’s Day 10 miler in Rio Rancho later that month. Now, I didn’t have a bad race, I just didn’t train for hills like I should have. This neglect will further be proven correct after racing the Boston Marathon. I’m too lazy to look up those results, but it wasn’t good. I finished 4th overall and felt good, meaning I didn’t push myself like I know I can. The hills were too abrupt and I didn’t race with the tenacity that I usually do. Oh, and to add more excuses (because this is exactly what I’m doing), I had 2 solid weeks of 100 miles or more leading up to this race. I was super happy to be training at that volume again and feeling pretty strong about everything. However, the race result on a hilly course that I wasn’t training for proved differently. So with that race behind me, I was looking forward to Boston!

April: Bawston! I rested and peaked perfectly and was ready for anything in Boston. Our entire team had a huge Airbnb and after a long travel day to Boston, it was so amazing to see everyone and calm the nerves by all being together. I think there were about 10 of us in that Airbnb, and it was just like college! Except, I was sleeping next to Zach and not my wife… but that’s just the logistics of sharing a large space with that many people. I really wish I could write every moment that was spent in Boston with those friends, but thinking about those memories might be too much to add to this post. This will be a lesson to myself on how I must write something immediately after I’m done with that experience, rather than wait 6 months after the fact. All I will share are blobs of memories rather than detail them out, because those cherished details should be spoken with you on a run or over a beer. Just thinking about that weekend provokes more wonderful moments of stillness that can’t be expressed in words: Just walking around the city, going to a Red Sox game, having dinner with friends, sitting around the Airbnb, attending the expo, taking countless pictures on Boylston Street, occupying the finishing line, gearing up, the bus ride, sitting at the athlete’s village, all the rain, and finally running the Race.

The Boston Marathon! It was my second time running it, but I was well prepared and ready to roll as opposed to my 2016 experience. I felt like I was holding back for the first half of the race fully in control and relaxed. I knew the pain of the hills were coming at mile 18, so I wanted to hold back. That didn’t work. The intensity of the downhills on my legs were a little too much for me to be ready for. As soon as I past the fire station and made that right hand turn, I was on the verge of trashed legs. I went from 5:20’s and 5:30’s splits to a dramatic 6 flat pace or slower for the last 8 miles. It wasn’t pretty. I had a solid pace for 18 miles and I was passing people every so often. However at mile 19, the tables had turned and people were passing me. I ended up finishing in 2:31:57, which wasn’t what I wanted or expected with the amount of training I had done. I think my half split was somewhere around 1:12 low. With every race I always think I can negative split, so after holding back I thought I could at least come home in another 1:12 and finish under 2:25. Inevitably, that didn’t happen. I managed to maintain low 6:00’s to the finish, but that just felt like a painful jog and each step filled with burning intensity through my quads. It was the downhill(s) at the beginning, which is what EVERYONE always says. The downhill will trash your quads, and then those hills come you’re gonna pay for it. Well, they are all right about that. Still, it was amazing and the crowds were cheering their drunken brains out! I love that race and can’t wait to head back there again with the team. And speaking of team, we finished 13th place overall as a team. Not too bad. 

Once April had passed, May was just a fun month of catching up on miles and getting in shape. I had a decent summer of training while teaching full time on summer school mode. And with the summer heat in full swing, I was glad to get up early and run with the guys while building my speed up. I set out a plan to break 16 minutes for the 5k in Albuquerque (5000’ + Altitude) and finally did so after 2 solid races. In July, Arlene and I took a vacation to Costa Rica and I took the week completely off. I came back a little outta shape and then got sick the moment we got home. That was followed by a bachelor party to Kansas City where I wasn’t running a whole lot. This brought me to August where I finally got into a routine of training again and raced the La Luz trail run. This is a gruelling uphill trail run that I love/hate. After that I raced the Lobo Invite XC race and did a little quicker than last year - 16:31. Things were looking up. I kept focusing on my training, but my mileage never quite hit over 70 miles/week. I had another tune-up race at the Chips and Salsa 10k and ran 33:16 to win it. That was also faster than what I ran 2 years ago. Things seemed to be looking up, but in the back of my head I knew I could get away with running quicker at shorter distances, but how was this going to translate to the marathon? The true test would be the Duke City Half Marathon in October… I know, it’s a lot, but I’m almost caught up. 

The Duke City Half Marathon would be a great test of marathon fitness and where I could attempt to defend my title for a 4th year in a row. It ended up going pretty well. I won but ran my slowest time of all 4 wins with a time of 1:13:22. I felt like I had a little tail wind going out, but then that wind hit me on the way home. It didn’t affect me too much, but enough to bring my splits down. Here they are: (5:30, 5:31, 5:25, 5:24, 5:32, 5:27, 5:37, 5:39, 5:44, 5:41, 5:38, 5:38, 5:38, 5:01 pace for last .21), not too bad but not too great. The biggest take away from this was knowing where I was fitnesswise. With this performance, I feel like I should be able to run 2:28 or quicker. If things fall apart, I will be above 2:30. The goal this year since Boston has been Chasing 2:30… another arbitrary number that really doesn’t mean anything to anyone else but myself. I want that feeling of chasing something that’s hard but not a given. 

I looked back on my last post and after reading through that, I saw how important it was to be chasing a low 2:20 marathon. I usually plot things out over the long term and chase things with intention and thought. I know what is reasonable for me, and have surprisingly been health over the last 4 years. I know I am not pushing my body beyond my limits with the hope of staying healthy and racing out of my mind like I used to. Now, I train with purpose and with a healthy mindset to stay healthy and not overdo myself. This training approach isn’t going to yield stupendous results, but I’m 37 years old, I have a wonderful and physically demanding job, and I’m healthy to run about 90% pain free. And this deep into my training I am not going to deviate to do anything drastic that will cost me an opportunity to race. Races now are a reflection on my preparation. I’m looking forward to another great experience at the California International Marathon in December, and can’t wait to add it to the memory bank of great marathon races.

This leads me to my marathon progress over the last 10 years (or regress). And when I write this, I honestly can’t believe it’s been 10 years since my first marathon. Each one has had a specific memory that makes each one special in their own way. Even if it was deemed “bad” or a horrible race, it’s still a memory that I’m happy to cherish. 

Here is a quick list:

2009 Twin Cities Marathon - 2:24:26
2010 RnR Nashville Marathon - 2:25:36
2010 Chicago Marathon - 2:26:16
2011 California International Marathon - 2:17:19
2012 USA Olympic Trials Marathon - 2:22:25
2012 Grandma’s Marathon - 2:22:44
2012 RnR Las Vegas Marathon - 2:43:38
2013 Twin Cities Marathon (US Champs) - 2:20:57
2016 Boston Marathon - 3:07:42
2017 RnR Arizona Marathon - 2:35:37
2017 California International Marathon - 2:25:50
2018 Philadelphia Marathon - 2:29:10
2019 Boston Marathon - 2:31:57

*2:27:35 Average for 13 marathons and not a single DNF!!!

I’m pretty proud of that last statement.

As CIM approaches I just look forward to embracing the struggle and journey that coexists with running a marathon. The high’s and low’s of each mile, the pack running that only happens at certain races, and the moment of virtue once you cross that finish line. I still have a couple weeks left, so I will approach these weeks with continued excitement and try to absorb every mile of fitness that I put in.

#DukesTrackClub #marathontraining #Marathoner #marathons #roadracing #BostonMarathon #CIM #CaliforniaInternationalMarathon #runrabbit #runinrabbit #rabbitELITE #blogging #blogpost #blog    

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Positive Split - Philadelphia Marathon Recap

It’s been over a week since I crossed the finish line of the Philadelphia Marathon in 18th place and a respectable time of 2:29:10. This race was also my 12th marathon finish, and after looking back at each marathon performance, it has definitely been an up and down process. Since I’ve never dropped out of a marathon, you can definitely see which ones went bad and which ones when horribly bad. Nevertheless, after each one, I’ve taken away a few helpful lessons, and Philadelphia goes without exception.

To highlight some useful facts, I had a solid summer of training leading up to Philly. I was healthy all summer and fall, and had some decent mileage. I say decent, because I didn’t get as high as I’d like. The 15 weeks leading up to the race I averaged 69 miles a week. That included a 90 mile week and a few solid 80 mile weeks. But it also included some low 50 mile weeks and even a 40 something mile week. My workouts were somewhat quick early on, where I was hitting some 6 Mile Tempo runs in low 5:30s, but as September and October rolled around I was extending my workouts out and hitting 5:40s. It’s hard to gauge true fitness on a few weekly workouts, but I knew I wasn’t super sharp, but perhaps a little stronger.

A big confidence booster was winning the Duke City Half Marathon for the third time in a row. My time wasn’t fast, in fact, it was my slowest of my 3 wins. So, after that race I knew I wasn’t ready to pop a quick time in Philly. My goal from the summer was to run as close to 2:20 as possible and definitely run faster than 2:25:50 from CIM last year, but those dreams slowly washed away. I had a new plan, I was going to run as smart and strong as possible, something I don’t think I have ever done before. Usually, I go out pretty quick and then fade a little in the last 10k to finish with a glorious 2-4 minute positive split. But, if you saw my splits at Philly - that did not happen. And I shocked myself to run relatively even for me, considering my PR came with a 2 minute positive split, and most of my quicker races have had significant positive splits.  In Philadelphia I ran 1:13:55 for the first half and came home with a 1:15 positive split to finish in 2:29:10. Not my fastest marathon, but a proud marathon finish.

So, with further reflection, I’ve taken away a few things. One of which is my continued appreciation for being health and enjoying every moment I get to train and be outside. Aside from all the mushy happy feelings that come with training, it’s also a great feeling to push yourself. Either it be with teammates or by yourself, it’s a great sensation of self worth. Having trained on my own for most of my marathon build-up, I only reached a dark place in training a handful of times. I really miss when I can push myself towards uncharted splits that really put the scare in your bones. This will be one thing I would like to work on moving forward towards Boston. I want to push the envelope a little more and not run as conservative as I have in the past.

When looking at the timeline of the Olympic Trials, there’s not a lot of time left. It’s only a spring marathon and maybe a fall marathon if needed. So there’s no time like the present. And looking at my marathon times, someone could say I have no business chasing that dream again. What I really need to do is fully commit to chasing that dream and see where that takes me. I’ve spent too much time afraid of injury and afraid I won’t get to race, when the reality is, there’s only 1 year left of training, after that I can run for fun and not worry about the consequences of overtraining, because let’s be honest, all the guys from the 80’s were constantly overtrained and overworked, but they still managed to run fast! Now, I’m not saying I’m going to train with reckless abandonment but I am going to train with more purpose and self discipline so that the next time I toe the line of a marathon, I’ll be racing all out from mile 1 to the finish.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Carlsbad 5000 Race Rant

Another race report, but in this pure instance, it will be a pulsating wake of ranting, followed by acceptance and finally, a deep contemplation and optimism of what’s to come in the running world of Jesse Armijo. So let’s get started…

First off, the Carlsbad 5000 is a pretty well known race in the world of road races. The tiny beach town of Carlsbad, California is home to my college coach and American mile legend - Steve Scott. Steve helped design the fast course back in the day, and in it’s 33rd year, it still draws the attention of many sub-elite, masters and professional runners looking to post quick times. I last ran this race in 2006, and had that race T-Shirt on to advertise the fact that I’m beyond my age but still willing to race fast. At my ripeful age of 35, I would now be racing in the 30-39 age group and hoping to dethrone Roosevelt Cook, who has won this race for nearly 6 years in a row. Roosevelt and I have known each other for awhile, and he’s a great Southern California competitor.

For the last month I had been changing up my training to suit the competitive speed that’s required to run a 5000. I also decided to scratch a spring marathon and just have a little fun this spring. Without the stress of marathon training being compromised, I focused back on the track and had some wonderful revelations that I still had some speed in my legs. I did a lot of combo workouts with tempo runs on the track, followed by 800’s or 400’s. Dabbling with quicker turnover felt great! I started to feel like a college kid again, just ripping through some quarters, and clicking off splits that make you smile once you can manage to catch your breath again. So with all that said, I felt ready to race in Carlsbad and win my first Carlsbad 5000m. It was also comforting knowing that I had some teammates out there racing. Brant had raced earlier in the master’s division, and Sal was going to race after me in the 29 and under group. I knew I had to do well and represent the Dukes Track Club as best as possible.

Fast forward to race day, and I could tell with confidence I was ready to win. I was ready to race and to race smart. Once we gathered at the line, I tried not to notice all the other competitors whose sheer physique, flashy racing kits and sweet looking road flats could intimidate the most seasoned runner. All I knew was that I was fit and ready to roll.

When the gun/horn went off, everyone bolted out. I managed to settle in just fine, as so did everyone else. The turn at the top of the hill came quicker than I imagined, and from that point on, I told myself to just relax and tuck in. We had about 8 guys in the lead pack with Roosevelt amongst the group. We cruised through the first mile in 4:48 or perhaps quicker. The 180 degree turnaround wasn’t too far away, and once that came, I still decided to stay close to the group and follow. At about 1 ½, I decided to make a small surge and try to break away. The only one to go with me was Roosevelt, so I figured this was going to be it. But, once we passed mile 2 and a small incline, Roosevelt made another surge, and I thought, “damn it, he knows the course better than me!”. He broke away by a few meters, and I just kept in contact. Then 2 guys passed me at the other 180 degree turn. We had less than 800m to go, and I was suffering in 4th place; I wasn’t even going to be on the podium! I managed to stay relaxed and save a little for a strong kick to nab 3rd and at least get on that damn podium. That plan was about to get derailed…

At the Carlsbad 5000, the finish line sits on a nice 200m downhill… and on the other side of some train tracks. In the past, a train never really interrupts the tops competitors of any of the races. This year would mark a different story. As I was settling in for that last left turn and a sprint kick towards the finish, I actually managed to produce that turnover I was mustering to edge out 3rd place. 1st was a solid 5 seconds up, and 2nd was somewhere unreachable with the small amount of real-estate left after the turn, but 3rd was right there. We were shoulder to shoulder and I was pulling away until I looked up and saw the railroad crossing signs flash and ring away. I thought it was a mistake but started to ease up. Once I saw Roosevelt get stopped by a race official, and then 2nd place stopped, I slowed down and stopped immediately. The gates came down, and a few moments later the train blasted by. The race official started yelling out that he was sorry and that we should stay in our positions. But before anyone knew it, the gates went up and it was a mad sprint to the finish. In the fog of confusion and frustration of knowing that I was going to be well under 15 minutes for a road 5k, you could say I was beyond pissed off! The guy that was in 4th managed to be ready and sprinted to 2nd place, I was left in a moment of confusion and before I knew what to do, I was sprinting all out to get back to my position, but the 80m to the finish just wasn’t long enough for me to make it up. I ended up in 4th in 15:09 with an asterisk.

I honestly hate asterisks. I hate converting my altitude times when I race in Albuquerque, or calculating what I could’ve run if I wasn’t directed the wrong way on a course. This may be why I love the track and discredit most times that aren’t run regularly on the same course or if someone gives me their BS excuse for why they think the course was long because their GPS said differently. I know most people don’t race anymore. I know many people are in fact racing themselves, which is a wonderful way to push themselves and gauge their fitness. A PR or personal best is a wonderful thing to have, and a great motivator, so if race officials over mark a course or undermark a course, it can be frustrating. People are paying to run that distance, so I get that aspect of it. But, it’s hard to validate a performance when there’s inconsistencies.

 A race is merely how fast you can get from the start to the finish, and I’m disappointed with myself for not having that tenacity to race from the train to the finish. I felt as if that small bit of disappointment got to me once I had to stop at the train. I somehow managed to turn off my racing mentality when that race official barked orders to us to hold position. The race wasn’t over yet, so why should we stop here at 4920 meters?!?! I should’ve raced until the finish. So, I guess in all my experience with racing, I never had to do that, and now I can thank this race as I continue on as a competitor willing to give everything from start to finish. Anything can happen in a race, and we need to be ready to respond. I’m very glad no one passed Roosevelt, as he was the clear winner on the day. And of course, without a minor debacle there wouldn’t be this post race recap, or encouragement to continue on with training and racing. Which leads me to ponder what to do next?

I’m signed up for some ultra races this summer, and will be attempting to race the Jemez 50k in May, which will be a tough 50k with a ton of vert! But, do I want to give up on running fast times in California, do I want to go back to the oval and hug the rail to a new shinny 5000m PR with spikes flying at your shins? Do I want to feel that wonderful anxiety of sitting around waiting for your event to start at the crack of a starter's pistol…? Or am I too old for all of that? Until I can figure out what path I want to take, I’ll continue to be humbly appreciative of my health and fitness.

Onward and upward!