What a week!

Honestly, this was a pretty poor week of running. Well, I put in solid work, but none of it felt particularly good. Part of this is probably due to my running 89 miles this week in only the third week after my down time and dietary debauchery. Part of it is also probably due to traveling 12 hours in 2 days on the train, and part of it is probably due to a crap double on Thursday. I’d gone out for 12 at my favorite trail of all time: Castlewood State Park. Instead my run was marred by mud, debris, and fallen trees from a storm the night before, so I cut the run short and decided to do a 4/8 double. Which was of course ruined in the evening when a thunderstorm broke out midway through my run. Yeah.

The highlight of the last 7 days was easily my trip to Chicago. A few months ago, Brown xc alum Skip Friedlander posted a notification that he was selling his season tickets to Cubs games. My  Great Aunt Linnie, her son, Delbert, and his family live in Chicago. While I didn’t see him that frequently growing up, I’d always looked up to Del when I was a kid, so when the opportunity to find an excuse to start filling the same role for his two-year-old son arose unexpectedly, I jumped at it. While it required me to wake up before 5 am to put in 4 miles before a 6-hour train ride (and while we ended up taking my 8-year old cousin John because Delbert’s wife, Regina, thought Kingston would be too energetic to sit still for a game), seeing my Chicago family and getting to play the role of cool older cousin was awesome. I got to be part of John’s first professional sports game and his first ride on the el (although though he did try and tell my sister and Aunt the “Tostitos Story” after I’d told it at the game); I got to build the connection and love my sister and I have with our family in Chicago, and I had a beautiful 15-miler alongside lake Michigan on which I threw in some cool sub-6 miles on my way home. As sappy as it sounds, all these things mean the most.

As for workouts… this Sunday I was supposed to do the same tempo run I’d done on Tuesday–5 miles at 5:05 pace. The thing is, not only did I have a family barbecue planned for Saturday, but I already had plans to hit the club on Saturday night with the boys. Sorry Ray, but I had no choice but to do the workout a day early on short (still 3 days) rest.

Unfortunately, this tempo was a solo effort in every sense of the phrase. Besides the groundskeeper and some old white lady out for a fitness walk, I had nobody to keep me company through 5 miles of 76s on the Ladue track (it also means I have no workout photos). Fortunately, the weather was a bit less oppressive than the week before, so I didn’t feel complete crap from the beginning, but the effort still didn’t feel especially great. Because of the aforementioned forest/storm related incident causing me to postpone it, this was the day after a 12-miler as well. For those of you interested, splits were:

5:04.96, 5:03.33, 5:03.58, 5:06.38, 5:05.09 for a total time of 25:23.34.

No need to fret about that 5:06. I thought I deserved an easy mile after the first few were fast, so I tried to throw in a few 78s on the 4th. HR was still kind of high (~160) at the end. I think it’ll get substantially easier when it’s not so hot.

After the workout, I wanted some soft-surface running, so drove a mile to my High School (our track is under construction) to grab a cooldown on the back fields. I mention that because our back fields look like this:

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The track’s off in the distance past another field. Still costs less than half of Exeter

After the workout, Saturday was awesome. My Cousin, Godcousin, Grandmother, and my boys David Lambus and Chris Floyd all came to our house for food and funk music. We ate and danced and swam (yeah, I have a pool). A lot of people drank; some people drank a lot. Everyone had a good time. I also got a sweet bracelet from Chris, who makes them as a hobby, that allows me to rep both my schools simultaneously.

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At night, we met up with my friend Mark (you’ll hear awesome news about him later), his friend Diane (a former Arkansas All-American on the track), and a few other people for Karaoke. I’ve been told our rendition of Kool and the Gang’s “Ladies Night” was less than impressive, so once we’d adequately embarrassed ourselves, we went to the grove (an area with a lot of bars and clubs in St. Louis) for St. Louis’s World Naked Bike Ride afterparty. Alas, my days of running around naked in public are over, as we missed the main event, but I always have a good time going out with the boys in Saint Louis.

Anyway, I’ve finally made it back home from Chicago to prepare for my wisdom teeth removal tomorrow. I’m still finding joy in my running every day-even 15 milers and 4 am runs haven’t made me hesitate when walking out the door. While I’m looking forward to having a couple drugged-up days off, I’m in a good place with my training, having fun, and ready to hit the roads for some race money.

Stay tuned for big sponsorship updates, wisdom teeth madness, and my recent decision to become a Celtics fan. Sullinger is my boiiii. (Note: I have recently been informed by three people that Sullinger no longer plays for the Celtics. Jae Crowder is my new boiiiii #locs)

Until next time,

J