Something about a long run that gets me excited - even a little nervous.
This morning I'll be off for what will amount to a 14 mile jaunt down the Cherry Creek path to downtown Denver. It will be equal to my long run in this training block. For a bit over a year now, I have constructed my longer runs to begin in the Denver Tech Center, head down the path to either the Convention Center or Union Station and then take the Light Rail train back to my car. I have options varying from 11 miles to 17.
Most of these runs are relatively the same. I begin at a comfortable pace working through the early hills on the north side of the Cherry Creek Reservoir, pick it up to a more "tempo" like pace from about 3 miles on and then begin a gradual buildup the last four. Today will be no different. It wasn't always this way.
I stumbled on my stash of training logs a few days ago and eagerly snagged, then perused the one entitled 1976, or as it should be called: "The Year of the PR."
Two races stand out: a 10K (rarely run in '76 as we weren't as metric then as we are now, they were mostly 6 mile races) at 32:21 and a 12 mile at 1:02:21 (probably the best race of my 44 years as a runner). But what really stands out are the workouts. As I prepare for my 14 mile run today that will take about two hours and twenty minutes, I unfortunately recall the log entry for 8/7/76 which read: "Easy 14 miles - 1:23."
What is wrong with me? Didn't 1976 Rich have any idea how that run would affect 2010 Rich some 34 years and sixty pounds later? I know we're supposed to get a little slower as we age but did I have to rub my own nose in it? Disgraceful.
Nonetheless, today I will complete my appointed rounds in a workman-like manner coveting the few endorphins available during that extended period of time. After all, (sigh) wasn't it Shakespeare that said, "tis better to have been fast and gotten slower, than to have never been fast at all?"