First things first, I made it out this morning for 3.3 miles in my new shoes and they were as awesome as I expected! I did notice a tighter fit so I looked at the inside of the shoe to check the size and realized my old pair had an EE width and my new ones are a D width! I don't mind the tighter fit, to be honest, it just feels better when my feet aren't feeling like they are sliding around.
* I think it's time to start doing more speedwork. My running is getting pretty consistent, which is a positive, and my times are consistent too, another positive. Last week I ran my 5.2-mile loop in 52:01 and Monday rolled through it in 51:57. But, I'd like to see a little bit of gradual improvement, so I'm going back to throwing in some intervals at least once a week. I don't mind 400s so that will be my interval of choice for now. I have a love/not like relationship with speedwork. Sometimes I love going out and pounding out some fast runs, but right now I'm just not feeling it. I'm sure a couple of good sessions will get me back and motivated.
*I have a goal race! I had been thinking of using Rock N Roll Las Vegas as my big goal race, the one in which I break two hours, and that's now up on the calendar as I entered it the first day registration opened. It's going to be a really good time...my friends Wally and Larissa are already confirmed to be there to run, which I am very happy about. I've known Wally since the sixth grade and now have known Larissa for seven years, and because of our schedules we just don't get to see each other that much. They will also be running the Mini with me on May 2, then will head to Cincinnati for the Flying Pig Marathon the next morning.
When it comes to running, they are true globetrotters, having run marathons on all seven continents, as well as races in 19 states. Someday I want to sit down with Wally and get some stuff for a blog post. Actually I think their experiences of running such races as the Antarctica Marathon and Comrades Marathon in South Africa, not to mention marathons in places like Morocco, would make a great book. Maybe someday!
*Crossing my fingers. In 2013 when I trained with a group for the Chicago Marathon, I was so thankful to have people to train with and to be part of a pace group during those long Saturday runs. Our pace leader, Dan Padilla, was so good at keeping us all herded and on point, and he and I had some great conversations which helped the miles go by in a hurry. Since then, I've wanted to get into shape enough that I could pay it forward by leading a pace group of my own for either a half or full marathon.
Recently a member of a running group I belong to on Facebook asked if there was anyone in the Chicagoland area who wanted to help with group runs for Team V, a fundraising group associated with the Jimmy V Foundation. For those of you not familiar with them, Jim Valvano was a college basketball coach who in 1983 coached North Carolina State to one of the most improbable national championship in my lifetime -- or anyone else's for that matter.
A decade later he was dying of cancer when he appeared at the first ESPN ESPY Awards, where he was given the Arthur Ashe Award for courage. It was there that he announced the start of the V Foundation, which since then has raised over $130 million, all of which goes to cancer research. The speech he gave (which is at the bottom of this post) was one of the most inspirational things I've ever heard. Sadly he passed away eight weeks later, but he has left behind a pretty good legacy.
I've e-mailed some of the organizers and it appears they are looking for people for the Chicago Half Marathon in September. Hopefully they have a training group out in the 'burbs, I'm really hoping to run with them.
The weekend is almost here, what are your plans? Matt has a track meet on Saturday afternoon -- he is running the 800 -- and I will be running the #Run3rd 5K as a virtual participant. I've talked Kev into running with me, it should be fun! And with my schedule the way it is this weekend and since I'm off on Friday, I'll be heading out for my long run then.