Progress Report: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

My training schedule for this Saturday called for a ten miler at South Mountain, but as indicated in last Notes on grieving, I opted for the Sally’s Run 5K in honor of Sally Meyerhoff and her family. My coach, Jeff Hall, was understanding if not pleased with my decision. Not only am I training for the New York City Marathon, I have the IMS Half-marathon coming up in February. In discussing ways to make up the mileage and keep to schedule, we agreed that I could do an additional seven miles on Sunday. 

Sally’s run turned out to be a fabulous success. Right at 1,000 runners showed up for this inaugural race. The weather was near perfect and the course, Kiwanis Park in Tempe, was great for wimps like me. It was touching to see and hear from people from all stages of Sally’s life, from pre-high school up to her short career at Duke University. Ordinarily I leave races as soon as I’m fit to drive home, but I stayed to the end this day and was able to have a few words with Sally’s mother. I would like to become part of the Sally Meyerhoff Foundation but don’t know if it will conflict with my commitment to the Pat Tillman Foundation.

But before I can give you my race evaluation, I have to bore you with an update on my hip/groin condition. I’m still having difficulty walking and the groin pain still wakes me up at night. However, I arrived early at the race-site and warmed up with some slow running and a few run-outs. At the start of the race, I was less cautious than I have been of late and felt like I moved into a nice pace for me. My hip & groin loosened up and I was able to focus on my pace. I know I picked it up on the last mile, but my time did not reflect any of these successes. Slow as it was, I was satisfied with my effort.

The Sunday seven did not go so well. I ran along a wash that extends for miles from the golf course bordering my condo complex. I didn’t warm up so the first mile was torturous, allowing for pity-pat progression. I did ultimately loosen up and achieve a tempo run pace. Unfortunately, I spent the first two hours of post-run-recovery in bed. But I did some yoga stretching, took a shower and went to a movie, My Week With Marilyn. By the time I ate my dinner, pan fried chicken thighs, and watched the latest Boardwalk Empire episode, I was feeling nearly human.