TITLE: The Last Monday in June AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: June 30, 2009 2:12 PM DESC: ----- BODY: ... is -- since 2003 -- the traditional kick-off to my fall marathon season. In this short-lived tradition, I run the half-marathon at our annual city festival on the last Sunday in June (*), then sit down on Monday and plan my training schedule for an October marathon. Last year interrupted the tradition with its months of whatever is wrong with me physically, but my mind is tuned to the rhythm. This year, I ran a half marathon that went better than expected in early May. But I have not been able to raise my weekly mileage beyond 28-30 or so since then, due to fatigue, and so opted for the 5K at the city festival. I had run a 5K three months ago, on very little base mileage, and done better than expected. That race led me to have higher hopes this time out. Not so. The conditions were different, though. First, I had unwisely run hard on Friday morning, PRing my usual 5-mile route (such as that is in these days of low mileage and slower paces). Second, this is a much bigger race, and I got caught in the crowd for half a mile and only felt free at about the first mile marker. I ended up running a faster time, but not by much, though my last 2.1 miles took only 15:25 or so. (In the previous 5K, I had faded badly in the last mile after running the first two miles in 14:43...) Where does that leave me? All I know is that when it came time on Sunday for the half-marathoners to turn left and the 5Kers to go straight, I really wanted to turn -- tired legs and no preparation notwithstanding. Mentally, I would like to give a fall race a try. Will my body let me? I took today off to let my quads rest. I think that I will try to finish out the rest of the week with a no-frills running schedule: 5 miles on each of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and then 12 miles on Sunday. If next Monday finds me well enough to contemplate more, I will treat this week as Week One in low-mileage, low-pressure training plan. I'll design something that gets me ready for a marathon in late October or early November. Then I'll see where it takes me. If not, then maybe I'll shoot for a couple of fall halfs and see whet my body allows me. My mind is saying, "Go." ~~~~ (*) Of course, if June 30 is the last Sunday in June, then my training season starts on the first Monday in July. This hasn't happened to me yet, only because 2008 was a leap year! The contingency may have occurred to you if you have ever tried to write code that manages all of the complexity of dates correctly. Or perhaps you have given students programming assignments that bump into such rules. Writing test cases for code exposes all of the nooks and crannies of aan algorithm. -----