Tomorrow I will be up early on a Sunday, to race in my fourth Pints to Pasta 10K. It’s the last run of the summer season in Portland, and it’s one of my favorites. It starts up in North Portland, and ends at the Old Spaghetti Factory in SW. The weather is almost always cool but humid, though this race it looks to be warm and humid compared to previous years.
I have lofty goals. Last year I finished in 1:02:36.1. But after training hard all winter, I finally was able to finish a 10K (a hard one!) in under an hour. Then in May, I did even better in the Cinco de Mayo 10K! It’s my best 10K time ever.
That was spring and early summer.
And then… I kinda stopped running. Struggled with some personal feelings of depression and loneliness. Stopped running every other day, stopped eating right. My cat ran off and hasn’t returned. Y’know, shit happens.
But I didn’t want to miss the Pints to Pasta. I’ve been more active in the last month, been getting back on track with my diet, been riding the bike my dad gave me, around my ‘hood, to work and back. And this past week I’ve been running every other day, just like I did before. It’s strange – I feel strong when I run. Like I could be going faster. My breathing is steady and deep. I feel a twinge of guilt thinking that my allergies are clearing up now that I no longer have a cat, but I’m sure that’s part of it. Another part might be the (slightly) cooler weather. It’s difficult to acclimate to running in 90+° heat, after all.
It’s counter-intuitive, though, to think that taking the summer off and I’m still where I was at the beginning of summer. That’s essentially what it feels like, though. The mental hurdle of not running for two months may be larger than any actual physical loss of fitness or conditioning.
Will I be able to run the course under an hour, or will my time be comparable to my previous years’ finishes?
The test will come tomorrow. Stay tuned.