Back to basics

I love summer!

The air is hot. The sun shines early and stays out late. My kids are home from school. Summer is basic, foundational, pure joy. It is lemonade, apple pie, camping trips and the Fourth of July.

For two weeks I have been thinking about my next big race. Will it be the San Francisco marathon in August? Will it be another 50K trail run? Hmmm. What to do. What to do. What to do.

Then I thought about summer and I decided to get back to basics.

For me that means running for the pure joy of running.

This morning I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I ran 3 miles. Just 3 miles. No Garmin. No music. No water bottle. Just me, the sunrise and a hilly three miles. It was lovely. It was basic.

For me that also means getting back to basic training.

Long run, intervals, tempo, hills, recovery, repeat. I just completed VO2 max testing. I now know how much I should push it during each training. I have never had this knowledge before. It is foundational running 101. It is basic (and I need it).

I greatly admire those runners who can keep pushing it. I am inspired by ultramarathon legend Pam Reed. I am inspired by club members Kevin and Lynn, who never seem to rest. I would love to be that person…the one who does back-to-back marathons, followed my an ultra, followed by a 10K PR, all in one month or three months or six months. But I am not that person. Not yet. I may never be.

So after 10 months of nonstop training, including a 21-mile race, two marathons and one ultramarathon, I am going back to basics. The basic joy of running, the basic focus on training. As for summer races, a 10K there, a trail run here, maybe I will toss in a half marathon.

My next big race won’t be until October 26, 2008, giving me just a little more time for books and bar-b-que and the basic joys of summer.

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