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October: A Pops Concert, Two Races, and Three Weddings

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything. Been real busy and in a slump all at the same time. I ended a 15 month relationship last month. I am not going to talk about that here. But that is where I’ve been. In the meantime, there were some really great things to write about that I just haven’t gotten to until now.

The afternoon of my breakup, I played a wedding. Not sure if that is technically irony in the Alanis Morissette way, but it was tough nonetheless. It was a beautiful wedding at a resort at St. Albans. We played outside with a gorgeous view of the Meramec River valley at the height of the fall leaf colors.

The next week, the St. Louis Philharmonic had a great concert on October 19 starring Mario Frangoulis, tenor from Greece. We performed at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL with guest artists artists Deborah Myers, soprano from London, and George Perris, tenor from New York. I do enjoy pops concerts. But we are ready to do Brahms and we are in full rehearsal now for our concert on Friday, November 19. We are doing Brahms Symphony #4, Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet, and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. Are you going to be there?

October also included two races. First the 2012 Go! Halloween 10K on October 14th. This was downtown and went through Soulard. I ran this run with my friend Audra and completed it in 63:23 minutes, a full 10 minutes off my 10K PR from a year ago.

The 10K was a good pacing run for the race I did the next week, the 2012 St. Louis Rock & Roll Half Marathon on October 21. This is my third half marathon and the second time running this particular race. It was so awesome, really. We started running at around 7:30. The sun was just starting to come up behind the arch. I finished this one in 2:15:11 – a full 18 minutes off my half marathon PR. All I can say is that all the running and speed work really paid off. I am really proud of myself for that accomplishment.

The half marathon weekend was pretty crazy for me. It started with the Philharmonic concert on Friday, two wedding gigs on Saturday, and the half marathon on Sunday. The weddings were in Sunset Hills and the City Museum. I ended up driving downtown three separate times that weekend. By the time I got home Sunday, I was ready to just sit down and Netflix. My recovery included two grilled pork steaks, some beer, and a Walking Dead bender. It was a great time.

Breaking up was hard. But at least I had lots of activities to keep me busy. Plus, I lost 10 pounds from all the running! Oh, my other accomplishment for October was that I finally replaced my garage door opener which has been broken for 4 1/2 years.

Next up: Kirkwood/Webster Turkey Day Run 6 Mile on Thanksgiving morning.

Running Without Motivation

I did not want to go running tonight.

My motivation was really low as I already had a long day at work. And was looking to do a few more hours of work later tonight. I was pretty beat up after the traffic and errands on my way home. But I knew I had to get the mileage in. Only two weeks until I will be running a half marathon. I can’t let up now.

I got home, fed the cats, changed into my running gear, and headed for the door. My plan was to do a 20/20/20 Progression Run. This is an activity where I run 20 minutes at a slow, warm-up pace, 20 minutes at a steady pace, and 20 minutes at my goal half-marathon pace (HMP) or faster. My goal HMP is an 11 minute/mile, or roughly a 2 hour 24 minute finish time.

I loaded the activity into my RunKeeper app, loaded up my tunes, and strapped my phone to my arm. The walk to my starting point is about 5 minutes. I took it slow and just breathed in the atmosphere of Fall. The fresh air, the smell of the Autumn leaves, the fires burning in the distance all invigorated me. At first my legs were heavy. It took about 2 miles to get warmed up. By the time I was half way through the second interval, the pace started to flow. I was no longer ruminating about work, traffic, schedules, commitments, obligations. I settled into a rhythm, one foot after another, the sidewalk seemingly gliding below my feet.

I picked up the tempo at the third interval settling into a sub 11 minute/mile pace and could feel the endorphins flow, starting to feel more like a machine than an aching, aging man. I finished the workout with an overall average 11:09 minute/mil, about 5 1/2 miles behind me, and feeling like a completely different person than when I started.

I recovered with an Endorox drink, some stretching, and some foam rolling. I allowed myself one episode of Star Trek: DS9 and then headed to my office to put in a couple of hours more of work before bedtime.

I did not want to run tonight. But I’m glad that I did.