After a great long weekend that included three good runs I’m feeling very positive about my progress. It was less than a month ago that I took a walk around the neighborhood with my wife and needed to stop before completing a mile. By most measures I have reached a state of conditioning that allows me to push as hard as I wish without concern that it will trigger a relapse. I left the office on Friday with what I thought would be a weekend-ruining cold but my immune system knocked it out like a champ. I guess after taking on pneumonia, a head cold isn’t much of a challenge. I attribute my quick recovery to the running I did this weekend. I honestly believe you can sweat your way out of a cold if the sweat is accompanied by physical exertion.
While it may be true that I’m rapidly moving toward my pre-January fitness level I also recognize that I’m short of the distance benchmarks I used to meet on my weekend runs. The longest continuous run I’ve managed this year has been 3.4 miles, far short of my usual 5 to 8 mile weekend distances. I wouldn’t be concerned except that I’ll need to cover almost five miles on some rough and technical terrain in just a few weeks when I race at Stillwell Woods. It occurs to me that the profile of runners for this race skews younger and (probably) more competitive than those in my past races. It’s possible that I could finish last! Although some view me as competitive it’s really me competing against myself. Will it bother me to be the last runner past the finish line? Well, I can tell you I wouldn’t love it but I’d still feel okay about finishing a tough race like that two months after a week in the hospital. Either way I’d win. But if it comes down to a tight finish there’s no way I’ll be the last one over the line.