Talk about payoff. It's just too bad that 3.5 miles isn't a conventional distance so that I could have gotten a WAVA score out of yesterday's race, or at the very least, a PR that means something to anyone else! Still, 6:06 is the fastest average mile time I've run in any race ever and I did it in the middle of my second 80+ mile week in a row and after running nine miles that morning. Despite all this, I didn't win the thing, but I still have to thank the girl that beat me for hanging off my shoulder for three miles and pushing me to run a PR. She beat me in the first one of these media races I ran this summer too, but I was 21 seconds faster this time. It's odd actually, both times she coughed and whimpered and made noises for the entire race like she was really, really hurting, but then with less than half a mile to go, she's got an effortless-looking kick from hell. I heard someone say that she's a track runner though, so maybe it's just something that shorter distance runners do. I still got a funky psycha-70's-delic trophy, this one in sleek black plastic, which is really what it's all about.
It really feels good to see all this mileage paying off. According to a quiz I took in this month's Runner's World, my current attitudes towards my running and training make me a "running addict" and I should be concerned that I'm overtraining. The problem with that survey though, was that it didn't seem to allow for any kind of goal setting. Any answers that implied that you might occasionally push yourself to the point of discomfort in the cause of greater speed were interpreted by this quiz to mean that you were in danger of losing your enjoyment of the sport. I really do think it's okay for running to hurt sometimes and to, on occasion, be difficult. I like to think I'm smart about it and that I'm circumspect enough to know when my efforts are counterproductive, but it's really a little depressing to see a running magazine actively discourage people from the challenge of pushing past their own limits and boundaries.