Today’s assignment was completing the Healthy Kidney 10K. This was my best race of 2008, but I had significantly lower expectations for this year’s outing. Over the past few weeks I’ve been ambivalent about my training. I’ve been unable to get myself into a training rhythm, especially about establishing a structure for speedwork. I think the surgeries have taken more out of me mentally than I expected.

My ambivalence has me thinking that I should not worry about the spring/summer races but start thinking longer term, i.e., the fall and, perhaps, New York.

Today’s race simply showed the adverse impact a lack of speedwork can have on a 10K. The statistics: 37:38, 171st o/a, 153rd male, 5th AG, 82.9%, 18:45 split at 5K. Fortunately, the team didn’t need me, although our Masters was 2nd and Open was 7th.

This was about 2 minutes slower than last year (35:35), and I hope that’s not the consequence of aging. It was also a good minute slower than last month’s Scotland Run (a 36:47). I ran hard, but simply had no speed. I didn’t feel comfortable until I hit the 4-mile mark, but that’s not unusual. Those last 2+ miles were encouraging, as I spent them picking up the pace and picking off people and feeling . (In my defense, I’d had some problems with my right leg since returning from Paris and didn’t get in many runs for the week and I had a bad cramp in my right calf at about 3 this morning, but I don’t think they were a major factor.)

The lesson is that in addition to getting in runs and miles, you need to throw in some faster stuff, i.e., tempos, intervals, repeats.

On the plus side, I ran into and gave a pre-race hug to Erin Haugh Colleran, an erstwhile Sound Shore teammate who I hadn’t seen since the OT marathon (she got me a VIP there and also got me into the 2006 Marathon). I ran into Margot S afterward and got my “Running for Margo” t-shirt from Pascal.