The strange weather continues as I sit lazing on the porch at noon. The past week has had a whiff of fall in the air, and it’s seemed hard to believe we’re still in August.

Houston Hopefuls

If you read this blog you probably read JT’s and her fine HoustonHopefuls project. If not, you should read both. Her most recent HH interview was with Heather May and was another interesting effort, in this case someone who’s qualified for the Olympic Trials twice before. She makes the observation apropos to marathon racing that too much fast stuff at the expense of marathon-pace runs can create its own problem. You feel comfortable at a tempo pace and you feel comfortable at that pace in the race itself. “‘The problem was, I went out at tempo pace. And tempo pace at the start of a marathon feels really darn good! You know, you’re tapered, it feels awesome, you’re around friends. It felt very comfortable. You feel like you might have a breakthrough and you don’t want to think, “Oh, that’s tempo pace. I’m going to dial it down.”‘” I think this is what happened to me in 2006. Live and learn.

This is a really good series.

Today at the Rockies

For the third successive Sunday, I headed up to the Rockies. I was again determined to do it alone, and hoped to get up to 1:15-1:20. I would head out to Rockwood Hall and then into the Rockies themselves. This would get me three tough hills, all in switchback format. That’s the first of them in the photo, the Hudson in the background. A number of folks I know were assembling when I got there, but I decided to do it alone as planned. Through 40 minutes, I had gotten up two of the hills, but was dead. I stopped for about a minute then, knowing I couldn’t handle much more, headed back, figuring I’d match last week’s hour. Alas, the knee was no problem until about 3/4 of a mile to go, but it hurt enough to relegate me to walking it in.

This is getting quite frustrating. It’s not bothering me not running at all, although it hurts a bit when I sit for prolonged periods, which is an improvement. And it bothered me not at all during this run until fairly late. Same thing happened yesterday, when I was fine through 6. But no problem on Friday’s trail run. It’s frustrating.

The big overhang for me is the Josh Billings Relay on September 12. This is a bike-canoe-run race in Lenox, Mass. I’m to finish it with a 5.5 run around the Stockbridge Bowl, finishing at Tanglewood. There is a brutal uphill in the final mile, about 200 feet of climb. Normally that wouldn’t be a concern, but the lack of work makes it so. I’m more worried, though, about my knee. One’s perspective changes when running for a team.