Last month I ran my first race in 13 months and gutted out a 19:23 (6:14 pace). On Sunday I toed the line again and managed to get back under my goal of 19:00 with an 18:57 (6:06 pace). I can feel the fitness start to come back ever so slowly. It's going to be awhile before I get back to where I was the last few years (mid-17's) but I'm trying to take it one week at a time. As I get older, I find that certain workouts give me a lot of bang for the buck, others not so much. For example, two weeks ago, when my wife was in the hospital I had an interval workout that went south and I stopped it short. I didn't run for 2 or 3 days after, but when I did I went out for a long slow run, not really planning the distance. I ended up running 11 miles (longest I've done in over a year) and felt great. I few days later I nailed a tempo workout and a few days after that I ran a perfect negative split race, going 6:15, 6:05, 6:00, :37. So I think the moral of this ramble is that on the busy schedule that I have (work, writing, music stuff), I need to focus on hitting certain key workouts each week, the long run being mandatory. I also find that when I run intervals hitting them at 8K/10K pace with brief recoveries makes me stronger than the faster stuff. I'm setting up another block to race again on December 7 (fast, competitive 5K race) and may jump into another race before that. I'd like to end the year getting under 18:30 if possible. Wish me luck!

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