Time flies when you are overscheduled. I have taken on so much in the last month or so and it will continue to be a crazy ride until the end of the summer. Mixing in marathon training with two jobs, an internship, and a part time graduate course load has been an enormous challenge, one that I am not quite meeting. Shamrock is 4 weeks out now and I run twice a week. This, needless to say, is not ideal. I might make it to the finish line, but it will certainly be at a price. I get to the track on Wednesday nights for a workout and then I hit my long runs on Saturday mornings. At the very least, I need one more run thrown in there just to be logging time on my feet. My body gets a rude shock every Saturday morning when I suddenly ask it go go from sloth mode into "let's run 18 today" mode.

As mentioned in my last post, I had/have a couple races coming up before Shamrock. The Reston 10 miler is still looming but I did finish the Run Your Heart Out 5k on February 10th. I had run 18 the day before so I was well aware that I wouldn't be in any condition to "race" this. It was more about getting a few more miles in and having some fun. The course is a convoluted out and back on a paved trail, small rolling hills for most of the time and quite narrow. Passing was no small feat. I started towards the back of the pack because I knew what my pace would be and didn't want the demoralizing experience of been blown by had I started in my "racing" spot. It wasn't any less crowded back there but I was able to settle in and get progressively faster with each mile and pass a good chunk of people. I was moderately pleased with my time, it was faster then the New Years Day 5k but not as fast as some of last year's efforts. For having run long the previous morning, I'll take it. The best part of the race wasn't even the running, it was the race pictures that I saw afterward.I had a clear shot at the camera as I came up the final *evil* hill so I gave my best rockstar smile and hoped I didn't look like a serial killer. I think I did ok. Of course, the photo uploader isn't working so you'll have to click HERE instead. Sorry.

I didn't run again until Wednesday's soggy track workout. The weather could not decide whether it wanted to rain or show, so it did both. I was supposed to do 3 2000m repeats with 3 minutes recovery in between but that was not going to happen. When I packed my bag that morning I just threw in the closest running clothes I could find and failed to check the weather. That meant that I was grossly underdressed. After the second 2000 I was soaked, freezing, and spent. The end. I went home and took the hottest shower I could stand instead. After that workout, life intervened once again and I worked two 13 hr days on Thursday and Friday, so no more runs until this past Saturday when 12 was on the schedule. When it came time to get up on Saturday morning, I just couldn't do it. I'd stayed up too late on Friday night having an emotionally exhausting conversation with a friend and it was just easier to bag it and sleep a few more hours instead.

I had to work so I was up at a reasonable hour but I should have run. I had the option of joining some co-workers on Sunday morning at the store to act as a pacer for a local tri group's run and decided that might be a good way to make up the miles and get paid to do it. Again, I should have checked the weather. It was in the 20s with ridiculous wind gusts that burned your face and took your breath away. The 9 mile route I planned on suddenly seemed sadistic. Nothing on my body would warm up, rather the muscles in my legs got tighter and tighter as the run went on. I made it to Rosslyn, turned around, and headed up Custis back to the store. There was no ideal way to get back there without a significant hill or two, so Custis seemed as good as any. I finished up with 6.3 miles and I'll just have to live with it. It certainly wasn't the mileage I needed to get but that is my fault. Hopefully I won't pay for this coming weekend when it is time to knock out 22. I think this week's track workout involves something wicked, such as 3200s. I'll be there and I'll do it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it, right?

In order to end on a high note and let you know a little something about my life beyond running, I have awesome news to share. I became an Aunt last week! His name is Ryan Andrew and he is the most perfect baby ever. I only got to spend about 36 hours with him and my sister but it was so worth it. I can't wait until Shamrock weekend because that is when I'll get to see him again. I'd love to share a photo with you but the damn uploader just won't cooperate. Trust me, he's adorable. Whenever I get stressed out about how crazy things are right now, I think of him and it calms me down; reminds me of what is really important. I'm sure pictures will find their way onto here, so keep an eye out for some baby cuteness.