One day, two events ... no gold

One thing that is remarkable about some of the Olympic athletes, notably the swimmers this week, is how much they'll do in one day. Well, I must be inspired by what's happening in Beijing because yesterday I did two things that left me wiped out at the end of the day.

I'll first start with a tree replacement. In my backyard there was a waste of a tree. I think the previous owners put it up last year to spruce things up a bit to try and sell the house. Well, in the almost year that I've been here, I've seen this thing slowly die. So with the good news this week that I got a job, I've decided to do a few things around the house before I have the excuse of having a job. One of those things is replacing this horrid tree.

Since I couldn't drive to my backyard to try and pull it out with my Escape, I basically had to dig around this tree and slowly work my way underneath it. It was quite an adventure. Once I got it out -- probably a little more than an hour's work -- the rest felt simple. You can see with the before and after pictures that there are a few new flowers around the replacement tree -- a crepe myrtle -- to spruce things up a bit. Now comes the fun part of keeping it all alive.

This was a great cross-training effort and in any normal day, this probably would have been it for me. But since I had decided earlier this week to run a 4-mile evening race, my day was only half done.

After a brief nap in the afternoon, and drinking lots of water, I ventured across Richmond to the Moonlight 4 Miler. This was the first race I have ever done in the evening -- there aren't too many of those out there.

The "Moonlight" name is a bit deceiving, as most everyone actually finishes before the official sunset. Fortunately, though, there was an almost-full moon rising as the race was going on. Plus it was cloudy, so that helped things.

There's really not much to report on this race. My time was 32:49, just over an 8-minute mile pace, putting me 99th out of 235 runners. The course was fairly hilly, but I managed to keep an even pace throughout. I felt like I was pushing myself, but it seemed like I couldn't go any faster than what I was going. I felt like I kept thinking about it too much. In my head I was coming up with some good excuses for why I wasn't going faster: I'm mostly a morning runner; I preformed a tree replacement earlier in the day; I hadn't ran a race in more than four months; my feet were still getting over one too many runs in my old shoes ... you name it, it was probably going through my head.

Despite those thoughts, I'm actually pleased with everything. It'll go down as a PR, but mainly because it's only my third 4 miler ever, and the first in almost three years. I know I can do better than this, but it'll go down as a solid speed workout. This was a good tune-up for the Rock 'n' Roll Half, which is a little more than two weeks away. It felt like it had been way too long since I was in a race, so it was very worthwhile getting that experience of starting with a large group of people, pacing with other runners and trying to finish strong. But never again will I do yard work on race day...

Workouts since last post
Aug. 14: Run - 4.6 overall
Aug. 15: Walk - 1.7