It is 2009 - wouldn't you know it. I think it is going to be an exciting year: Kathleen and I will be off to Tanzania soon (on January 30), Boston is coming up in April and then there is the New York Marathon in November. Hopefully the New York Road Running Club won't change their 'guaranteed entry' requirements. The actual entry requirements for the 2009 race won't be posted on their site until mid-February. So we'll just have to wait and see if my half marathon qualifying time holds up. In June or July Kathleen and I will be traveling to Southern Africa to go and take a look at some of Wilderness Safaris' Zambia properties and we hope to spend quite a few days in the Cape. It has been too long since we've been in the mother city. Hopefully we will see our very good friends Abe and Rosanna.
I experienced a rough beginning to the year on the running front, having to cancel four workouts last week due to some tightness in my left knee. What is it with the knee suddenly? I've been running for more than 30 years and have never had any knee issues... So as a result I ended up with the grand total of 14 miles for the week of Dec 28 through Jan 3 (16 weeks to Boston). Not good. Laying off had the desired effect though; on a 7-mile run on Saturday the knee was fine. I had planned a long 18-mile run but the temperature was near 80F. Anything beyond 10 miles or so would have been counter-productive. I hope the weather is not like this for the Houston Marathon on 18 January. On Monday (Jan 5) I had a really nice 7 mile run at 9:10 pace - conditions were ideal. Today's track workout went very well too: 7 miles total with 4 mile repeats at 7:13, 7:09, 7:10 and 7:11.
I've decided to run the Houston Half Marathon as a training run at around 9:15 to 9:20 pace; it would be too risky to push hard for a meaningless PR - I would just be courting disaster. So what I will try to do is to run with the 4:00 full marathon pace group for the first half of the race. I might even take a camera and try to get a few pics. It would be nice to meet up with Billy, a West Coast blogger - I believe he will be pacing a buddy to hopefully break 4:30.
Kathleen and I have attended quite a few Rice University athletic events lately; last week the men's basketball team played (and lost to) the highly ranked Texas Aggies. It was exciting to see so many people at the new Tudor Field House; too bad most of them were Aggies. They can be loud and annoying... A couple of nights before that the football team soundly defeated Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium. What an evening that was. Lots of people at the pre-race reception and even some vegetarian chili! Rice Football has been resuscitated from near death over the last few years and the team is looking great. They just signed a superb running back (McGuffie, no less) and from what I hear the incoming freshman group is very talented. It will be nice to see bigger crowds at Rice Stadium.