It's hard to complain about life right now. Getting back into shape should be my priority number 6 or 7, or whatever number sounds good to you. Without a doubt, there are bigger things on my plate right now, like the Girl, the kids and work.
But I have to admit I've been waiting to get fast since last fall, and finally being able to train hard feels great. This winter and spring, my work (and commute) and being a dad to Natali took too much time to seriously train. One would think that exchanging a 10-year old for a new-born would add more work, but I was more or less a single parent to Natali for most of the time. Most nights, it was a question of going for a run or spending time with her, and she could manipulate me very effectively.
So I'm coming into this late summer very undertrained but perhaps the most excited about running and competing I have ever been. And I'm not even that undertrained. Sure, the miles have been low, but I've run 4 or 5 marathons around 3:10 to 3:15 and they should be able to count for long runs through spring and winter. So, I'm not starting from scratch.
These last weeks, I've gotten serious. I've lost weight and I'm improving quickly. With everything else going on in life, it's intoxicating to feel myself getting faster almost daily. Maybe it's escapism, but at least it's a healthy form of it.
So what am I training for?
I still have enough track runner in me to think of ultras as just a little bit of a cop-out. You can't really compare the times in those races, not to races of equal distance or, really, to the same race previous years.
On the other hand, I train almost 100% on trails, and when the Girl and I talk about races for the fall and next year, they are all trail races and/or ultras. I think a compromise will be to run a few "real" races, just to post some times to show (myself) that I am fit, and then run the trail ultras for the awesome experiences they can be.
This evening, a solid PR on my hilly route capped off a perfect day of paternity leave. I've gotten so incredibly close to Christian since the baby was born. It's a combination of having time for him, while also wanting him to know that the new baby isn't going to replace him. He is such funny age (three and a half), and his language is such a comedic treasure trove. I can feel that just this last week I have changed the way he looks at things, and I love getting that feedback from him.
The baby is perfect, meaning that he is cute, eats and sleeps well and holds the promise of becoming someone with a personality soon. The Girl is a superwoman, for good and for bad. She is being watched, both in real life and on her blog, while she pushes the envelope for what's possible post-partum. She would do well to take a day off now and then and enjoy her maternity leave but I have very little to say in that matter.
And the two kids in America are doing well. Andreas is spending the week in northern Wisconsin and Natali is about to start soccer camp.