Then it was time to head back to Kansas — K-State's semesters are brutally long. In case you were wondering, "No Place Like Homes" refers to the fact that I divide my time between Manhattan, KS and Salt Lake. I like and have good friends in both places, but of course, to put it mildly, a commuter marriage is not our first choice. At the moment, however, Jeanine and I are happy to each have jobs in our fields (but God are we ready for the next boom; would corporate America please cease its anti-Obama hiring boycott already?).
After the first week of classes, I ran my first race of the fall. I hadn't raced since April because I was so busy with finishing two books, and also because I think of summer as my season off (fall is prime running season, winter is XC skiing season, and spring is you-might-as-well-race-because-you're-still-in-skiing-shape season. Just for the record, I'm not a serious or good runner. But one of the things I like about living in a small city is that consistent training goes a long way — I can actually be competitive in races here (or I can loose a 5K by 4 minutes if real, ran-in-college runners show up). I'm used to running races alone, but for this race — a 5K Parkinson's fundraiser held at our local lake/state park, one of the best roller skiing spots in the world — several members of Thursday night Beer Club showed up, which made it tons of fun (as did the free beer and barbecue). Speaking of beer, if I hadn't have consumed so much the past couple weeks of summer, and if it had not been so hot in Salt Lake all summer, I think I may have had a shot. As it is, I lost (to a 55-year-old I might add) by 12 seconds. I wish it had been closer — I have this dream of just once closing in on and passing someone in the last 200 meters to win a race movie style. And considering I ran at a pace about 15 seconds behind my PRs, it almost happened. Next time.