I'm behind on my blogging because the Busy Monster has been kicking my ass since I got to the States a couple weeks ago. In my final prep for the 50k on the 27th, I am doing short races in between my long runs and final workouts to stay speed sharp and fine tuned. My first speed workout was the Diamond Dash 5k only 3 days after flying in. I'm not 100% til sometime between day 4and 5 typically and was till sleepytired when I ran this. My quads were still kind of heavy and as I warmed up on the course which was mostly pea gravel, I just figured I'd sandbag and try for under 20 min. I wasn't sure how my legs would respond. Last yr, I flew in too close to the Chicago Marathon and ran jet lagged on a hot day and probably still too soon after the 100kand had a craptastic performance. Pea gravel and I don't get along for races as it does slow things down quite a bit. I can't recall ever breaking 20 on that annoying loose pea gravel even when my road times were much much faster. Plus it had rained and the paved sections of the course were actually slick. To my surprise though I started out at 3.50/km (19.10pace) and picked it up after just over 2k to cruise in at 18.43! I was glad the first guy was not too far ahead and dressed brightly so I didn't mess up any turns. I had company for the first 2.5k or so but then she dropped back after I picked up the pace and I was all alone. She is a fast and talented lady who just had the same elite dev/A standard start in Chicago I sat out. The goal here was just to have fun and get in a decent workout. The next day, I had my final loooong run on the menu and went out and ran just over 30k like nothing had happened the day before. I recover like a kid in the US and I am certain the lack of pollution and food that actually has nutritional value plays a big role.