Running helps me deal with the sadness and frustration of the twin American disasters. The first, Hurricane Katrina, was natural in cause. The second, ongoing tragedy, however, is the government preparation and response to the first one.

Take note, kids: Republicans. Can’t. Govern. Bush has demonstrated what he’s done to learn from the lessons of 9/11. Abso-fucking-lutely nothing.

See? I can’t talk about anything without talking about my outrage. I’ll post more later. Remind me to tell you about the National Guard troops stuck in Iraq with families in the affected area. Short version: if their families are confirmed dead or wounded, they can come home. If they’re just missing, or refugees, the troops are shit out of luck. They stay in the sandbox.

Deep breath. Getting a grip.

But for now, I wanted to post my running times. Ran 7 miles tonight, my longest single run ever. It’s part of my preparation and training for the Pints-to-Pasta 10K, which I’ve chosen as my season-ending race. Last year I performed incredibly well, running the race in 59:54.5, for a 9:40 pace. I hope to do at least that well this year. And my plan has been to increase my long run until it was more than 10K and run it several times before the race, to build up my endurance, and to work on my bursts of speed with hill- and speed-work. Yadda yadda, I’ve explained this before.

At any rate, tonight was the stress test of my training. And I think I’ve done quite well. I finished 7.01 miles in 1:13:58.2, for an average pace of 10:33, which I think is very good considering my poor results in the Nike RHW last month, not to mention my horrible time last week. Hell, last week that was practically my time for 6.5 miles.

My time at the 6-mile mark was around 1:02:00 or so, which put me at a 10:25 pace. Keep in mind that I was running on the street, in warm (but not hot) weather, and I did stop several times for water. The P2P course is almost entirely downhill, and I will be pushing myself harder, so I’m really pleased at where my training has brought me. I’ll continue to work on speed for the next couple of days, then taper for at least 2 days and maybe 3 if I can stand it, so I’ll be running on fresh legs for the race.

I’ll also be running in the Race for the Cure co-ed 5K, but because there are so many entrants in that one, and because I might be running with my 13-year-old nephew, I’m not planning on having a great time in that race. I’m going to stick with my partner, and make sure he enjoys the race, and not focus on speed.

I might look for another 5K to run in myself, though. With my great 4-mile times (sustained sub-9:30 pace) lately in training, I might be able to (finally!) post an equally-great “official” race time for the 5K this year.