Tuesday, January 13, 2009

first "race" of the year

returned to the running racing circuit this weekend. legs are quite certain of this, my iliotibial bands and calves plangently so. i feel like i ran a marathon though it was only 10miles. the highlight of my warmup was being chased by a yappy and tantalisingly puntable yorkie, leash trailing behind it. i gave its owner a WTF look as i ran by; he just chuckled tolerantly. o funny dog, the things you do!

anyway, the point of the run, to moi anyway, was not to race but rather do a nice tempo effort with 370 of my closest friends. the cannon fired (yes we get started by a cannon because we are DELAWARE and what we lack in size we make up for in sheer noyz) and king dave, with whom i'd done a killer 4000yd workout in the pool the day before, pulled up to me and inquired about my target pace. tempo, i said, and you? sticking in the low 7s, said he, and then getting down to 6:45s at the half. serendipity! - i thought, for that was exactly what i wanted to do and now i had company, but by the time i wrapped up that compound thought king dave was out of sight and i didn't clap eyes on him again until the gatorade table at the finish.

the first mile went by and i was way off my intended pace; second mile passed the same; but it felt right so i didn't push. we climbed up to rockford park and i started to pass a stream of people petering on the hill. as we approached the halfway turn-around i was surprised to see there were only a dozen or so women ahead of me. oh whatever i'm running my own pace, right? i passed a couple more on the way down from rockford and then with 2 miles to go there were 4 women in striking distance.

do you see where this is going?
do you understand why i whimper when i walk down steps?

i let one woman pull me closer to the others. a quarter mile from the finish there's a 200m climb that goes straight up, and i thought that if i got close enough before the hill i could knock some of them off there because if i'm catching you at the end of a 10mile race you're probably not going to be able to counter on a hill.

i passed one, then two, three, and the fourth as we crested the hill and hit a headwind that almost blew me backwards. i was not a happy kid but i knew i'd be even less happy if the woman behind me had something left for the straightaway dash to the line so i pegged it for about 30sec and then did something only cowards do – looked back – but i'd enough of a gap to cruise in without popping a lung onto pennsylvania ave.

turns out i was 5th overall; 6-9th finished within 20 sec. so much for my tempo run.

it is good to be back.


fatmammycat said...

Yep, that's about right.

finn said...

right yes. this morning i almost drove right past the pool to dunkin donuts. that is a patented finn move now, and the 14yo with the dropkick murphys tattoo knows exac what's gone down when i present at the counter with a hangdog expression and speedo peeking out from my collar.

but not this morning, maybe thurs.

Theo said...

Here I am, read read read, nicely done there, please don't hurt yourself tho... [vinyl-needle-scratch noise] WAITASEC!

Hee, I'm looping!

finn said...

i don't know what on earth inspired you to back linoleum against new GNR but it's brilliant.

Theo said...

Texture & tempo, in that case.

Subhangi said...

Good comeback.

BTW, in the gym this morning, I experienced for the first time that "gliding" sensation you always talk about. Got on the treadmill, adrenaline pumping, ran like a machine at a speed that normally sucks the life out of me. I don't know how that happened but it did. And it was good. Like meditation, sorta.

finn said...

meditation is the perfect word for it, subh. peace, with no outside distractions.

are you a convert?

Subhangi said...

Not quite. Still a lazy bum for the most part. But I'm getting there :)