Today was our last workday before thanksgiving….
Mark, Chris and I set out… three middle aged… middle management types in the insurance industry… with families, kids, SUVs… Shrinking 401ks…
A perfect opportunity to see what we are made of.
The race was a single loop… 1.1 miles with a mile warm-up and a 2 mile cool-down.
Mark was to get a 1:30 head start… Chris :30.
After our warm-up… and a quick nature break… Mark is off… 1 Minute later… Chris left too… in the 30 seconds I jogged alone… trying to prepare my mind for the pain my body will soon endure.
I hit the start line in mid-stride and started running at a good, tempo, pace… after about 15 steps… I said out loud… “this is a race!” and hit the gas in earnest.
I could see Chris almost immediately. He was only 150 meters or so ahead…. I just tried to stay smooth. Just around the first corner I could plainly see them both. They both looked to be running slowly… I know that they both have long strides, however, so I didn’t get too confident.
My plan was to try to run with high turnover to get my speed for the first half, then stretch out my stride for the back straight. This plan did not work very well… I have not done this in training and it’s killing me by the end of the first quarter so I abandon the idea.
Just around the second turn I can see both Chris and Mark again… I focused on Chris…. He was closer. I felt myself slowing down a little… I tried to pick it up and little by little Chris (and Mark) started coming back to me.
As Mark reached the final turn I saw him put his hands on his hips… whether it was to stretch or catch his breath… it did not matter… I knew Chris and I would both catch him.
Chris is only about 4 steps in front of me at the final turn… that is the good news. He saw me… that was the bad news. Chris hit the gas…. We both passed Mark and he opened up another 4 step gap by the end.
I ran a 6:31 pace… 17 seconds better than last week… but… I still think I could have raced smarter. I was so afraid of Chris’ sprint that I was apprehensive about catching him in fear of him dropping me immediately after putting in all that effort.
Well… that, is the demon that I will wrestle with for the next week.
Can’t wait to do it again.