Saturday, May 06, 2006

I might have but probably not.

Fresh off my big win last Saturday, I was pretty stoked heading into this weekends races. Friday I was let off work early and dropped the rental truck off. I was able to rest and do a few things at home before having to go to the race site. After registering, I met up with the Frog and we ran the one mile fun run as a warmup. Then it was time to start out race, the 5k.

There were two high school guys in the field that I remember being pretty fast from last summer. In fact one of them is really fast, as in can compete on a regional level and kick ass fast. For now, we'll refer to him as the Mexican.

As we started, the Frog and I went out together much as we always do in races. The miles weren't marked but seven and a half minutes in I looked at my watch. The pace was quick and we had already hit several small hills even though the longer ones were yet to come, I was feeling good.

At the first big climb during mile two, I put some distance on the Frog. He'd gotten talked into running the night before, even though he wasn't planning on it. He was toast. I then concentrated on keeping the Mexican within striking distance. I didn't think I'd catch him but I wanted to at least stay close.

Just after the two mile mark, he made a mistake as I was gaining on him and I was able to slide by him. I put several meters of distance on him and felt pretty good about my finishing kick.

When I made the turn for the climb home, I knew I had it. I crossed in eighteen forty three. Not a PR, but definitely impressive.

I went to the race for the prizes and wasn't disappointed. For winning, I got a thirty dollar gift card to Red Lobster and a free month to a nice local gym. About a hundred dollars in prize value. Not bad I'd say. Plus my second victory ever and in a row!

I declined to go have pizza with the Frog and a few other runners. I wanted to eat a small meal and get a good nights rest for the race today. The 10.5K.

I didn't think I'd win the race this morning but my goal was forty two minutes. That is a forty minute 10k and then the same pace for the last half kilometer.

The Frog ran the 5k just before the 10.5k plus the race last night, I knew his legs would be toast.

The other friend we dragged up there was another problem though. I'd beath him for the first time last weekend and I knew he wasn't going down without a fight.

Sure enough, at the start, the Frog, the Orater, I and two others broke away to form the lead pack. The course started on a road, led into the stadium completing one lap of the track, then went cross country style to another road and was road the rest of the way.

They said the miles were marked but I never saw a mark for mile one. I did however see a mark for mile two. We crossed it in eleven forty. Way too fast if that was an accurate measure of two miles. That's my PR 5k pace.

Coming off the lake, the Orater started a break away and I went with. He later told me it was to 'separate the men from the boys'. We never looked back. The Frog held us for a bit but dropped off and we dropped the other two runners quickly into the breakaway.

The next few miles sailed by even though it seemed to me we were going awfully fast. There were several points where I felt the Orater was trying to drop me. Trying to test me to see if I had it.

I stayed with him and even put some distance on him up until mile five and a half. I really wish they had had the miles marked a little better, it sure would have helped me in knowing where we were and what pace we were running. I really need to invest in a Garmin.

About mile five and a half the pace got to me and I got a stitch in my side. I tried to work it out by varying my breathing and stretching but it remained. It was at the point that I became mentally defeated feeling I couldn't catch him.

I conceded defeat saying, 'It's yours.' I later found out that at that point the Orater was feeling it and wasn't sure he could hold on. I should have never said anything. Turning down the home straight away he had put about ten seconds on me. I found a little something deep inside but since I'd already conceaded I didn't tap as deep as I probably could/should have.

Had I said nothing, I don't know if I'd caught him, I might have but probably not. He crossed in forty one fifty two and I crossed in forty two even.

My watch read forty two o six but I'll go by the official time of forty two even. For second overall and winning my age group I got a nice trophy. I ran my goal time. I had fun, the company was great and to me that's all that matters.

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