11 hours ago
Monday, May 26, 2008
This Just In...Frank CAN Run Negative Splits
I've run the Blossom Time 5.25 miler the past three years, but yesterday morning, I was planning to sit it out. I thought I'd ride my new bike to Chagrin Falls, hang out and cheer for my fellow SERC runners, and eat some greasy fries.
Once I arrived in Chagrin Falls, I met Eileen from the club, and she asked if I was running. I said I wasn't sure. She laughed and said, 'You're running.' She was right. I registered, got my number, and did a little (very little) warm-up and a little (very little) stretching. I ran into and talked with lots of SERC runners including: E-speed, Solar, Daisy, Mark, Steve Hawthorne*,
Wyatt, Jeff, Joe, and others. I made it to the start within a few minutes of the start and managed to weasel a place at the front of the pack by sidling up to Wyatt and Steve. After a stirring rendition of the national anthem, the gun sounded.
I had decided to try to run a smart race, just like a decide before every race. I wanted to keep a 6:30/mi. pace to see if I could actually have something in the tank for the finish. The first mile was slightly up hill, and remarkably I hit the mile marker at exactly 6:30. Then I hit the second mile at 13:09, a 6:39 pace. I missed the target by 9 seconds, but that was a very hilly mile, and I miscalculated a bit, rather than indicating that I was fading. I was running hard, but not crazy hard. I think they call it 'under control'. Thanks to that, I was able to take advantage of the downhill in the next mile, which I completed in 6:14. Mile four was undulating, and I completed it in 6:22, and I still felt like there was gas in the tank. I ran the last 1.25 miles in 7.45, a 6:12 pace. I really did it! I ran a negative split in a race. I'd heard it was possible, but I never believe it. Even more incredible, I took first in my division, and come home with a very nice plaque. It was another good day for SERC runners, with many placing or winning in their divisions.
* Steve Hawthorne: Steve asked me why I always refer to him as Steve H. in my blog. I told him that, as a rule, bloggers refer to people by their blogger names, or first names, or initials. He said he was disappointed because he wanted the recognition and publicity. I told him that, from now on I would not only use his full name, but would include a flattering image of his smiling face