Last week was another good one for running, despite the wintry weather. Monday's recovery run was at a 8:30 pace, which felt great after lots of miles over the weekend. I decided to do 7 mile at a moderate pace on Tuesday instead of the usual track workout, saving the speed work for the Thursday Turkey Trot. I took the day off work on Wednesday, so I did a loop around Solon for a change of pace. On Thursday, my neighbor John and I went downtown and met up with my sister-in-law Lisa for the Turkey Trot. It was the first race ever for both of them, and they did remarkably well (full race report to follow.) On Friday, a small group of us from SERC met at Mark G.'s house and round 8.5 miles around Aurora. We had a large group at Lock 29 on Saturday, approximately a dozen runners. We went north on the tow path to Highland Road, then followed the Buckeye Trail back. On Sunday, I put in a few early miles, then 12 with the group, then another mile back home. For an allegedly long-slow run , I kept a brisk 7:50 pace. Total miles for the week: 60.35
Thursday as we drove to the Convention Center downtown, the temperature was 30 degrees F, there was blue in the sky, and it looked to be a great morning for a race. John and I had not preregistered, so we got there a bit early to leave time to register, and to be sure we got our shirts. John started running just a few months ago, and this would be his first race ever. Sis-in-law Lisa met us there and we mulled around, stretched, and talked until they announced it was time to head out to the start. I wished good luck to John and Lisa, and weaseled my way to the front of the line. My plan was to try to maintain a steady 6:15 pace. I was very careful to keep myself in check for the first mile, or so I thought, until I hit the mile marker at 6:05. I was surprised, as I thought I was running a comfortable pace. I knew the second mile was the easiest of the race, with a gentle downhill for the first half. I really backed off, or so I thought, until I hit the 2 mile mark at 12:10. The third mile was flat and fast, and once again I tried to slow up a little. I did manage to slow down to 6:10, hitting the 3 mile marker at 18:20. I tried to hold that pace for mile four, figuring the little uphill at the end would help slow me down, but I crossed the 4 mile marker at 24:25, back down to my 6:05 pace. Well, that did not bode well for the fifth mile, which was the toughest, with a good half mile of it being uphill. I decided that if I could just manage to hold it together and manage a 6:30 for the last mile, I would still be ahead of my goal. Within three seconds of deciding that, I forgot about it and just ran hard. I passed a half-dozen people on the hill, turned onto Lakeside, and sprinted into the gate as the sign clicked 30:37. I remember my thought as I crossed the line. "That better f*cking be the fastest time in my age group."
I grabbed a water and thanked the volunteers, jogged to my car to get my camera and warm-up jacket, then headed back to the finish line to try to get photos of Lisa and John. I don't know how I managed to do it, but I missed John when he crossed with a remarkable time of 42:34. I think I was distracted by the three running Elvises. I also missed Lisa who finished at 63:17, quite impressive for her first race. I checked the Results the next day, and found that John was 47th of 118 in the age group, and Lisa finished ahead of 10 women in her age group. And I was relieved to find that, in fact, I did have the 'fastest f*cking time in my age group."
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