So, by now, I am guessing that you are wondering how my race went. Well, it went pretty much as I expected. My lack of any true speed work was evident right out of gate.
We went on “go”. Well, everyone else went on “go”. My legs were only starting to turnover for the first time as runners were already streaming up East Blvd.
By the time, we turned right on the Dilworth loop to head down by Latta Park, I was in 6th place. One guy was gone from the rest of us. Then, there were two guys running together, and they were followed by the top two women.
I passed the second place woman as we started up the hill by Latta Park but was then passed by the kid (okay, he was 17. I consider anyone younger tham me to be a “kid”). He goes on to pass the lead woman. I am trailing along behind both of them by some 10 to 15 yards.
As we make the left turn on Euclid, I pass the lead women, but I am still trailing the kid by a good 10 yards.
Running along Euclid, I focus on claiming myself and getting my breathing under control. Once I turn on East Blvd the course is essentially downhill or flat to the finish line. This was the point where I mustered my reserves for the task ahead.
Turning on East, the gap remains the same. Then, I hear breathing from someone coming up on my shoulder. She is breathing hard but throws a surge in that carries her past me and up to the kid in front of us. “Oh, this is going to get interesting now”. But things actually settled out as we continued down East. My Garmin chimed that we had completed 2 miles.
It was now or never so I surged up to them. We were running 3 abreast passing the water stop. I throw in another surge, and this time only the kid goes with me. We pass the gas station. Then, we pass Outback. Time comes for another surge. No response from the kid. I am clear now. If my legs hold it together, I am free to run to the finish. I hear people cheering, but I don’t have enough air to create any sound. All of my attention focused on getting to the finish line.
I don’t even peek while turning the corner into the parking lot. My legs are at their max. There is nothing else to give.
Crossing the finish line my time was 17:44 which placed me 4 overall and first Master. Considering the high level masters runners in Charlotte area, scoring a masters’ win was an awesome feeling.
As I get older and work to maintain my level of running, the realization sets in that speed work has be a major part of my workouts throughout the entire year. Without it, my legs lose turnover way too quickly, and it so difficult to get it back these days.
The Cool Down Runner