While I haven't been inspired to post in a while, Saturday's race gave me reason to. It is funny what a competitive race will do for your mentals!
Last Sunday I took my first running day off since December 22 simply because I was tired and didn't feel like running. Simple as that! I worked out Monday with Billy Shue as we did some minuters and felt reasonably well during the workout. I took another day off on Thursday and then ran easy on Friday for 10 miles.
I felt good on Saturday morning driving to the University area as I thought about my plan for the race. I was very lucky to meet Kevin Ballentine and Allen Strickland and get a nice 2 mile warm up with them. I then ran back to my car and put on my flats, jogged back behind the shopping center and did some striders to get more mentally prepared.
I ventured over to the starting area with 5 minutes to spare and surveyed the other runners. Gun goes off and for some reason I saw Chad and Billy out in front of me and I just quickly decided to get right behind them and we formed a triangle. I was in to the flow of the race early. Proceeded to check my vitals and realized that I was ok. Jim McKeon proceeds to join our pack and then Mike Moran, Michael Creason, Richard Harris, and a few others. I'm thinking this is pretty cool AND I'm in control.
Up ahead it's Paul Mainwaring, Jason G. Holder, and some kid that I later find out is Vincent Arey and then us. At about mile 2, Moran gets flamboyant and shoots out ahead of us, I thought that was aggressive, yet neither Chad Crockford, Billy Shue or myself panics. We gobbled him up and then at about 2 and a half, I pull ahead and start gaining on Arey. I start doing the math and begin to realize that I'm going into 3rd place and even if 2 people (Chad and Billy) pass me, I'm still on the podium in a grand prix race for the first time in 14 years!
Right after I pass Arey, Chad catches me and then Billy and we are on to the finish. Chad puts 6 seconds on me at the finish and Billy 4. As I'm rounding the last turn I see the clock for the first time (I don't wear a Garmin) and it flashes 16:47 and I think gee wizz, I got a shot to break 17! Not to be as I hit the stripe at 17:01...I WAS JACKED!
Quick cool down to my car with Billy and I was home by 8:25am (remember, the race started at 7:30am and it's a half hour away...good time, no?)
Thanks: to Billy Shue for driving my trophy all the way out to my son's lacrosse tournament at Elon Park. Very nice. They won all seven games over the weekend and won the tournament. Proud Papa...
1. Paul Mainwaring, 2. Jay Holder, 3. Chad Crockford, 4. Billy Shue, 5. Stephen Spada