Sunday, April 08, 2007

Like a thief in the night

Looking over his shoulder for oncoming danger. These masked bandits are kinda cute but so smart and destructive. We now have to bring in our bird feeders at dusk or the raccoon family will eat all the food and tear up the plastic feeders. We caught this guy in broad daylight about to climb the pole. Now should I be looking over my shoulder for trouble?

The plot thickens. Now surely a fun run with no markers, no water, no timing will be a good opportunity to get an easy run in with some company? I was immediately given a little 'talk' from Coach who reminded me of my inability to take it easy in race situations and that the real race is only a week away. "Pardon me. I didn't hear that. What did you say?"

Oh, and by the way, did I mention the hard 8 miler on Friday with 3x1 mile repeats? I'm a sucker for doing the workouts that are scheduled no matter what. If it's written, then it must be done right? After a 2 mile warmup the 1st mile went by in 6:35 going by effort alone with no watch in sight until the beep at the end. A short 2:00 jog and back the other way with the lactate making the legs heavy for a slow and disappointing 6:44 along a slight uphill. The final one was aided by an encounter with a friend running with his dog who agreed to go with me. Little did he know that it was going to be a race. Again, I just went hard by effort focusing on my breathing and rhythm and soon the sounds of my now opponent's breathing were fading. Final mile in 6:19! Finished with an easy 2 miles home.

That night amidst a flurry of email with Andrew and (No Show) Jon I get a 2nd lecture regarding my inability not to race. Is there a pattern here that I'm missing?

Saturday morning we arrived at the race run about 15 minutes before the start to see, surprise, surprise a little sign up booth, water, race run numbers! Surely, this must be a race right Andrew?? (who showed up a few minutes later). After a few announcements over a PA system (another sign of race in progress) the horn went off and so were we. The 1st mile went by at a slow jog and a loop back to collect Andrew who was somehow lost in the crowd enjoying the sunshine (I think). Soon enough we were cruising along enjoying each others company and the miles were clicking off nicely around 7:40 or so. A little fast but still not out of control, yet.

"I think he's slowing down, we'll get him on the 2nd half" says Andrew.

"It's not a race" I remind him.

A few miles later we catch up to Chris whom Andrew immediately befriends before beginning to lay the hammer down as the pace drops to 7:30's and below. We chat some more and the pace keeps increasing. Next mile in 7:25. Less chatting now. Andrew!! Next mile in 7:17. I guess it's a race now as our new 'friend' Chris is now hanging on for dear life. Andrew slows a bit over the next mile but when he sees I'm not interested in matching his pace, then he simply takes off and leaves us in the dust.

With about 2 miles left to go, it's just me and Chris and neither of us yet willing to call it a day. We did a little back and forth but on the last hill about 1/2 mile before the finish our new friend finally fades and I sneak away and follow Andrew in who had put 2 minutes on me over the last 2 miles. What fun!

The gory details look like this.
And don't forget to check out Andrew's point of view and all the trouble he gets me into.

And the countdown continues with 7 days to go. Have a great week!


Andrew said...

A good time for sure! I was wondering when you left Chris behind.

You know, this run was very similar to one of our long runs...

D said...

Sounds like you and Andrew ran a great ra-- uh training run.

Great photo of the Racoon - they are so cute (and smart!)

Phil said...

What a race (run)! With no traffic control, I'd get myself run over by a car for sure. You seem to be enjoying your taper.

Thomas said...

Didn't you jog to a 3:28:03 finish in a training marathon last year? See, you can hold back, if you really want to!