Saturday, July 14, 2012

Enter: July

The month started out hot and powerless. We lost power for about a day and a half, getting it back on July 1. I'm pretty sure we were at the beginning of a heatwave, so our house was unbearable to be in. Thankfully we were only displaced for one night.

The heat seemed to take a short break for the morning of the 4th. It wasn't nearly as hot at 7am warming up as it had been the day before at 4:45am. That didn't alter my pre-race plan. I considered myself the underdog and knew better than to get led out in a blistering pace. My victory would only come at the expensive of someone else's foolish pace breaking them. If I had to run alone, I would. But the pace did not start out fast. Joey Murray and I ran side by side for the first half-mile to the library with a large pack of people next to us. At the library, someone began to inch up on our right side. My first thought was that it was the guy who worked at VA Runner in Woodbridge. Upon further inspection, I thought it was Allen Carr. But Allen would have probably said hello before the race if he'd seen me. So third choice was Will Christian, but he runs for Navy and this guy wasn't wearing a Navy uniform. So I was out of ideas and I hoped he was an idiot who wouldn't hold on. Turns out it was Will Christian, out of the Navy.

Joey and Will pulled away from me a little bit during the first mile and had a 1-2 second lead as I hit the mile in 5:21. I wasn't sweating nearly enough and that caused me to worry a little bit. I took the tangents for the 2nd mile better than they did, which allowed me to keep contact with them without too much of an effort. The 2nd mile was faster though, and in Normandy Village Will dropped Joey pretty easily. I was right on Joey's heals at the 2nd mile which I ran in 5:13, but Will was way up. At this point I still didn't know it was him though, and had the thought in my mind that he might come back. At the end of Normandy Village, we turn left around Fall Hill Avenue and get onto the canal path. I knew this, Joey knew this. Will did not. I couldn't see the volunteer when he got to the corner, but Bob Lang and his lead truck went right (as they had to) and so did Will. I knew it was about to happen before it did, and yelled immediately "Wrong way!" I didn't see him turn around but knew that he would too. Joey and I went left in the lead now and I said "There goes our integrity." He didn't respond.

I want to win this race, but certainly not because the front runner took a wrong turn. There is no victory in that. Will caught up to me while Joey had a 3-meter lead. He passed with authority, and I knew better than to try to go with him. I was happy with the pace I was running. Joey tried to go with him, but it didn't last long, and before mile 3, we were back in place and Will was motoring away. The third mile was 5:23, as I guess I subconsciously slowed down when we got onto the canal path to let him catch us. Stupid, but irrelevant.

I tried to pass Joey for the first time, but he held even with me. So I backed off for a moment and went again. He responded, so I went again immediately and started to open up a gap. I don't think I really accelerated after that point, but Joey had burned out trying to go with Will when he passed us, I suppose, and didn't have anything left to challenge me. My left hamstring wasn't feeling good, so I just focused on maintaining. I ran the rest of the way to the finish line scared. Mile 4 was 5:19 and Will was getting farther ahead. I didn't want to look back because I was hurting, and I wanted to get that 2nd place yet again. I tried to stay smooth. Someone at the old Kenmore Cleaners yelled "Go Buck!" Debates raged later as to if that person though that I went by Buck or if they thought that yelling my dad's name would serve as motivation-- a true mystery. Seeing the clock at the finish line was the first time I'd thought about the total time, and ended with a 5:17 to run 26:34. A pretty good time for me in July.

After finishing, I talked to Will (to confirm his identity) and my family before going to cool down with Will. I was in high spirits and happy with the way the race had gone. You can't be too disappointed about running an even race and losing to a better runner. I collected my $50 happily and went about my day with the streak of runner up finishes resumed.

2005 - 2nd, 27:06 (Brian Beil)
2006 - 2nd, 27:10 (Jason Lewis)
2007 - 2nd, 26:56 (Ryan Deak)
2008 - 2nd, 27:17 (Tim Young)
2009 - 2nd, 27:21 (Pat Quinn)
2010 - 2nd, 26:36 (Tim Young)
2011 - 3rd, 27:21 (Joey Murray)
2012 - 2nd, 26:34 (Will Christian)

KC and I then spent the day at my mom's house eating shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes, drinking some Bud Light Limearitas. It was so hot outside that we had to spend some time just sitting inside with the AC. Thursday morning we woke up early and drove to the beach and I took a week off of running. Friday or Saturday I did go running with KC for about 3 miles and we played 18 holes of golf on Friday morning.

My first run back was on Thursday the 12th. I did 6 miles and it was so exhausting. I started out really slow, around 7:30 pace, and then just under 7 minute pace for the rest of the way, but I was sore. After 5 miles, my quads were burning. I stretched for a long time but was exhausted afterwards for the whole day. Friday, I went out for an easy 11 miles too, and felt much better during the run than I did the day before, and averaged 7 minutes the whole way after two very slow first miles. Afterwards I felt as though I'd run a marathon. Stairs were hard to walk up. Neither of these runs were done particularly early in the morning, so it was hot for sure. I ran this morning too, even later, and did another 6, but slower than the two previous days. My legs are tired but they will rebound. I'm glad I took the week off because I got to sleep in each day and am having a very nice time at the beach. Next week I'll start doing workouts for RMR, and in a week we've got the Tribal Quest race and the Mental Health 5K before moving on August 1. I'm excited!

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