Monday, March 25, 2013
At least from my perspective.
This is pasted from my forum entry on LiveFitRevolution:
I'm really tired and sore today but I had a great race yesterday. What made it great was beautiful weather and a superior running companion.
I usually find myself a spot in the back third of the starting pack and go with the flow until things open up a bit. About a mile into the 15K we were running uphill and there were some opportunities for me to find my pace. I was found myself beside a guy who didn't seem to be putting a whole lot of effort into what he was doing. He says to me "What's your hurry? You've got plenty of bigger ones ahead." I said "I just want to make sure I don't find out I should have asked for the early start." Since I was already moving about as fast as I could maintain, I figured it would be up to him pull ahead. He just started talking to me. When he saw me check a lap time on my Garmin, he commented that he didn't use the new technology. In fact he did not wear a watch during a race. When I told him that I lived in relative isolation and the Garmin and race results were pretty much my only feedback, he started telling me how to run the the rest of the race. He described each hill and told me where to expect little plateaus that weren't visible from a distance. It seemed like everyone knew him. He talked to people in passing cars, volunteers, everyone we passed and a few who passed us. He flirted with all the woman in a gentlemanly way. All this time, he never seemed to have a labored breath. At some point I just came out and told him that he shouldn't hold back on my account and that I could stop letting him pull me along. But he said it was fine and kept on talking about things like breathing, and keeping "nose over toes" on the downhills. This was the 40th annual Forks XV race and he told me that he had run every one of them.
There was a good downhill at the beginning of the in the last half mile and he says "Well, here goes." and without seeming to speed up, put eleven seconds between us. We introduced ourselves to each other at the finish line and then he disappeared into a crowd of friends.
When I got home I looked him up on Athlinks. The man is six years older than me. Last year he ran five marathons and has run 54 since 1998, all the major US races. I'm not giving his name, but that's out of nearly 200 officially recorded events.
By the way, even with all that talking, my chip time was 01:25:48 or a 9:13 pace. Slowest mile was 10:01.
My accidental companion was a real inspiration and I hope to continue that relationship in some fashion.
For April, I have a 5K, a 10K, and the Strava "Run your own Marathon Challenge" lined up.