Last race of my 20s was my first 8K ever (seriously, 8K? whatever). Oddly enough, had I turned 30, I would have come in first in my AG. But I was still in my 20s. So as it was, I came in 3rd in my AG.
So how’d the day go? I woke up at 7 (after waking up at 12:30, 2:15, (and despite not thinking I had fallen back to sleep, again at 5:55)). Got in my car and drove south to Westport, MA, for what Matt Corr and I (both being of the May birthday) had dubbed the #birthdaybashdash. He’s a much faster runner than I am, but that doesn’t stop me from talking shit. Got down to the race site, pulled on my swiftwick socks (love) and Pearl Izumi isoTransitions (swoon) and warmed up. Then I got my number. Since I know the Racemenu crew, and they knew my birthday was coming up, they gave me #30 (awesome).
I wasn’t feeling great and knew that it wouldn’t be my day to back up the trash talk. But hey, it’s a race and races do strange things to your system. Race started and two guys went off really quickly, like headed south of 5:10 pace quickly. No way I would keep up with them. As we got to the first turn, I looked down at my watch and saw it had me at 5:25 pace. Less than a quarter mile in, and I knew I had to back off the gas. No way I’m carrying that pace for 5 miles, not on my current fitness. So I backed off. Maybe I’m getting smarter in my old age?
Miles 1-4 saw Matt receding into the distance IN FRONT OF ME. I wasn’t feeling great, but decided that going slower and still running was better than being chickenshit and walking. So I kept going. And around mile 4, I realized Matt wasn’t getting farther away, but closer, so I picked up the pace. And then he looked back. He looked back, saw me, and picked it up too. In the end, I’d finish 7 seconds behind him, and 14 seconds behind 1st place AG (and 3.5 minutes behind 1st place OA). All in all… not horrible. I’ll take it. And now… I’ll never race in that AG again. Good riddance. Onward and upward (at least age wise).