Sunday, May 3, 2009

Supreme Victory (over a nice kid with Celiac disease)

It's been just under two weeks since Boston. I've run 43 miles in those last 13 days - a far cry from the end of Feb-March when I was running at least four times that amount in the same number of days. It is a good thing - my body needs to rest - the first day that I felt really "normal" was yesterday.

That being said - my mind isn't so ready to give way to this period of "rest". I have a bit of a competitive side - it's hard for me to sit on the sidelines when there are so many races in the area. So, I registered for the "Making Tracks for Celiac 10k" here in Baltimore. In a compromise between my rational self and my competitive self, I planned on running more of an escalation workout than a true race. The plan was to start out over six minute pace and drop down each mile so that I was only really running all out only the last two miles - when I would let my competitive self take over and have its fun.

The race developed pretty much as I had hoped - except for the cold rain. My first mile was 6:08 - roughly the same pace as the heartbreak hill at Boston - except a lot more comfortable : ) The course was mostly within Patterson Park - a series of turnbacks and loops that made me want to keep the leaders in site so I wouldn't get lost. Over the next few miles my pace dropped to 5:53 and then the 5:40's. By now the 5k runners were long gone - and I saw one runner in front of me.

At mile four I really started to push the pace - and I passed the leader soon after. Taking the lead can put you slightly off balance - because you no longer have someone in front of you to focus on. I was taught to always pass the leader with a surge - then they are much more likely to just let you go. The second place guy stayed close enough to hear his footsteps for about a half-mile and then I started to pull away. My last 2.2 were in 11:24 (about 5:10 pace).

It was nice to stretch out the legs a little, win a race, and get a little money. At least that's how I felt until the awards ceremony. As the MC announced the top 3 names he asked the second place finisher (a high school kid who was very nice after the race) to come over. Apparently the kid is a 17 year old from Chevy Chase, MD and has run many of the Celiac races around the country - mostly because he has Celiac. Even more impressive he has won most of the races he has entered. So, basically they could have had a great story (the winner being a kid with Celiac) and I had to spoil the fun.

I never want to turn into one of those guys who are so addicted to victory that they find every opportunity for a "W". The most notorious guy like this lives in Northern VA. His most reprehensible victory was in a mile track race. Allegedly, he outkicked a 12 year old girl and then pumped his fist Tiger Woods style after he crossed the finish line. Not that I'm anywhere close to being that bad - but, today made me ponder how dark that part of me might be. I don't feel "awesome" about the race - but, I feel kinda good. Is that a bad thing?

Well, now that I got my competitive itch scratched - I'm going to try to keep to easy miles for most of the month of May. But, who am I kidding - I'm not making any promises.

Last week
Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday: 0 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 6 miles
Sunday: 6.5 miles
Total: 31.5 miles

Next week
Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 4 miles
Total: 37 miles

1 comment:

RM said...

Ben, you'll have to tell me who this NoVA runner is...I have a feeling I know but you don't have to shout it out on the blog.

Anyway, while you may feel marginally guilty about ruining the kid's fun, whatever. I would have personally been more disappointed in you for letting him win. I know a W may not matter as much, but you have to make people earn wins.