After Saturday’s poor performance I was ready for battle out in Central Park. The Poland Spring 5 Mile Marathon Kick-off is an exciting race as it marks the last event before the marathon!
Saturday night I made my Shrimp Fra Di Avlo again and again it rocked! I as in bed by Midnight.
I awoke at what seemed to be 6:30AM, but the light didn’t seem right. (I work for a watch company so I wear wristwatches) so I checked one and found that it was in fact 7:30AM! My ‘smart’ clock turned back the Fall Time a week early. Robots. I was meeting Ed, Jim and Ed’s neice Amanda at the bandshell at 8 so I had to hustle.
I rode my bike up to CP and found Jim at the spot. We locked our bikes up and he took off. SIDENOTE: Jim is running the marathon next week, so he was doing a training run on his own. He was trying to time his run to coincide with our finishes and as you will see, he did a pretty good job. I found Amanda and Ed down by the start and we gave the usual fist-pound of good luck.
I jumped in my corral kind of late so I was at the very back of the Blue Bibs.
As the gun went off it took me easily 7 seconds to cross the start line, meaning, I was stuck in the pack and had work to do. For some reason I like this. Similarly to when I used to drive and had to ‘bob-n-weave’ through traffic.
I took the left flank and started cruising just as I noticed this jacked-up guy with a tribal necklace and red shirt running at my pace. I decided to run with him. Our first mile was like 6:30! No good. We started to pick up the pace as the crowd thinned.
As we hit mile 3 I was just getting into the groove and feeling it. I also had my brand new racing flats on and was in heaven! (They have no heel really, so it keeps you pushed forward on your toes and mid foot, which is a run philosophy I believe in strongly. Ask me about it one day.) I had passed my pace buddy by this point and was trying to make up for lost time on mile 1.
Around mile 4 I was coming up the hill past the Boathouse when I heard “Yeah, go Baker!” It was Elizabeth (or Ms Ritz as many of you runners know her as) and I ran over and we high fived! Thanks Elizabeth. I actually really needed a push at that point and having people cheer you on boosts your energy.
Then, at mile 5 as Im rounding the south end to start gearing up for my finish who do I see? Robert, who was volunteering, yells “Go Baker!” Awesome, another running buddy! But then, the jacked guy I was pacing earlier passed me! Now, I would like to say that I am non competitive at times, but its so hard to control. How could I let this guy pass me after I passed him, illogical. Pushing on, he had an easy 20 yards on me and I was hurting.
As we started our approach to the finish by Tavern on the Green I saw Jim sidelined yelling at me! By this point there were 3 people between me and the jacked guy. I leaned forward on my tippy toes and started my sprint. (the feeling is similar to watching football drills where they are running through the tires with knees high, toes pointed down) I was cruising and I felt no pain, I was passing eveyone picking up speed along the way, with 2 meters to go I passed my guy!
The end sprint is by far my favorite part of racing. The problem is, saving up a little steam at the end for that kind of a finish… it doesn’t always work out as planned. I finished in 30:28 which was fine by me considering my previous day’s race disaster!
Jim ran down and gave me a high five, he was going to do anther lap and meet up with us around the time when Ed was finishing (like I said, he had the math down!)
After the race I was looking for the Medals that Jim said we get after this particular race… no dice.
I grabbed a water and headed to the finish to wait for the gang. Ed had not run a race in around 3-4 weeks (since the Grete’s Half Marathon) because his knee was being problematic, so I wasn’t sure at what time he would finish. He had said earlier that he was going to complete it, even if he had to crawl! Nice.
Around 54 minutes he came cruising through looking like everything was okay. He had said that it took 7 minutes to get to the start and sure enough his real time came back as 46:52! This is a record for him and not bad considering as he was coming off an injury. Amanda was right behind him with a time of 47:03.
Amanda, Jim, Ed and I shared some good stories about the race. In general, we were all pretty excited that we beat the guy in the banana suit. It was a great day for a run.