Race day at Groton MA.
I was reeling in the brain right out of the REM stage. I was highly anxious and was hoping this would be a good indicator of current fitness level. I'm not worried about my mental game, I got more confidence than a beach has sand, I was curious about my physical ability to roll.
I know the course enough to know that... I don't remember the course at all except for the first mile through town, a mile where I dropped a 4:40 mile in the Grand Prix 10k (ages ago), and a finish on a track where I blew doors down, setting a course record which still stand at 31:23. That's enough to remember, right?
I knew Pat Moulton was going to be there and chatted it up with him before hand to see what his plans would be. Pat is legit, and I running a marathon in Providence next week, so he will know where his fitness is.
I have been gaming with Pat since middle school and the days of CYO hoops. Keene vs. Pelham, always balling... Then XC clashes in high school, then... Never again, bc Pat went to college and has been wringing out taints ever since. And I wish we could have laced them up for some hoops instead of a rolling hills 10k with wicked wind. we discussed a great plan, run together and not let anyone else win. I liked this plan, but was concerned about my job. I knew I was in some form of shape, and was praying to be in between 32:00-32:30. I felt this to be fair and accurate (as of right now).
We spotted another BAA runner, Tim Guerin, and this is where I knew the plan may have some opposition.
The race went out and I felt that the pace was hot. It wasn't. It was just Pat, Tim and I. We hit the first mile in 5:08, but truly felt like a 4:45... Alarm, in head, says cuss. I immediately felt better a quarter mile later as we climbed a little roller, but by the next half mile knew I was in for a day of work. It was windy, but windy for them too, and I was having a little difficulty hanging at the pace. My next mile was around 5:12, and I felt this was going to be my pace for the day. My effort was honest and that was going to be my race. Little did I know, I was slowing down substantially over he next two miles. The gap between Pat and Tim wasn't too far, my effort was mirrored, but cuss cuss I was not running as fast as my effort perceived. The fourth mile took for cussing ever and I had to do something to break out of this, high effort slow pace. I dropped a 4:48 mile to catch back up to within striking difference, but did a little too much in closing the gap. I was still slowly gaining, but would never have enough in the tank to win.
It seemed Pat decide to chill the last 1200m and I wanted to make a push to run in with him. So, once again, I drag everything I had to try and run with Pat. This effort made it so I was within 2 seconds of Pat when we hit he track. I thought it would be funny to catch up to him, but in all this effort, I neither fully caught him or was able to run with him. I had the throttle down, that once I was close I was gassed and empty and had to let up. That move was all she wrote. Haha. We finished: Tim, then Pat, then Mr. Beautiful (I had more white fluid on my neck then Jenna Jamison after an encounter with the Cincinnati Bengals).
On the cool down, I then proceed to tell Pat that I could have caught him, i couldn't have, open mouth insert foot... He seemed to get a kick out of this and busted my balls right back.
It was a big effort and good place to tweak some training the next two weeks.
Is it better to be a has been? Or a never was?