Good News Thrice Over

1. The day after I pondered what to pack for Chicago and remarked that it hadn't dropped below 70 since whenever - it was 66 when I went out to run Thursday. It was windy enough that I actually went back inside and dusted off a shirt to wear. It was a most pleasant tempo run of 4.7 miles at a 9:30 pace.

2. Friday I lamented to Mrs. T that Runner Susan had an e-mail confirmation and her race packet from Chicago already and I hadn't heard anything from them at all. "Yes you did," she said pulling some three day old mail out from under a pile she had started on the front table. Mrs. T doesn't know it but she earned 4 demerits for sitting on mail for two days and not saying anything. I mean she KNOWS we're going to Chicago; and I MIGHT be interested in any mail that comes from there. That's enough .......

3. I ran the Miracle Miles 15K this morning and it was a perfect high 60s kind of day with low humidity; a day you find around here in September about as often as Bin Laden is sighted.

One of my school principal runner friends asked what I would be shooting for. I said 9:15 miles, keeping expectations low. She told the others int he group I was fast so I dutifully excused myself and moved towards the front of the starting chute.

With 1,100 racers and from near 100 feet behind the start line, I took off at the gun to find to my utter amazement there were no slowpokes to weave around. I followed a few fasties across Orange Avenue and up Wisteria Ave, turning on Copeland Drive - right in front of our home from the 1980s (a Spanish Mediterranean two-story jewel on the lake and historic register).

I was pleased with my pace on the first mile (8:43) although the Garmin told me the mile was long by a little bit. I had said 9:15 pace to my friend but I really wanted to be doing 9:00s - or better. The second mile at 8:49 made me think many possibilities lay ahead of me.

I felt compelled and succeeded to drop into a steady pace without chasing anybody. I concentrated on keeping my breathing regular and my legs and arms going only forward and backwards - no drifting off a straight line or cross-body pumping. Miles 3-6: 8:55, 8:57, 9:05, 9:04. Nice.

Approaching the water stop at miles six I ate a Shot Blok and some golden raisins. By the time I reached the tables I was ready for a wash down with Powerade. I drank some at every stop, only slowing slightly.

Miles 7-9 are where rabbits go to die. I feared a loss of power, mental will and stamina. I worked to keep my stride correct and I found myself just gliding. I kept calming my breathing down so not to overwork. I was feeling very confident and after the first six miles in sub-9:00 pace, I had a notion about PR-ing when I was knocking off 8:53, 8:44 and another 8:44.

We ran by my old house again and the last three-tenths to the finish line. I crossed in 1:22:23 and knew I was sub 9:00 and thinking I might have PRed. I hardly felt spent.

I enjoyed the runner comradery and post-race snacks; saw my neighbor who finished third overall in the women's race. She was complaining about not beating the 2nd place person (she lost by eight seconds) so decided to run home from the race to be mad with herself. That was a good post-race 6.5 mile punishment. I picked up her 3rd place medal and prizes at the awards ceremony.

My time was a PR, by 2:03. I finished 7th in my age group out of 28, and 400th overall.

My reward? I have to go mow the grass and pull some weeds.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, man. When I was your age, I also was 56! The Svensen sisters would be proud of you!


Darrell said...

Nice job with the 15K PR. You made it sound almost easy.

Mowing and weeding sounds like punishement, I mean cross training.

Michelle said...

congratulations on your pr! you are a machine :)

jeanne said...

fantastic!! so THAT's what training does for a person!

mrs. t: very very bad!

chicago: start with shirt, toss it when you get hot. and then you'll BE hot. :)

Runner Susan said...

Very nice David - sub 9s is great. I wonder how that is going to affect your long run today? : )

We are going to do well in Chicago, I feel a PR for both of us.

I'm relieved you have your packet. I laughed when Mrs. T was hiding it from you.

My last 20 is done!

Joe said...

Ditto the congrats on the 15K.

What's really sweet about that run is how you had your head in it the whole way. Focus on form, knowing when you might break down, hitting your tangents, fueling correctly. Very cool.

BTW, I find most Garmins measure a mile shorter than the course. My (geeky) data on 8 different race courses, mile by mile, say a 1-3% shortage. Yours sounds consistent.

Have a great time in Chicago. Hope the Cubs are still playing when you are there.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, that is very impressive! No wonder you run off willy nilly doing 8 something minute miles sometimes! :) I think I could do 4 miles around 9 minutes each... and then I would surely die. Not to mention take a wrong turn. :P

Rae said...

Great job on the PR! I'm sure the cool weather in Chicago will help you onto a new marathon PR, too!

Just12Finish said...

"Where rabbits go to die" - I love it!