Standard dozen

Even the less than ideal conditions, couldn’t keep our standard dozen runners (or so) from showing up to suffer through another Tuesday lunch hour.  There were 12 of us (to be precise) that met at the Park entrance a little past Noon.  The wind was blowing and the clouds were drizzling.  This was to be our third installment of the two-mile time trial.  It really does become quite the perfect gauge of early season fitness.  The course never changes, traffic is never an issue, and there are always people to push the limits.  The one variable is the weather, but even that doesn’t affect the overall times very much.

Some of us shed some clothes between the start/ finish lines and we lined up.  It only takes one guy to lean forward and we are very informally started.  The start always seems to feel good (partly because it’s downhill and mostly because nobody’s anaerobic… yet).  Bill and Mike took it out pretty quick and were rolling down the first quarter.  Greg and I were not too far behind and quite content to let those guys go.  Greg and I went through the half in a very predictable (I say predictable because that is where I thought we were) 2:54.  Nothing shocking.  Bill and Mike were probably 5 seconds ahead of us.  The pace was uncomfortable, but not “blow up” uncomfortable.  I could tell at one point by the pond that they were coming back to us.  I only mention this because it was unusual for us to make up ground because we hadn’t picked up the pace and they certainly weren’t suffering.  In retrospect, I think they just slowed down a bit (and not for long).  Greg and I continued through the mile in 5:48 and then the hill started.  Bill had planned to run just the first mile tough and then ease up a bit.  Mike really started to turn the screw and he was in full stride.  There was no chasing him.  I really focused on trying to keep up my pace and for the most part I was able to.  I finished up in 11:09 and Mike was at least 20 seconds ahead of me.  Greg and Bill finished right behind me.  Looking back just a little bit was Gilmore.  He had an incredible run.  There was a constant stream of runners coming down the final stretch for the next two minutes.  It was really great to see so many runners show up in such poor conditions.  Everyone seems to be getting faster.

Next week, I am out of town (family vacation).  I propose 8 repeat miles in the park at your 5K Race Pace.  If you’d rather do something else, post your suggestions here.  Otherwise, bring your racing flats and take some personal time for next Tuesday (4/7).