Polka Perspective/Spongeworthy

The day began at 05:30. Oh, it was tough getting out of bed. Dan picked me up around 06:30 and we navigated through the dense fog for about 45 minutes to the town of Havana. By the time we hit the outskirts of town I was getting nervous. Not because I worried about the organizers running out of their awesome shirts but because I hadn’t pre-registered and registration closed at 07:30. We made it in plenty of time for me to get a medium shirt, hit the basement of the gymnasium for relief, and get a good warm-up with plenty of sprints.

Jeep goes Polka

My goal was sub-21:00 and to pace myself. Lance C. and I lined up in the 3rd row pledging to pace each other to a sub-21:00 5K. Before I could finish blowing my nose the race started. I was caught off guard but quickly settled into my anticipated 06:35/mile pace. This lasted until the downhill at which point I lengthened my stride and let my legs just fall to the ground. An old Jedi cycling trick. I was amazed at how slow people were going on the downhill. (A descent is free miles with little effort.) At this point I lost Lance but I knew he would settle into a rhythm behind me considering his strong showing at Abe’s Amble.

Cresting the hill Nyles R. passed me so I tried to stay on his wheel. I went through mile 1 at 06:19. A little fast but I felt strong. I settled into another rhythm and lost Nyles but caught up to Danoh. I stayed on Dan’s wheel until we took the final left hand turn into the straightaway. I began to struggle but my Garmin read 06:33/mile for an average pace. This livened my spirits enough to hang with Lance C. as he passed me on the final stretch. I thought he would pull me up to Dan but I lost contact and he eventually finished a couple of seconds behing Dan as Dan picked up his pace in the final 100 meters.

I stopped the clock in 20:03. About 40 seconds under my previous PR. I was pretty happy with my effort but disappointed at getting passed by 2 people in the last block. I will try to improve on my finishing kick. It turns out that 1 of the people that passed me at the finish was in my age group knocking me into 4th in my group. The irony is that Dan, Lance, and I almost finished 1-2-3 (except for my poor showing) and finished within 15 seconds of each other.

The post-race party was fun as usual with the beer tents opening at 09:00. Dan and I got some good interviews so stay tuned for an intersting podcast. You won’t have to be bored by listening to us ramble. The drive home was memorable. Still buzzed with adrenaline, happy with a PR and sore legs, the top down, the sun shining, and listening to Kid Rock. The 05:30 wake up call doesn’t seem so bad now.

The perfect end to a long day was meeting some HardyBreeds down at Marley’s Pub to listen to Spongeworthy. Leah and John, Julie and Dan, Christy and Lance, Kim and KC, and even ex-HardyBreed Boston were in attendance. The band was phenomenal and the crowd thick. I probably drank too much but the ambiance was surreal. It’s not everyday you get to see a rabbit dancing on the bar.