At the boat ramp, I saw Anita Horn, Katie Jones, and then my son, Forrest. I saw a few other people too like Timmy Farrish from Louisville who is at every race I do. I walked a little over a mile to get there and warm up after I was there.
|MDCC Greenwood peeps|
When the horn sounded, I was determined not to go out too hard. Occasionally I would glance at my Garmin, and I saw the pace slowly ease downward from a 12:something to an 11:something to a 10:and change. Eventually I went through the first mile at an average pace of 9:51 per mile. Forrest was out in front of me, but in sight maybe 100 meters ahead.
Around mile two, I caught Forrest and eased in front of him. He tried to respond. I pressed the pace just a bit. The second mile average was 9:40. I was feeling pretty good but breathing hard, very hard.
Forrest and I fought fiercely during mile three. We were south on the Boulevard. He passed me and then a little latter he stopped to walk. I passed and listened for him. I heard him start back. I could hear him clear his throat from time to time. I heard him draw near. I pressed every time he did. Eventually, I heard his voice back about twenty or thirty meters. Now I had the advantage of fear. Fear is a big kick in the butt, let me tell you. My third mile spit was 9:31, still easing downward.
Mile four was where I began to feel it. We crossed the bridge into downtown and hit the linear park off Main Street and headed west. When we turned onto to park, I looked back and caught a glimpse of Forrest about 100 meters behind. I then knew I could win if I kept pushing. My fourth mile split was a disappointing 10:14. I was slowing down. Was Forrest gaining on me?
People started passing me on mile five. I tried to hold them off and imagined Forrest creeping up on me. That split was 10:49, but when we made another turn I got a chance to look back. Forrest had slowed more than me and was at least 150 meters behind.
Mile six was mostly on River Road. At that time of day, it has some shade. I tried to hold up. In fact, when I got down around the courthouse, I picked up the pace. My footfalls and breathing matched, and for just a little bit, I felt like a real runner, like I was young again. It did not last, of course. Mile six's split was 10:37, a slight rebound.
When I turned onto the bridge and headed north back towards the finish line, I knew I had beaten Forrest and Randy Beets. I tried to simply hold up, not slow down drastically. The final leg, .15. was at a 9:13 pace. Hey, I picked it up. I went across the line in 1:02:09. I never thought I would be proud of doing a 10K in over an hour, but I was happy.
|Forrest and me before the start|
My average pace was 10:06 per mile. That is what I was hoping for but was unsure of because my training paces have been so slow. I knew a taper and an event always makes a big difference, but things are not like they used to be. When I wore a young man's T-shirt, there would be about a minute per mile between my training pace and my race pace. Now there is about three and a half minutes between the two. Go figure. I don't know what to make of that, but it appears that is the new normal.
All in all it was a good day and I had a good time. I must admit that I enjoy beating my son. I am not ready to pass the torch yet. That day will come, I know. But not now. Thank you, Jesus.