Sunday, May 20, 2007

Emily's Bedford 12k Race Report

Thought I'd revive the blog with a little racing story.

The start of the Bedford 12k was very tight. Sure, it was a 2-lane road. But those 2 lanes were for skinny Mini Cooper cars or something. The road was slim and there were a lot of runners. I couldn't even elbow my way to the very front; I settled for a spot where I could at least see the line through about three people's legs in front of me.

The gun went off and I nearly tripped a guy in the first hundred meters. I went out fast. I didn't have my watch on; I figured between marathon recovery, this week's not-nicely-paced workout, and lack of recent races that I didn't want to look at a watch. I knew I wouldn't pace well. I just stuck with the top three women for the first mile. We went through the mile at 5:32 (luckily Bruce Davie called out the right time; the clock said 4:51!).

I pulled ahead a little and ran with some guys for a few miles. The race went up and down rolling hills and over a dirt road. I didn't get anymore splits but I saw the mile markers roll by. By mile 6, I was tired but not dead. My legs still functioned but they felt flat - in a rhythm, a rhythm that was slowing down.

Just before mile 7, Molly Taber flashed by in her powder blue MVS jersey. My legs didn't feel great but I figured I'd throw in a surprise. I think most people pass and expect an instant win - so when you fight back and throw in a surge, it throws them off. So I surged. Then she surged. Then I surged. Then she surged. Finally after this battling there were 100 meters left.

I thought about all the reasons why I should win. It was Bruce's birthday and I was away from him for a half-day and figured I better make it worthwhile. I wanted to get the mental disappointment of the marathon out of my head with a win. I wanted GBTC to win over MVS. I wanted to celebrate the second anniversary of having my abs chopped and guts rearranged (very much related to Bruce's birthday). Anyway, I had my reasons. And I was convinced that my reasons were better than hers.

So I mustered a sprint - the full arm-pumping, leg-driving, quick-turnover sprint that is very unfamiliar to me. I can't remember the last time I whipped out a sprint like that. It's been a long time. Not even the Northeastern 10k had a sprint like this.

The sprint worked. I crossed the finish in 43:41, which I found out later was three seconds off the course record. Dangit. We exchanged "good race" comments and she threw in "you've got some speed," which is a comment I don't hear often.

GBTC ended up in second place, although we definitely fielded a deeper team. We finished four girls in front of their third and all seven before their sixth. Maybe next time...


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