photo by Tom Cole
Location: Gloucester, MA
Goal Time: 39:28
Actual Time: 39:24 (PR!)
In the Chinese Zodiac, 2014 is the Year of the Horse; in my zodiac it is the Year of the 10K. After James Joyce Ramble in April, BAA in June and Beach to Beacon in August, I wrapped up the Year of the Horse/10K with the Lone Gull 10K.
Like last year, Lone Gull was again the USATF-NE championship. This means there were lots of FAST people. It also means there is a cluster at the start line. One is never quite certain where to line-up. You don't want to be too far back and end up going out too slow; however, you also don't want to be "that guy" getting in everyone's way.
Over the years, I have learned some things from racing. One rule is: It's better to go out way too slow than a little bit too fast. So, while the two T's - Tommy and Tim - pushed their way closer to the front (as they should have), the two M's - Mark & Matt - and I stood our ground halfway to the back.
The first and last mile of the race is along a beautiful Cape Ann stretch of coast that came right off the cover of Yankee Magazine. So while Matt and I played it cool, I was able to look around this beautiful coastline and soak in the fleeting of summer and the whispers of Autumn.
Triple Lindy Maneuver
In the "classic" 80s comedy Back to School, the second lead's foil Chas (played by William Zabkra - Ralph Macchio's foil in The Karate Kid) feign's a leg cramp ("probably menstrual"). This forces the coach to go to his alternate roster and bring Rodney Dangerfield out to attempt the impossible - as surprisingly well known dive - "triple lindy."
Needless to say, Dangerfield performs the outlandish dive, jumping from the 10 meter platform to a diving board then side flipping to another board, slide flipping to a third, back flipping and landing on the same board before completing the dive. He of course wins the diving meet and leads to a denouement where Dangerfield and his son get their girls and Dangerfield gives the keynote speech at his son and Tony Stark's graduation complete with freeze frame...
The Triple Lindy has led to several unanswered questions...
1. Why are there so many people at a diving meet? Especially for a team that is about to set the record for most loses in a year?
2. Why would the hot girl from Deep Space Nine really break up with Chas for the second lead in the first place?
3. Did Dangerfield do his own stunts? It doesn't seem like it could possibly be a stunt double doing the flips.
But I digress...
At a mile and a half I leapt from the 10m platform of starting pace into "race pace." Mariah was maybe 50 yards ahead of me. I used her as a marker and set the goal to catch her by mile one. (Yes, this is the exact plan that failed miserably during the GMAA 15K). This time however, it worked. I caught up with Mariah. We chatted a bit. I knew soon after the 2 mile mark, there was a stretch to get some speed. So, as we hit that bit, I hopped onto the next springboard. This was some guy who just came flying by us. So, I tailed him for about as long as I could, until I was in reach of Matt Story. I then set the goal, catch Matt by the 5k mark. This meant that the guy in the ING shirt was now heading off ahead (but, at a pace I could not have kept).
I caught Matt right at the 3 mile mark. We had a briefer, less intelligible conversation than Mariah and I had had. I could barely speak. But, after I had caught my breath and lowered my heartrate a bit, I was ready to attack the 4th (and hardest) mile. While it was my slowest "race pace" mile, I probably worked the hardest here. I knew if I could get through this, it would be downhill for a while and I could get ready to assault the end of the race.
Mile 6 was into the wind and slightly uphill. This is where my newly discovered lessons between "running" and "racing" have come into play. This pain is temporary, just drive through for another 7 minutes... then another 6 minutes. At one point I realized I had less than one kilometer to go. I knew there was just a short hill at the 6 mile mark and I knew it was a good downhill after.
That last K, I didn't battle the wind or the hill or any people. I just let my effort be as high as I could give and let the race come to me. The wind disappeared; with a little jump start, the hill evaporated and was made plain. The final 0.2 was a recovery downhill and then a steady building up to a sprint as I chased down one guy from Boston Community Running - my last springboard target. I came across in a personal record - 39:24; and in the movie in my head - FREEZE FRAME.
There were tons of PRs
Those I remember:
"Maple Leaf Joe" Lauer
Urvi had a decade PR
The Men's Masters Team took fourth on the day. My back of the envelope math puts us in fourth overall for the series and with a good showing at the ManCity Marathon, we should be able to lock that up.
"...and ANOTHER thing, Vonnegut, I'm stopping payment on the check!"