Note: This entry is retro-posted.
July 30 was a hot evening as we headed over to Maudslay. It was so hot that we only did a 9-minute warm up. Alan and I were both going for the W. We stood around for a few minutes stretching and watching people accumulate, and soon there was the call to go to the starting line. I was planning to run with whatever other female took it out in the lead.
At the sound of "go," a high school-looking girl took it out hard -- too hard, I thought. I waited about 100 meters, almost to the bottom of the downhill, then passed her. The funny thing was that Alan and the fastest guys were in one pack up ahead, and then I was leading this next pack. So it went, me and my merry band down the hill, over the bridge and up the next hill. A little boy (young high school or old middle school) was soon breathing down my neck. He breathed funny, in through his nose every breath. (I used to do this until I went to running camp the summer before eighth grade and they told us how much more air you get through your mouth.) He hung on right next to me. "Hello," I said, and he looked surprised. "Hi," he said, and kept breathing through his nose.
At 1.5 miles the little boys turned right to head to their finish line, and I headed to the left for the rest of the loop. I took a glance behind me and was shocked to see a high school girl and her coach right there behind me! Darn it. I surged around a corner and couldn't hear them any more. Fine. A little while later I heard the coach talking to her, closer than I had hoped. I sneaked another glance. They were still closer than I liked. I threw in another surge and told myself I would not look back again.
The rest of the race was solitary. I spied a guy up ahead, who must have fallen off of the front pack, but the gap between us did not change from the time I spotted him to the end of the race. I ran hard up the final hill and kicked to the end. I finished in 20:45, a 45-second improvement over last summer. The next female was about 90 seconds behind me. I immediately met Alan and we ran 7 minutes back to the car and jumped in, so as to make it back to the dining hall before it closed at 7:00.
10/16/17 PHD comic: 'Confusing Malaise'
15 hours ago