Saturday, February 18, 2012
I've got a neighbor who took up running in the last 9 months or so. Chris King is a hard working entrepreneur who would readily admit he had gotten a little chubby. Now I'm the first to admit that my body is soft and I could stand to lose about 10 more pounds. Chris needed to lose about 30 when I left for California in 2010.
When I got back last summer I noticed that Chris had slimmed down considerably. He was fit and getting fitter, downright ripped as a matter of fact. Not bad for a guy approaching his 50th birthday.
So this Saturday night happens to be when they put on the biggest local 5K right before the Edison Festival of Lights parade. It's a lot of fun because it's run right before dusk, usually in great weather and in front of an appreciative crowd along the entire out and back course.
I wasn't sure if I would run Edison this year. I lost nearly a month of training with a hamstring problem that plagued me in January. But I knew I needed a rust buster if I'm going to tackle a big local half marathon in another couple of weeks. I went to the race hoping to run faster than I did the last time two years ago even though I had fewer miles under my belt for the year.
Then there was the Czarina egging me on. She wanted me to race because Chris was running as well. I think she is trying to stir up a little rivalry with the neighbor. Far be it for me to disappoint her.
When the gun went off I felt out of sorts. I thought I got off pretty well but then a guy in my age group rolled by me after the first quarter, a guy I normally beat and I knew I had to get moving. I never felt quite right and when I hit the mile in just a touch over 7 minutes I thought maybe I can hang on and run low 22's which wouldn't be half bad. But it wasn't to be.