Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Race A Train? Sure! Why Not!

I woke up very VERY late this morning [5:39AM to be exact]. There was no WAY I was gonna miss another bright, dry and cool morning, as I had yesterday. I got out of bed as stealthily as I could, but I happened to wake up D'Wife in spite of my best efforts.

"Are you going to run?" she asked. Before I could reply, she added "Have a good one."

With that thought in my head and a smile, I eased through my punk-yoga stretching routine and slipped out the back door [I've been using the slider to not wake her up by going out the front door, which is sort of below our bedroom].

It was almost exactly 6AM when I tucked my cross necklace around behind my back [it rattles around less that way] and started off

I did some math and decided today was only going to be three miles; but for FUN it was to be a FAST three miles … well moderately fast. My primary goal was NOT to get stuck on the other side of the RR tracks when the NJ Transit train came by at 6:24; my secondary goal was to already be home by then.

I made the first daily checkpoints in good time – stoplight at 5 minutes; Blessed Mother at 9 minutes. I didn’t stop to say my “Hail Mary” today, but did a “rolling” one to save time. For success, I thought should make it to the mile-and-a-half marker at 12:30 or so [even when I’m using my watch, I’m still kinda sketchy about pacing myself to the clock]. I rolled up the crossing at the ballfield and made the right-hand turn at 6:12:something.

“Halfway out, halfway back” I said to myself.

As much as I wanted to hammer this stretch [it always feels so inviting to just drop the hammer here, for some reason] I held to my pace. The birds in the overgrowth in the chainlink protecting the tracks were my little cheering section.


I reached the turn onto the big street home at the 16-minute mark. This is where my Left Side of My Brain – who’d been semi-conscious this morning keeping the time-checks, such as they were; versus totally unaware like on most mornings, when Right Side takes over and just runs around looking at all the pretty clouds and all - woke up and started “Math-ing”

“Sixteen minutes done, and you usually get from the light back home in 5 [well, to get TO the light, if you know what I mean] so that’s 21, giving you 3 minutes to get from here to there for 24 or 4 minutes for 25, which makes more sense, unless you can get back home from the light in less than 5, but it's a little less than a whole mile, so …”

And so on …

I was fortunate enough to arrive at the intersection just as the light turned green for me and I was able to get across without breaking stride, just as it was. The last few hundred yards were an exercise if both maintaining my effort and trying NOT to look like a slow old man for the Public School kids waiting for the bus.

I set my arms in motion to muscle a few seconds off the clock … 6:24 was the time I looking to come in, but I wasn’t sure what the rounding would work out to [I had started the timer on my watch, but forgot when seconds-wise]. Figuring I’d be on the late side to 24 minutes I chugged up the little rise to the end of my street, took the corner like a champ and sprinted as best as I could for the driveway. I reached over and hit the “STOP” button as soon as I passed the mailbox.

Totally out of breath – and happily so – I made several little counterclockwise turns across the street in front of my house, before strolling up the to the porch, kicking off my shoes and grabbing my beverage and iPod. Just before I put the buds in my ears, I heard the horn of the NJ Transit train I was “racing”

“First of all; you’re late” I whispered to the locomotive and its commuter cars, almost a mile away, “Second of all …

“I would have beaten you, anyway!!!”


The Details [for people who are into that sort of thing]

Time: 6:00 AM
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 23:36
Pace: 7:37 minutes / mile

Yeah, that's a new v2.0 5K PR!!!

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