Show Your Mettle

The Worcester FD6K gave out medals this year. This bemuses me to no end. I always thought you had to run something a little longer – say, 13 or 26 miles – in order to earn hardware. No matter. I’m not about to turn down the shiny bling because it was “just” a 6K.

Remember how I said the Noodle was my first race actually running with someone? I take it all back. Now that I think of it, that wasn’t a real race. When the bumble bee had to walk I sort of jogged to wait for her. Never came to a complete stop and, and. And! I even let her come across the finish line before me. I look back on that race as Whatever.
The WFD6K was something else. I was supposed to run with Stealth last year. I’m not sure what happened but he ran his race and I ran mine. I finished a few seconds before him and ever since then I’ve known he’s my match.
First things first. I need to set the stage: weather was sunny, a bit blowy as my Australian friend would say (gusts up to 40mph – sound familiar?), a little on the cool side. Perfect…except for the wind. Before the start Stealth and I agreed – if one of us felt stronger than the current pace we should let the other go. For some reason I was counting on him to ditch me by mile three. What I wasn’t counting on was the congestion. It’s a walk AND run so you get all kinds of people. We spent more energy dodging strollers, lovebirds and those who insisted on stopping dead in their tracks for whatever reason. At one point we were running in the grass just to get away from the herd.

Here’s the thing. Remember how I said I expected Stealth to take off? Every time I thought I lost him he was right with me. I learned to look to my left to locate him. Just a glance at my feet and I would find his, just two steps behind. The only time I truly detached from  him was at the very end. As I surged up the final hill I had a sense he wasn’t there. I couldn’t find his feet. Turns out, he was four seconds behind. Our times: 33:06 & 33:10 🙂 He said I pushed him but I thought he pushed me. Now, that’s a running partner.

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Categories: Confessional, running | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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