Meditations on my Second Running of the Tracksmith Denver 5000
The starting pistol fired. I hit the timer on my watch. Everyone began to run. Two more shots. "Everyone stop!" The equipment was not ready.
We walked back to the start. Nerves settled. The pain is still sure to come.
At the second start I make my way behind the 22 minute pacer. He's running shoulder to shoulder with another racer - Emily. I'm running close. I hope I don't step on Emily's shoes.
This first 200 feels slow. I lap my watch. Damn it was a half second fast.
The next 200 is surely slow. But, there is no way to break through the pacer-emily wall. It's just as well. The artificial speed limit might be a good thing in a few laps. I glance down at my watch. 54 seconds. Definitely slow.
The next 200. Calm down. How does this feel?
Keep your head up. Work with the pacer and Emily.
1:49. Very slow, but I think we can make it up. Damn this pacer.
The next 400. Time to lock in.
1:43. Found the pace.
The next 400.
1:43. Emily is not going to make it.
The next 400, 800, 1200... where am I?
I keep lapping my watch - 1:45, 1:45, 1:43, 1:44.
Keep your shoulders relaxed. Feels like the first 200 of each lap is slow and the back 200 is fast.
The announcer says four laps to go. Why is he tricking me?
"Ready to turn your brain off?" asks the pacer.
Jesus, I can't turn it that off. There are still four laps left.
800 meters left. I'm going to PR. I don't even need to speed up. Time to be grateful.
You don't get to race everyday. You don't get to PR every race.
Time to speed up.
200 left. I can kick.
100 left. I kick hard.
The watch says 21:42.