I quickly maneuvered past the recreational walkers and settled into a good racing pace, one that I knew I could maintain for the full distance. I could see the crippled runner up ahead of me and noted that he was staying just about the same distance in front of me and not pulling away. At the 1.6K mark I was starting to close in on him. When we reached a point about ¼ mile from the turnaround, I had caught up and we began to talk. He was a former track coach and had been running marathons for quite awhile. He was exploring the possibility of changing over to racewalking if his injuries didn’t heal as expected.
We enjoyed the conversation and it kept us moving along without any strain. I still maintained the pace I started with and I think I helped him to keep up as well. When we got to the parking lot and close to the finish line, he indicated that I should make a dash for it as he wasn’t going to…I accelerated away and crossed the finish line in an ET of 37:49, which would be about a 12.09 minute per mile average for me. And I liked that!
I wasn’t tired and I knew I could have gone faster, but I had enjoyed the talk of races, past, present and future and that was better.
The cold? I decided to go with short sleeved shirt and running shorts, expecting that the walk would have me heated up pretty fast and I was right. I never did sweat, though I was right at the verge most of the time.
And afterwards I was really pumped...so on the way home I turned the radio up, real loud, and listened to arias from the opera "Aida". Perfect!