Gridiron 4M – when running gives me intense emotions

After a few weeks of slow training and low milage due to the move from 55 North Water to the new apartment, last week of January has been very intense in terms of training.
My body has not been accepting very well just above average efforts since Christmas; with the close proximity of some of my short term races, I opted to go heavy for a week, and see what I was willing to take.
Monday after the final clean up with Maria at the Jefferson apartment,I went for a recovery run, even though I had nothing to recover from the weekend. So it was more like a general aerobic run, to test the system and see if I was biomechanically working.
Tuesday was a hard test. I ran a few miles alone in CP and joined WS for the speedworkout. Lately we have been missing each other due to work schedules and business trips, so when 3 of the usual suspects showed up, I got really happy, and worried: anytime Seb, Paul and Charlie are around, I know (and we all know) that someone is getting his arse whipped. And whose arse are we talking about? Mine.
We did our 3 x 6min workout and even if the feelings were not exceptionally great (lack of core strength, too much belly bouncing, and lack of form during the effort) the pace was interesting, and I could hang just a few yards behind Charlie, while Paul and Sebastien were lost somewhere in the dark in front of us.
Wednesday brought a medium run in Norwalk that was meant to be easy, but became a bit challenging because I was feeling so good while running that I pushed the pace from 7:50 or so to a few low 6 min/mile.
Thursday was complete destruction when I started early, ran about 20 miles and could not do even the tempo with Paul cause I was too shot to do any better than 6:45 with him. However, Thursday was a chatarchic moment when Paul was describing me how he perceives the training that we do as individuals.
He compared me with Seb and said that we are similar in the fact that we often “like” to punish our body.
This remained stuck in my mind. I need to mentally and internally elaborate more on this sadistic thought.
Friday was a day off, Saturday was a quite long run at 6:45 for about 15 miles with the same 3 suspects again, plus Bikram Yoga in the afternoon, and then Sunday came with the Gridiron 4 miler.
I was very worried about my conditions and I was hoping to hit something close to 23 min and change. While driving to the race, my focus shifted more to Michelle than my own goals.
It was her first race after the injury and even if she just started “jogging” a couple of weeks earlier, she was already down to test her fitness, without pushing of course.
I felt excited and happy all day for this. It was great to see her back, share with me the preparation, the course, talk about how she experienced the run after a long journey through injury. After 36 hours I still feel very pumped for this.
On my end the race was good overall. The speedsters forgot to show up in CP today so the field was not deep. I crossed the finish line in 22:00, 6th overall according to my calcs, but 9th in the final standing since a couple of guys started way behind me and made it to pass me by a fraction of a second.
Lesson learned: next time I won’t wait to outsprint people at the end, I’ll just take them way ahead.
With about 1.25 mile to go I was side by side with 4th, and passed him engaging the target for 3rd. Then I felt one leg getting a little tighter, so I figured today was not the right moement to become a hero, and backed down the effort slightly. 4th took off and brought with him the latino guy that finished behind me at the Pete McArdle. Now I had a CPTC, a Front Runner and the lead woman just behind me. I waited for them and then kicked in an ok sprint with about 350 metes to go.
This is an epic course, cause I like the little gradual ascent by the 72nd transverse near the finish line: it makes it a little harder to sprint if you do not have strength and power.
Mission accomplished: Michelle is back, Carlo is taking the training and still have some good fun race day.

It was particularly nice to share the post race celebrations with Michelle and Brendan, who we met at the finish line. A mile and a half separated us from the car and we enjoyed our company while walking back to the truck. It took us quite sometime, but it reminded me of how nice it is to experience these races with someone else, not just by myself


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