Sunday, April 01, 2012

My First Ever Running Trophy

Woody Allen famously said that 80% of success is showing up. Interestingly, I had devised a ranking system for my JRunners club to know where we all stand as athletes. I got grief for granting points for runners just for their participation. I proved today the value of being there. On a day when I became the Last Man Standing in the quest to run every JRunners race staged so far (7 to this day), the karma gods swept me to my first ever trophy-winning race performance of my life, in this, my 161st race.

I was in first for the first 10 yards, and immediately learned that I do not like to be in that position, ceding to Shia Itzkowitz, who was pushing hard out of the staring gate. Moshe Gamss came up on my right, Yaakov Bressler on my left, Sender Kruto joining the pack, and it was us core four for a half mile. Kruto worried me, he had the legs to keep me from the podium, but I moved ahead of him and stayed with Gamss, Bressler until mile 1, which we finished in 6:06, tying my fastest ever race mile.

For mile 2, Gamss inched away from me, and Bressler pulled away, and the position held for The Hill and Over The HIll. I never looked behind me (I find it unclassy), I simply resolved to run hard all the way to the end. At one point, I heard footsteps behind me, and I thought "glass trophy, glass trophy" and that was enough to energize me and improve my stride and kick. I finished strong in 3rd place with a Prospect Loop PR of 6:42, clobbering my old PR by 8 seconds per mile.

I had to head for home to help my wife out with Pesach Cleaning and getting the kids out from under her feet, so I convinced the organizers to give me my earned hardware - that gorgeous, shiny, beautiful glass trophy - and forgo the glory of the podium.

After 16 years of running, I'm finally putting this all together. The last puzzle piece is added mileage, which I'm piling on this year. I'm dying to do a 5k soon. I want to go sub-20:30 very badly. I can soooooooooooo do it. I'm gonna do it. Maybe I'll get another trophy while I'm at it.


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