The 3rd Jim V Gwen Race took place this morning.
Idyllic fall weather was in place. 60* with full sun and a slight breeze out of the south ~ 10 mph. (Seriously? Can winter just stay like this??)
We were racing on the boardwalk in Ocean City (with me also running a bit on the street. The race started at 1.75 mile marker. I was running south for 1.75 miles and then turning around and running back to the boardwalk, the full length of the boardwalk (3.5 miles north) before turning around to head back to the start/finish line at 1.75 mile marker.
Jim started at the 1.75 mile marker and walked North to the end of the boardwalk before turning around to head back to the finish line.
I did lots of stretching before the race and a little 1/2 mile warm up to loosen my legs up. (Learned my lesson last time.)
Jim had brought his pacers- Andrea and Charlie. I had brought my pacer in the form of Iheartradio and the inspiration from NYCM.
I had no idea what pace to go for. I had done controlled 200s last week and the best I could manage without losing form and causing pain to my hamstring was 7:55-8:00 pace. It had left me a little bummed but I've been putting in good miles lately so that's a plus.
Jim is super competitive and has the race completely figured out where he should see me if he's going to beat me. I on the other hand show up and shrug my shoulders and let my body figure out what I'm going to run.
I did the countdown...ready, set, GO! Super fancy. My legs took off and carried me down the boardwalk. After a 1/2 mile I glanced down at my Garmin and saw an 8:15 pace. Oh snap! I slowed it down and came through the 1st mile in 8:15... Oops!
I ran down the boardwalk and onto the street and into the wind. I reminded myself that once I got to 1.75 I'd turn and have the wind at my back for 3.5 miles. The pace seemed good. I did manage to slow down some but not too much.
On the way back I missed the turn back up onto the boardwalk so I had an extra block on the street. It was getting hot and I was feeling dumb for wearing my shirt that doesn't breathe. I couldn't imagine how hot Jim was in his pants and flannel shirt.
As I came down to where Jim and I passed during our last race (where he soundly beat me) I did a virtual fist pump that I hadn't seen him yet. We high fived about 2 blocks later. I knew all I had to do was keep a good pace now and I could claim victory. Jim started muttering to Charlie and Andrea, "Too soon! Too soon."
I cruised to the end of the boardwalk and turned to head for home. With the wind in my face I kept my pace under control. I was correcting my stride any time I felt any pain from overstriding. I ended up passing Jim about 4 blocks before the finish. Since I was working I just waved and kept trucking. Jim said he kept his focus on the ground and never saw my wave.
We went out for coffee afterwards and Jim kept muttering, "Too soon. I should've seen you at Wonderland. ... is it too soon to plan our next race?"
March or April -- Jim 4 miles/ Gwen 8.5 miles