Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

PB's Last Run

Today was PB's last run with us as he will return to England at the end of the week.

It's strange to see PB go, as he had got to be quite the regular. This morning he recruited a colleague, Ben, to come with us and there was PB, leading us around the course like a native. And as usual he charged up the Jefferson St. hill which, as a going away present, we have now renamed "Paul's Hill." Good luck Paul and we'll be looking to see how you do in NYC come November.

The usual Acme loop, 9 miles in 70:33. A bit fast considering last nights activities.

Last night was the first of the Wissahickon Wanderers' summer track meets. It started raining just as soon as I headed up to Roxborough with KF and CS. This put a damper on the attendence but unfortunately kept all the wrong people away, as the faster runners still showed.

Or perhaps it was the right people who showed, as there was a palpable bond in our willingness to be out there in that steady rain. The bond was almost of a religious nature in our communal defiance of adversity so as to partake of the sacred ritual of running around the hallowed oval.

It was a good thing I'd been spending the last week suppressing my expectations. I participated in the first event, the mile, and ran the first 400 in 1:15, on pace for my eventual goal of breaking 5 minutes. This quickly proved to be unsustainable, however, and to make a short, miserable story shorter and less miserable, I plodded through the last 3 laps alone to finish in 5:23. I hate the mile. But I took a shot at sub 5 although realistically I had no right to expect better than what I got as this was my first time setting foot on a track since before Boston. KF ran a solid 4:57, IC and CS both beat me handily, and I did finish ahead of CS.

The second event I ran in was the 5000, which was the funniest race I've ever done. Only four of us, myself, IC, KF, and CS lined up to run it, so it was more of a challenge among friends. "Well, one of us has got to finish last" was how IC put it, and as we started it seemed like each of us was shooting to be that guy. A very tactical race, with all four of us sticking together and IC seeking to throw our rhythms off by killing us with the one-liners he'd throw on the track. The best one (which I hope translates to writing) was in response to our split for the third lap, which the official called out 4:43 and to which IC said "that was a blistering mile there boys." I almost fell of the track. The real first mile split was about 5:48, after which I picked up things a little and KF picked up things even more and by the time 2 miles rolled around (5:40ish) KF had a small lead, CS was in hot pursuit and me and IC were battling it out for the bronze. As I said, very tactical but I couldn't get a big enough lead to fend off what I knew would be a final burst by IC, so I finished as the caboose in 17:35. I had too much fun to complain about that, however, and it just makes me that much more motivated to return to the track. But probably not before the second meet next Tuesday.

After the events, which also included a distance medley, which we were all to exhausted to care much about, there was easy conversation and pulled pork with various fixings to work off any fitness we might have acquired during the meet. I left feeling wet on the outside but warm on the inside, and if there were an answer to the question "why do I run" it would have to lie somewhere in last night's events. I got home and went straight to bed.


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