Where the course direction usually alternates between Clockwise and Counter-Clockwise, this was the second straight week of Counter Clockwise running. It’s a safety issue the RD puts into place when the course has snowpack or otherwise sketchy conditions: when the course isn’t fully clear of snow, it makes sense to run against traffic to be sure cars can see you, and you them, when there’s a spot on the course that may result in some last second corrections.
Such as it was today after a pretty hefty snowstorm Thursday.
It was pretty cold this morning, chilly – upper 20’s, low-30’s – but the wind…oh, the wind was blowing just making it very chilly to be out in running clothes. I did a couple of one-mile warm up runs around the Worcester State campus: nothing too fast or strenuous, but just enough to warm up the muscles, wearing a warm up jacket to get used to the wind and cold.
And then, almost just like that, it was 9 AM. Runners’ set! Go! And we were off. While I wasn’t thrilled to be out there running this morning, I set off at a pretty good pace – I ran the first two miles faster than I have run any two miles: 7:16 and &7:28 – but consistent with the approach I’ve been taking lately with these short races (go all out for as long as I can and just try to keep pushing it), long about mile 2.7 the wheels just came off. I actually marked the point on my watch so I knew the point at which I had pretty much given up. The first .7 of that mile I was running at 8:03 – which, had I kept my mind on, I would have crushed my first sub-24 minute time on this course. The rest of the course I ran at an 8:29 pace. Worst? At the very last second, the guy behind me came and sniped my place. I deserved that, and frankly had I realized he was there, it wouldn’t have changed anything: I was beat. Coming around the last corner and down the final 0.1 mile stretch, there was this headwind that combined with my relative exhaustion made it feel like I was moving in slow motion.
Positives: I’m very close to cracking that 24-minute barrier on this course. Today I came 11-seconds short. 11 flipping seconds. Gah. All because I was satisfied with what I had done to that point. I couldn’t push it further for 0.4 more mile. That’s going to sting for a bit, but will hopefully motivate me for tomorrow.
Counter Clockwise (Last 5):