Sunday, September 21, 2008

Word of the Day: Quandary





I ran the 5th annual Falls Natatorium 5K today. My goal going in was to set the masters record. It stood as 17:40, which was going to be very doable. The problem was how to get there. I won this race for the first three years with a best time of 17:19. Problem was that since I was in the top 3 I was never eligible for the masters record...even though I won the races as a masters runner. So here was the quandary. The only way I could get the masters record was to finish 4th. Anything higher would put me in the top 3 overall and I would be excluded from any masters consideration. Now the right thing to do is to award the masters prize to the first over 40 runner after the top three, but if you have a masters runner in the top 3 and they have run faster than the record...they should get the record. Anyway...here is what happened.

I knew that I would be somewhere between 2nd and 6th today, depending on how others did. We got a good start and went through the mile in 5:14. The first mile is usually fast as most of it is downhill. I was in 5th position at that point. The next mile saw a little bit of jostling for position and as we came past mile 2 there were three of us side by side, with the leader about 12 seconds ahead of us. At that point there was one masters runner behind us. I felt pretty good that I had the record at that point. As we headed to the final hill the two guys next to me started to slow down. Here was my quandary - I could have moved past the two guys and finished in 2nd overall, but I made the decision to stay with them and try to finish 4th. I blurted a "come on guys" to them and hoped they would respond and get up over the hill with me. They did and we made the final turn towards the finish line. I tucked in behind the 3rd place guy and came over the line in 16:55. So I met my primary goal of setting the masters record, but was bummed that I had to settle for 4th in order to do so. I know I could have been 2nd and chopped a few more seconds off of my time. The photo is me sitting on 4th.

Unfortunately the woman who finished in 3rd place overall was a masters runner and ran way faster than the current masters record. She was awarded 3rd overall, but was not credited with a new masters record.

This will be my last race where I do that. Whether I did the right thing or not is a matter of opinion. I am rarely selfish in life, but I really wanted to put my name in the record book for this race.

I have three weeks of marathon training before Columbus. A hard workout on Tuesday (5 x 3 mile repeats) and a marathon pace run on Sunday.




At the mile mark with Curt Bachus




A ridiculously sized trophy. Maddie will eat popcorn out of it!

2 comments:

Sensationally Red September 22, 2008 at 6:39 PM  

Gosh...that picture of Maddie is really cute. That would be a lot of popcorn for her to eat! Well...I could barely follow what was going on here, lazy non-competitive mid pack runner that I am, but I'm sorry you weren't able to put your name in that record book.

Jim September 23, 2008 at 8:04 AM  

Red. Thanks for the response. The net of my gibber jabber is I was able to get the record but had to hold back and finish 4th to do so. I know is seems petty but at 45 I am trying to milk as much as I can out of my running while I can!

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