I've been coaching a beginner's running group for the last 12 weeks. Their final goal was aimed at completing a short road race. This past Sunday was our final session and I took them up to Central Park for the Race To Deliver 4 Miler.
I haven't raced in over a year, but I figured that it'd be more fun to run along with them than stand on the sideline and cheer. I've been running 4-6 miles at a time 2 to 3 times a week for the last couple of months so I new I could complete the distance. The question was how fast could I go.
I answered with a fairly good time, all things considered. I turned out a 0:26:44 chip time which splits out to a 6:40 per mile pace. My low end goal was 6:30 and my high end was 6:50 so I was pretty happy. My mile splits came out to 6:58, 6:38, 6:48 and 6:17. Nice kick at the end.
I could have done better if I had chosen to lie about my projected pace like the 500+ people I passed during the race did. I wrote 6:30 as my goal on the registration sheet, but they stuck me in the second corral. As I was walking back to it past the first corral I could see all kinds of fat bastards queuing up their favorite playlist on their (illegal) iPods. I thought about jumping the fence to get up closer to the front, but decided against it. If I had really cared about my time I might have, but for me this race was all about enjoying the moment and just being happy I was out there.
Part of the enjoyment was taking my daughter to the kids races beforehand. She's a big supporter of my athletics and she was very excited to run her first race. Sadly, we were late in getting to the 8:30am start time so she had to run with the 5-6 year old boys instead of the 3-4 year old girls. A little outclassed she quickly fell behind, but she didn't give up and completed the 30 or so yard dash at full speed. She got a ribbon and was thrilled to have been part of it. She says she can't wait to do it again. Neither can I.