Monday, May 3, 2010
7:15 7:09 6:55
7:10 7:01 ... 8:36!
Those are my mile splits from yesterday at MSU. I didn't melt down, and the final mile wasn't up the side of a mountain. I just got smart for once; at the Heart of a Spartan 10K, it was nice to show the brains of a mollusk.
What happened was a popped Achilles tendon somewhere in mile 5. That sort of thing isn't unusual for runners, and may be even a little predictable for runners who go longish on the bike the day before in really stiff winds, which tends to encourage sloppy pedaling in too big a gear. What's also not unusual is for that kind of runner to ignore the tendon and try to finish off with one more sub-7 split and then spend many, many weeks in a position to make some really bad decisions regarding rest vs. temptation. Achilles tendons are like lady country singers that way: Do 'em wrong once and you might be forgiven; make a pattern of it and you'll regret it longer than a truck loan.
A lot of being smart is a matter of not being around bad influences, so it's a good thing Ron couldn't find me again at the starting line after he hit the loo. Ron finished in 42:30, which is about where I'd have been if that 8:36 looked a little more like the other splits. That's not to say I would have beaten Ron. I could have made it close, but making it close is not the way to beat Ron. He's got quite a finish, and whether or not I succumbed to his kick, I'd have spent several weeks kicking myself with my one good leg.
As it happens, we finished next to each other in the semigeezer age group anyway, Ron third and me fourth(!). I had no idea until Ron told Rich in an e-mail about something else. Had I known, I might have stuck around to see if the awards went three deep or perhaps more. They went five deep, so I could have brought home the, I'm not sure, beige, perhaps.
I'd be proud of a beige ribbon. But it's even better, for once, to be proud of my gray matter.
Posted by Jef Mallett at 9:20 AM