Beat The Bridge 2008

I raced again this morning – part on purpose and part fluke! I’ve been
running (and mostly racing) Beat The
since college – sometimes out for a personal best, sometimes just to
run with friends.

This was one of my very first races – and so I have a fascination with this
race in particular as well as with the crossing the bridge metaphor in general –
when I look at some of my running stories, it’s surprising to see how often a
bridge turns up!

I registered, because I almost always do – but hadn’t really thought about
the fact that I was running a marathon 2 weeks prior – and I signed up for the
fast wave! Woops! To make matters worse – Frank wouldn’t be running this year –
still nursing his achilles.

Race day was clear and warm and bright, I spotted Suzanne at the start, and
we had chip timing, too – I hoped that would smooth out what is usually one of
the roughest starts in local racing.

When the horn sounded – we were off. I spotted Frank and Olivia before mile
1, and then proceeded to miss the first mile mark, which was too bad – since I’d
registered for the speedy wave, I wanted to make sure I finished in 35 minutes
or less – but I wasn’t really planning on racing.

At mile two (right before the bridge) I was able to tell that I was running
below a 7 minute pace – and while I didn’t do the serious math required to
determine HOW far below – I was able to relax. The bridge is a bit of a hill,
and there were a lot of runners who had started much too quickly – and I passed
a lot of them during that stretch. A quick downhill, a few turns and we were
headed toward the turn at University Village. It was a bit windy, but not bad –
and while my heart rate was high – I felt good, I didn’t have any aches, so I
just kept pace.

I finished into the stadium, spotted Frank and Olivia again, and checked my
watch – 32.19. Not my fastest, and not my slowest – a 6.32 per mile pace. I
can’t wait to see the official results – I’m finding that the rest of the
running community is getting slower – save for my age group – and THOSE people
aren’t slowing down at all!

Date            Time      Pace
5/19/1990    35:12    
5/19/1991    33:40    
5/24/1992    31:56    
5/22/1993    31:40    
5/21/1994    31:07     6:13                  

5/21/2000    31:52     6:22                            
31:15     6:15
5/18/2003    32:39     6:32   
5/23/2004    31:27    
5/21/2006    32:14     6:27
5/20/2007    35:25    
5/18/2008    32:19     6:28      

I’ll run again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.
It’s good to keep at it!


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