Today I watched Bill head out into the rain for his training run. He has to get ready for this relay challenged he’s issued, too. Ironically, although he only has to shave off two minutes from his most recent best half marathon time (in contrast to my six minutes), he’s got the tougher job.
Bill runs every race “leaving it all out there,” which means that he doesn’t have two minutes to spare. I run every race wishing I had someone to talk to and saving up my energy in case someone comes along. I sometimes even stop to pet a dog if a supporter or volunteer has brought one to the course. And I always chat with the folks at the aid stations while I sip my water (seems polite, since they’re standing out there all day waiting for me). This isn’t to say that running thirteen 10:17-minute miles (see Bill’s correction of my math in his comment on the previous post) won’t be hard for me, it’s just to say that I regularly build more padding into my races so that I don’t feel too pushed. But if pushing is what you’re doing as a matter of principle, shaving off two minutes might be pretty difficult.
Don’t tell Bill this, but I’m going to run my hardest half marathon ever to buy him some time. I’m planning to try to pass him the baton at 2:13 to give him a couple of minutes to spare!