Crazy 8 s
Yay for 2008! What a year it will be! I'm optimistic about it (just to clarify). It began extremely well for me, and I intend to keep the pluses up and the minuses down. To help remind me to remember this intention, I plan to get
tattooed on my forehead, so I'll think of it every time I look in a mirror1.
During 2007, I fell behind a bit (with bills, keeping up with friends and family, and personal promises and goals), so to catch up, I brought in the new year running hard–literally. Two friends and I ran in the 6th Annual Midnight Express 8k, a road race from 11:30 PM until after midnight on New Year's Eve (no one finished faster than 35 minutes). I don't put much stock in New Year resolutions, but I decided that because I was running 8k (about 5 miles) to bring in '08 (read: "ought eight"), I should set the goal to run 8k-a-day in '08, mostly because it sounds cool: "eight kay-uh-day in ought eight."
I started the race with Mark and Grace, the two friends mentioned above, but quickly realized that the lack of popularity of a road race at midnight on New Year's Eve and the subsequent low attendance rate provided me with a very small field of competition (about 25 people)–I actually stood a chance to place. I abandoned my friends in pursuit of a potential prize and soon trailed only a handful of contenders. At the end of the first mile, six people remained ahead–the first two led by more than thirty seconds, offering little chance to catch them, but the other four were clustered together merely one hundred feet ahead, a distance I might be able to close. A woman from the group of four dropped back a bit, and I leaped forward, passing her and breaking away to take firm hold of sixth place. I ran hard and kept my place, but the three ahead (two guys and one girl) kept their distance despite my efforts.
About halfway through the race, a man in black tights and a red shirt glided passed me smoothly and (seemingly) easily; then he caught and passed the group of three. e was fast, and I knew he would finish before me–fourth place was now the best I could hope for. I still couldn't gain ground on the three just ahead of me, however, and seventh place seemed my destiny. With about 1.5 miles remaining, the woman who dropped back earlier passed me, and I spent the remaining distance trying vainly to catch her. When I crossed the line, seven people had done so before me–I was number eight.
Additionally, my goal was to finish in under forty minutes to achieve a per-mile time of less than 8 minutes. I finished in 39:43, and using the conversion 1 kilometer = 0.621 miles (8km = 4.968 mi), my pace was almost exactly 8 minutes per mile (7:59.67, to be more exact).
To sum up:
I ran an 8k road race to start my 8k-a-day in '08 resolution and came in 8th place with a pace of exactly2 8 minutes per mile. It would seem that fate (or my subconscious?) either agrees with my resolution or really likes the number eight–either way, it was a good tone to start the year.
Oh, for the record: 2 down, 364 to go.
1 I'll need to keep my eyes closed when I'm upside-down to keep confusion to a minimum.
2 Within 0.33 s is close enough to say "exactly" in my book