Like a text book, I went out too fast at first. However in my defense, it was not my fault this time. Some yahoo was standing next to me on the starting line, so he was practically spitting in my face with his challenging spot/stance/position. I can't let a challenge go unanswered, so I hung on his heels till I passed him at the first mile marker. After that I dragged a little in the middle while keeping the lead pack in sight, till the last mile when I nearly fell apart. Still I managed to cross the finish line with a great time, and a 1st place finish in my age group to boot (you have to love a small field sometimes). Other than the place and the time, it feels like I've written this blog before.
Now would usually also be the time that I vow to run smarter next time to really acheive my goals. Also some people would say that maybe if I raced smarter, I would have a better story to tell. To those people I say, phooey. Yes, I said phooey. Capital P to the H to the -ooey. In a long race, you conserve energy to tap into your reserves for those last painful miles. In a short race, I say go out like a comet, baby! A short race is about speed! Gut-wrenching, blistering, pounding-till-you-go-blind, awesome speed! It's about going fast; chasing your demons and running them down for the glory of winning in some spectacular fashion or burning out in smoldering ball of stubborn stupidity. Think about it, the word "race" practically demands that I lay it all out on the line (much like that yahoo who stood too close to me at the starting line) and go for it.
Long story short, I'm too
dumb cocky stubborn to change my ways with how I run a 5k. I will probably always 1) give that challenging yahoo standing next to me the stink eye, 2) go out too damn fast at first thanks to my cocky attitude, 3) chug through the middle in blind hope, 3) struggle at the end in a stupid refusal to quit, and 4) hopefully, just hopefully finish big, gratefully, tired, and a better man than when I started.