Running: Fish or cut bait

Maine! The land of lobsters, moose and, for me, high-speed indecisiveness.

After summer vacation plans and some pesky norovirus scuttled my plans to race Maine earlier this year, I got up to Portland this weekend and checked off #11 from my Race in 50 States list with the Reiche International 5k on Sunday.

I usually think play-by-plays on 5ks are fairly uninteresting – for me, at least, they don’t last long enough to create the mental highs & lows that accompany longer distance running. On this one, though, I had a game of Effort-Level Ping Pong going on in my head that kept things interesting.

ETW Reiche

See, I’ve been focusing lately more on increasing my mileage than on improving my speed, so I thought I would just fun run the 5k while racking up another state, like I did in the TC 10k a few weeks ago. But then I went out on Sunday morning and found myself surprisingly comfortable at a just-sub-8-min-mile pace (for me, that’s the line that divides easy and working for it).

I kept at it, but couldn’t really wrap my head around what I wanted to do. Go for it? Pull up? Stop thinking about it? Pet that cute dog in a Halloween costume? And since I never really decided whether to fish or cut bait, I ran the 3rd mile at a uselessly middle-ground pace – too fast to be fun and too slow to slip in under 25 minutes (I’ve only ever broken that threshhold once, and barely [24:52]). I saw the finish-line clock roll past 25 minutes just before I closed in on the chute, for approximately 25:10 (no formal timing for this race).

Not me (the finishers or the fish)

All that said, hey, I’m not hilariously slower than usual! I may throw in some speedwork, finally, and see where that gets me in states 12 and beyond….

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