The Zippy family is spring breaking for a couple of days on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Today I headed out for a seven-mile run with four miles of tempo in the center of it. A few minutes into the run, the wind started to pick up. And then pick up some more. And more, along with rain.
Soon, my hat and sunglasses were ripped off my head. It was starting to feel like I was running into a wall, barely making forward progress (I had thankfully headed out into the wind). But it was time to start the tempo, so I put my head down and started. I had to laugh, it was all so absurd. I couldn’t think about pace at all, because it would have been too depressing. Instead, I focused on effort and the fact that I would get to turn around in about 15 minutes.
Just before my turn around point, I spotted a group of young runners (maybe high school or college age) heading in the other direction. They were scattered out into about three subgroups. I decided that once I turned around, they were going to be my targets.
Now, let me say that if I am out on an easy run, I don’t bother trying to catch people–I’m not going to waste my legs that way. But when I am smack in the middle of tempo. all bets are off. So I began my quest to take out my targets. The first three were easy; I had them within a couple of minutes. Next up were another four that I had to work a bit harder to reach. Finally, there were four young guys left up ahead.
I knew that if I was going to work hard enough to catch them, I had to make it stick. Nothing’s worse than the dreaded repass, am I right? And I was wearing my Team Tough Chik shirt–on the back it says “This is what tough looks like.” You CAN’T pass people with that on a shirt and let them come back and get you! So I dug deep, passed, and never looked back.
Silly? Immature? Yeah, probably. But at 46, I have to admit, it’s fun to pass people who are probably 20 to 25 years my junior.
Do you ever set targets on your run?