I ran my second race with my Charming Friend yesterday. Well, I use the word "with" very loosely because I really only ran "with" him for the first 20 steps or so ... then he left me in his dust.
Yep, CF finished nearly a minute and a half ahead of me at the Smuttynose 5K in Newmarket, about 3 or 4 minutes faster than his first race last month.
At first I was a little disappointed that he wasn't running with me (after all, we'd signed up for this together, right?), but then I realized he was on a mission: Beat Big Dan.
CF had invited a couple of co-workers to join us for the race, including Big Dan. As we waited at the starting line, Big Dan estimated he'd be running an 8:30-mile. (I thought I'd be between a 9 and 10-minute mile, so I immediately knew that I wouldn't be running alongside Big Dan.)
CF, however, had a different idea. Not only did he want to run alongside him, he wanted to beat him.
I found out later that Big Dan had thrown a few jabs CF's way after the Concord race, teasing him about getting beaten by an 'old guy' -- and so the challenge was on.
We started out running together, making our way through the crowded start. Soon CF pulled away from me, and as he did so I saw him gaining on Big Dan rather quickly. I wondered if he'd be able to keep up his pace, especially considering he's only run a couple of times since the last race and yesterday's hot, humid temps made for a hard run.
I gotta give CF credit. He hung in there, passed all of us and finished in a little more than 27 minutes. I made it to the finish line in a little more than 29 minutes -- still better than my last race time and not bad considering I'd just finished 10+ miles the day before.
I know I'll never be the fastest and that's okay. (I'm sure it will be the the first of many races in which CF will beat me.) As he gave me some gentle teasing (something along the lines of "you suck" as we checked our times on the posted list), I reminded myself I could win a distance race against any one of them.
We all have our own goals -- get in shape, support a charity, get faster, beat Big Dan. Or for me, just add to my marathon training and have fun doing it.
I guess I don't have to run with CF to run with him. Either way, I'm glad he's trying it.