The schedule called for 6 miles total with a 4-mile tempo run so I figured I'd run the 1.8+ miles to the elementary school, do laps on the track and run home. It worked out pretty well and even had a little speed-racer intrigue thrown in.
I figured out or remembered the key mile points so I knew about how far I had to go to get the 4.0 miles in, and would you believe that I nailed the distance? After a 10:00 warmup, I did the tempo run in 32:48 (8:12 pace), then a walk/jog back home for the remainder. This wasn't as fast as I wanted - I was shooting for 8:00, but my Runner's World tempo run pace is 8:09. OK, I know I'm training for a marathon, but I'm used to 5K paces where seconds count.
When I got to the track, there was a young woman about five yards ahead of me and we were running about the same pace. I did one lap to finish the first mile, and kept back off her shoulder for the next 3 1/2 laps. On the last half, I turned it up a little, but she knew I was there and kept ahead of me, so I turned it up a little more. I didn't want to burn out, but I did want to pass her to finish the mile. She faded on the straightaway and I dusted her, but then went into a jog to cool back down, so she passed me and stayed about 20 yards ahead until she left. SO... do I look like a jerk for racing her, then slowing down? That's what I feel like. I'd make a bad triathlete - that sounds like two overtaking penalties in 100 yards...
Speaking of triathletes, some of my blog buddies are training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene on June 22. They're getting their last long race-simulation workouts in, and they'll be tapering soon. They'll want to eat everything in sight, and wonder why they can't just go out for a quick 15-mile tempo run, or an easy century. They will go crazy. I wish them all luck - surviving the taper, that is. Hug a triathlete today!