in which Pooh finishes the “year of speed” with a flourish

The year 2013 will be remembered by Pooh as one in which he continued to step out of his comfort zone to reach for what was just beyond his grasp.  In this case it was to push his body to greater speeds in every distance in his repertoire.  After the successes in the St. Petersburg Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon, the Possum Trot 10K, and the Marine Corps Marathon it was left to the remainder of the year to see if there was anything left while training for the 2014 Disney Goofy Race and a Half Challenge.

ImageOne week after the Marine Corps Marathon would be the Anything is Possible 5K, a novel race held on the Sunday morning when daylight savings time ends.  The race begins at 1:50AM and the clocks get turned back one hour at 2:00AM so if you finish in 59:59 or less then you finish the race before you started.  Pooh worked tirelessly to convince his poor friend Wayne that it would be a good idea to run the race.  And finally Wayne agreed… Pooh isn’t quite sure Wayne has forgiven him yet (just kidding, you can see here that both had a great time).  Wayne surprised himself with a nice PR and Pooh, who didn’t expect much since the marathon was only one week removed, was equally stunned to take 2 seconds off his own PR to bring it down to 22:32.  The event was great fun and the pajama bottoms given out instead of race shirts are some of Pooh’s favorite sleepwear.

ImageNext on the list would be the Faith Cline Elf Trot 5K and the final opportunity to run a 5K for the year.  The weather would prove to be a challenge and Pooh was very pessimistic about being able to set a fast time because of both the rain and the wind.  But this race would prove to be a terrific experience as Pooh positioned himself near the front and when others raced off at a very fast pace he kept himself under control and stuck to his race plan to go out a little easier than normal and gradually pick up the pace.  The weather was unpleasant, indeed, but proved not to be a factor.  As mile 2 began Pooh picked up the pace a bit and began picking off racers that had started the race faster, perhaps, than they could maintain.  By the beginning of mile 3 there were only 22 other runners ahead of him (though he didn’t know that) and Pooh again increased the pace.  Only 3 other runners were within sight ahead and Pooh was clearly gaining on 2 of them.  That proved excellent motivation and by the end of mile 3 he had passed 2 of the 3 runners and was able to pick up the pace one more time to finish the race in fine fashion coming in 20th overall and 2nd in his age group with a personal best time of 22:17.  It would prove a good day for the East Cobb Peachy Runners in attendance who all placed in their Age Groups.

The last race of the year for Pooh would be the Boca 10K.  Having run in the cooler temps in the ATL Pooh didn’t have very high hopes of acclimating fast enough to the high humidity and temps in South Florida.  But the course is flat and Pooh had been unable to race the 10K in 2012 so he was determined to push as hard as he could.  The training runs leading up to the race weren’t very good because of the higher temperatures and humidity and that dampened his expectations for a good time.  But race day tends to bring adrenaline and this one was no different.  The morning was overcast which was nice.  But it was also warm and humid and, worst of all, windy.  And the wind was blowing from north to south so the return leg would be into the wind.  So with low expectations (anybody spot the pattern yet with Pooh that he doesn’t believe much in his own capabilities?) he set off to chase a 10K PR.  And catch it he did!  Closing off the year with a 47:30, a 24 second PR!  Even more fun was seeing Pat and Keren, the parents of Pooh’s son’s friend Louis who had moved to Boca the previous year.

Well that’s it friends.  Pooh’s year of speed has ended.  What should Pooh do next?  He has the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge and Critz Tybee Run Fest on the race schedule but Pooh needs a new challenge and chasing speed isn’t motivating Pooh any more.  But there’s no doubt that Pooh achieved what he set out to do in 2013 so to that we say… well done Pooh, you silly old bear.

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