I ended up bumping into Waterbury's Ironman Al, and after shooting the shit got into postion for the start as always I position myself in the front line so my sexy ass will grace the sports' section tomorrow morning. The gun went off and it was a feeding frenzy for 5 miles through the ghetto. The first part of the race is through downtown past the revitalized part of East main street and the palace theatre and then up into the hood, before going through Hamilton park and then back the way we came. As I approached the first mile mark I was not expecting a PR in today's run because it was cold, it was like every 400 m my lungs were clogging up with phlem and I was hawking lougies, and I don't mean Phit, little ones I mean I was hawking huge freaking snot balls, that would have a pocessed Linda Blair asking me to be her unerstudy. The first mile wasn't bad but it wasn't as fast as I normally take it out a 6:30. As we continued toward the park I continued to breathe deep and every so often honk out a monster gob of snot. About this time the high school cross country kids were pulling ahead, and then Al , some chick in tights and Pat came up we sort of became a pace group for the next mile and a half. We hit Hamilton park and I unzipped my long sleeved jersey to get so air. My 2 mile split was 13:40 a 7:10 mile definitely slower than last year,but also last year it was 20 degrees warmer. We passed the aid station at the 2.5 mile mark and the volunteers we sitting down and there was still a full table of water cups, none of us were taking any fluids it was just too freaking cold. About this time Pat made his break, I tried to tag with him and Al was on my heels as we left poor chick in tights in No-man's land. we hit the 3 mile mark I made the comment "only 23 miles to go..."the three of us sort of chuckled and we sort of agreed that we perfered the slow cruel death that is the marathon compared to this high speed pain fest. Mile 3 split 20:41 or a 7:00 mile yeah PR out the window. Pat checked out I tried to go with knowing Al is a faster runner than I am and he most likely has a powerful kick so I figured unless I want to be edged out at the line, I might want to go a build a lead over these last two miles. I surged not looking back knowing Al was probably right on my shoulders 5k splits were being shouted out and again on hearing mine I sort of figured no PR but as long as I was in under 35 min. so I could seed myself at Manchester on Thursday that was all that would matter. Mile 4 is slightly down hill as we leave the park and go back into the hood. I hit the 4 mile mark 27:16, 6:35 mile definitely no PR today but definitely a sub 35 day. The course continued to go down hill toward the city green past the police station, I reeled in a Cross Country runner as I got passsed by group of 3 high school hot shots...oh to be 18 again. As I passed the Palace theater I could hear the sound of someone breathing down my neck, I knew it was Al but I wasn't looking back. The finish line was only 400 meters ahead, I turned on the after burners and hope I could eek out a little more. We passed spectators the line was coming in sight Al came along side as we lunged for the line I tried to hold my fingertips over the line infront of him but it was to know avail. I got snipped at the line by less than a second. Now how know how Ken Glah felt at Ironman New Zealand in 1990, when Pauli Kiru just barely beat him. Official time 33:56 the last mile was about a 6:40. After coughing up a pound of phlem ( for some odd reason I always end up dry heaving after this race.) I congratulated Al on a battle well fought and made my way to the Waterbury Y and the post race food. After not winning squat in the raffle I started catching up with some of my friends from high school, and some of the local running crowd. Suddenly someone motined to me " Rob they're calling you're name." I went up a recieved a check for $25 bucks. Because this was the 34th running of the race and I had just barely finished 34th I was rewarded with a $25 payday. So that $25 will go to the "Manchester road race" this Turkey Day. So that was my Sunday, not a PR, not my best placing but a good race considering the circumstances.
I think I can feel my toes again