You've heard the call - the Spanish accented sports announcer screams, "GOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!"
That's how I felt Saturday when I jogged into Memorial Park in Manitou Springs with Chris Bittinger looking at his watch saying, "Guys, Aaron just finished in 1:27!"
The High Altitude Running Team invited me along for a training run on the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile course. This was my first chance to see the whole course - start to finish. It was a chance to size up my goal of 1:30.
Finishing the training run in 1:27 was like getting your drivers permit - you passed the written, but you know there's a big test still to come.
Needless to say, now I need a new goal.
I think 1:25 seems reasonable. We did take a three minute break in the middle with watches on pause - so my 1:27 is a bit deceptive. None the less, I'm excited to see what race day holds.
My notoriously pessimistic alter ego keeps suggesting that I will hit the proverbial "wall" and be lucky to finish in 1:30, but I'm telling him to take up curling or ice hockey or some other sport that I don't care that much about.
Running the course with a team did two things for me: it pushed my pace and kept me from pushing to fast at the start.
Running with 1,000 people may have the exact opposite effect. But then, that may be my alter ego talking.