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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The DOT race

Went for a brisk morning group ride. I say brisk because here in Southern Mississippi a dip below 90 degrees and you start seeing jackets and parkas and other blizzard gear start to appear.

At the morning group ride there were two people with long sleeved jerseys, one with a short sleeved jersey with an under shirt and me with no socks and a sleeveless jersey. Every morning we pass a lady on an electric go-ped type scooter. She is trucking along at what seems like 10 - 12 MPH. She is coming from Sumral and I can not image how long it takes her to commute. Anyway, not just today but for weeks she has been wearing long legged pants, a huge goretex type canvas jacket and a hat. I can not wait to see what she is wearing when the temperature get cold - cold here is high thirties / low forties in the morning.

I commuted all last winter by bicycle and I did get cold a few times. Mainly the feet and hands. I have not really thought about how to prepare for this coming winter. Memories fade. I didn't get that cold.

I think we averaged about 22 MPH for the ride this morning ( 1 hour / 22 miles ) - easy math. JD was with us and he got dropped twice. He always comes back with a never say die attitude. We will soft peddle or even stop at an intersection for him and then he will go screaming by, all the while chastising us about taking a breather. He has my respect.

During lunch Vic, Chad and I did the first official "DOT RACE." On the long leaf trace there are "dots" marked on the pavement denoting miles in 1/4 mile intervals. Well last week we determined each of our base line 1 mile run speeds. Vic finished in about 8:30, Chad at 7:00 and I finished at 6:20. Once again, for easy math we decided to follow each other at 1 minute intervals. This was Chad's race to lose (Vic and I were both fighting against better times.)

We did the staggered start with our respective handicaps. I had forgot my stop watch so Chad was going to throw his hands in the air when was 1 minute out.

Vic took off at what appeared to be a "too fast" pace. You could barely see him at the one minute mark. Then Chad took off and immediately started to reel Vic in. Shortly after I saw Chad's arms go straight up in the air. I was off.

With no watch or heart rate monitor I just took off. Quickly my breathing was starting to feel labored. In the first 2 minutes I had already made up much of the distance to Chad, however, this distance did not continue to get smaller. Once again I think that I went out a little "too fast."

Vic was able to maintain his pace and force Chad to step it up. I continued to gain on them both but at a slower pace. I was just trying to hold the run together. I saw Chad make a surge at 100 yards before DOT ZERO - the finish line. In a valiant effort Vic tried to hold him off. Alas it was to no avail. Chad beat Vic to the line by a few yards.

I came plodding in a few 10's of seconds behind. Chad won today's race but we all improved because of the competition. Next weeks race will be tight.

Final times:

Vic:
8:30 old
7:30 new
1:00 difference

Chad
7:00 old
6:30 new
0:30 difference

James
6:20 old
5:50 new
0:30 difference

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