Got in a slow 8 miles today with Downtown Darin Brown in cold, damp conditions. Finished just in time as it was very dark by 6pm due to the weather conditions...and the fact that winter is coming. My ribs were an issue but I got through it. My legs and hips were tight and sore! That felt good!
Well, it has been exactly 10 years. 10 years today since I drove from my then-office in Newton, MA to Wakefield, MA to run the Mystic Runners' Lake Q 5k as my first race back. It is a weekly 5k series around Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. It was my old stomping ground in my home town. I used to run the lake all the time in both high school and college. It is pancake flat and it was a good chance for me to make my 'comeback' to running and racing. It was my first race since hanging up my college spikes in April of 1999 after not being able to figure out a then-nagging injury and falling out of love with running. I didn't' run one single race from April ??, 1999 to October 18, 2006. I barely even ran let alone did any races. I started 'training' again in August of 2006 (I think the 28th if my memory serves me).... So I had been running for just shy of 2 months when I headed over to the Lord Wakefield Hotel to signup for the 5k. I was near 190 lbs when I started back so at the time of the race I was still probably in the high 170s if not heavier. That was up from 130 lbs in college. I headed over to the lake for my first race in the new century despite completely being undertrained, overweight, and unprepared for the pain that was to follow. Of course I had no clue how to race as I had completely forgotten...and my body forgot how to respond to the pace and pounding. I did not fare well over the latter part of the race. I got smoked by a former rival from Peabody (Ricky Provost) who blazed a 19:19 to my 19:37. I earned every step of that 19:37. It was ugly...and painful.
The funny thing at the time was that when I finished the race (I was ecstatic that I got 2nd!) I talked to the winner and only then found out who it was. I had roomed with his teammate in college and used to hear all about him. I knew most of those Peabody guys by name as they had a great XC team. I found out that we were both trying to do the same thing. We were both the same age and we both decided relatively recently to get back at it. He had just started running too and it was really a crazy coincidence that we both decided to go there to get back to racing at the same time. I also just started training under Fernando Braz, who happened to be his old high school coach...so we had that in common too. Fast forward all these years later...I have never come across Ricky's name anywhere else...in any results I've been in (at least none that I've seen). I sometimes have wondered if he kept going...maybe he moved away...maybe he just decided after all was said and done that he was done with competitive racing and training. Maybe he did continue but at a more reasonable intensity than I did :).... I'm not sure. I should look him up one of these days...shouldn't be too hard to find him now with all this world wide web stuff on the computer machines.