Race: Heights 5K
The Heights 5k was one of the first races I ran in after moving to Houston back in 2003. I had been training pretty consistently as a by-product of not knowing anyone in Houston and looking for something to do to keep me busy. Lucky for me, a buddy of mine from college was interested in running this race and I agreed to help pace him to a personal best.
So, the goal was to run under 24 minutes and the first mile was well under 7:40 which was at or near where we needed to be to hit 24 minutes. The pace was probably closer to 7:30, maybe a little less, so I was pretty confident we would have some breathing room if needed.
Mile number 2 was just as fast and I could tell we were going to need a little focus if Shelby was going to keep the pace up for the last mile. I started talking to him about how easy that final mile was going to be and tried relating it to the 2.9 mile training loop we ran.
I think that tactic might have worked, although I got a lot of evil looks from him as we crossed the finish line. I would later learn those looks were because I was able to maintain a lengthy conversation during the run with little to no effort while he was suffering. I was lucky not to be strangled in the final few meters of the run.
The good thing was that Shelby finished the race in 23:31. That was a solid finish at just over 7:30 per mile. We ended up running a couple of other races together that year, but none as rememberable as this one. Well maybe one, the Canaan Baptist 5k... but I'll save that for a later date.