It's been quite some time since Cory and I ran together — months, possibly — so I was very interested to see how well he was moving at last Sunday's run date.
After all, we've been trash-talking about who's going to win this weekend's 5K since probably the last time we ran a competitive race together.
The good news is, I now know another way to sabotage his race experience, in addition to having him run an extremely fast mile at a race the day before, then filling him up with beer: Push a huge, rich breakfast on him.
The bad news: Huge, rich breakfasts also don't do me any favors, and he got to see that Sunday. So it'll be hard to trick him into having one while I stick with something safer.
Based on our four-miler, I think it'll be a fair matchup. Though my training hasn't gone like I'd hoped, I've seen how friendly competition and pleasant weather can pull me out of a slump.
I don't have to break my personal record, set during half-marathon training in perfect conditions — I just have to keep ahead of Cory.
(Also, not that I'm superstitious, but I *did* just lay out my luckiest gear for race day.)
Cory, meanwhile, has the edge on natural athletic ability and, given that he commutes from downtown Des Moines to Johnston every day on a bike, overall fitness.
The first 1.5 miles of that run were hilly and he hadn't found his stride, but he never held me back, nor did he make us stop to walk.
Last year's race was on roads, not a trail like the Remembrance Run, so assuming that hasn't changed, spotting each other should be easier.
I'm not sure whether that will benefit or bother me; not knowing how close Cory was kept me pushing hard last fall, but if his neon-yellow sneakers taunt me from well into the distance, I might get discouraged and back off instead of waiting for any signs of weakness.
Check back Monday to see who triumphed! "Only" pride is on the line.