On Saturday I found myself in the last quarter mile of a five-kilometer race, maybe twenty yards behind a remarkably small young girl, who just then slowed to a walk. I told her that she should get going, that she shouldn't let her grandpa beat her, and she returned to a run and maintained her lead through the finish line. It was only later that I thought it interesting that I should have told her to get going rather than run on by--not that there ever would have been much glory in outrunning someone who isn't yet twelve.
In my late twenties I ran a good deal, generally entering a couple of marathons and a couple of shorter races every year. Usually I had a time in mind for the distance, and usually that time proved to be more or less correct. That part remains the same; I had a time in mind for the five kilometers and finished fairly close to it; that the time would have embarrassed me in my twenties is true but not relevant. But as I recall, I had a system that worked for me back then: run very hard until I felt terrible, then slow up so that I just felt very bad. On Saturday I didn't quite do that. I don't think I train enough to be able to do it, and I'm not sure that it would be good for someone my age.
Well, I enjoyed myself and some of my registration fee went to a good cause. It was a good Saturday morning.