I went for a run with Lea and John Mark on Tuesday. Last semester we ran a lot together but this year, do to scheduling conflicts and injuries, we rarely got together – just to make it clear, I’m still running most everyday at lunch.
But Tuesday we headed out on the trace for a comfortable, conversational run. As we headed out, John Mark mentioned that he had created a new running Strava segment on the trace – his nemesis hill. To be fair, it really is not much of a hill but – it is a hill. He baited us. He told me that I had the KOM and Lea was just behind me. As we approached the start line I could not help it. I started to pick up the pace. We only knew that the end was at the 7th street tunnel. I took off, slowly. Lea could not help but follow. It just happens, you can’t help it – you have to take up the challenge. Once I heard Lea behind me I picked up the pace. The segment is only 0.6 miles @ 0.7% grade. But at full speed it was a very hard effort.
Since Lea entered the segment just after me I knew that I had to ‘beat’ him by a few feet. I was running hard and fighting gravity as best as I could. He was just behind me. I wanted to put a surge or two in but I was unable to attack. The segment ended up in an all out sprint and I finished a few feet ahead of Lea.
Neither one of us had clicked off a lap or anything, we just ran. I uploaded my run gps file after lunch. It was a hard effort but I had to wait for Lea to upload his file. He texted me a short time later. I had ended up beating him by 1 second! I told him that since this was a new segment that we would be lucky to hold in the top 5.
Upon closer examination, it was noticed that the segment did not really end until the other side of the tunnel. Lea and I had walked this portion so even though we had the top 2 spots it was about 30 seconds slow.
John Mark later edited the segment to make it end before the tunnel – which I agree with – but, it stole my KOM by 2 seconds.
I put the segment into http://raceshape.com. This site lets you look at the segments in closer detail. It shows how a gap changes between two athletes. The flat purple line in the graph is my pace on the segment. The blue line is Lea. Notice that at various points he was ahead (above the purple line) and behind (below the purple line). In the last 5 hundredths of a mile Lea put in a surge and went from 1 second behind to 2 seconds in front. That is how you steal a KOM. Now I just need to drive out to the segment. Put my bike on the trainer. Warm-up for 30 minutes. Then do an all out 0.6 mile effort collapsing upon myself to take back this KOM.
See for yourself here (this view shows Lea as the purple and me as the blue – I did not slow down at the end, Lea just sped up).