Thursday, January 01, 2009

Frosty 5K

Results can be found here: 2009 Frosty 5k

I got distracted while writing this by the Nightmare at 20,000 Feet episode of the Twilight Zone. That's one of two episodes featuring the man many of you may now know as Denny Crane, but watching this, what you see is basically the exact same acting Shatner brought to Star Trek. Which is there in Boston Legal, but you have to search a bit sometimes.

Anyway, it was cold and wind this morning and that plays into one of the few theories of racing I have. They are- you should know what you are going to wear, you should know what you are going to eat, and you should only be flexible if you are really wrong. That's because I think when you start hemming and hawing over what to wear (or eat), you open the door on regrets that will eat at you no matter what decision you make and you waste warm-up time thinking about something besides warming-up.

I went to the race with Steve Surprise, one of my teammates from Force 5. It was cold.

I was wearing two layers, heavy socks and racing flats. Racing flats and heavy socks do not go and my toes were numb from some combination of the cold and the circulatory deficiencies.

I was having trouble warming up. There was a lot of congestion at the starting line, and people were running around the green. Half the street was still under snow, the wind was blowing.

I knew somewhere during the race I'd be overheated, but so what ?

I talked to Chris Dickerson, JB (John Bysiewicz) and then did my strides. I stopped once to mention to Chris that he looked like he was feeling good and he said he did. They were slow. I felt like my tights were holding me back...

Finally, the race started. About 4 strides into the race, a guy off to my right- a big guy in tights and a bright green running jacket, pulled a hamstring. I watched him hop a stride or two and then turned my attention to my own sorry start. I was pulling hard to the right, straight at the turn, running on the snow because it was the shortest path but with a lot of bodies around me, a lot of young kids.

I got my feet clipped in the turn, but I was able to keep my feet as we turned the corner, and then headed past pages and towards the next turn. There was a surprising amount of congestion but most of the guys around me were shying away from the snow so I went right for it as that was the tightest path. Chris was by me, and we were running out towards the water- that's a damn long run, there were too many people in front of me, and I was not feeling good about how I was racing.

We were all holding back because the wind was at our back and we knew eventually we'd turn into it. I hit a mile at 5:46, which was- what's the opposite of blazing ?

I was in 7th or 8th, two guys my age including Chris and several younger guys in front of me, JB close behind. I never look back but I do take advantage of a turn around to evaluate who's close on, and I saw JB, Kerry. I saw Steve sooner than I expected and assumed he was racing well.

And then we were running into the wind. It hadn't been easy when we were running out of the wind. Into it was brutal. I passe three guys as we headed up and over the bridge. I was still- in my mind at least- chasing Chris. I made the first turn, then the second and the third and we were behind the fairgrounds. i got passed back by one of the guys I'd passed and dropped to fifth. I tried to keep him close as we ran on the snow covered road- the road was white and would be until we got back on 146.

Then we turned and were running along the fairground- the wind was directly in our face, there was a thicker snowcoat on the road and I seriously questioned whether I was running or just walking. But the guy in front of me wasn't going anywhere.

Finally, we made the turn back onto black asphalt and the run to the final turn seemed to take forever. I was not closing. We finally made the turn and I knew I wasn't catching the guy that was about two seconds in front of me. I hate the end of the race where I am totally gassed and the low hanging fruit is-

I stopped thinking and decided I had the better angle. He'd taken the turn wide and lined up the finish line, which was on the opposite side of the street. Just as Chris Dickerson and I had run on the opposite side of the yellow line going out, taking that shortest path, I drew a straighter line to the finish and then I accelerated and went by the other guy, not just taking the best line, but earning it- I went by him and there was no response at all.

Og course, this wasn't a sprint to win the race, or even my age group. I was a lowly fourth, a forgotten third in my age group. And once again I'd been outrun and outclassed by Chris Dickerson.

But I'd run hard, finished strong. I warmed down with Steve and JB and got to talk to JB and Jenny and then had an awesome brunch with Steve, Margit and Ian.

It was a great way to start the New Year.

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