I’m racing so often these days that I’m getting sick of writing race reports. Or at least I worry that my race reports are boring. I’ll try to make this interesting.
How’s this for an opening gambit: Jonathan was beaten today by a guy with a mullet. He was right in front of me at the start (I was just behind the guys at the front) and I found myself unpleasantly entranced by his straggly neck-shading locks during the National Anthem. After the race I got a look at his front and discovered that he bore a striking resemblance to Davy Jones of The Monkees. But with a mullet.
Now that I have your attention, here’s the race report: Warm up, blah blah blah. Feel crappy, nervous, blah blah. Stand behind mullet guy. RD yells “Go!” and we’re off. Too fast. I’m running with teenage girls and 12-year-old boys who have never run a race. I know this because they are weaving all over the place and asking me, “Are we supposed to run off to the left or something?”
We’re all going at around 5:50 pace and this is just silly. So I slow down. The 12-year-old boys die after 200m (no endurance, these kids today), but the confused girls are still with me. By the quarter mile mark we’re running at a more reasonable 6:30 pace. Then they start slowing down and I don’t want to get complacent, so I pass them, suddenly feeling very Kathy Bates in Steel Magnolias Fried Green Tomatoes.* The rest of the race, I see one woman ahead of me and wait and wait and wait for someone else to catch up. No one does.
The woman is a high schooler in black, probably about 5’10” and all of 130 lbs. She is floating and I know there’s no chance I’ll catch her. I hit the first mile split in 6:37. We turn north. And. Cue the wind. Mile two is way windy. My pace drops to 6:56 for that one. Ugh. But I know the course is sort of in the shape of a bent spoon (or helium balloon on its last legs, if you prefer; or crushed lollipop…), so we should be turning out of the wind eventually and getting it on our sides again.
But that second mile has killed me and at the 2.5 mile mark I start thinking how nice it would be just slow down a bit, or even walk. Or stop and sit down. There’s an idea. But I have to keep going. I’m a little mad at myself because I know I mentally gave up to some extent when I realized in mile 2, as I watched my average speed eroding, that I wouldn’t break 21:00 today. I’m at 7:00 pace at 2.5 miles. This is unacceptable. I snap myself out of it and run the next half mile about 10 seconds faster. Then I see people turning into the parking lot at 3 miles and gun it for the last tenth for a finishing time of 21:12.
So I’m a bit disappointed, but I ran as well as I could today. Since this was a nearly flat course (total up/down elevation was around 150 ft) I now have a 5K pace to use as a baseline for training and for coming up with a reasonable (ha ha) pacing plan for next Sunday’s half marathon on Long Island. I suspect my legs were still tired from Wednesday’s speed workout, since I had leg soreness in the middle of the night. I knew I should have gone with my instinct on Wednesday to do 4 x 800 rather an 5 x 800. Live and learn.
This week’s haul included a lovely plastic trophy (and bonus non-haltingly correct pronunciation of my last name) and an AG medal. Jonathan came in (I think) sixth with 17:35 while also smashing the 50-54 course record by about a minute. He was, as previously stated, beaten by Mullet Man (who turned out to be in his 30s). We hung around, eating free bananas and watching the kids’ races, waiting for the awards ceremony, which could only happen after they raffled off 4,000 gift certificates from local establishments. These little races are a hoot. They always remind me of political protests — everyone and everything is given equal importance and tedium is never an obstacle in either planning or execution.
More fun stupid stuff…
The drive to Washingtonville, about an hour from our place in Yonkers, is very pretty if you get off of 87 and instead take the Palisades Parkway. On the way, you go past an exit for Letchworth Village (a sign that always makes us giggle). We made up a town to go with it: Lushton.
On the way back we noticed a Mercedes with a vanity license: 4MYBOGIE. What does it mean? That led to a half hour session of FBI style profiling the type of person who gets a vanity license plate. Highly critical profiling, naturally. This sort of thing is why I can go on long car trips with Jonathan; there’s no pressure to talk, and when we do talk, it’s usually at least entertaining, if not always deep.
For the hell of it, here’s a picture of our cat, looking more cute and less pissed off than usual. She was in bed when we left at 8:00 am this morning. I predicted she would still be in bed when we arrived home at 1:00 pm. I was right.
*Whoops. Wrong movie. I’m not surprised I got them mixed up as they are both insufferable movies about annoying Southern women that came out around the same time. Steel Magnolias was so awful that I finally decided it must be a satire of something. I only made it through an hour of it before returning the DVD. I don’t think I made it much farther through Fried Green Tomatoes.