Monday, February 4, 2008

Race Report: Unpredictable

I've never felt so bamboozled. Here, Martini and I enter a race with certain expectations and we get swindled out of our rightful place in the winners' circle. I mean, yes, some things I expect will be a little unpredictable. The distance, however, should not be one of those things.

Up until checking the results online this morning, the race was the Frostbite 4-Mile Prediction Race. That's what it was last year. And that's what I thought it was as I signed my name so that it would be misspelled on the race website. However, it turns out the nefarious race organizers decided to make it a 5-K. Perhaps we were the only numbskulls not to get the message. Instead of being what would have been two minutes over my prediction at the pace I ran, I was six and a half minutes under.

The race was at a new location this year and the course was two laps around a park. This would have been unexciting if it weren't for the sheet of ice that covered every inch of the running surface. I had premonitions of these race conditions the night before while I stumbled and slid home from the bar down the street from my apartment.

On the downhills, some people skidded wildly, willingly or not. Martini took to striding like a cross country skier and even took a spill early in the race. Had I had the guts to turn my shoes into cleats, like I considered, I might have been able to run at a decent clip. Alas, it was just a short, treacherous jaunt in the park to sweat out the booze.

The moment we crossed the finish, we knew we had lost. At 28:09, Martini and I entertained the idea of being so speedy that even on an ice rink we could run faster than either of us ever had. Needless to say, we didn't stick around for the awards ceremony. We headed straight to the pub for a couple of Labatt Blues for carb reloading and fluid replacement purposes and a few shots of Jameson to numb the pain.

The good news is that I now have my stubble time for Vanilla's Shave Your 5-K Challenge. The bad news is that I now have no hope of winning a race this year.

Scene of the race
As we neared the final turn of the race, there was a teenage boy lying on his back in the snowy grass. A top heavy man on the farther edge of middle age, wearing a red jacket and a ballcap, walked toward the boy and shouted in a gruff voice that is what you'd imagine a high school track coach would sound like: "All right get up. Are you OK or what?"

Of Comments and Contests
In response to my last post about predicting my pace for this race, Laura says I should have picked a slow time and worn a watch to make it happen. Sorry, yes, that is cheating. No timing devices or heart rate monitors are allowed at a prediction race. That's the challenge of predicting your pace.

As for the Predict Viper's Finishing Time contest, I see that the prize was so coveted that only one person entered. Congrats, balancingact, you win! Thanks for reading. Leave your choice of blog topic in the comments and I will write about it whenever I feel like it.