Monday, August 11, 2008

Race Report: Some Redemption

Sunday morning I felt like a sore muscle. My whole body an aching mound of Jell-O. But in a good way.

I believe in ripping the Band-Aid off quickly. Vanilla, your 10K PR is toast. However, my 50-minute 10K White Whale still lurks just beyond the Puke Threshold. The new mark is 50:48, good enough for fifth in my age group and 50th overall.

For my part of the of the Big Showdown, I ran the Green Family YMCA Caribbean 10K, in Green, Ohio, in search of a sub-50:00 time -- or at least a sub-52:07 time to reclaim the PR that Vanilla stole from me back in May, the PR I failed to reclaim in July.

You may recall that I lamented how fast I went out the first mile of my last 10K -- a blistering 7:16. I now have a surefire way to avoid that common race-day malady.

First thing you need to do is not pre-register. Next, make sure that you mistakenly think the race starts a half-hour later than it does. (Perhaps I should have stopped by the innernets Friday and read Vanilla's to-do list.) After that, going out slow is a breeze.

You show up with what you think is plenty of time only to realize that you don't know where the registration table is and they're giving race directions to the runners already lined up at the start.

You pay the woman your $20, fill out the entry form, use two pins for your bib number, and loop your timing chip through your double-knotted shoelaces before your warm-up jog to the starting line.

Luckily, being the good patriots that they are, the race officials will play "The Star Spangled Banner" to give you enough time to cross the parking lot to the start where you'll line up at the back of the pack and have trouble weaving your way toward the middle during the first mile, which you'll clock at 8:35 instead of 7:57 like you planned.

This race was a double loop course like the race in July, but the layout was flatter through the middle miles. However, the miles were poorly marked, so after the first two I gave up on my splits and just ran. I picked a person to target each mile and passed each one in my typical merciless fashion.

The final target was a 40-ish woman I spotted ahead of me somewhere around the fifth mile. She had a nice even pace, which allowed me to reel her in but keep myself from falling apart during the last mile.

As we neared the parking lot to the YMCA, I noticed two spandex-clad men, whom I soon realized were her rabbits waiting to pace her to the finish. I passed my mark at the same moment these guys joined her and became their rabbit.

We had to climb a hill and round the building for the last 0.2 of a mile. A volunteer announced that we were at about 49 minutes, and I pulled away from the group. But I felt their footsteps close behind as we neared the final turn before the too-short straightaway to the finish.

I bolted and opened a 10-second gap.

I felt a brief letdown when I saw I missed my goal by 49 seconds, but then I realized how bad I torched Vanilla's PR. I killed you! What you got, now?

Pre-Race Conditioning
I went ahead and decided to run my 10-miler Thursday. And then I water skied Friday, which actually hurt more, as the water was very choppy. My arms and shoulders still feel wrecked. Not to mention my crotch, which the water pummeled when I invented a new variation of the Cannon Ball(s) by letting the toe of my ski dip too low and catapulted myself feet first (and apart) into the boat's wake. Also, I carefully sunburned myself. (Honestly, Vanilla, I tried not to destroy you. Honestly, I did.)

Post-Race Revelry
Saturday was also the annual beer tasting event, Blues & Brews, where the blues are not so bluesy but the brews make you not give a shit. Only one beer really stood out in my mind this year and that was Old 21 Imperial Ale, a double IPA from the Brew Kettle in Strongsville, Ohio. Yum!


Ian said...

Congrats on a great race! I'll have a race report up shortly.

Nitmos said...

Well congratulations on the PR and the Vanilla besting. Both are wonderful accomplishments. Way to try to do everything in your power to submarine your race but still come out on top. I expect you'll be humble about your win in the 10k correct?

Jess said...

Congrats on the new PR and beating Vanilla. Enjoy basking in your accomplishments.

Marcy said...

Rub that in good! Awwwhhh yeah :P

Look at Vanilla being all gentlemanly . . .hmmmmm I wonder . . . . .

S said...

Congrats on an awesome race/PR/beating Vanilla even after doing your best to bring yourself down. :-) Also...your new variation of the cannon ball(s) just sounds painful. You'd have been better off sticking with the original :-P

Vava said...

Fantastic race and time! Great job!

Teacher Pursuits said...

Congrats on the PR! And, I can feel that ache of water ski arms! Its a good burn though!

Spike said...

Great race and congrats on a new PR. Sore balls and all, you should be proud!

chia said...

Fantastic showing!

What's with this weekend and damaging one's naughty bits. oye.

Laura said...

Congratulations!!! I'm guessing Vanilla's generous demeanor means he one-upped you at his... off to go read and find out! Love the excitement :)

Unknown said...

Way to go Viper!!! Congrats on your PR thing. Great post! Need to go over to find out what the scoop with Nilla!

tfh said...

Great race! And nice PR. You obviously would have totally come in under 50 if they had marked the course better, though.

Aileen said...

Nothing like good beer to celebrate!