Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back Home

Got back last night, I hope to write some semi-amusing posts about what went down while I was away. The highlight was a fairly long training run that included a good old falling flat on the face after stubbing my toe on a rock on the course. You know, the type of wonderful midair ‘oh shit’ feeling you get right before you land on sharp gravel, followed by ‘I hope no one saw that’, even though there’s already more blood than at a Vlad the Impaler Tupperware party. Such a blast.

Than some stomach virus hit Sunday night, and all those historical statistics make sense, especially in the bathroom, such as: more people died in the flu epidemic of 1918 than did in all of World War I. I’m not that bad off, but it makes running (as in, with running shoes, outside) impossible. I’ve got a sweet little 18-mile race this Sunday, better be ready for that silliness, pronto.

So I survived another long stint away from the blogga-whirl. Now that fall has begun, how about we all throw a Ducathalon and raise money for our hapless investment banks? You know, the Fed’s Run On the Banks… Um, not a good name, maybe Run For The Banks is slightly better…

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ten Days Away from NYC

Love the city, but it gets tiresome, so I’ll be away it all for a week or so. I’ll have stories when I get back, though. Leaning toward the ING Hotford on 10/11, by the way.

Y’all have a good week…


P.S. Airplane/artwork at The Pompidou Center, Paris, above. Made out of scissors confiscated by airport security guards. Very funny.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Race Report: fitness® Mind, Body, Spirit Games (4M)

Held last Saturday morning, this little race was a real delight. Yes, sarcasm already.

Well, there’s not much to say, but I’ll say it anyway. Your typical Central Park 4-miler, the men’s race was at 8:30AM, the women’s an hour later. I believe Fitness magazine is geared to women, so they decided to segregate the ladies so they didn’t have to deal with all the skinny white boys throwing rock star attitude at the start line. That’s my own opinion, of course, but even I get tired of getting elbowed by all those SWBs as they push their way to the front. Apparently, ‘Excuse me’ is too complex a sentence structure for these guys. At least they’re all easy to find in the race results, you just need to search in the names under ‘Dude’. I heard ‘Dude!’ about three dozen times while standing in the corral before the start.

And here’s the best part: the humidity felt about the same as it does in the shower right after you turn the water off. Tropical storm Hanna was making its way to the northeast, and right before its arrival we were treated to some really, really Jurassic weather. The temperature was OK, about 70 degrees, but the humidity felt like 150%. It was just unbelievable. The race director warned us to watch our pace, and I thought to myself, ‘yeah, yeah, we got it’, and then I realized sweat was already dripping down my back while I'm standing there.

The gun went off and out we went, and up the first hill, and I’m holding back my pace. My first mile was a bit fast, but not insanely so, and by the time I got to mile three I knew that no PR was ‘a-happenin’ today. Life goes on. Meanwhile, I notice runners passing me and it starts to piss me off a little, but I know that hurling breakfast would really piss me off, so I re-check my pace. Not bad, but slowing. And pretty soon everybody is slowing down a little, including two friends who stuck with my pace right behind me. They finished behind me too, but thanks to the chip system, finished a few seconds ahead.

I finished the race very happy to be done, with an uncharacteristic mini-sprint. Not a bad effort, but I realized long ago that a humid day adds 10-15 seconds per mile to my pace, so that’s life, and anyway, I figured that I’d actually done better than my last 4-miler in July. Once I got home I looked up my finish time for both races and discovered I’d done both races in the exact same time, 26:18. Weird. A lot of good all that speedwork training has done, I thought. Then again, at least I didn’t run slower, and the weather was a bit worse during this last race.

I will say that everybody thought the weather was just abominable, and wanted to crawl off and die once it was over. I was not alone. I hate it when there’s lousy race weather and other runners make cheery comments on how ‘great the weather was’ just to prove how tough they are. Yeah, you’re tough alright, especially for a goddamned idiot. Folks, if you finish a race and feel fine, don’t approach other runners and tell them how great you feel. Just shut up and go get them some water or something.

And I kind of did that, I went back out to the course and cheered on the unlucky guys still left out on the course. After a while, I saw coming through my Tuesday morning/Thursday evening running coach, formerly known as swimming coach. He had hit a wall at mile 2 and struggled all the way to the end. After he crossed the finish line, I got him some water and we traded comments about the stupid weather and crap non-runners look bored listening to. And I headed back out on the course to watch and clap for the ladies struggling through their own 4-miles of ungodly sweating and chafing. Fun.

So it looks like that’s it for short races for the time being. Got an 18-mile race in a few weeks, and then marathon mania begins. Oh, and despite the sweaty race on Saturday, I managed to get a nice long run in on Sunday, running around Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. Over three hours of clomp, clomp, clomping asphalt. By then the humidity had left, thank you Jesus.