Sunday, June 28, 2009

More douchbagishness

For some reason, it has been a really long time since I wrote a post. I had a lot of good ideas in the intervening time, but now those ideas have faded, or are no longer appropriate.

I had to stay late at work to prepare for mid-year reviews, and I worked on my kitchen all weekend, so I missed a lot of running.

I did do a race on Friday. The HoCo Striders have a series of X-Country races on Friday nights this summer. On Friday the race was at Centennial High School, which was our chief rival. As I expected, there was some douchebagishness. The vast majority of people were cool though.

I knew I was in trouble when at the 400m mark, some dude shouted out, "72 seconds for the quarter. Not a bad mile split". Uh oh! I went out too fast! I'm used to trail races, where if you don't go out fast, you'll be trapped behind walkers as soon as the trail leads into the singletrack. In Cross-Country, there IS no singletrack. No need to kill myself. I was in maybe 10th-15th. I relaxed a bit, let some people by, and settled in at 25th. I then started to feel good, and slowly reeled in people. We circled the school a bunch of times, going up and down hills. My favorite moment was when I passed one of the douches! Sweet!

At 800m to go, I was in 20th or so, and I had no idea how much further I had to run. I asked one of the race directors as I passed, and I am almost positive he said, "halfway, 1 and a half miles to go". I then slowed down, let 5 people go, and settled in for another mile of torture. I saw the track approaching, but I thought, "well, he said I was only half done, so the trail must veer off somewhere else. I'll save my energy." By the time I realized I was almost done, it was too late to get the people, I just hung on, and didn't let anyone else get by me.

I finished in 22 minutes or so. I was a bit shocked. I was hoping for 19-something. I haven't bettered my pace in months. I am obviously doing something wrong, Maybe I'm just getting older, but that can't be it entirely.

So my takeaway is I have to be more prepared. At least wear a watch. Hopefully my fancy GPS Nerd Watch. That way I won't have to depend on asking people for anything. And my other takeaway is that I have to keep searching for why I am still so slow even though I am doing speedwork.

I probably should mention that the race was in about 90 degrees F, and very humid. Starting off too fast probably affected my ability to run fast. And in an ideal world, I would be running every day. Life sometimes intrudes on training plans, and you just have to make do.

If you feel like going back to the good old days of High School Cross-Country torture sessions, by all means, try this series out!

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