Sunday, May 15, 2011

Invisible Man Runs Race. Kills PR. Race Organizers Deny Knowledge.

I decided I wanted to run this weekend.  I didn't feel like traveling anywhere for one, and there were two local races.  So the usual indecision came in.  Usually, registration closes on one and I choose the open one, or I simply don't do anything with either.  That's how it usually shakes out.  It's not a perfect system, but it seems to work (not very well).  Friday night I go to sleep, still undecided.

I woke up this morning, got ready, and decided I didn't feel like going anywhere, and it was rainy, so I didn't want to run that much.  I drove to the bank to get some race money and back to the community college about a mile from my house to the "Healing Hands 5K."  Along the way I see that most of the streets blocked off are my home course I run all the time.  I pull in, park, and walk to registration and see the ugly purple shirts, and start thinking how tired I am of 5Ks.  I turn around, walk out, and go to my car.  Then I drive out to Davison for the "Parcel for the Park" instead, get there 10 minutes before start time.  I sign up for the 10K and head off to the start.

There was still a drizzling rain going and I ran into the guy from work that is at a lot of these races.  We basically talked about how small the field was, and I was saying that I hope I didn't finish dead last.  Looking at everyone there, it was possible there wasn't a soul I could beat.  I fired up some Electric Six on the mp3 player, after the national anthem was over, and got ready to go.  Then they led us all to another location for the start, where some much wiser people, who must have done this race before, were waiting.

Finally we were off, and I figured out about a mile in that a lot of the race was going to be the same trail that Jason and I often run.  More familiarity, wonderful.  Even better, the rain just kept coming down harder and harder.  The water resistant jacket I had on was suddenly soaked, and holding large pockets of water on the inside, especially at my arms.  As if I don't usually feel round and heavy enough already, now I felt like a giant water balloon racing through the woods.

With the limited amount of participants, I didn't pass many people, but I only let one pass me, so all was well.  Even he only passed me at the end, and that was because I didn't realize it was almost over.  When we got to the turn-around, I was thinking we were only half way, but it turned out that the turn was about 4 miles in and we took a shorter way back.  I figured I had another mile or two to go when he went past and it was only about a half mile.  Even so, after I saw the end and hit on the burners, I went from about 40 seconds back to finishing 14 behind him.  I had a ton of energy left, despite the miserable conditions.

My time read 59:16 last I saw as I went across, which was about 5 minutes faster than my best 10K.  I turned to the volunteers for a water, and talked to Mark who used to work with me when he was at our water treatment plant.  After I got done chatting him up and keeping him from doing his volunteering, I went in to check if they had any shirts left.  They did, but I decided I didn't want one anyway.  They were too plain and my new rule states that every shirt I gain, I must lose two.  It wasn't worth two shirts or really even the extra $5.  So I went from a potentially ugly purple shirt to nothing, but at least I didn't have to only run a 5K.  I headed to my car, noticing that my back passenger window fell down again (motor's broke), and my car was soaked.  I had no way to prop it up and drove home with it down.  I did get it fixed enough to stay up.  I'm not sure I'll bother fixing it right so it goes up and down, at least not right now.  It did kill me for time, though, and kind of squashed any plans I had for going to Comic Con in Novi.

This 10K was still boring, though, and thinking I was only 2/3rds of the way there when I was actually almost done threw me off.  I'm sure I could do better, but I just don't run that distance too often.  This is only my fourth 10K ever, and you could nearly say it's my first this year, since the only other one was done in the snow.  I haven't learned to pace myself for that distance yet.  Oh well, I can't complain...or can I?

After getting home, taking a nap, and then fixing the stupid window, I checked the results.  I wasn't there.  I checked later,still not there.  I emailed the race organizers and they have nothing for me.  Nope.  Maybe the company keeping the times has something for me to get an official time.  I have a feeling I won't get that though.  I don't know what happened.  I crossed the timing pads, and my number was on me and out front.  Can B-tags get messed up by rain?  Is that even possible? 

I keep coming up with all these conspiracy theories.  Who knows, maybe one person with a grudge against one of my family members removed me, but that's probably fairly ridiculous, as far as notions go.  I'm pretty sure I was there, and I ran.  I got rained on and everything.  They're just trying to keep the fat man down.  It would be a shame if this ended up being the best 10K I had all year, and it never even shows up for me, but I won't let that happen.  More to maybe I should stop slacking off so much.  The results are coming though, and that just makes me more dedicated to not behaving myself.  As I type this, I'm sipping on some Short's Anniversary Ale at 3:30am and watching more old Bond movies.  Not exactly the model running citizen.

Oh well, on to the next one, which I actually hope will be longer.  I would have much rather tried to run the 5/3rd River Bank Run 25K in Grand Rapids this weekend.  I think, had there been something to justify driving over to the other side of the state and staying over for the night, we would have.  I'm not going to drag Jessi all the way there just for my own purposes, though.  I think I will plan on that one next year though.  I'm already coming up with the 2012 hit list.  Hopefully that wacko isn't right about the rapture coming May 21st, because that's the World Expo of Beer, maybe the WIOG Leaping Lizard Run, and I would have to find where I put my Blondie vinyl and everything for mood music.  It's just a little inconvenient for me.

*EDIT* (5/16/11)

They found my result.  They said the bib didn't register for some reason but one of the volunteers at the finish hand-wrote me in at 59:20.  Sounds close enough to me, and now they have me posted in the official results, so I'm good, and I have credit for my current 10K PR.

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