Thursday, June 16, 2011

Puppy Power

I had a fantastic run at the Dalmatian 5K today.  It was actually just wonderful all around.  The run itself wasn't all that exciting, but I ran into a few people I know there and had a few good conversations with them and some strangers about running.  Conversations like this are always better with people of varying degrees of running skill and various ages.  We had that.  I even talked to an older lady that has done 13 half-marathons, and done them recently.  I hope I'm able to run at that age.  Honestly, I'd take just being around at her age.  Some of these older runners are just awesome.  I just enjoy actually getting to talk about it with people that actually want to.  Normal people just think we're nuts, but I assure you, it's actually fun. 

Anyway, like I said, the run wasn't very exciting.  It was a just a semi-flat suburban run through the middle of the town of Clio, starting at what was once the Middle School my girl attended.  Unfortunately the usual path for the race, that's supposedly much more exotic with a stream and things,  was flooded so hooray for pavement and McHouses instead.  I did see a woman waiting for the parade deliberately blowing smoke at runners as they went by (how charming), but that's not really scenery.

Other than that, all I can say is that it felt like I started out way too fast this time.  The race started with an immediate downhill and I tried to keep with the up front pack.  Every race I seem to fall into this buffer where a lot of people are ahead and behind me, but not really around me.  This time I tried to stay up front early.  It worked, but there was much less fun without people to catch and pass.  I think I only intercepted maybe 5-10 people over the course of the race.  One of them was Jason.  I pulled him along with me and encouraged him a little bit, but I had a fluorescent man I was trying to catch, and I went after him trying to catch up.  I didn't make it up there with him, but I tried really hard, and I really pushed this race again, much like I've been doing all month.

Too bad I didn't push 3 seconds faster.  I would have placed in the heavyweight division and got a really nice plaque.  I still say it's not fair.  I'm still towing around 270 pounds (I honestly don't know where it all is stored either, because I don't look it), and they get to be 220s or just above.  I stayed for awards just to see what these guys looked like and, really, they're just tall.  The 3rd place guy was kind of big and probably weighed about the same as me, but he was also 6'5"ish, with long legs, and probably has a huge stride.  I'm all torso and take baby steps like Fred Flintstone driving his car.  I don't know, I guess it's all part of my journey.  If I were getting pats on the back all the time, I'd have less initiative to get better, I guess.  So I'm just going to have to break them the old fashioned way by getting faster and thinner.

Still, though, I set another PR, and it wasn't even one of those barely sort of things.  I ran a 25:50 today.  Yeah, you heard me.  I took a full minute and 24 seconds off the Age Group winning LakeVille 5K.  I've also realized I really don't know my body well enough to pace right.  I take my time and make a late run, I do awesome.  I start out too fast and get tired, still do awesome.  I'm still waiting for that eventually plateau to actually figure out what I should be doing (music or no, start quick or break late, etc) to maximize my run potential.  It just seems like I can roll the dice right now and just end up doing better almost every single time.

Outside of the Flushing 5K it's been all rise, and even that I'm considering improvement because it was hot, so this sets up the YMCA Retread as spoiler again.  Hard to believe last year I had a 33:00.  That kind of time probably won't happen this year.  If it does, I will curse it even more than last year.

I was actually wondering if today was a little short (distance-wise), but my coworker that runs was there, and showed me the 3.11 mile that his garmin watch read.  So I just killed it today.  Maybe it was my mystical Subway sandwich that I had today.  If that's the case, once the word from this blog gets out, there are going to be a lot of runners getting a foot-long meatball with avocado, pepper-jack cheese, pickles, onion, olives, banana and jalapeno peppers, Parmesan cheese, and southwest chipotle sauce.  If you try it, I will give warning that you will get a weird look from sandwich artists, but, like running, I assure you it's awesome.  Trust me.

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