1000 words on 4 miles (Shamrock race report)

Ah, the race report.

The apex of run blogging. The Shiny among the Dull Other Things run bloggers blog about. The bacon bits in the salad of the running blog.

Except…all I write are race reports now! Yes, the odd complaints and the obligatory weekly training updates make their way through. But mostly, I can’t think of anything good to say. I can’t even make shit up! Which makes me think I’m not even a legitimate writer anymore. But I’m working on that and I’ll let you know how it shakes out just as soon as I can. (Just don’t, you know, hold your breath.)

gob segway

Anybody else just skip to the bottom of people’s race reports to check their finish time? Uuuusually you scroll back up to read the rest but sometimes not? It’s like skipping to the last page of a book and just as despicable, but admit it, you’re an asshole! Sometimes you check the finish time and then you just move on.

Sometimes there is the deviant no-time race report, which is probably the worst thing you can do to your readers if you are a running blogger. Because we’ll play along and try to pretend we’re totally immersed in the jubilation of your victory or the anguish of your defeat, but you at least owe us a finish time. Without it, it’s like we’re giving you a cheap handy in a parking lot and you’re not even returning the favor.

And really, isn’t that all blogging is? A virtual exchange of handies? A circle jerk, if you like?

Anyway, before you guys fake a headache and go to bed early, I’ll give you the goods: I ran four miles and finished in 30:45.6, 7/228 in my age group and 173/2003 overall. Not good enough for a prize, but good enough to make me feel so, so good.

Clipboard02 copy

What happened yesterday was that the stars aligned (although if you believe in astrology just GTFO), and exactly what I wanted to happen happened.

Mile 1: I have whined before about how I don’t know how to do short distances because I’m not good at strategery, but another thing is that I refuse to warm up. Because you’re wasting all the good running on the warm-up! Okay, no. I get the logic behind the warm-up, I just refuse to take part. So I didn’t do a warm-up run, and even if I had, cramming myself back into the starting area and standing there for 10 minutes just would have stiffened me back up, right? I spent the first mile dodging and weaving anyway. 8:08.

Mile 2: I frantically tried to make up for the first mile. I tried to find the chicks who looked like they might be in the 30-34 age group so I could flare my nostrils intimidatingly at them but they were all too far ahead of me to notice. So I just sort of threw caution to the wind and ran my ass off. 7:38.

Mile 3: I began to doubt my ability to maintain my frenzied pace. Glancing at the people around me who appeared to be running fast with a lot of grace and very little effort made me feel out of my league. I was gasping and wheezing and flailing and falling behind. 7:45.

Mile 4: I regained my confidence. I figured even if I barfed, I could pretty much do anything for another seven minutes. I was nancing around with this gal who’d been ahead of me the entire race. In hindsight, I don’t even think she was in my age group but she seemed like a worthy adversary, being just ahead of me and all. I briefly passed her in the last mile before she overtook me again near the finish. I made one last gallant attempt to get her in the final stretch but the bitch heard me coming (wheezing and flailing as I was) and she had a little bit more left in the tank. When she broke away from me, it was all I could do to keep up. But that kinda made me feel good. That I didn’t have anything left as I groped for the finish. She crossed just inches ahead of me. 7:29.

Was it good for you?

Was it good for you?

And now for some post-coital reflection!

Nah…

I had fun! I ran all sloppy and awkward and in no part of that race did I feel like I was just effortlessly gliding along (which, how often are you really supposed to feel that way? Not too often, right?) but I liked the result. Beyond what I already mentioned about starting out cold and not having a strategy, I’m not going to dwell too much on what I could have done differently. Frankly, I exceeded my own expectations and there will be plenty of time for strategizing after I come down off this cloud.

QUESTION IN BOLD YAAAAY: Did you do a St. Pats run? Did you get blackout drunk and hurt yourself or reinforce any other fun cultural stereotypes? I’m all for drunken debauchery as you well know, but for whatever reason, I never really got into St. Patrick’s Day. I prefer black beer to green.

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20 thoughts on “1000 words on 4 miles (Shamrock race report)

  1. Nice race. I didn’t know you were ever supposed to feel glidey and fast and awesome. I always feel like I’m running up and down cruelly uneven stone stairs with a furnace underneath them.

    I went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade yesterday and actually missed the whole thing by “stopping by” a friend’s house for a few hours. Then I went home. That was my celebration. I don’t much get into the holiday either, although I do sometimes make a smashing Irish soda bread as an excuse to eat buttery crusts.

  2. Awesome race. Your recaps are the most fun ones I’ve seen lately. Thank you for not saying “I dug deep” and other trite garbage that makes me want to harm. Managing a fast closing mile like that probably means you have even more PRs ahead…

    Since you asked a question in bold, I’m going to answer it in a nice long paragraph and make it all about meeeee! I got really cold waiting around after my race this morning and ended up overcompensating by making friends at the beer tent and guzzling down more than my allotted free alcoholic beverage but forgetting to drink water. Then I tipsy-jogged the 2.5 miles home from the course through a shady neighborhood where I was offered crack, kept accidentally dropping bits of my race swag on the ground, and almost got run over by a car because I was semi-drunk and, by extension, above the laws of traffic. These are details I would include in my race reports if I didn’t have so many family members and young teenage cousins reading along.

    • Aaaahahaha! I love it. I only had one beer, mostly because I had to drive home. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t tempted. Crack is really a great way to take the edge off the alcohol. I’ve heard. I think family members USED to read my blog, but I’ve scared them all off.

  3. daaaaamn girl, you are doing us middle of the pack chicks proud! I’ve never seen a 7 in a race split except for the .1 or .2 where you can see the finish line balloon arch. As for St. P day, it’s on par with valentine’s day fake holidays for me. Never opposed to finding a drinking excuse, I’d just rather have the excuse be something like “tuesday” or “doing laundry.”

  4. Way to go Speedy McFastPants. I usually don’t skip to the end of race reports, but I also get frustrated when there is no time listed. Hello. You a RACE. I get if you’re just running cause it’s fun, but do you understand the concept of a RACE?

  5. What happened to the cute toddler? That’s really the only reason I read your lame-ass blog anyway. Oh, and your pre-used running lube is on the way. Get ready for smoother jerking.

    Nice job on the race.

  6. 1. I’m living vicariously through people running races right now and don’t mind wordy race reports.

    2. Whoa, speedy!

    3. I’m gonna go back through your archives and take notes on everything thing you’ve done before/after having your baby so I can come back faster. Don’t want to sound like an HLB fangirl, but you’re inspiring.

    4. No racing, just spectating. Was fun except for when I realized the people I was looking for and made cool signs never saw me and I never saw them.

    • Thank you so much, seriously, what a compliment. You’ll come back faster too, it’s weird how it happens but it just does. (SCIENCE!)

      And congratulations!! I’ve been a shitty blog reader lately and should have wished you congrats long before now. But in my defense, you should have been posting more belly photos. =)

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  8. GOB!

    Congrats – you worked over that race. I am starting to loathe the dodging and weaving that is the first mile of any race. I ran a 7k on Saturday and wore zero green clothing items. I think I was the only one.

    • Heh, I had a green shirt on under my jacket where no one could see it!

      We lined up where we thought we’d be close enough to the front but not in the way of faster runners, then, RIGHT before the start, this whole family of walkers in full St. Patty’s costumes stepped right in front of us. They nearly got stampeded.

  9. I get what you are saying but the only thing sticking in my mind is….how do you race without warming up? I would fall into a heap of misery. You know the first mile or two suck right?! Warm up, I swear the race will be much more pleasant that way. Also, I always include my finish time in the first paragraph. I don’t blame people for not having time to read paragraphs about running. I encourage skimming my own posts if need be. It’s just blogging not homework.

    • Ha, I know, and you have every right to get onto me about that. It’s such a juvenile reason not to warm up and I guess it goes back to when I used to be a *really* shitty runner and felt I only had it in me to do the race distance. I should probably grow up already.

      And I love that statement, it’s just blogging not homework. Well said.

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