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.)
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.
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.
And now for some post-coital reflection!
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.