Sunday, March 24, 2024

Pearl of the Quarter

My first race of '24 is completed. 

I thought I had other races before this on the books, but I never signed up and truth be told they didn't either challenge me or interest me enough to part with $$$$. 

As it is, April is a busy race month, should I sign up for all I want / need. Four races, but three for sure. That kind of interferes with my training, which is why the fourth, as yet unsigned race, would help me get back on track, as it would be a half marathon. With the knee still recovering, I've committed to nothing.  ....except the other three races. 

I have a problem. 

But yesterday's race was "interesting" (yes, quotes). 

I woke up to 2-3" of snow with ice underneath that surprise. The gear I laid out to wear was no longer practical, so in the dark (as to not wake 710), I had to find newer, warmer clothing. In route, I saw no fewer than three accidents - two in real time. Obvi, no one had touched the streets. 

It's been November since I've had an actual race. I had a few "fun runs" at the end of the year, but the vibe there is different. I kind of forgot what it's like to be without strollers, dogs, walkers and with people who were out to actually just run. 

The cold doesn't really bother me (except my hands) when I run. And for the first half, it was on a wet, yet cleared road. At the turn, well.............paths. For the first mile of the path it was nothing but ice. As you go through the woods, there wasn't even a place to run along side the path for better grip. People were bitching about the organizers, but they couldn't quite predict the weather or conditions. We adapt. 

In the last half mile, I hit black ice. Yes, #allicematters, but by the time I realized it, I was already on it. I did what I call a "cartoon run" of flailing arms and legs to keep moving without falling. Or injuring my knee.

The race itself was structured differently. They didn't have placing by age categories (thats, fine, I'm never winning that anyways) but you were eligible for some kind of win if your last mile was faster than the average of your first 5.55 miles. I wasn't winning that either. 

Oh, I should have mentioned, this was billed as a Half of a Half Marathon, or 6.55 miles. 

I ran with two people from the Old Man's Running Group. Andrew asked if I was trying to PR, but how can one? 6.55 isn't a standard race. Closest thing would be a 10k. So in my mind (and Andrew' he told me) that is the time I was trying to beat, which my best had been 1:01:14. 

In theory, I did. At the 6.2 mark, I was at 59:something. At the 6.55 I finished at 1:02:51. 

I was happy. Yes, me. Not just because afterwards I was getting a chocolate-cherry muffin.......not a euphemism. Had it not been for the slow times on the ice, I would have crushed it. 

After sharing the time with my core group, Morty mentioned I was getting faster. And I am, on paper. I don't feel like it as it's happening. Maybe it never does. I just need to recalibrate my thinking on this. 

First of a possible I dunno how many races in 2024 (12? maybe?) done. I'll assume the weather will get better for the next one, but who knows. 

Next race: a pre-solar eclipse 5k.  I think overall, for now, I'm done with most 5ks. But you know Cleveburgh is in the direct path of this I kind of want the t-shirt. 

Song by: Steely Dan


Old Lurker said...

5k runs don't give you enough of a dopamine hit any more? Risking your life (and your knee!) to run on icy pathways? No, you don't have a problem. You could quit any time you want.

I am jealous about that solar eclipse, though. If you don't burn your retinas out by staring straight at the giant ball of fire, it should be pretty cool to see.

James Dwight Williamson said...

I’d probably risk my life for sex, but running, I guess it’s the family man. It’s not a mid life crisis or anything, because that usually involves a huge car that does all the work. Having something to be excited about always is good for your state of mind.