So, first of all, what with it being spring and whatnot, it’s totally time to revisit the horror of running skirts. I’m gratified to see that this extremely inflammatory topic still holds enough firepower to get some Skirt Chicks’ shorts-beneath-their-skirts into a wad. Of course, nearly three years after writing that harangue, I must bitterly acknowledge that running skirts are as common as old socks or Runs Like a Girl!! stickers. Naturally, this indicates that something even more girly is en route for jogging chicks. I’m going to go with either Inspirational Aphorisms on Fake Nails or calf-length Running Maxi Skirts in assorted pleasant autumn tones for cooler weather and/or optimal knee fat coverage.
Meanwhile, if you want a truly tear-inducing read, this is the best running skirt post I’ve ever seen. Did you just read it? Go read it. NOW. Okay, did you read it? Are you dying??
Meh, who am I kidding. My new favorite running top is pink. I’ll probably be in a skirt by July.
In other news, The past few weeks included have included one of the most spectacularly horrid races I’ve run in 33 years, and a race that was so totally ho-hum that I just nodded off at this very moment trying to recall any details about it.
The first race was the annual Tom King half mary, the rite of not-quite-spring event where you can see just how white your legs are on the Titans stadium jumbotron as you flail to the finish line. This race has had the worst weather imaginable for the past 4 years in a row. Driving, cold rain. Insulting wind gusts. Chain lightning. So this year, as it dawned sunny and pleasant, I was all, “OMG. I am so totally going to have a stellar race! I am WAY going to win my age group now that I’m 50!!!!”
Think again, granny.
A week or so before the race I had been enjoying some stunning gastric phenomena. I know many of you would like intricate details. Sorry. Anyway, by race morning most of my symptoms had subsided. I was still a tad fatigued, but it was nothing that 4 cups of coffee and a container of Man Running Off the Top of a Mountain couldn’t eradicate. So I took off and actually made a concerted effort to stay within a 7:40-7:45 pace, even slowing down at mile 3 on purpose (shudder). I was feeling good, loose, happy, superior….and then….
Around mile 7, I casually thought to myself, “I could totally throw up right now.” And a mile later, I did. This was a first. I mean, I’ve proudly hurled at the end of some hard-run races, but I’ve never enjoyed this event mid-race. Oh, the mind-numbing hell of those final 5 miles. I considered dropping out, but this is an out and back course, so what’s a girl to do? Somehow, I was able to maintain an 8:30-ish death march, sporadically sprinkled with dry heaving and doubled-in-half cramping. Pretty.
I have absolutely no recollection of anything for the last 2 miles except looking behind me a few times to see if Cheryl was going to pass me. Honestly, I was hoping she would, but her day turned out to be nearly as bad as mine, minus the hurlage. Adding insult to puke, there was (apparently, I didn’t notice) a terrific headwind on the way back that wrecked nearly everyone’s wigs. Isn’t running great? Alas, my half time was the worst in 4 years.
Even so, thanks to my geriatric status, I managed 3rd in my age group. But I was too disappointed and crabby to wait around for the awards. Later on, when my stomach got over itself, I was still almost too disappointed to allow myself an unappealing cut-rate light beer suitable only for losers. I said almost.
Two weeks later, I decided to punish myself by racing a 5k when I wasn’t necessarily in 5k shape. (I don’t know what I really mean by that, but it sounds like a reasonable excuse.) I picked a flat, though endlessly turning course in a downtown park where I’ve run a billion times. I put on my flats and raced. That’s about all there is to say about it except that I managed moderately even splits which was a tremendous miracle for me. I came in 5th woman, 1st masters in an unremarakable 22:30, about 35 seconds off what would be a somewhat less unremarkable time. I was happy enough, though.
This time, I waited around for the awards, because I noticed there were envelopes involved, and envelopes almost always mean a good thing. The overall chicks marched up for their awards as the announcer proudly bellowed about how the top woman would receive $100, two tickets to a concert at the Ryman, and a $20 gift card to Dick’s. (Side note: my mom still mentions, with vague distaste, about the time she googled “Dicks” when shopping online for some walking shoes.)
Then the top masters were announced. I eyed the envelopes with major anticipation. Naturally, I acted like I didn’t care what was inside, as though it was only the race that had mattered to me (as if!!). I strolled nonchalantly to the back of the crowd. Then, in an afterthought kind of way, I glanced inside the treasured envelope and…A gift card to Dick’s for $5 and nothing else. FIVE DOLLARS!
I realize that I was not an overall winner, and that my time was blah, but come on! FIVE DOLLARS!?! There is just no damn respect for the elderly in our country.
In further news, I’m going to be the 4:15 pacer for the Country Music Marathon at the end of April. Remember last year when CMM was a debacle on wheels and I swore I’d never run it again? Yeah, well whatever. This marathon could not possibly have terrible weather luck for a third year in a row, could it? Could it?? In any event, I’ll be there to lead the 4:15 hordes through hailing frogs, dust storms, blinding aurora borealis, or any other special weather that might crop up.
I’ve been practicing long runs at the 9:44 pace and wearing my Dick Tracy 2-Way Radio Garmin on these runs to keep anal track of the seconds and freak myself out. If anyone out there has any suggestions about being a pacer, or if you’d just like to toss out a sarcastic comment about me pacing, please fire away. I’m coming to the realization that pacing a marathon 30 minutes slower than one’s racing time is not all lah-dee-dah and Oh for Pete’s Sake What a Piece of Cake! I may be forced to wear a pace band or even write on my arm.
So, that’s all for now. More riveting updates about ME!! as they come along.