I suppose I should declare my intentions prior to Saturday’s 5k Cherry Festival race. While in the past many of you have ridiculed my shorts as looking like a running skirt, derided my command of American history, and outright mocked my grammar, I know that you all view me as a trendsetter. So, I would like to announce a new blog tradition sure to sweep the RBF universe: the public posting of “race goals” prior to the race. But not just the bland, traditional numerical goals. Also, a non-numeric transcendental, malicious and/or farcical goal. I’m sure you all see the value in this and require no explanation. Consider this blog Mt. Sinai and I have passed this information directly on to you cutting out the middle man. (Take that, Moses!) Use it and use it well.
Saturday’s race marks the final day of Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival. Those of you who like to “pie” your cherries, should be thanking this small northern Michigan region for this delicious and healthy fruit. Tart, they are. Tasty, they is. This is also the home of the fantastic Bayshore Marathon with its nice, largely flat BQ caliber course. This, my friends, is my ancestral hometown (though I never actually ran in the race when I lived there.) I have run in either the 5k or 15k from 2000-2006. After obtaining a BQ in May of 2007, I decided to sit the 2007 Cherry Festival race out. I was busy wallowing in my own vainglorious (+3) achievement to even recognize its existence. So, this year marks the triumphant return….and to the 5k no less which has not been so blessed since 2004!
My 5k numeric goals are not many. It numbers only one. BEAT 19:00!
Nineteen minutes is my official Summer of Speed goal for this distance. I will accept nothing less. Garmin is set to alarm at 18:59. If I have not crossed the finishing mat by this time, it may as well be a detonator exploding me into tiny, sweaty, attractive bits all over the assembled crowd. Lucky be those who may walk away with a powerful leg or a bit of rippled torso.
Failing discharge, I may simply leave the course at the sound of the alarm. Defeated. Broken. Though still oddly bewitching. There is no need to complete the race at this point no matter if I’m 500 yards or 500 inches away from the finish.
It is 18:59 or less. Do or die. I am McGyver and I have 19 minutes to get this timing chip to the finish or KAPLOOEY!!!
Perspective is an odd thing. In marathoning, nineteen minutes is considered “warm-up”. Here it is the entirety of the race itself. Normally, I’m not even done fiddling with my short lining banana hammock until 25 minutes have gone by at which point the sweat glue solves the problem on its own.
I’m not going to wrap my one numeric goal in the syrupy sweetness of other “Have Fun” or “Do My Best” or “Play Fair” goals. This is a mission. It does not come with a candy coating.
As for my other goals, well, you are in luck. Those are plentiful.
Malicious Goal: Step on the back of another runner’s show dislodging it from his/her inferior foot.
You may recall that one of the pillars in the Nitmosian philosophy is that, in order for me to succeed, others must fail. It’s the Teeter-totter effect. We can’t ALL obtain our goals. It’s yin-yang. Batman vs. The Joker. It’s Corey Feldman-Corey Haim. If I am to rise to the heights I desire, another runner must fail miserably. Shoe dislodgement is subtle but devastating to a time seeking opponent.
Transcendental Goal: Disconnect my legs from my body and let them achieve independent perpetual motion.
My brain sometimes undermines my legs and tells them to slow or (gasp) stop. If I can detach my legs from my evil brain’s command, I may be able to keep a constant sub 6 minute pace without break down. I’ll attempt to redirect my brain to pick on my kidneys this race instead.
Farcical Goal: To, literally, shoot out chocolate covered strawberries from my rear upon stopping Garmin at the finish with the first two digits as “18”. This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Goose will have laid the brown and red egg! Eat up everyone!
The Betting Line
During recent 800 (w/400 cool down) intervals, I marked off a 3.11 mile segment during this exercise as a bit of a time trial and came in at 19:16. This was not a race though. If I apply my patented 2.5% race day adrenaline performance boost, that comes to 18:47.
Hmmm, this will be interesting. I hope the course is measured accurately at 3.11 miles (or less). If it turns out to be 3.15 or higher, well, that probably blows it. That’s how close we are talking.
This will be only my second 5k since 2004. The last one – in Spring 2007 – was documented here (and featured my filly rising from an early race accident to finish strong!) It should be interesting.
Whew! I think that took longer to type than the race will be to run. Something not right about that.