I’m a numbers guy. I love me some statistics. Oh, the things I would do – or have done - to a Baseball Encyclopedia. You don’t want to know. I’m not allowed in Cooperstown, NY anymore either. Long story. One of the things running provides for me is a non-stop stream of numbers to bathe in. Miles? Hours? Minutes? Seconds? TENTHS OF SECONDS??? HUNDREDTHS OF MILES???? SCCCHWIINGGG!!!
So 17 seconds has been dominating my brain for the past few days. That’s the amount of time the “first place” finisher beat me by in my age group. Seventeen seconds!? That means I was trailing him no more than half a block away for much of the race. I must have been awash in his foul smelling cheater fumes like a water skier in a boats wake. I don’t know the guy from Adam. And one thing I don’t like to do is cast slanderous aspirations on an innocent, unsuspecting runner.
I don’t like to but that doesn’t mean I won’t. Somebody has to say something. Who let cyborgs into the race? Clearly the man is comprised of some sort of synthetic cardiovascular system that allows him to respirate without any lactic acid build up. I’m pretty sure that’s cheating. And was that a needle I saw him shooting into his legs before the start? Said something like “Immediate and Illegal 18 second 5k Performance Improvement Guaranteed!” on the side of the syringe. Figures.
The worst part of being the First Loser is the reaction from others. Case in point: Mrs. Nitmos, the kids and I head out to dinner later that evening. I’m still feeling pretty good about the PR and all. Normally I order water to drink as (1) I have an aversion to soda (2) I don’t like to pay $2 for sugar water anyway and (3) I’m a bit of a cheapskate. I was in a celebratory mood so I went for the beer. It wasn’t even happy hour.
“I’ll have a beer.” I say hoping the waitress will notice by my smug, superior tone that I just set a PR. Also, I’m rubbing my sore hamstrings the entire time to drop a hint. That doesn’t work so I add, “Do you have Personal Record beer cuz that’s what I just set today and that’d be neat and all if there was such a thing?”
“No. How ‘bout Miller?”
“Well…” Disappointed sounding. “I guess that would be alright. I’m sure it’ll soothe my aching hamstrings either way right? Is that what second place finishers normally order here?”
“Look, you want it in 12 or 22 ounces?”
Of course, I order the 22 ouncer. I’m only driving a few kids home tonight not a whole damn bus after all.
At this point, Mrs. Nitmos, who had been sitting quietly, interjects. “You sure about that 22 ounces? You didn’t finish first you know. Maybe 12 would be good for you.”
Pffftttt. Pop goes the ego.
The rest of the weekend went that way. If I wanted a “large” something or other, I was reminded that maybe “medium” was all I deserved.
Oh, well, life as First Loser.
Incidentally, I was searching for a cool official looking definition for "first loser" and came across this guy. It's pretty funny if you take it as such though I think he's actually being serious. Man, who pissed in his coffee?
Last evening, a relaxed 5 mile work-the-kinks-back-out run: