Friday, July 24, 2009

Round Two

My 5k two weeks ago went okay if not exactly how I was hoping. Now, it’s time for round two this coming Sunday. This particular 5k is just a hop, skip, jump, Golfdome leap, and four lane highway crossing away from my house.

I like to do well in local races. There’s the odd chance that someone might know me and, if I put up a bad time, I can almost see inside their head as they think ‘Geez, I see that guy running all over the place and that’s the best he can do? What a waste of his time.’ Plus, as my kids grow, I’m starting to notice that some of my son’s friends are entering races. These are kids I used to coach. Kids whose shoes I had to tie repeatedly so they wouldn’t fall on their little juice box stained faces.* You think I want to lose to a few 11 and 12 year olds so they go back and rethink the adolescent mental pedestal they placed me on? Besides, I’ll quit running local races long before most of the kids have the ability to zip right past me.

Earlier this summer, I was out on a run and a neighborhood walker stopped me (i.e. yelled at me as I ran by while wearing my mp3 player) to say “hey, can you still do 6 minute miles?” By now, I’m about 20 feet past her before I came to a stop, turned around (while thinking ‘Not if you are going to stop me like this’) and said “Yeah, why?” Not real eloquent but what would you say, smartass, if some random stranger flagged you down in the middle of a run and seemed to know all about your 5k pace? “Nothing”, she shrugged and then gave me the thumbs up sign to which I even more eloquently replied “Okay, thanks.” And ran on.

I was slightly unnerved by the encounter and you can bet I spent the next several miles pondering how this stranger knew who I was, my 5k pace, and that I was someone deserving of a thumbs up signal on a regular basis. From then on, every clump of trees seemed to conceal a stalking neighbor with a speed gun. Plus, there was the added bonus of becoming suddenly hyper conscious of your running form. Just watch how your limbs seem to flail about when you think people that know you are watching. And examining you.

Maybe this person just saw me at the last local race. Or maybe she’s just a real astute judge of speed. I’ll never know.

One thing I do know is that I don’t want to chance another random encounter with this stranger later this year and have her say, “Oh, down to 6:10 miles now, eh? Still decent...I guess.” With a so so twist of her flat hand.

Happy trails.

* For any parents – or prospective parents – out there, here’s a simple request from a disgruntled, slightly vindictive volunteer coach: Please tie and DOUBLE KNOT your child’s laces before sending them off to practice. It’s always when I’m tying some kids shoes that another child has pulled up the orange flags and is launching them through the air like a spear nearly impaling yet another child. The blood is on your hands if that happens.
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I’m out of town spending some quality time with the fam next week. We’ll be camping, eating, drinking, running, swimming, boating, and doing many unmentionable things with honey. I made Mrs. Nitmos aware of this a long time ago: This week would be Honey Week whether she likes it or not. I’m an absolute joy to be around for 51 weeks out of the year so it’s not too much to ask to tolerate excessive amounts of honey for one little week. I may have a post timed to detonate some time next week though so you don’t go into depression without me. The only reason I wouldn’t have a post is if honey has filed a restraining order and I’m entangled in a legal bee’s nest. (rim shot please)

For those of you on pins and needles stalking my 5k results,
this is the race I’ll be running. And, who are we kidding, you all know my name. My goal is a modest sized PR jump to 18:15. How did I do?

I also might run
this 5k on Saturday, August 1st if I can assemble a costume in time. Uber liberal Michael Moore may be mc’ing the event so I’m trying to design something provocative. Suggestions?
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Don't forget to visit Half-Fast and contribute some $$$ to his ACS relay. Don't be a cheapskate. You've gotten at least $10 worth of laughs over there right? Sure, he probably owes you some money for reading some of the other posts but let's just concentrate on the credit side of the balance sheet for now.

Also, we still would like some feedback on the Banned on the Run page. Do it.

23 comments:

joyRuN said...

That's damn freaky that some random chick would know your pace like that.

Ok, no not that freaky. There's a studmuffin (no not you & not Vanilla either) running around these parts, & I know his 5k, 10mi, & marathon pace because YES I've taken the time to find out his name & stalk him on Athlinks.

I'm creepy like that.

B.o.B. said...

Running stalkers are everywhere. There is probably one holding on to the frame beneath your camper right now. Just waiting for your first camping run. Watching.

Best of luck with those 5Ks. On the plus side with all the running stalkers you don't even have to look at your watch. They'll just tell you your pace later.

Jamoosh said...

Camping + honey = bears.

Sure, good luck with that.

Vava said...

Good luck! I still think your comeback should have been, "Can you, dumbass?" and not a simple, "Yeah." But hey, hindsight and all that crap...

Viper said...

You should dress up as former GM CEO Roger Smith, considering your location and Michael Moore will be there (Roger & Me). Or a columbine victim, complete with real bullet holes.

Good luck at the race. Cheers.

Kristina said...

That's weirder than anyone on the Appalachian Trail.
Have a good race, trip, and bath after all that honey!

Marlene said...

See, running well at my local 5K backfired... now the people I train with know I've been "dogging it" on workout days.

Good luck at the race and have a great vay-cay!

Katie said...

I might be doing that 5k too but haven't picked a costume. I'm not that fast of a runner anyway so I don't want anything that will slow me up any more...

Sun Runner said...

Have fun in TC. Good luck with that 5K goal.

I've stalked you on Athlinks, too. ;)

Xenia said...

If you're going to be camping in Ashdown Forest, I would consider bringing a safe along to protect all that honey. Wily bears and all that, you know.

Vanilla said...

Ah crap. Just when I had a snarky comment all lined up to send you off in to the weekend in tears you go and plug my ACS relay. Thanks amigo. Best of luck on your PR attempt.

RazZDoodle said...

Was she hot?

Rural Runner E said...

I too am a volunteer coach for your local 4-6 year old track team. It never fails to happen that one kid needs my help while another is taking the long jump pit rake and using it to beat another kid....or the relay team is playing catch with the baton.
Good luck Sunday.

Spike said...

first, I'm not a chick, my hair was just long. second, good luck this weekend. I'll be there, but I'm running 18 on Saturday so I may not be killing it.

BrianFlash said...

I just dream of random people asking me how the assault on the world's marathon courses is going. You are so lucky!

One day, in my fantasy, someone is going to come up to Team Flash when we're in the midst of a race and give us a blog shout out. I'm living for that moment.

As far as the costume - I'm thinking a GI with a sign that says "Thumbs up for the wars - its keeping me employed." That should offend Michael Moore and almost everyone else...

theloosemoose said...

I might be the world's least effective stalker by telling you this, but I now have tentative plans to stalk you!!

Mr. Moose and I will be in Cadillac, MI for our niece's wedding the Saturday that you might do that run in Traverse City. I've never been to MI before, but those two cities are close enough to one another to make it fairly convenient for stalking purposes, right? Am I right?!?! And it's okay if I'm late to the niece's wedding 'cause I just HAD to eye spy you/menace you with a stuffed llama/present you and your honey with industrial sized cans of honey, yes?

Be afraid...be very afraid.

Blyfinn said...

LOVE the use of the "rim shot". I need to really expand my vocab in my posting.

Kevin said...

Sounds like you have a stalker

X-Country2 said...

That was the worst flirting attempt I've ever read. I hope she walked away thinking, "did I REALLY just say that?!"

Ted said...

Hey dude.. just be glad that your neighbor gave you a thumb up sign. I'd thought she was going to give you a "birdie" sign. Whew !!!

I think that's doable that you can do the 5K under 18:15. Hmmm.. now having second thought. Make that 18:21.

Enjoy your vacation.

Oscar Yeager said...

I can identify with the distraction you encountered with the presumably well-meaning lady.

I recently was at my parent's house, the same one I grew up in, and told them I was going out for a 5K race-practice run.

Well, half way through my run, my dad drives up next to me in his car, powers the window down, asks me how it's going, etc.

I told him to let me in the car and blast the a/c on me, I couldn't resist the temptation of doing that, but was likewise upset at him for ruining my run.

Adam said...

Wow, strangers clocking your time while you run. You need to get her to hold water or call out spilts or something.

Beth said...

I hope the 5K went well and you enjoy your time with your family. I'm with you on the shoe tying. Double knots, please!