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.
* 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.
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?
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.