Monday, August 17, 2009

Usain Bolt, Slightly Faster, Attention Seeker

It was quite a day yesterday. Quite a day for people who measure their races from, say, here to the next mail box. And jump around like they won the lottery when the time registers a PR by tenths or even hundredths of a second.

Jamaican Usian Bolt won the men’s 100 meters yesterday at the Berlin World Championships in 9.58. He bested the previous world record – which he also held from the 2008 Olympics – by 0.11 seconds. In other words, it was 9.69. Um, does anyone notice anything weird about that PR? Like, maybe, the first digit is still 9? My current 5k PR is 18:22. I’m pretty sure that if I ran an 18:21.99 in my next 5k, I wouldn’t mark it as a PR.* At the very least, I wouldn’t dance around hugging my teammate in some sort of homoerotic lovefest ala Rocky and Apollo Creed splashing around in the water in Rocky III.

Hey everyone, look at me, barely faster than I was before!

Mr. Bolt might have “”shattered” the world record – if we define “shattered” as the amount of time it takes to blink – but has he ever out run a mechanical device? I did. I win.

Maybe the back drop wasn’t as dramatic as the Berlin Olympic Stadium, where Jesse Owens became legendary, but the feat was considerably greater. Me (shirtless, obviously). Garmin (p.b.t.n) Mano-a-machino. 90 degrees. Humidity. A belly full of Fla-Vor-Ice Pops. Nine planned miles. Bring the pain.

I’m not going to lie. Three miles in, I was already drenched in sweat and thinking about cutting this run short. Garmin (p.b.t.n.) was still ticking along seemingly impervious to the heat. Damn, I could go for a Fla-Vor-Ice. Grape, preferably. In this heat, it would melt quite a bit leaving at least an inch worth of delicious grape ice residue liquid to slurp up from the bottom (and leave me with one of those delightful, throat chocking coughs as the syrup wrapped around my tonsils.)

Four and half miles in, I stopped for 30 seconds to catch my breath and drag my already wet wrist band all over my forehead and rippled torso. I distinctly recall a sound like an ascending xylophone scale as the wrist band bounded over my six pack abs. I was one can of Dr. Pepper and one video camera away from making a very sexy Dr. Pepper commercial. Pepsico’s loss.

Determined to beat Garmin(p.b.t.n.), I marshaled on. By 5 miles, the impossible happened. Garmin (p.b.t.n.) started to show some signs of wear. The pace per mile display showed dash lines and stopped registering a reading. Under the sun, I picked up the pace. It was breaking time.

Before 5.5 miles, the Garmin (p.b.t.n.), metal gears, springs, coils, and a little bit of magic, stopped recording miles. I ran down the sidewalk checking my wrist every 30 seconds or so to see if it was true, The mileage was frozen: 5.54 miles. 5.54 miles. 5.54 miles. It read the same every time. I ran another mile and half home. 5.54 miles. Dummy, I went farther than that, I mocked.

I had won. I had beaten Garmin (p.b.t.n.) Usain Bolt can have his barely measurable PR. I’m an endurance runner. I shit out 100 meters like a trail of bunny droppings. And I just out ran a mechanical device designed for tracking long distances. (Would it even be able to measure 100 meters for Bolt? Or would Garmin laugh and turn itself off?) It wilted in the evening sun. The notoriously infallible Garmin (p.b.t.n.) failed. My human body, made of tissue, bones, taunt muscle, and a face full of cute, continued on.

Sure, I ended up quitting after 7 miles. No need to kill myself in this heat right? Besides the battle had been won.

I didn’t bother to notify the networks. Let Mr. Bolt have his day. Congratulations, your PR moved from 9 something to 9 something. Great job, I guess. I’ll just sit here in anonymity and enjoy that Fla-Vor-Ice, the champagne of popsicle treats.

But, next time, how ‘bout you just let us know when your PR changes to 8 something, at least, m’kay?

Happy trails.

* Who am I kidding? I would round that down to 18:21 and totally count it.

_________________________________

7 miles @ 7:05 pace. An ugly, dehydrated run.

29 comments:

Jamoosh said...

When Mr. Bolt takes his shirt off to run a race, then you may call him an attention seeker...

Mike said...

That was a sweet race yesterday, not sure how he makes it look so easy. I'd love to see him jump in the 400 meter dash and go after that world record

Roisin said...

Wow...so Garmin (p.b.t.n.) really isn't immortal? I should rethink the cult status right about now.

BrianFlash said...

My Garmin has never run backwards, but does seem optimistic. Anytime I run with someone else I go five hundreths of a mile further. And I'm not a crazy arm waver or anything like that...

cath said...

too funny...

Jess said...

Garmin can't handle sweat. You'd think they would make it sweatproof, being a running watch and all, but nooooo. Locking the bezel keeps it from freezing up.

The Sean said...

you probably weren't even doping! oh, I know, he really is just that fast. BS, give it two years

Ace said...

Grape fla-vor-ice? Why don't you just go freeze some Robitussin instead? You might be able to gag that down. Its all about the lime....

Jessica said...

I totally watched ROcky III yesterday on tv (I am guessing you did too). I saw that scene (as did my 7 year old) and he goes, "mommy why are those two guys hugging in the water and almost crying?" I was at a loss for words :)

joyRuN said...

Eff all that. Just tell me the Garmin (p.b.t.n.) is ok!

Well, is it??

Running and living said...

I don't know whaT Bolt is on, but I want some of that! Ana-Maria

nwgdc said...

You know, I'd never thought of it that way. This morning my Garmin became possessed once again, streaming through all of its menues, annoying the hell out of me.
Now, thanks to you, I simply accept it's surrender. P. O. S. 405.

Marlene said...

I had a meltdown when my Garmin stopped working... I should have been celebrating that I'd finally WON!

Vanilla said...

Just a quick heads up: Periodically you need to plug that thing in to charge the batteries.

Viper said...

How the mighty Garmin has fallen!

Katie A. said...

LOL! I want to know why the hell they are all sweaty after running for LESS than 10 seconds! They are dripping like I do after a hot 10 miler! Did you see them all goofing around before hand? In layers of sweats? And then run for 9.58 seconds and look they just ran a marathon! Sheesh! Attention whores!
P.S. Fla-vor-Ice rules!

X-Country2 said...

I pretty much stop running and go home when my Garmin stops working. Same with my iPod.

Viv said...

You still have it Nit. Measuring races from here to the mailbox, and shattering!

theloosemoose said...

My Garmin (Cursed Be Thy Name) has been extra wonky lately. Hope you can resurrect yours.

The Laminator said...

Glad to see someone is holding back the machines!

Now that you won, will you be advancing to the finals against Bolt? Now THAT I would pay to see.

Beth said...

Of course you would have rounded it down and jumped up and down like a little girl. Enjoy your Fla-Vor-Ice and let's hope for some cooler weather.

Tola said...

I guess I'm not the only one who wusses out in the heat.

Jess said...

Haha hope the Flav-or-ice cooled you off

Adam said...

Are you sure you actually ran that far? I can't think that Garmin (p.b.t.n.) would ever be wrong. Maybe you were so tired from running, that you were so delirious that you were actually at home on the couch and the Garmin (p.b.t.n.) couldn't get a signal?

BTW, I laughed out loud at the xylophone reference.

M2Marathon said...

I also LOLed at the xylophone line! And thank you for giving me a completely new frame of reference on my gadgetry. Who's the machine now, beyotch!

Reluctant Runner said...

My Garmin only stops working on race days. Maybe it doesn't want to discourage me.

sRod said...

Way to make Mr. Bolt look like an underachiever. It is a rare talet you have.

Irish Cream said...

HA! Thank you for having the guts to say what all of us long distance runners were REALLY thinking. Brilliant!

And also, so sorry to hear about your loss :(

Irish Cream said...

HA! Thank you for having the guts to say what all of us long distance runners were REALLY thinking. Brilliant!

And also, so sorry to hear about your loss :(