Thursday, May 26, 2011

Harold Camping Predicts My Race Time

This Saturday is judgment day. Not Judgment Day in the fire and brimstone sense but small letter judgment day in the how-hard-did-you-train sense. It’s the Bayshore half marathon this Saturday! It should be Rapturous.

I’ve been having a difficult time determining just how well I’ll do in this race. My training log is filled with data but do I take the information as the absolute truth in text….or as parables for my training in general? Can I apply what I see from a 9 mile training run logged in the Book of Nitmos and extend it to a real life half marathon? How do I interpret the, at times, conflicting data? I did what any insane, hopelessly confused, mentally weak fool would do. I asked Harold Camping, Mr. Rapture 5/21, for help. I figured he had some free time now as his appointment calendar was empty past Saturday, right?

I gave him a quick call.

“Hello? Mr. Camping? I know you are great about studying a book and divining numbers for important events down to the exact day, hour and minute. Well, this half marathon is coming up for me. Can you help me predict my race time if I read to you from my training log? I’m setting goals…and I’d like to be precise…”


“No, no….it’s Nitmos, though you wouldn’t be the first to ask.” Blushing.


“You are such a kidder. We both know he’s more of a baritone and that I have trouble with hair growth between the sideburns and chin. Say, any chance some of the top runners in my age group might have been sucked skyward last Saturday during your most recent Rapture and no one noticed? A few people here and there could suddenly ascend and no one would probably pay much attention unless they were pumping gas at the time and started spraying everyone with gasoline until the hose yanked out of their hands. A few gaunt runners would probably float fairly quickly out of view. I wouldn’t mind an age group medal…might look nice twinkling in the approaching celestial light during your next Rapture! I’m all for selective, sporadic Raptures if it bumps me up the age group rankings if you know what I mean. In fact, put me down for your last Rapture. I’d like to get some bling first.”

“You will live through hell on Earth and battle parched, angry mobs.”

“Yeah, it should be a tough race. The forecast looks okay and there should be plenty of water though, I agree, I will get thirsty. Runners can be surly late race…don’t know about angry. Don’t be so dramatic.”

“Only 3% shall ascend, the rest shall remain behind…”

“Actually, the awards go five deep. Not sure what that is percentage-wise but…Hey, can you give me a finish time?”

“Genesis 1:28 says – "

“Hey, that’s nearly my current PR and very close to what I think I can do now. Let’s hope you’re right. I’d take it!”

“ - Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

“Whoah, that may be going a little too far. 'Rule over every living creature that moves on the ground'? Damn, that would be cool though….at least for one morning. Well, thanks. I’ll talk to you post-race to see if you were right. Don’t go selling all of my possessions while I’m gone. Whether or not 1:28 happens, I still want those shows I have on TiVo. Bye.” Click.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I am shooting for something in the 1:27 range. Two misses in one week could be a bit much for him to bear. As it turns out, ole Harold C miscalculated by five months for his latest Rapture. The Next Great Rapture is actually Oct. 21st which, unfortunately, is five days after my planned Grand Rapids Marathon so it should be a more crowded field (arrrggh, why can’t we rapture before race day to make age grouping a little easier!! (shakes fist at sky))

For now, I’ll just concentrate on the Bayshore Half in two days. I hope he’s not that far off on my race time prediction or it could be a long afternoon.

Maybe if I get that PR, I’ll just extend my arms, throw my head back and wait for my ascension.

I just hope it doesn’t jiggle and spill my post-race beer on the way up. Rapture or not, a dehydrated runner needs his carbs.

Happy trails.

Note: The preceding phone conversation was completely fictional. I won’t call long distance unless it is to an 800 number. And 800 numbers don’t connect to Crazy Land.

Note 2: If you ever google images for 'Harold Camping', you will be surprised to find out how many photos there are of guys named ‘Harold’ who are camping at various parks and like to post them online.

Folks, Planet Gear sent me a cool Sigg water bottle which I have washed and prepped to use but have not done so as of yet. It looks like a fantastic water bottle though as far as water bottles go. They are currently running a Quicksilver and Roxy sale this week through next Tuesday and would like you to go there and check it out. They may have some upcoming sales on GU and Ultimate Direction things as well so stay tuned and check out Planet Gear when you have some time.

And be sure to drink your Ovaltine.


Sun Runner said...

Like this?

Good luck at Bayshore. I hope the weather cooperates. Have a beer afterward!

Elizabeth said...

ahahahhah I totally LOL'd about the "Harold, camping" comment and of course laughed even harder at Sun Runner's example above. Good luck at your Half! I am sure you will rock the rapture right out of it.

Ironman By Thirty said...

Good luck at Bayshore!

Was this your first announcement that you are doing GR in the fall? Or did I miss the big announcement on ESPN? Either way, you'll love the race - the post-race beer is cold and free.

The Sean said...

I would imagine there is a correlation between being named Harold and affinity for camping... just seems to make sense. Good luck ruling over all living beings- and in your half (full, half marathon that is).

Ian said...

I always figured that you were going to hell, but I'm pretty sure you've cemented it with this post.

Good luck on a 1:27.

Vava said...

Imagine the images if his last name had been something more racey than Camping... Like Pujols. Or Boozer. Dikshit. Mangina. Stroker.

They're all real names...

Is that how you spell racey? It ties into the whole racing theme at least.

Irene said...

They still make Ovaltine?

Deb said...

Congratulations! While other (lesser) Americans are spending the day picnicking with friends and family or solemnly placing flags at gravesides, I am looking up your finish time. Did you seriously average a 6:37/mile? You rock. WAY TO GO!!!!!

Vava said...

Indeed: I echo the congratulations of Deb. Amazing result!

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle said...

I know I have a PhD in engineering, but I don't feel like doing the math on what time 6:37/mile translates to total. Will you keep us in suspense? Not all of us are stalkers like Deb who know your last name.

drea said...

If you get a PR, I give up and am eating those fudge cookies and flicking the remote like you did all winter! I mean, good luck.