Friday, March 16, 2012

One Mile Time Trial: Act One

The weather’s been so nice lately that I’ve been having a hard time coming up with excuses to stay inside the house. The kids only buy my “gamma rays activate the genetic code to transpose me into a harmless marmoset so I must remain inside” excuse so many times. Actually, warm weather makes me happy and optimistic and pleasant to be around. The problem is that I prefer sullen, despondent, and ‘a danger to self and others’* like a good Midwesterner.

But the alternative this morning was work and who wants that? So I laced them up and decided upon a one mile time trial. I’m currently base lining my fitness levels in the 400m, 800m, 1600m, 5 mile, and 10 miles by running them at a “comfortably hard” pace so I can compare them to the ridiculous improvement I seek this year and then buy myself an actual marmoset to celebrate the accomplishment. You all do this right? I’m not the only running geek with a penchant for numbers, charts, graphs, and marmosets? In fact, if I could figure out how to get data without all of the running so I could concentrate on just the numbers, charts, and graphs, “running” would be so much more enjoyable for me. AND, I’d have way more time to play with my marmoset (euphemism welcomed).

Before I list my numerous excuses for my one mile time trial time, which is really the point of this post, I better summarize the effort. The high school track is 1.3 miles from my house – perfect distance for a 9-10 minute warm up. Then, four laps of the Terrible Oval, the Ever Expanding Oval, the Circle of Doom whatever you want to call it. Then, a 1.3 mile easy run home. Now, I realize that four laps of a track does not a pure “mile” make. Fortunately, I subscribe to the “close enough” philosophy usually reserved for horseshoes and hand grenades and Viper’s syntax.

Upon rounding the third turn of lap one, I spotted a few Canadian geese, clearly directionally challenged, pecking away at the end zone of the football field. ** As long as they didn’t bother me, I wouldn’t hilariously – and cartoonishly - strangle their long black necks. But, for every pack of geese, there’s a small pack of geese groupies that hang about. A cloud of gnats had gathered on turn three. I inhaled seventeen of them before realizing that someone didn’t just throw a handful of dirt down from the bleachers. They were kamikazing into my neck, cheeks, and eyes with impunity. Do geese-following gnats carry Lyme disease? I think I have Lyme disease.

I completed all four laps without further incident. With each jaunt through turn three, fewer and fewer gnats remained as they now filled my belly. If they were high in energy, I wouldn’t care but they mostly tasted of Canadian geese feces. Don’t ask me how I know. What you do on your free time is your business as is what I do on mine.

Time: 5:39
Laps? No idea but the 4th and final lap was the fastest around 1:21. I was shooting for an even 1:25/lap but that didn’t happen.
Verdict: About where I thought having not done a full one mile hard effort in probably 4 months. If I still record a similar time in 6-8 weeks, shoot me and take care of my marmoset.

Now – if I can get a drum roll here- I present my official Litany of Excuses:

- My sinus infection still rages. I cannot spit. Too gloopy. It shoots out of my mouth but never disconnects and ends up looking like a rappeller heading to my navel by way of chin.
- Geese gnats
- Left heel plantar fasciitis still bothersome (though the racquetball foot rolling helps immensely).
- Kony
- A layer of winter blubber clings to the abdomen, refusing to budge, like Kim Kardashian clings to fame.

I’ll check back in a few weeks and have another go. By then, the geese will have moved on, the sinus and foot will have heeled, and I’ll have to come up with an entirely new litany of excuses.

Lyme disease? By then, it may be full blown.

Oh, and you can stop drum rolling.

Happy trails.

*According to police reports, psychiatric reports, school counselors, and one unfortunate drive thru window worker at Wendy’s who didn’t appreciate my threat to “biggie size” a bruise on his face.
**Clearly, the football field was marked in “yards” not “meters”. Should have been a dead giveaway to the stupid birds.


Redhead Running said...

I hope you get to feeling better soon! That crud is everywhere!

5:39 is still pretty freaking good in most anyone's book.

I love that you used Kony as an excuse. Brilliant.

Although our new town pales in comparison, I do not miss those freaking geese whatsoever!!!!!!

B.o.B. said...

sinus infection, PF, KONY, and abdomen fat count.

geese gnats do not. come to Florida and you won't even notice 'em. we've got all kinds of gnats down here. why there's pigeon gnats, mockingbird gnats, duck gnats, seagull gnats, ....

Viper said...

It's Canada geese, you nimrod. Living in South Canada, you should know that.

drea said...

Ha! You make me laugh! 5:39 is great! Nice work and sounds like the oval served breakfast ;)

Trent (Scott) Lorcher said...

I'm naming my first child Nitmos. Of course, she's nine and might not answer to it. Maybe if I get her a marmoset...

Char said...

That's it! I can never visit your country. The wildlife is way too dangerous - gnats and geese. We only have crocs, white pointer sharks, red-back spiders and some of the most venomous snakes in the world.

But if someone was to offer me a Marmoset, I may reconsider.

Spike said...

Really, a post about how 'slow' you are after doing a 'comfortably hard' 5:39. I bet, if you had run the remainder of the mile you were on a solid 7:18 pace.

Vava said...

I'm with Spike. Sarcastically impressed.

Deb said...

Damn that's fast. You definitely deserve a marmoset.

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Beth said...

You are so fast! I don't think that time needs any excuses. I agree- If I could just get the numbers to crunch without the running, that would be fine with me. I think running attracts number junkies. I hope you get faster but just remember that you are getting older so just staying the same is kind of like getting faster. :)

Elizabeth said...

Well shoot, I could run a 5:39 mile if I did it on a nice, flat track too. The 800 meter loop I do my interval work on has a nice hill in it. Oh wait, how many times do I have to run around a track to make a mile? oh...never mind. Sweet mile, dude!!!

I have aspirated a few gnats myself, but I must say I hate it worse when they get stuck in my eyes and I can feel them moving around in there.

Ace said...

Better watch that marmoset, sounds like an animal conspiracy. Geese? Gnats? Where was the faithful marmo-pal? Conveniently nowhere to be found. And after all that playing...