Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Steady As A Yo-Yo

This was a swirly, twirly, goopy Memorial weekend.


Three hour drive north to Traverse City. The beginnings of a sinus infection had left my throat sore and my normally angelic voice croaking like Harvey Fierstein. I had just bought the new Green Day album so I was singing/croaking out loud all the way up while green glops of sinewy fluid slung onto the dashboard and my family as they covered their ears and eyes in horror. Their steady pleadings to Stop Singing Like That and Stop Snotting Up The Family only goaded me to crank up the volume and sing-phlegm louder.


I did sign up for the Bayshore 10k. I felt like crap the night before but figured I could muster 40-45 minutes worth of work in the morning and then lapse into a childlike needy state for the rest of the day. My demands would be hot soup, foot rubs, and a soothing tassel-filled belly dance by Mrs. Nitmos.

The Bayshore is a fairly flat, fast course and features a 10k, half and full marathon. I’ve done the marathon but not the 10k. In fact, I’d never done a 10k before. The marathoners depart from the start area first followed a few minutes later by the 10k’ers. Since the 10k’ers are moving at a quicker pace, we get to run up the back of the marathoners between miles 2 and 3 before turning around and heading back.

I had targeted a first mile at 7 minutes followed by a second mile at 6:45 and then the remaining miles below 6:40. The hope was to come in around 41:30 or so. My SOS2 goal is 40:00 for this distance. With the lack of speed training this spring combined with the swirling mucus in my frontal lobe, I was just a curious as you, the reader, are about how this would turn out.

I took off too fast. Again. (In fact, from now on, I’m just copying and pasting those same preceding 6 words into every race report to save time.)

First mile: 6:39 (featuring a first ½ mile of 3:03 before wising up a bit)
Second mile: 6:33
Third mile: 6:37 (turn around and head back)
Fourth mile: 6:33

During the fourth mile, I happened to recognize a passing runner going in the opposite direction. Normally, I don’t recognize anything but the shoes of the runners in front of me. I happened to look left and see Sun Runner passing by and we both managed a Hey-You-Look Familiar finger point (though only mine was with the index finger.) I don’t think I could have croaked out a hello if I tried.

Shortly after that, I heard someone shout “Feet meet street” from the crowd in the opposite lane. I waved, again, as my voice was incapable of mustering a shout. But then I thought, maybe that was just a person who likes to vocally express their physical actions. Maybe after shouting feet meet street, she said now I’m breathing in and out and moving legs or something like that. It was pretty presumptuous of me to assume that it was directed at me.

Fifth mile: 6:34
Sixth mile: 6:09
Final lap on the high school track: 1:19 (5:22 mile pace!)

Judging by the final 1.22 miles, I probably should have paced a bit faster early on and not run such a defensive, conservative race. Call it 10k Beginner’s Nerves. But behold the steady splits between miles 1-5! You could have set your watch by my metronomic pace (as long as you don’t mind your watch being off by a few seconds every 6 ½ minutes.)

Mrs. Nitmos and I sat up in the stands and watched some friends finish. I never did see Sun Runner come in so I thought maybe I had just vaguely taunted some random, unknown runner. I picked up an age group award. Thankfully, the 35-39 AG was considerably slower compared to the 30-34 and 40-44.

Final Stats:

40:24 time
6:31 pace

2nd of 82 in age group
36th of 1419 overall

Then, Mrs. Nitmos and I hoped in the car and headed back south 3 ½ hours to attend a wedding, eat prime rib, make fun of the bride and grooms relatives and friends, and drink the free booze.


Back in the car, heading north to Traverse City again for a Memorial weekend cook out. By now, both Mrs. Nitmos and I are spewing green nose mucus and our heads are spinning.


Back in the car, driving 3 hours home. Each stop along the way empties a handful of sickeningly moist Kleenex into a roadside garbage. If the raccoons get in there, you’ll see a lot of ‘em around northern Michigan with green Kool-Aid rings around their mouth. But that ain’t Kool Aid.

Our Memorial weekend was a blur of spinning, dizzy heads, nose expellants and the physical back and forth between northern and southern Michigan. It’s about as close as I want to come to being a Yo-Yo. I’ve been called a Yo-Yo many times but I’ve never actually resembled one before.

In fact, looking back, the only thing that held steady was my 10k pace.

Happy trails.

And Congratulations to all the Memorial racers! You know who you are…


Sun Runner said...

I already said so but yeah, that was me. :)

Now I'm glad I didn't seek you out after the race because you might have infected me with your virulent strain of sinus infection. Bleah!

Jessica said...

so speedy!!! nice job, even with the illness!!

Katie said...

It was me who yelled out "Feet Meet Street" I saw you in line at the bathroom and being the shy stalker I am didn't know what to do. It hit me when the lead guy passed me, yell out "FEET MEET STREET" so I did it. Glad you liked it because I got some strange looks from those around me!

Kevin said...

Great job. Sounds like a fun filled weekend even with the nose troubles

I nearly sprayed water out my nose when i saw the verification text SYMEN

Vava said...

Amazing! Way to spread the "love" on your trips back and forth in the form of moistened snot rags. And a fantastic time with all that phlegm and mucus and such. Are you rethinking your (evidently rather pessimistic) 10k goal time for 2009 now? How low can you go?

Congratulations on a very strong PR!

Razz said...

Angelic? Were we on the same podcast?

C said...

Dang. Imagine what time you can get if you aren't expelling copious amounts of mucus. The mind boggles at the speediness of it all.

B. Kramer said...

The only thing I see is 24 seconds of FAIL.

Ace said...

I think it must be impossible to overestimate the recuperative values of "tassel-filled belly dance"s. I think that should be a part of all recovery activities. Grats on a sweet race!

Spike said...

I'm a little surprised you didn't send a proxy for you and Mrs. Nitmos to the wedding, that is a lot of driving to get some free booze.

Nice AG award as well!

Unknown said...

That is a blazing first 10k time. But in difference to Viper, if you had broken 40 minutes in your first 10k of the summer, what would you do with the rest of your summer? Just blow your nose?

Running and living said...

Congrats on the AG award. Such a fast pace. Maybe the sickness worked on your favor, keeping competitors away:) Ana-Maria

X-Country2 said...

Daaaaang! Impressive snot-assisted run.

Aron said...

CONGRATS!! thats an awesome first 10k. it seems like that distance would be hard to figure out a pace for... but you arent far off your SOS2 goal! nice job on the AG place too :)

Unknown said...

great job!

Marlene said...

That green mucus would have made for some pretty impressive snot rockets. In fact, I bet you could have eliminated half of the field with those babies.

Congrats on a very speedy 10K. <40:00 is definitely doable!

The Boring Runner said...

I agree with Chad in AZ. You're going to have to take up basket weaving in your spare time to fill the rest of the summer.

Velma said...

The raccoon comment made me throw up a bit in my mouth. Way to go speedy - did you get any bling or prizes?

Unknown said...

You sure have a way of writing dude. Hope you are feeling better !!! Very impressive stats regardless of your illness. Hope all the free booze you had should have clear it up.

Anonymous said...

Daaaamn you're fast. Nice job!!!

Scott said...

Blazing 10K! If I tried to run that fast a leg would fall off... Congrats on the excellent run.

Aka Alice said...

Sometimes I run around in circles, but your weekend is ridiculous.

I feel sorry for the raccoons though.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, speed and snot, all in one handsome package!

sRod said...

Under the illness you still cranked out 6:09 miles? Sheesh.

Good work.

RunMom said...

Hey stumbled across your blog today. Congrats on the race! I was running the 1/2 but had no idea I was in the presence of such famous legs. Although I feel I must further clarify for your readers regarding Bayshore being "fairly flat". Just so we're all clear "fairly flat" = NOT FLAT. (just as my friends "so slightly rolling you won't notice" also actually meant NOT FLAT)

Anyway, I laughed out loud reading your blog today so I'm giving you a blog award (long story) but you can view it here Secrets of A Running Mom