When sayin' you're gonna go for it just isn't enough.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Streak is Over, Sucker!

It was nice while it lasted. I'm no Cal Ripken, Lou Gehrig or even Brett Favre for that matter, but here was the streak:

8/08 - Windrunner 10K - 43:54
9/08 - Chicago Half - 1:38:34
10/8 - Chicago Marathon 3:29:54
11/08 - Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10K - 41:48
3/09 - Shamrock Shuffle 8K- 33:30
4/09 - Ravenswood Run 5K - 19:09
8/09 - Windrunnner 10K - 39:07
9/09 - Chicago Half - 1:28:25
10/9 - Chicago Marathon - 3:05:14
11/09 - Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 5K - 18:42
3/10 - Tom King Half Marathon - 1:26:56
4/10 - Boston Marathon - 3:03:41
7/10 - Bastille Day 5K - 18:32

That was 13 PRs in a row. Wow. I wanted to get the streak up to 16 with a couple tune-up races before October 10th. Unfortunately, it came to an unceremonious end this past Saturday at the Champions 10K.

I posted a 39:58, 51 seconds off of my PR. I was hoping to come in around 38:15 or so by running a progressive 10K that had me starting at a 6:20 pace and ending at 6:00 even. Here's how it shook down.
Mile 1- 6:20 Perfect. Felt effortless and I had to hold back a bit.
Mile 2- 6:18 Pretty damn close. Still feeling strong.
Mile 3- 6:50 - WTF? Somewhere around mile 2.4, I missed a turn and had to double back. It cost me a tenth of mile and broke my spirits. It was a poorly marked course that was open to the public at the same time the race was going on. I'm pretty sure some people did the same thing I did, but didn't go back and ran a short course.
When I saw the 6:50 at the third mile marker, I couldn't get through it mentally. I tried to stick to the plan, but as I kept doing the math in my head and it wasn't making sense to me to have to work that hard to run a 39:00.
Mile 4 - 6:16. I'm cutting corners on this crappy course, looking for any break I can get. But I'm still doing the math in my head and I am really pissed about the mishap back in mile 3. I basically mentally throw in the towel and run Miles 5 and 6 in 6:31 and 6:32. I see 38:50 on my watch as I hit the 6 mile marker and decide to try to give it all I have to come in under 40 minutes.
I run the last .2 in 1:08 and come across the finish line in 42nd place (out of 435) with my 39:58. My HR got up to a robust 206. What a shit show. My finish in the top 50 did net me a gift card for $45 at a suburban running store. Yippee!

I didn't have my best stuff on Saturday as my HR was through the roof on my warm-up run to the race, but I'm pretty sure I could have muscled out a PR by 20 seconds or so if I hadn't blown the race by missing the turn. Oh well. I can't do anything about it now besides focus on my next race, which is in about a week.

A couple of weeks ago, I was running a strange 18 miler when I ran 10 miles with 8 at GMP and then followed it up with 8 in the jogging stroller with Isla. I was about 2.5 miles from home when I was passing an old folks' living community. It's a pretty well-kept place, is right on the path near my house and sits pretty close to a Panera, Borders and Starbucks. Anyway, as I'm passing the building, I can see there's a woman going the same direction as me pushing some type of cart. It looked like one of those carts people in the city use to haul groceries around, but I can't really see what's in front of her.

As I get closer and closer to her, I start to slow down a bit. There also happen to be some bikers coming towards us moving at a pretty good clip. They pass the old lady a couple seconds before me and wouldn't you know it, the lady has a little dog on a leash that starts chasing after these bikers. I immediately try to bring the stroller to a halt (I was running at about an 8:45 pace) so I don't run over this dog. I stop just short of it and push down hard on the handle to lift the front tire so the dog can run by. The old lady lets out a scream, as if someone just stabbed her in the back.

I am now even with her and am looking her in the eyes. "Are you okay?" I say.

"You almost hit my dog! You need to be more careful," she angrily replies.

I respond, "You need to get better control of your dog, lady. You're lucky I didn't hit him."

Apparently calling her lady was the wrong thing to say because she's now livid.
"You don't talk to me like that, SUCKER!" she shouts.

Whoa. This 70 or 80 something year old bat just called me sucker. Kind of awesome, kind of ridiculous. I haven't heard someone called "sucker" in a long time (circa the 1989 VHS release of "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.") Check that. I have never been called sucker. And I certainly have never heard it uttered by an angry 80 year old woman.

I tell her she needs to pay closer attention to her dog and decide to keep going. At this point, I don't know what's going to happen next and I'm unsure of what this crazy lady might do or say. And I have a frickin' jogging stroller in front of me with my then 18 month old in it. As I am running away, she's still shouting at me saying something about an old lady. I give her a parting shout because I am now a little agitated as there are people in the parking lot watching this lady and me exchange pleasantries.

"Have a great day!" I yell. I am not going to swear at someone's grandma. Well, I probably would have if I had stuck around much longer because this woman was insisting I was wrong.

I haven't seen her since, but I have tried to incorporate "sucker" into my everyday vocabulary. It's harder than you think.