Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Next Big Thing


It’s stupid.  It’s absurd.  But it’s possible. 

Last year I toyed around with the idea of doing a 100M race after Boston.  But a nagging injury lead to my anit-Nitmos S.o.S. (Summer of Sloth) training program.  Sadly, this was the only ‘training’ program I’ve ever executed perfectly.  A training program that was so successful I carried it over into my fall and early winter training schedules. 

And if he can reuse the S.o.S. theme, I can repurpose it again.  Thus, I’m proud to announce my Summer of Stupid Slow, or S.o.S.S. 

This fall, before the Redhead and I tie the laces (go there now to check out some of our engagement photos if you so wish), I’m going to attempt to run 100 miles.  Now, you may be wondering, why?  It all harkens back to when I was in middle school and my friend Drew’s father used to tell us stories about how he and a few of his friends would do a 100 mile race when they were in their younger years.  He’d talk about how they would run and race against horses.  As relative studs on our middle school team, we were pretty sure nobody has ever run further than two miles, yet alone 100.FN1  But the story never left me.  Only after college did I discover that such races do in fact exist.

Sure, lots of people have told me I should attempt a shorter ultra distance before I do this.  Even internet experts and ultra-marathon professionals make this recommendation.  I scoff at you all.  I’m just excited about the idea of running to the Taco Bell one town over and ordering some tacos to go, then eating them on the walk part of my run.  I’m interested to find out if any of the fancy camel packs out there contain two bladders so I can fill one with water and one with Mt. Dew.  I’m excited about running at night and suffering from exercise induced flashbacks where I recall my time in Texas as an outlaw simply because I was trying to get justice for my brother’s ruined scooter.FN2  I’m eager for the moment when I see the sun rise after running for several hours through the night and I begin to cry…only to end up in a blubbering heap mumbling  “double rainbow!” 

One day I hope to tell my son and/or daughter and their annoying friends how I ran 100 miles.  I know they won’t believe me, mostly because I plan on lying to my children from the beginning.  Including telling them their mother is an evil alien robot that is going to harm them when they sleep.  What?  Isn’t the fun of having kids to battle with your spouse for the hearts and minds of those little DNA half-copies.  I digress. 

I’ll be doing some shorter races this year as well.  But the real goal is to slow it down and go long. (TWSS)FN3

FN1: Yes, in one of four middle schools in one of fifteen-ish towns in one county in one state, I would consider myself a relative track stud. 

FN2: What, is my Legend of Billie Jean to vague of a reference, should I have gone with a Balls of Fury reference instead? 

FN3: That is for you Adam. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Old Kent (Old Gregg) (Fifth Third) River Bank Run*

I have to say, I love me a 25K.  The distance is legitimate: longer than a half, shorter than a marathon.  The Redhead and I headed out to Grand Rapids to hang with Kevin and Jennie before the big race.  I had only run this race once previously, running with my awesome sister Emma.  That year the weather was terrible, including so much rain the course was altered. 
Fortunately for us, the weather, like the Dude, abided.**  Cloudy and warm, Kevin and I had a simple goal of getting into (or for Kevin, maintaining his status in) the 2 Hour Club.  The 2HC gets you a few nice perks including preferred seating, a different color bib, 2HC only gear check and restrooms.  The huge ego I’d get from making it in the 2HC would be solely provided by me. 

Or plan was to sit on the 7min pacers for as long as possible.  And, considering that, since the Lansing Marathon I’ve run exactly three times, this was a reasonable goal.  Sure, I think racing a 5K, pacing a few wonderful people in a sub 2 hour half marathon, and a 4M run with the Redhead is adequate practice to make the 2HC.   

Unfortunately, I lost Kevin early in the race.  I had to make a slight wardrobe adjustment at the start, and never really caught up to him.  I was pretty sure I had him in sight, but when I thought I had caught up, it wasn’t him.  Wrong tall white guy in a blue shirt.  Regardless, the crowd support was great and I hung with the 7min pacers for the first half of the race.  Then I eased it back a bit and enjoyed the run. 

I have to say, for the price, this 25K is way better than a half.  Cheaper, longer, extremely well organized, pace groups, and lots of quality runners. 

Now, for the next big thing…

* Yep, this again.*** 
** As part of my movie education of the Redhead, I made her watch this wonderful movie. 
*** I don't get it, how in the eff did Nitmos get all the credit in the word for using asterisks; like he invented them or something.  I'd use footnotes if Blogger would let me. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Because I Don’t Own a Pair of Pink Shorts

On Sunday I wore yellow.  I repeated my mantra of ‘fast’ as much as possible.  And I needed to be. After the Redhead’s second consecutive 5K win* I had to earn a metal or risk blowing the ‘perfect AG or better’ month we were having.  And this is no easy task given that I had run a marathon the week before (and not run since then) and because this is the Race for the Cure baby.  In Playmaker’s Race Series, this is one of the biggest races and draws in the fasties from all over the greater Lansing area. 

A quick aside; this race, like a few others in the Playmaker’s Series, is an afternoon start—specifically a 2pm start.  I hate afternoon starts.  I like to race early (say 8am) or later (around 7pm), but the hours between 10am and 4pm I hate.** 

After sleeping in, the Redhead and I headed to the L.  I grabbed my bib and started to stretch.  They had changed the course since I last ran it, and the new route is a bit if a winding mess.  Even though the Redhead ran her 5K the day before in freezing cold and received her award, I had a perfectly sunny day and high 50s weather.  Yes Michigan! 

I haven’t raced a 5K since 2009.  Seriously.  Since then I’ve run several 5Ks, but I haven’t targeted one as a ‘race’ effort.  They have either been 5Ks run at a slower pace with friends or family, or have been run the day after a 20 mile long run (see Corktown or Super Bowl).  So, I was nervous.  I had seriously forgotten how to race a 5K, only I didn’t figure that out until somewhere around mile 2. 

I crowded over to the starting line and thought…don’t kill yourself the first mile.  I killed myself the first mile.  That created two problems.  First, a crash reminiscent of a four year old crashing after finding and devouring a package of Fun Dip.  Second, the toll of the marathon a week after made my legs feel like jelly.***  You know you are having a bad race when, in your head, you begin to tell yourself how bad your race is.  Fortunately, I didn’t hit the next step of bad race day, which is when you actually begin to construct your post describing how bad your race was.  

During the second mile five people passed me.  During the third mile I was only able to pass two back.  My final time was smidge under 19.  Not bad, but not great.  Still, I managed a top twenty-five overall finish and, most importantly, snagged an AG to keep our precious household streak of race bling alive. 
And now, a few final notes about the marathon.  First, thank you all for your kind comments on my race recap.  For the first time ever, I had a palindrome for a bib number.  So, winds be dammed, I knew I was in for a PR that day.  Having read a few other race reports from other marathoner’s, it does seem that the wind pretty much owned everyone.  Eff you wind.  I really like my Lansing Marathon shirt.  Most of all, I loved going out the day before and doing some motivational chalking with Lam and the Redhead.  I’ll definitely do that again for my future marathons. 


 (Run thirsty my soft soft friends.)

* Yep, after winning the Lansing Marathon 5K she got another first place AG on Saturday! 
** Yes, that includes you Boston! 
*** So what if my 5K race recap is longer than my marathon recap.