Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ortega River Run 2007

I ran in the Ortega River Run today -- my very first race longer than 200m (22.8 ladies). It's a 5 mile (not k) run through the neighborhood. It hurt. I think I had 5 or 6 heart attacks. Pride and the male ego are nothing but pure, uncut, black evil. I paced myself against a woman in front of me. This clearly was not her first race, but I felt my youth and superior athleticism would make up for my inexperience. WWRROONNGGGG!!! We ran the first mile in about 9.5 minutes. Which is 1/2 a minute faster than I run on the treadmill when I'm running 5 miles, but no big deal. We ran the second mile at the same pace. No problem. This pace is fine. I guess the adrenaline is flowing and giving me a bit of a turbo boost. Then we come to a bridge which is about a 1/2 mile long and 12 to 15 billion feet high. She doesn't slow down appreciably. My lungs begin to protest. My ego, however, feels that dying on Roosevelt Boulevard is better than falling behind this woman, so I keep up. The third mile ends just after the bottom of this bridge and we are under 30 minutes. I'm doing great, and as a bonus she starts to slow down. Then some weasely dude passes us, and that is utterly unacceptable so now I'm following him. I'm breathing through my mouth at this point so, naturally, I have cotton mouth (there are better ways to get cotton mouth) as we approach a water station. Apparently there is a technique to drinking water while running, and it isn't "empty the contents of the cup into your mouth all at once". Guess who can't breath but is too stupid to a) spit out the water or b) slow down? Now my heart joins my lungs in screaming "SLOW DOWN, RETARD!!" I don't listen even though discomfort is sliding into pain. My mother says I suffer from testosterone poisoning, and she's probably right. The weasely guy must have slowed down because as we approach the mile 4 marker, which I thought/hoped was the finish line; I was noticing the neighborhood's really nice houses. However, when I look at the time on the mile 4 clock it reads 40m12s, and I know that I have 5280 feet to go. The weasely guy starts to fall back because he is weak. I'm thinking if this was 50 thousand years ago and we were on the Serengeti he would be eaten alive by a pack of hyenas. I mentioned I have testosterone poisoning didn't I? I'm having to motivate myself because I can't find someone to follow, and I'm thinking about listening to my internal organs instead of my obviously damaged brain. Luckily, I see my wife and mother-in-law there to cheer me on, which gives my ego enough juice to shout down my mutinous cardiovascular system. If I can't get motivated by a pretty girl then I can't call myself a heterosexual American male, and if I'm anything I'm that. I didn't like mile 5. Mile 5 had runners that had already finished the race running the other way to "cheer us on". One of my goals for next year is to have enough energy to feed these fools a couple of forearm shivers. Hey Jim Fixx, am I doing a great job now? There are about 200 yards left and I'm about to quit --I don't care, the hell with it -- when the finish line comes into view. I have about 100 yards to go and the clock reads 50m10s and it's now my goal to finish before 50m30s so I kick like Edwin Moses and finish in 50m23s. I run over to my wife and I tell her that this race is the dumbest thing I have ever done. It isn't until my heart rate drops below 275 that I start to think this was fun, and I am looking forward to the 15k River Run in two weeks.

For the record: There is no such thing as the runners high. It's a load of crap.