Friday, October 9, 2009

Army Ten-Miler Redux - Part 2 + Weekly Ramblings

This week didn't exactly go according to plan. When shit goes down at work, some things have to suffer, and unfortunately it was running this week. I traded my planned seven-miler for an afternoon of beers on Wednesday. Next thing I knew, it was Thursday cross-training again and tempers roiled at the JCC with the Neanderthals eeking out 3-2 win.

I hoped to return to thoughts on my Army Ten-Miler PR from this past week with some general ramblings. Better late than never I suppose:

1. The Army does it right. Race not only started on time but proved quite moving. The race officially starts with runners who have lost limbs in Iraq and the prayer at the start, mixed with the helicopter flyover is enough to stir emotions and make you thankful that you're part of this race.

2. First time racers can be morons. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for all the people who get out there and run. I mentioned in a previous post that it's a comforting and even motivating thought to be lined with people who have traveled from all over to that one starting line. But come on, people, a little race etiquette, please? If you know you're supposed to be in the last starting corral because you plan to run slow, then for the love of God get back there. I spent the first mile dodging walkers, joggers, and folks taking pictures. To the back of the line, please.

3. Christmas comes early. I opted for the green Nike singlet and red shorts, to which Rachel has enjoyed pointing out for consecutive long run Sundays leading up to the race that I look like Christmas. To further reinforce this, the first words out of my friend's mouth in the parking lot were, "Nice, Brad. You look like Christmas." Validation achieved.

4. Superstitions are crucial to success. I've had a relatively new pair of Asics GT 2140s since March that I've been wearing, but in terms of a starting pair, these are my backups. Instead I've been sporting an older GT 2130 model. The 2140s were being phased into the starting role; however, after my impromptu tempo run in the 2130s, I needed to see if they still had some magic left in them. I'll let the time speak for itself (65:02). You tell me, huh?

5. Speaking of superstitions. I am beardless. It's still difficult to talk about. I watched a small piece of my friend swirl down the drain with each swipe of the razor Sunday night. I like to say it's the shoes, but really, it was a perfect blend of karma between beard, shoe, and short. A moment of silence for a fallen comrade.....

6. I love sausage. Since my marathon training earlier this year, I have come to appreciate the salty sensation that only sausage can deliver after a long run or a race. Two questions: Did I enjoy sausage after the 10-miler? Yes. Will I be delighting in sausage after tomorrow's 5K? I know no other way.

I'm still shocked at last week's 10-miler time, though I feel it bodes well for upcoming training, the simplicity of a 5K, and, yes, evidence that superstitions do in fact work.

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