Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I am gumption-less. No desire to run whatsoever. So much for concrete goals.
Last week I ran a grand total of 29 miles in three outings... yikes. This week, I have yet to go out and hit the ground once.

I did get to visit the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum yesterday. It was not as well designed as I had hoped. It does have this large elevator with glass/plexi-glass?? walls that was nice to look at, but inside it gave me a feeling of claustrophobia. Go figure. The 'temporary' exhibit was a-okay. Nothing to get excited about. I did enjoy three stained-glass-like pieces made of butterflies, and with almost perfect symmetry.

I hope y'all are doing better than me. In fact I know you are :-) The end.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Superbowl Sunday

Yesterday was to be one of my 'goal' races for the year. Coming into this 5K I knew I was not ready for a 19:15, so I came up with a lesser goal.

I drove to the site in light rain, hoping that it would subside before the start of the race. I parked the car less than 1/2-mile away from the start and it was still raining. It was 6:30, an hour to go. I still had to go and pick up my bib. I decide to wait until 7:10 to retrieve the T-shirt and the bib/chip envelope. All this time I struggle deciding whether to run it or not. I almost left. The rain was not the issue, it was waiting until the race started 'in the rain' that did not appeal to me.

I exit the car and head to get my bib, jogging the distance. The envelope is handed to me and I make my way to get my long-sleeve shirt, getting my shoes completely soaked.

Five minutes or so to go... I have to go relieve my bladder. No one is lined up at the porta-potties; a rare sight. I come out with three minutes to spare. The start is but a few steps away. The new, more conservative goal is just to break 20. It should not be that difficult.

I get myself right behind the first row. I am ready to run. The light rain keeps on dropping. It is annoying the heck out of me. Sound the darn horn for crying out loud. Then it is announced that America the Beautiful will be sang. The singer does a wonderful joy. Then I come back to reality. I am getting cold. It's only 48 degrees, so it isn't that bad.

Finally, the horn is blown. I take off with a bunch of teens. I reach the quarter mile and I ask this guy what he's thinking of running. 18, was his response. I immediately back off. I make a turn and get passed by one runner. The effort feels too close to tempo, but I discard the idea that I am not running 5K-effort (BIG mistake) and continue. The first mile marker, I hit the split button and my watch reads 6:30. Shit. I am already behind as this mile should have been not slower than 6:20. The next one is the most difficult of the three and I know it will be slower. I try to raise the effort, and I only slow down 12 seconds, 6:42. I am 15 seconds behind schedule. I need a sub-6:10 to make it close. My shoes keep getting soaked in the cross-gutters. I pass a couple of more runners, including a teen. I am on a nice descent, but my stride feels short, choppy. Sub 20, is not going to happen. The effort is just not there. I turn and see the third mile marker, 6:31. Damn. I don't even kick the final stretch, where the teen I had passed just after 2.25 comes roaring and gets in front of me inside the shoot, 0.44. 20:27 by my watch. 20:30 official time. I guess the rain impeded on using the flat-chip system and they went with bib tags. 42nd OA and seventh in my AG. The top three in my AG ran in the 16s; damn, they're fast. The winner did it in 15:01. Bastard.

At the end I was in disbelief. My mind could not fathom how I could run such a slow race. Two years ago, I ran this race and ran it almost a minute faster. I was in similar shape. I kept on feeling sorry for myself for the rest of the day. The Superbowl was a nice distraction to an awfully ran race. No effort, no guts... no glory... just disappointment.

In the afternoon, I rooted for the Patriots; I wanted them to get a perfect season. Besides i am not a fan of the Manning brothers. Eli because he dodged the draft (San Diego Chargers)... Payton because he is just too darn good. I have to hand it to Eli though; he held composure and drove his team when it was needed the most, during crunch time. I thought the pressure was going to be too much, and that he was going to be intercepted. Overall it was an excellent game, particularly the second half.