Monday, April 8, 2013

The Obligatory Post-Race Post

So just to be clear, I don't really like writing much about actual running. I'd rather come up with something relating running to life or relating running to the cosmos or relating running to Nutella, or something I read or saw that really grinds my gears: that is to say, basically anything on or anything published by "Dr." Jason Karp (who seems to have a strange preoccupation with the idea that women shouldn't run through menstrual cycles. Which begs the question of how many of those he's had to run through, and also if he thinks this is still the 1800's or something. But, well, that's a somewhat squirmy and uncomfortable topic for all of us, so moving on...) or anything that puts the Kardashians into the limelight (seriously, does anyone know why the hell they're even famous?!). Or I write stuff solely for the purpose of processing something that totally made my mind go "boom". I don't really like writing about workouts or how many miles I ran last week (see previous post "Magical Numbers" for a more detailed rant on that one) and I don't really write about races because I don't remember much of them other than bits and pieces because I think my brain goes somewhere else during that time. But since the first race of the entire year is in the bag (finally), I think that warrants a celebratory post.

I always wonder during times of mandatory downtime if all those hours and hours of cross-training my legs off truly does make the comeback trail a little less long than it would be if I just chilled out for a couple months and ate Reece's Peanut Butter Easter Eggs and lapsed into a sort of injury-induced pseudo-hibernation. Every now and then I'd find myself tempted to make an excuse, "GAHH I don't need to go to the pool today, it doesn't do anything anyway. Plus it's -10 outside." Then I go and Tweet my gripes to the running world. But thankfully the compulsive side of me that feels a need to never, ever leave a blank spot in the training log wins out about 98% of the time. Really though, I don't know why I always wonder this, because fitness seems to come back crazy-fast for the most part, and it makes me shudder to think about how much it would have sucked to start back from ground zero.

Anyway, not totally sure where that was headed other than to say that thanks to those zillion cross training hours and not to mention the sage wisdom and guidance of Coach Cody--without whom I would probably have been running as much as I could as hard as I could like a month ago, then finding ways to "sneak" in just a "little bit more," and therefore would probably be sidelined again right about now-- workouts are just as good (maybe better, but talk is cheap) as they were pre-injury, and last weekend's race went swimmingly.

I guess I could say that the Boulder Spring 5 Miler was pretty solid, but one of my pet peeves is when people describe runs as "solid". It's only annoying because everybody does it, and it makes me wonder what the alternative is to a "solid" run. Vapor? Liquid? Gaseous? I could go all sorts of directions with that last one. But instead I'll just say it went well, felt like a good effort, and is a good starting point for this year. Plus, it was neato that there was $400 bucks for the win and I got that and didn't even know there was money in the race. That's like, a whole paycheck. I love a surprise. Also I have to lend a special thanks to BTC's Chuy Martinez for not leaving me out there in windy no-man's land for the duration of the second half of the race.

Oh, but of course I couldn't just go away and say, "A win's a win! Yeaaaah buddy!' I just had to go home and geek-out and look at last year's results and make comparisons. This year's race was notably less stacked than last year's, no doubt owing to the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile (where Bri was second American) and the St. Louis Half (where Mattie made everyone her b***h. There. I'll say it so that she doesn't have to because she's too nice.) and my time this year would've put me about 3rd last year. This thought led to my usual How-About-Instead-Of- Focusing-On-Bettering-Myself-I-Compare-Myself-To-Everyone-Else thought train. In this case it went like this:

1) Runner X ran Y time at this race last year.
2) Runner X then went on to run Z time at W race.
3) Therefore, I will end up running Z time at W race because I ran Y time that Runner X ran at this race last year.
4) Freak out.

After engaging in that thought process and acknowledging that my tiny victory in Boulder paled in comparison to what many of my teammates have been doing, I decided at that moment that I'm not thinking like that anymore because those thoughts are stupid and self-defeating and serve no purpose. Nope. Just not going to do it. They say that "Comparison is the thief of joy," because rather than being thankful for your own milestones and accomplishments, you stack them up against everyone else's milestones and it's positively soul-sucking. And guess what? Everyone else's milestones are none of your business anyway, and those people went through their own peaks and valleys to attain them. So be grateful for what you were able to do on a given day, acknowledge it and give yourself a quick pat on the back, then get back to work. Rant over. Anyway though, the end result of the race looked like this, or maybe this is just Art looking bashful with some of his lady friends:

Dear Lord my forehead is enormous. Shoot, there I go comparing again...

Before I forget, major props to Andy, Scott and Art for upping the amount yellow on the podium.

Well this has been quite the conglomeration of verbal vomit so I'll wrap this little guy up. Next up is the Mt. Sac 5k which will be a more honest test and I'll get to chase women instead of Chuy.