Wednesday, May 04, 2005

insecurity or competitiveness? (part 1)

there are a lot of runners out there. people have become hamster on the treadmill. i think the stair stepper is still the easiest workout to make fun of, but so many others are ridiculous as well. too bad i have now fallen victim to such practice due to one of two things. it is either out of insecurity or sheer competitiveness. let me explain...

a couple months ago i ran in a 5k race in downtown Ft. Worth. i was thinking to myself, "3.2 miles? no problem. i used to run 2 miles BEFORE lacrosse practice in college, and that was with a helmet and pads on in the heat of august." so i get up at about 6am on a saturday morning, forget to eat or drink anything pre-race (critical error #1), let alone the fact that college was 3 years ago and i have done very little long distance (critical error #2) running since. the race begins and i am feelin pretty good, it is cold so i have on shorts underneath my college lacrosse windpants, under armor-like nike shirt, t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt and trusty red sox cap. i am not a red sox fan really, but i got the hat at fenway the one time i have been there and it just happens to fit well. all these layers were going to be unnecessary about 1/4 mile into the race (critical error #3) when it is a little warmer than it was at 6am and i have warmed up from the incipient stages of the run.

i am stubborn and strong willed and get annoyed by all the people in front of me running at probably 7-9min mile pace (these races are really crowded unless you start at the very front, which i did not). of course i set out at circa 6 minute mile pace weaving in and out of hamster traffic so i can get a clear space in which to run. of course, this takes me about a mile so i am starting to feel the burn. i am the guy on the freeway that is wreckless and every other driver thinks to themself how much of an idiot that speed racer is and hope he gets busted by a cop. except in this case people are hoping that they pass me later in the race because i ran out of energy to put one foot in front of the other. at the end of the first mile, there is a hill that felt like running up K2 and i am starting to get really hot. shedding clothes is really not an option at this point. i grab a cup of water and try to drink but nearly choke since i am breathing so heavily. i start to realize that my pace far outweighs my stamina and come to terms that i might have to walk part of the 3.2 miles at some point. i am no longer able to consider myself a respectable athlete and am not what the common folk call "in shape".

(story is too long and i must work. it will continue in tomorrow's entry)



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