Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Lifeguard Runs, Too!

These Women Weren't In My Road Race...
The Lifeguard, wanting to get back into top physical condition for the summer drinking season, planned on entering a 5K that was a fundraiser for a local charity. (Donate here, if you wish.) I talked about it for weeks, until finally Number Two asked, "Dad, when are you going to start training for the race?"

The Lifeguard's snarky (and, totally honest) answer: "When does the race start?"

So, on May 9th, The Lifeguard showed up at 1045 HRS (for an 1100 HRS gun). Stretching for two minutes or so, then pinning on my number, I started stalking the competition. Preferring to trash talk men and women pushing baby joggers, the seemingly mentally deficient, and the physically infirm, The Lifeguard took his place in the herd.

Hell, I knew that the crowd would sort itself out--the racers breaking from the pack, leaving the runners behind. And, the course was suited for that--one lap around the track, then out onto the local roads.

The Lifeguard started in the middle of the pack, getting out of starting area in 1:49 for the first quarter-mile. (A pace that still would not have put The Lifeguard in the money.) The first hill was nearly my Waterloo--I have never done well on downhills--when I started feeling a little knee pain. (The Lifeguard is thinking that it would be really embarrassing to drop out at the 1 mile mark, especially since there is no nearby bar; and, no way to pull a Rosie Ruiz.)

I started thinking, at the 1.5 mile mark about Richard Pryor (who talked about getting a cramp while running).

"Hello, I'll be fucking with you for the next hour or so. I'll be moving from side to side, down your groin, and up your ass. When you drop dead, I will stop."

At the 2 mile mark, the men and women pushing baby joggers were passing me (including one woman whose child was wearing a hockey helmet). Now, don't get me wrong, I get the whole safety thing; but, making your child look like a tool when you are wearing running shorts and a pink LIVESTRONG singlet is so wrong. Kicking my ass while you're doing it? Even more wrong, even more emasculating.

On the uphill to the finish, The Lifeguard was managing to stay focused, in spite of the tremendous buildup of lactic acid (and thoughts of having erred by not training for this race). I managed to pass a few people, too. (Of course, those people were receiving medical attention; but still....)

Then, the finish. Fighting off the pregnant woman (who later delivered her triplets on the infield), I managed to get through the gate in 33:45 (my best 5K time since my last 5K, in 1989). And, while I wasn't first, I sure as Hell wasn't that is something.

And, the day after, The Lifeguard's quads are still screaming; but, I finished.

Next up, The Boston Marathon...

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