Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It was the best of times, it was... oh, geez, who are we kidding?

Couple of weeks ago, on a whim, I thought I'd try running a 5K. They were holding a race in a village (Baltimore, Ohio) near ours so what the heck? Let's go pretend to run! I can maintain a decent pace for 4 or 5 miles so I figured I should be able to run a 5K (3.1 something miles. Maybe it's dog miles).
After a half mile or so, I marked a guy who was running a similiar pace to myself. Turns out that staying with him had me run a bit faster than I would have if left to my own devices. Ended up with a time of 23:08. Not bad for my first-ever 5K.

Photo courtesy of Marianne Henderson
The next day was Cap CIty Short Track race #3. Again at Darree Fields in Dublin, Ohio. If the day before was a good race, this was the not-so-good race. It started good. Fought hard to be in the lead group from the gun. Second lap I went too wide going up the big hill, slid down the edge and let a bunch of guys go by me. So I get up and give it all I've got. One big effort, making ground on a couple of guys it seems and then G-GRRR-GA-GRR-GA-GRR >stop<!  I somehow managed to twist the front derailleur around enough to not let the bike be pedalled at all. What to do? Take the bike for a run! I didn't want to just toss in the towel so I kept going. After half of a lap Rich Hamrick saw me running and quickly handed his bike over the course tape to me. Whoah, back in the game! Which lasted for several laps until I got to the tight hairpin in the back section and... HEY! WHERE'D THEY GO? No back brakes. So I grab a handful of front brake and flew over the bars, through the course tape. I gathered up my wits and finished the race to the best of my abilities. In only a 20 minute event I managed to wipe out three times, and breaking two bikes. (On a positive note: Craig's front derailleur was easily fixed by Todd from Cyclist Connection, and Rich's rear brakes seemed to heal themselves when Rich was reviewing the damage at home).

photo by Jamie Clifton/Jamie Clifton Images

Yesterday I went out to my second Warrior Dash. I sort-of talked my brother into it and well, I couldn't really back out. With bad timing on my part I of course do what most people do - drive like hell to get to where you're going. Of course, this does indeed mean I got a speeding ticket. Now I'm REALLY late. Again, of my own doing. I miss my race time (my brother and I were supposed to run at 4pm). My wife is pushing me to get ready because there's one last race at 4:30pm and somehow we get parked, checked in and I'm on the starting line with less than 3 minutes remaining before the last race of the day.

Holy Wa. Just like last time, it was hard. Put in a couple of good efforts. I actually slid in the mud on my back across the finish line. I laughed at that point. But I didn't think I ran as well as last time until later that night when the results were posted online. Almost a full minute faster than my last Warrior Dash. So lessons learned (thanks to my wife): Don't ever ever ever EVER give up. Don't give up on getting to the line. Don't give up during the race. Keep putting in those efforts.

My brother Jeremy had a pretty good race, too. I am really bummed I missed him finishing by getting there so late and having to be at the starting line. This was a race we were supposed to do together and my mistakes prevented that. On the flip side, he's jacked up and ready for the next one which is next year. So next year we'll have another go at running, swimming, climbing and just getting really, really muddy.

Thanks for reading.


  1. You are amazing, a true inspiration, and a hell of a cool guy! I'm enthralled!

  2. Your season seems to be going a bit like a few NASCAR drivers I really enjoy. Hangin' tough is the only way to get 'er done.