Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's how I'm programmed to function

2009 Heights 5K Earth Day Run

Start: 6:45 pm

Time: 00:21.12

Weather: 50º

It has been a drag lately, with the rain and little time to hit the road. I was looking forward to this, and glad I made it. I promised to be a downright beautiful night, but when the sun dipped below the trees it got a bit uncomfortable with cold. But I showed up shortly before the start, and so did not have to wait long.

They discontinued the annual 5K three years ago due to lack of interest, I do not know what inspired them to try again, but I am glad they did. There was only a few dozen of us, but that was good enough for me.

Preparing to begin, I made a mistake. For some reason, I developed a desire ... to win. I mean, I didn't think I would win, or place, but you know, maybe take a medal in my division. I might leave with something. Could there actually be three people there in my age range? And I am now, again, the youngest in my age range! I can take my imaginary competitors, right?

Foolish. Vain. Pointless. And, inevitably, counterproductive.

Don't get me wrong, I ran. I ran fast. I didn't beat my previous best, I did not break back-to-back seven minute miles. But I did all right.

But I also had that awful feeling in my chest that I used to get when I was trying really hard, a feeling of fear, and futility. I hate that feeling. Only it used to slow me down, that feeling of dread. This time fear propelled me. That and a special playlist with bpm between 165 and 175.

I also felt like I was going to vomit halfway through. And my sides were aching. Really annoying, I never feel like that.

I started with the pack runners in the front, and slowly but surely, I passed people. A few people. And no one, during the entire race, passed me. I passed the only woman in front of me - I was faster than all the women in the entire race. There were two guys, one my age, another college age, passed both of them near the end, I thought that was foolish, but I was wrong. I just kept going.

It was cold. My ears hurt, they hurt a lot when I was finished. And you know what? I didn't get anything. All of the guys in front of me? They were all, so it seemed, between the ages of 40 and 49. All of them. I didn't even get a packet of seeds. Earth Day, they were giving out seeds. I was faster than the fastest guy under 29. Nothing.

I will never strive to medal again. It's just pointless. All serious runners are my age. By the time I'm 50, I won't be able to do this anymore.

165-175 BPM Playlist

The Fear - Lily Allen (not over 165 bpm, but a nice warm-up)
Foundations - Kate Nash (like Lily Allen, but ginger)
Brand New Colony - The Postal Service
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service (a two-fer!)
Enid - Barenaked Ladies
Hounds of Love (New Mix) - The Futureheads

I was doing so well on the 42 Runs, and now I have just lost it. I hope I can pick that back up - summer is supposed to begin Friday.

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