Sunday, October 23, 2011

Losing $5 a Second

Ok I've had it with the new running boom. Sure, I'm part of it, but I wish everyone else would just go home and watch TV. Today at the annual Homecoming 5K race (one of the bigger races here in Manhattan), I shaved 40 seconds off my 5K PR, and broke 18 minutes for the first time — my watch measured the course a tad shorter than 3.1 miles, but pretty darn close at 3.07 — but finished a spot lower in the non-student category than last year. This year I came in 4th, a mere 5 seconds out of the money ($25 for third place). Argh. The Olympian I mentioned in my last entry ran and didn't even win! I mean c'mon, this is getting ridiculous. Sam says I'm not allowed to use "double ifs," but if the Olympian sticks to the Diamond League professional races in Europe, and I manage to catch the guy in front of me (not that I knew who in front of me was non-student; a hundred frat guys sprint as fast as they can at the beginning of this race, so it's never possible to know where you stand) then I win second place and $50. I disagree with Sam on this one. This is a legitimate use of the double if.

But even if losing money to Olympians makes me a little grumpy, it was a great day. (What say you legions of blog followers: should Olympians run in local races?) The temperature was 50 degrees (just about optimal according to the research), and the course was undoubtedly fast (mostly downhill after the first uphill mile to the rec center). Sam, Rob, and Brent all had good races, too — Sam in particular threw down the hammer out of nowhere — and Melinda's, in her words, was "respectable given the preceding 4-week sedentary stint in the grant-writing chair" 
 and then afterwards we snuck in a fantastic beer at Houlihan's before lunch at Radina's with all racers and their kids. New additions to my list of fun activities: a Guinness directly after a morning race, and hanging out at a bar with Nate (Aaron and Tara's central-casting-cute 2-year-old).

Remember everyone, running makes you fat and injured and decreases life expectancy.

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