Friday, August 20, 2010
Kraut Route 5K and other nonsense
Since no plan survives first contact I adapted and decided just to run the 5K. This 5K was a small local race in a small community. There were 200 registered runners and it had none of the fanfare of some of the other races I have participated in. As usual I started off at the back of the pack and worked my way through the crowd. My intention was to just jog and that is what I did for most of the first part. The course started out flat but then after about a mile we encountered some rather large hills. The last hill to the turn around was pretty steep and probably about 3/4 to one mile long. It was while I was motoring steadily up this hill that I saw a guy I knew coming downhill after turning around. Lets just say he and I do not see eye to eye.
Me being me it then became my Ranger mission to run this guy down and beat him in the race. Don't worry that we are both over 40 and our fastest days are well behind us, rivalry and male ego do not have a age limit. So I picked it up making the turnaround and lengthening my stride as I went downhill. I could see him in the distance cresting the next hill and as I hit the bottom of that hill I tried to keep my pace the same. I steadily gained ground on him until I was close enough to see hear his labored breathing (between my own breathes). On the next uphill he slowed and I did not and I went running past him not even looking to give him the satisfaction of eye contact. He ate my dust, my mission then became to put as much distance between myself and him as possible. I kept up the pace feeling pretty good about myself until up ahead who should I see but the same 8 or 9 year old kid that just beat me at the 5K I ran on July 4th. I decided to run him down as well and get the old double play. So I picked it up again and caught up to him, as I was pulling even he slowed to a walk.
Right then and there my thinking changed, I went from super-competitive Former Action Guy to a guy who admires effort and heart. I looked that young man in the eye and said " You beat me on the 4th, are you going to let an old fat guy beat you today?" He looked at me and without so much as a word he took off on a dead sprint as only the young can do. I tried to keep up with him but the hills had taken the kick right out of me and he ended up beating me by 20 seconds or so. After the race he disappeared and I didn't get a chance to tell him he had run a good race. I beat my last 5k race time by almost a minute and beat Mr. Attitude by over two minutes,put that in your pipe and smoke it.
When I got back to the ambulance garage I ended up driving the ambulance in the festival parade and throwing out candy, later that day as I was finally trying to take a nap we got a page for medical assistance at a fire which ended up involving 6 fire departments and our ambulance service. We were on scene about 5 hours. Needless to say when I got home I went to bed early that evening