Thursday, April 12, 2007

Race against yourself

On Sunday, my friends and I ran in the Harry Rosen 8K race at high park. I could tell you that we were all concerned about prostate cancer, and wanted to help raise money. But then I would be lying.

No, we've competed for the last 5 years at the same venue for the most juvenile of reasons: to see which one of us sucks the most. It doesn't matter who wins, it matters who loses. That person is responsible for treating us to dinner.

I don't know why we chose this race to run. The first week of April has historically provided us with the worst, most unpredictable weather. Snow storms, rain, below 0 temperatures. But, we're talking about a group of people that don't stay physically fit and then attempt to run 8km. If we're going to be stupid, then we might as well be stupid at the same time.

So anyways, we added a bit of a twist this year: Chin calculated our average times, and the loser would be the runner with the least improvement over their own mark. Genius! I just need to beat 53 minutes, and I spare myself ridicule for an entire year.

Well, I tried my best to prepare for this year's race. Seriously, I did. But I went from cardio 3 times a week, to once a week, to no cardio except for basketball on sunday mornings. This race is going to hurt, real bad.

My experience, per kilometre:
  • 1km: stuck behind a massive crowd of people. I try to take it easy, because my legs are already sore from the first 200m. I check my stopwatch once I cross the mark: 7 minutes. 7 x 8 = 56 minutes! Crap! I gotta pick up the pace!
  • 2km: starting to not feel so freaking cold. I see Chris for the first time. Interesting, I was ahead of him ... but not anymore. It's here that the race is the most depressing -- The leaders of the pack have already run more than half of the race, and since the course doubles back, you have to make way so they can sprint by you.
  • 3km: running up a hill hurts. I stop to take a break, and then Chin passes me. Crap!
  • 4km: something about grabbing a gatorade while you're running makes you feel like a champ.
  • 5km: Chris, you're not supposed to sprint down a hill! That's fucking dangerous. I was always within 5 seconds of Chris, but after that daredevil manuever, he gained 30 secs to 1 min easy. I never saw him again.
  • 6km: I've run this race enough times to know when the finish line is close. Just dig in! There are a few stretches where you can see runners a far distance ahead of you. I look for Chris, but I can't find him.
  • 7km: The hill is coming
  • 8km: I walk up the hill. I'm so done. I check my stopwatch, and it says 53 minutes. I've run my average ... hopefully that's enough.
In the end, my wife didn't finish the race, so she had to pay for dinner. The person with the second worst time (responsible for the drinks) was ... not me! I was 0.1% slower than my average time, and Chin was 0.6% slower. Oh snap!

Congratulations to AI for finishing with the best teamID time (unless you cheated, which is the only way we can rationalize it). Congrats to my wife, who still put in a great effort despite 0 trips to the gym in the 30 days prior to the race. Congrats to Chris, for successfully pulling off the slingshot maneuver on Jon.

Thanks Kev for taking pictures. Click on the thumbnail to see my album.

Next year, I'm going to train. For real. ugh. I need a donut.

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