Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rejoice! We...Conquer?!?

Today was 5-K day.

I was excited. Ready to run. Inside of every fat old dad who thought he was a decent athlete in high school, there is a teenager raring to go.

That teenager inside has the exuberance of adolescence, the confidence that comes with no experience, the pride of the immortal 18-year old, and, at least in my case, much longer hair.

This morning, THIS former teenager was ready to show the world that although exercise now consists of jogging with 3 to 4 children in one stroller, doing wind sprints while carrying a baby, and doing pullups on the soccer goals while furtively watching to make sure that none of the children are escaping, he's still got it.

Well, some of it.
Running in an earlier race this year. Notice how there is traffic everywhere on the course? The winner of the Marathon this morning got hit by a motorcycle, but he kept on going and still won!
Ok,  a tiny little bit of it.

I was ready for everything. All I needed was on the table the night before. clothes, socks, racing bib, water bottle to put my cold coffee in, headphones, etc. etc.

I got up, ready to go. Ate breakfast, drank a bit of cold coffee. The lady where I signed up for the race said the 5-K should start about 5:45, so I was close on time but doing ok.

I arrived at the race, and looked at the start line, and there was about 80 little middle-schoolers lined up at the starting line. What the?!??

I ran to the line and in my best Visayan found out that the 5-K had started earlier than I had been told, and the slowest runners were nowhere in sight. I could see a good 700 meters down the course, and there was nobody.

Cursing my stupidity at not being earlier than I thought was necessary, I threw my unopened bottle of cold coffee down, anddodged through the 12-year olds getting ready for the kids race, and passed the start line.

I ran hard, it was a super hilly course, first half was the best downhill part, I ran well and I actually started passing lots of people from the 5-K. When the dust had settled, and I made it up the mile-long hill at the end of the race (no joke, the last mile is a long, slow, then steeper uphill that killed me) I finished with an ok time on my stopwatch. I didn't even look at the official time clock.

I was rather upset, a bit mad, but had just finished a reallyreally good workout, so I didn't have a lot of energy for lots of emotions other than My Legs Hurt and I'm Really Tired and Give Me Water.

I didn't stay for the award ceremony, because I have 4 kids to take care of, and I was pretty confident I got nothing in the way of race hardware.

After the race. Home by 6:20 AM  Rather tired. But as a daddy, the day is just beginning...Mommy has to go shopping at the market, so daddy has the kids within minutes of jogging back home from the race. But the burgers, lasagna, homemade ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, and meatballs that Chef Mommy made are sooo worth it.
Well, I got a text a little later from a friend of mine, and he let me know that I got a third place medal for my age group (the old-geezer-daddy section.) And that, frankly, was the most hilarious thing that has happened to me in running in a long time. I think I started 6-9 minutes after the race started.

I'm not complaining, I'll take it. I'm just not sure if I should be proud of winning it, or wondering if there was 4 people in my age group and I beat one of them. I don't know. I don't care. I might find out if they post the race times on the internet.

But for now, I'm just going to bask in the high-school-like pride of having won a medal, and beaten at least a few other equally over-worked dads in the process.

*I found out later this afternoon that they counted racing chip times. So, that means that even though  I finished way behind the other medalists, my chip time was faster than lots of other people that finished before I did. That is how I got my sweet medal. 

Bronze Medal, Baby! Now if I just had a little more time to train for London....
My four favorite training partners. We run and do cross training 5 days a week together. I would like to dedicate this bronze (probably tin) medal to them. Without their active participation in PE class, 
none of this would have been possible...

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