December 14, 2013

Ice is Slick and Hills are Steep

The official Kansas Road Running Records are, first of all, a thing. Not a thing dealing entirely with people from Kansas, and the fastest times run by them, but rather, a thing dealing with the times run on Kansas soil. By anyone. Or, you know, pavement. Whatever.

Regarding my spring marathon, I thought, perhaps, that a nice goal time would be whatever qualified for their "Honor Roll". I thought that, until I checked, and saw that the "open" (aged 20-34) standard for said honor roll is 2:32.

Well, nevermind.

(Not nevermind forever, necessarily. Although, if we're being honest, yeah, forever sounds about right. The standard does drop to 2:45 for the 35-39 bracket, which seems much more likely to me. But, whatever. Projecting a decade's progress/regression/being eaten by coyotes/hit by a bus/etc. is fruitless.)

Better to talk about racing in the present, which, hey, I did that today. 10.35 miles, I'm told, though the distance was never going to be the challenge. That, rather, was the ice covering the hills. I fell, I think, eight or so times, though I stopped counting. Hit a tree stump with my right shoulder, and couldn't really swing that arm for a few minutes. Cut up both knees a bit, watched the blood trickle, then freeze. Humorous, really, after the fact. Though I seem to recall, based on my shouted profanity during the race, that I didn't find any of it so funny at the time.

But, so it goes. I said yesterday that racing was the ultimate exercise in presence. And this was that, for better and worse. Exhilarating, at times. At others, I was quite sure I was going to be impaled on a tree. I did survive, however, despite my struggles with verticality. Even managed to finished second, behind a guy who, if memory serves, I'm now 0/1847291 against. You know, roughly. But hey, he's run a 2:32 marathon. (Not in Kansas though. So he's not on the honor roll either. We can sit in the back of class together, in that.)

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