Monday, January 20, 2014

Sometimes Weathermen Lie

Some runners biggest enemies are weathermen.  This is through fault of their own. These same runners should realize by now they can not control the weather.  Regardless of how many times you try to sell your soul to Mother Nature, she is going to be a bitch sometimes, so get over it and just run. Or don't run cause she won't care either way.

Now I know I opened up things a little harsh here but c'mon guys/gals, don't get all worked up over the weather. Don't sweat the things you can't control. You work yourself up before you even get to the starting line. Worry about shit you can control like the right pair of shoes, shaving, eating pasta in the shuttle bus, clean undies, breath mints and the runs.

Having said that, the weather (10 days out) for the Jacksonville marathon was to be in the low 40's at race start warming to the low 60's.  That was ten days out.  Did you get that? TEN DAYS OUT.  The only guarantee ten days out weather related is that it will be light and then dark and maybe not even in that order. That. Is. It.

The runners I know were excited.  The weather was going to be ideal.  All those long runs starting at 4 am were finally going to pay off. Dreams of BQ'ing were in the eyes of some. PR's for others. Trips to Goodwill and Salvation Army were in the near future to get those cold weather throw away clothes.

Well wouldn't you know it, Mother Nature decided to show us who is boss.  The weather predictions changed way off course.  Something called a cold front decided to slow down a little and not make an appearance in Jacksonville until race night. Race morning would be high 60's and high humidity with a 70% chance of rain. Sweet.  I could hear all the cussing and crying across the BRA airwaves.

Race morning had arrived.  The BRA group met at the host hotel to ride the shuttle bus to the start.  It's been awhile since I have been on a school bus. The trip didn't take that long. I have to give it to the organizers. Convenience is another reason to do this race again.

Once at the start, you could already tell it was going to be a hot one.  Not much of a breeze and the air was sticky. I had debated on taking my shirt off but decided against it.  Didn't want to show off my battle scars from the buffet.

As the start time neared, most of us BRA'ers huddled and wished each other well.  Some were reminded to stay on pace and others told not to go out too fast and others to remember that running ain't for babies.

I was looking for someone to pace.  I honestly knew I was going to be slower and wanted to help someone maybe PR instead.  P-funk? 508? The Sick One? I found no takers. Dang it. Well I turned on my new iPod shuffle on and off I go.

Know I've done wrong, left your heart torn
Is that what devils do?
Took you so long, where only fools gone
I shook the angel in you!
Now I'm rising from the ground
Rising up to you!
Filled with all the strength I found
There's nothing I can't do!

First couple of miles were okay.  I of course have gone out too fast but that's what I do. Getting hot already.

With another anthem, why stop when it doesn't have to end?
It ain't over 'til I say it's over – enough when I say enough
Throw me to them wolves and close the gate up
I'm afraid of what'll happen to them wolves
When the thought of being thrown into an alligator pit, I salivated it
Weight is up, hands up like it's 12 noon, nah, homie

Just shy of mile 5 it started misting a little.  Not much of a relief from the heat. Yet.

Yeah, go 'head, ask me how I do it, bruh
The sky falling, but I'm still flyin' through-and-through
Hey this ain't willpower, it's wheel power
With God at the wheel, now that's some real power
I feel power, so I'm gon' trust that
That's how I persevere, that's how I jump back
Yeah, the hurricanes never go away
So I'mma stand firm, tell 'em I don't blow away

At around mile 6, the F-Word comes strutting past me. And at mile 6ish I see the F-Word has started walking on the side of the road.  I came by and tugged on her arm and said it was too early to start walking.  The F-Word then started running with me.

Come come come
When we comin some some
Yea a glass around
Yea I got me some pom pom
For fun for fun
Yea it’s getting undone
We’ve been here, we move on
It’s been so long since we hung

I seemed to have gotten my second wind and picked up my pace a little.  Just a little. For a little bit of time. Lack of training will show in your results.  I realize this and won't complain when it's my fault.

And now the rain comes. But just a bit of a sprinkle.  Just enough to cool me down.  I could hear some of the runners thanking the Mother.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!
On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

By now you're probably wondering why the song lyrics. Well here is a free tip from me to you.  When using new audio devices, make sure you test them out before your long runs or races.  I love me some music.  All kinds.  Most of all, I like podcasts on iTunes. I prefer the ones from Above & Beyond, Tiesto, Avicii and others with the high energy beats.  These podcasts are usually an hour long and free. Now if I could just run an hour I would be set. So having that in mind, I load two podcasts and about six other songs on the shuffle. About five minutes from the start, I realize that the shuffle will only play the six songs and not the podcasts.  I will now be listening to the same six songs for two hours.

At about mile 11, my hip and knee start to hurt.  Again no excuses.  Just lack of training.  Some would say my age catching up to me but I still say it is lack of training.

So you want to be free and live your life the way you want to be
Will you give if we cry? will we live or will we die?
Will we die? Jaded hearts heal with time
Now shoot that love, so we can stop the bleedin'
Solitary brother, is there still a part of you that wants to live?
Solitary sister, is there still a part of you that wants to give?

The rain now came and it was a down pour.  Also at this time I hear a familiar voice over my left shoulder.  It's 508. So much for her not wanting to pace and not thinking she could PR today.  Yeah right.  Not sure if she called me old man or not when she ran by but one thing is for sure; I am glad she declined the pacing.  I've been there before. I tried to keep up with her but she just picked it up. And off she went. Great job 508 on your PR.

I managed to bring it on in at 2:04.  Not my best but I will take it based on it being just a Sunday stroll in the park. I jest. It was a little tougher than I thought it would be. Legs were sore and I didn't even feel like walking.  Now the weather started getting worse but hey I was done now and could just sit under a tent and wait for everyone to finish. Or could I. The previous night at dinner, I told the F-Word that I would meet her at mile 24 to pace her in to an under 4:01 PR. Dang it. See what four beers do to guys. We lose our damn minds.

Up next: Father Time vs. Mother Nature


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