Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lost Dutchman 10k Race Report

This race is apparently too popular for it's own good. It's a lower cost alternative to some of the more expensive and over-hyped other marathons and half-marathons. I chose the 10k option, having no urge to race any longer. I tend to like low key events myself. It's much less hassle to park where you want, have plenty of time to get ready, and get your race number the same day you race. I started out two hours ahead of the time I was supposed to start racing and I got caught in a long line of cars trying to park. I had hoped I could get a parking spot near the starting line, but I was about half an hour too late. I had barely enough time to stand in line for the porta-potties and to get warmed up. As it was I didn't get much time to warm up. I like to warm up because if I am going to run as fast as I can, I like to ease into it a little.

At least you don't have any "corrals" to line up in. The polite thing to do in a race is to seed yourself according to your speed. You don't want to get run over by the faster runners, nor do you want to be stuck behind the slower ones. Here, it didn't matter because you had no idea what speed people would run.

The first mile was slightly downhill with a tail wind. I did it in 8:30", the fastest mile I would run. It got harder from then out. Most of the run was straight, but the terrain was rolling. I didn't have the crushing pain in my chest(not a heart attack, just lack of oxygen) I get when I run a 5k, but it was pretty uncomfortable. The rest of the miles were about 9:00/mile and I was counting down each one. My heart rate was climbing into the 170's, a place I usually don't like to be, but I ignored the high heart rate because it was tolerable. Usually the fourth mile is the black hole of a 10k, but none of them felt better or worse than the others except the last one. The last one you had to climb a hill. Not a big hill, but a painful one. You pass through a "wall" in honor of the marathoners I guess. It's actually is an archway made of blocks. Once you crest the hill, you turned into a strong headwind. It was annoying.

My final time was 56:09. It wasn't a personal best, but it was decent. Considering that I had been sick most of the week, had gained weight since the Ironman and had generally felt like my fitness had gone downhill, I was happy with it. I can still run very hard and generate some speed. I will probably pay for it later.

I was third in my age group, so I got two metals-one for finishing and one for being third in my age group. It's one of thoses things that you get in a race that you really don't need. More metals, more hats and more over-sized tee shirts that you never wear.

The race food was decent. The usual fruit, doritos and a burrito. I wish they had had pretzels. And cookies. While I was eating, there was a burro in a pen that kept complaining. He probably smelled the food and thought he should get some. He went with the man with a beard dressed as a miner-the "Lost Dutchman" who supposedly found gold that disappeared. The "Lost Dutchman" was supervising people playing darts. I thought this was odd, but kind of cute for a race. He looked more like an"Apache Junction" trailer park denizen than old miner to me. He reminded me of the "Mountain Man" dude who shows up riding a horse for the Mountain Man triathlon. I guess a race has to have it's mascot.

After waiting around for another metal that I didn't need, I drove the 40 miles home to take a nap. No yard work will get done today. All that hard running tires me out.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What I'm Missing

When you have been married for 30 plus years, you get used to having a man around. You get used to having someone to talk to, someone to share the chores, someone to hug, someone warm to spoon against in bed. When you get dumped you lose all of that. Even when the relationship has gone bad, you still miss the dream of having it. You adjust to being alone, but you have lost what used to be your best friend and you long for someone to light up when you appear. I miss the "maleness".

That doesn't mean that I am going to rush out and get involved in a relationship right away. I am not dating and I don't want to date right now. I think I have trust issues and if someone ever wanted to date me, (a)I would question their motives; and (b) think that they have lost their mind because my self-esteem is such that I wouldn't feel like I would be relationship material.

The reality is that having a relationship with a guy is difficult. They may have emotional needs that are sometimes unmet no matter what you do, they sometimes have difficulty expressing their feelings and they hurt you even if they love you. They also may not pick up after themselves, fall down on personal hygiene habits and be overly in love with sports that you have no interest in.

The weird consequence to having no relationship in my life after 30 plus years of marriage that I find myself checking out good looking athletic guys in spandex. Especially good-looking guys that you can see that well--that they are guys. The photo of the cyclists in red shorts was probably photo-shopped for humor, but it is funny as hell. The top photo probably is not "re-touched", but I think it is funny anyway. Those ITU uniforms are tight and sometimes the body parts have no where to go.

I think it's funny because human body is humorous as well as elegant. Muscled legs and arms are beautiful, but there is also the soft, floppy stuff. If you wear skin-tight clothes with no underwear, something is bound to show. And no one who rides a bike wants to wear underwear with their shorts and get chaffed.

Of course not everyone in spandex looks good wearing it. Most of the non-athletic world probably wishes it didn't exist. Spandex is not kind to body imperfections. There is a huge "ICK" factor, especially when you see what you really don't want to see. But like a car accident, it is hard to look away. You don't want to look, but the horrible fascination draws you do so anyway.

So while I am still in my lonely state of mind, I will probably take a gander at the better male bodies in spandex, but not look too hard (unless it's a photo).