Thursday, May 12, 2005

Seeing and Being Seen

Right. Wednesday’s race.

Well, it was basically your standard race fare. (I speak, you see, from my vast experience of having run in three races, ever. In my whole life. Of course, all three were in the last two weeks, so that’s gotta count for something.)

However, setting this race apart were the presence of Secret Service (far fewer than in previous years, I imagine, when Al Gore was a regular participant), Chairs of Committees, Leaders of Majorities, and lots of guys in Navy tshirts (so cute! So fast!). Although, come to think of it, I wouldn’t have recognized Richard Lugar if he punched me in the face, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, or not, so I can only confirm the presence of such noted notables from hearsay. But I don’t think he punched me in the face. Since you asked.

Also of note: the kitsch-y tshirts sported by many of the teams, including
  • The Tariffics
  • The Credibles
  • Not Running for Governor
  • and, my fave “Vote Republican. It’s a democracy thing.” Oh so funny, those Republicans, with their crazy democracy jokes.

Of course, none could compare to the team from the Treasury department, who humorously named themselves, “Team IRS-Pay Your Taxes,” and send a side-splitting letter to the Spirit Judges “threatening” the “full furor” of the internal revenue service “audit department” should this good-natured bunch fail to take home the Spirit Award. They were totally only kidding though, I’m sure, so it was hilarious when the Emcee pretended to be nervous when he gave them the award.

I made sure to let the Team IRS guys beat me in the race, though. Just to be safe.

In other excitement, Alan Webb*, of high-school-mile-world-record fame was on hand to start us off. He later caught up with Rep. Jim Ryun, of previous high-school-mile-world-record fame, and they enjoyed a leisurely 7:15/mile pace. Or so I’m told.

The race itself was a flat, three-mile, out and back, along a paved road by the Anacostia River. This was my first experience lining up by anticipated pace, and it was quite the scramble trying to push through the hordes to get to the 8-10 mile group. I lined up with someone from my team, but we didn’t end up running together.

When the race began, the pace was hardly more than a shuffle way back where I was, so I started weaving and dodging to get to a comfortable speed. It wasn’t a CHIP race, but it probably only took me a 10-20 seconds to cross the start line.

Eventually I caught up with someone else from my team, and we ran together to the turn around (conveniently marked by a guy holding a sign instructing us to “Turn Around”) at which point she sped up and left me behind.

Somewhere along the second mile, the guy I lined up with passed me, but my pace stayed pretty steady throughout. My splits were pretty evenly 8:30-ish, and I finished in 25:36, safely under my goal time of 26:00 minutes.

Of course, that was good enough for last among the speedsters I work with. Four out of five on the “fast team” came in under 20 minutes, and they placed second in the print division, and fifth overall.

But even including my plodding pace (only in comparison, mind you. I’m thrilled with my result), the “slow” team managed to come in 13th in the print division, out of 30 teams, which I consider respectable.

Fun times, y’all. Fun times.

*ETA: Mistakes happen. Thanks, Scooter, for calling me on this one.


Blogger David said...

Pretty evenly 8:30-ish splits is mighty fine in my book, especially if it were only my 3rd race ever. You're definitely an "active" runner these days and should be proud and happy, even if the Navy boys wouldn't run with you.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Riona said...

Love those Secret Service guys. I remember watching them when Bill Clinton came to Dublin and thinking that they looked like heavily armed Mormons missionaries. 8:30 is fantastic. You kick ass.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Flatman said...

Great job on your third race ever...I would have let the IRS win too!

11:42 AM  
Anonymous BD said...

Excellent time. Third race ever and you post 8:30 splits? Very impressive.


1:28 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Great job! So...weekend plans? Is this Saturday the big 20-miler??

4:52 AM  
Blogger Scooter said...

"In other excitement, Alex Webb, of high-school-mile-world-record fame was on hand to start us off. He later caught up with Rep. Jim Ryun, of previous high-school-mile-world-record fame, and they enjoyed a leisurely 7:15/mile pace. Or so I’m told."

Ummm...don't you mean Alan Webb? Sorry to give you a hard time, but it would have taken, oh, perhaps 15 seconds on Google to confirm his name.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Noames said...

Errr... probably?

I guess you caught me. For the record, I didn't Google Richard Lugar to make sure I was right about his Senate position either.

But I spelled Jim Ryun's name correctly. Don't I get credit for that?

Thanks everyone else for your comments. My 20-miler is next week, Sarah, thanks for asking. This week was "only" 16 miles.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Scooter said...

Yep, you get credit for spelling Ryun's name correctly, but for me, having seen it over decades, the concept of misspelling it is totally alien (though I could certainly understand how it would happen). And if you made a Lugar mistake, I'm sure I wouldn't have caught it.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Noames said...

Yeah, I have Inadvertently revealed the true depths of my ignorance of matters runniing and otherwise. But now that I know people are paying attention, I'll try to be more careful....

9:59 AM  

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