Saturday, April 14, 2007

2007 Pear Blossom Run

I hate Medford, Oregon. They wont pay for libraries, they race on Saturdays and dont even chip time them, get a D- for bike friendliness and dont have any gottamned parking manners. And if you are from Medford I am sorry. I grew up in Ashland so you got to know...

(Its totally a Hatfield/McCoy thing. Ashland is gay and artsy, everyone uses expensive words and does yoga. Medford has a bumper sticker on its big truck that says IF IT HAS WHEELS OR TITS IT'S GONNA GIVE YOU TROUBLE and they all smoke at the dinner table. Every one of em!)

Anyway, I woke up on Saturday morning, in Medford, in a fairly unracelike mood, underslept and with half a mind to back out of the whole sorry affair. My Dad's race started at 7am (on a Saturday. jerks) so we had to get up at 530 to get to the start line.

The rain came down nonstop, big green seed growing rain -- not the kind of rain that gouges the soil but the gentle nonstop rain that you cannot outrun, drops you cannot dodge between. Naturally at least half of the women running arrived in full theater makeup, pancake and blue eye shadow, because that is how they roll in Medford. How do they perspire?

My Dad finished in 32:31 for 3.1 miles with an ankle the size of a softball. He swears it doesnt hurt but I don't see how it can't. It must be the anesthetizing quality of the reallyreally polluted air in that city.

My race started an hour after his ended. By then my shoes were wet and my hair was wet and I could not feel my fingers (the air?), but within minutes of the starting gun I stopped complaining in my head and just ran. It kept raining. IT NEVER NOT RAINED. For not one second. I never did mind running in the rain, in fact I like it quite a bit, but I find it disheartening to have to start out running in the rain.

I like endurance running because no matter how much you train you can't finish, you cant find any more reserves, you simply can not keep going. Inside something rages and something rebels and something gives up but somehow you keep running and then you see the end and dig deeper then you ever thought you could and you come alive, double your speed and kick yourself across the finish line where they give you free bananas and you feel really good about yourself.

I think I am still on the upslope of the running curve because I have set a personal record in almost every race I have run. In the last four years, race for race (blossom for blossom), in the longer distances I have improved my time by about 10 minutes each year. Pretty soon I'll finish at the same time I start.

Or maybe pretty soon I will experience a sort of age and experience inflation and will just plateau and let all the colts kick up their heels while I cruise along all sagely, in a deep meditative peace, a running trance.

Either way, the competition will begin dropping out, then dying out... so even in my age group I stand a good chance of rising to the top, even if I never set a personal record again. This is probably the only truly win/win proposition I have ever had in my life.

Anyway, the numbers go like this:
10 miles
14/75 Women age 30-34
79/469 Women overall

I dont know my overall overall place because the race at the finish was segregated by sex.

Any any way, I am pleased with my time. I had to fiddle around at mile 6 because my ears and headphones were so filled with rainwater I couldnt even hear the music (Pointer Sisters I'm So Excited), then I got a three quarter mile long sideache at mile 8 and got passed by like, 15 people so I maybe should have inched up higher but nothing will ever go perfect and everything went about as perfect as it could.


Before I left for home I went to get gas, and noticing the free airpump I decided to fill my tires. All four of them were about 6-8 psi and each one took at least a full minute of air before my car was on its tiptoes and ready to ballerina home.

I have to say though, the road is much slicker then I remember and I didnt feel so safe driving with my knees to change lanes. But on the upside I dont think I used any gasoline on the drive home. None at all.

See! Wheels and tits and no troubles at all!

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