Friday, November 26, 2010

Anatomy of a Turkeytrotter*

* TITLE FOOTNOTE: First things first: "Anatomy" in this sense: a study of the structure or internal workings of something.

So ... no pix of my junk.

Sorry, Ladies.
This thing is long1and so I will spare those of you who are interested only in the running stats by giving them right up front so you can skip the rest of this post because, though I haven't even written it yet? Yeah, I already know it is going to be massively, colossally irritating in like 11,000 ways. So here goes:

My actual time: 26:12 (I reported 26:10 clock time yesterday but that, evidently, was "wrong". If you ask me, Diebold must have been doing the timing and they probably shaved two seconds off someone else's time and gave them to me, the fuckers)

UPDATE 11/28: Chip Time:  24:54. (So it took 1:18 to get to the starting line. From .1 mile away)

My actual place: 879 in a field of 3851 finishers.

Age Group Place: M50-54: 44/191

Pace: 8:26

There. That was short and painless (see FN1, below, and thereby save me the effort of having to write a second footnote). Those of you who care only about Teh Running Numbers are now free to move on because there won't be any more of that in this post. Though I don't know why you would want to. Move on, that is. Because there's nothing else to read out there in Teh Running Blogosphere. Exactly who else out there is writing blog posts on Black Friday when they could be spending time with Teh family upstairs, especially Uncle Clyde, who's already drunk — again — before Noon and is currently regaling everyone with his really, ahem, "interesting" theories on race and is making pretty liberal use of such epithets as "Jew-boys" and "the coloreds" and seems not to notice the collective cringing his choice of words provokes ... but you fucking well better not use the term "liberal" to his face to describe what he's doing because that'll just get him het up enough to use epithets that will make "Jew-boys" and "the colored" look quaint — complimentary, even — by way of comparison and you'll vaguely recall that, a few years ago, after Clyde left, everyone else sat around and tried to remember just how he was related to you all ("your side of the family? Because he's not from my side!") and nobody, not even your weird sister who goes to the library every weekend to do family genealogical research, can say exactly how he's related? And you suspect, but can't prove, that he just kinda showed up one Thanksgiving, back when you were 5 or so, and for some reason your parents never tossed him out, so now you can't kick him out because of some sort of Informal Statute of Limitations on Familial Identity Fraud.

Plus, he brings his own booze and shares it liberally.

Again, just don't use that word in front of him.
As I said in an earlier post, this is the fourth time I've run My Tiny Little Mid-Northish Joisey Town's Turkey Trot. In fact, I lost my racing cherry to it way back in 2007, when I was a still-vibrant, wide-eyed innocent of 47 and Teh Trot came along with its smoove line of bullshit, saying "Do me!" and I tried to resist but I'm only human and after awhile I just gave in and let it have its way with me and do you think it called the next day?

No, it did not.

Reader, I felt like a total whoo-wer. I mean, more than usual.

Anyroad, I've run it every year since then and, as I noted in yesterday's post, got progressively slower with each passing year. Which I didn't think was possible because my 2007 time was like 27:34, which is pretty slow. I'd like to say it's one of my slowest overall 5k times, but I'd also like not to lie to you, so you see my dilemma. Because in 2008 my time was 28:47 (okay ... I ran it with tendinitis in my knee that year, but still); then last year, totally healthy, I ran a 29:21!

My goal this year was to reverse this diminishing returns trend. But a time of under 27:00 would be sweet.

Yours Truly, pre-race. You can see the determination in my eyes almost as well as you can see the wind in my ears.
Once again, I have the wind in my ears. Pix like this remind me of why I usually let my hair grow — just to cover up those Dumbo ears. This pic was taken as I rounded the last corner in the race, so about .2 miles to go. I'm carrying my gloves for reasons I'll explain below.

I reckoned that the only way I'd get a decent time would be by cheating, by which I mean lining up with the 6-minute mile people. Or better. Because in a race where there are like 4000 people, there are always buttholes who have no business lining up near the front with the 5-minute milers; and yet, as we all know, they do. This year, I was determined to be one of those buttholes.

It's not even so much the egregiously slow runners, who move, at least, albeit glacially. There were fucking walkers in front of me this year ... still ... even though, truth be told, I lined up at the back of the 5-minute milers pack. (Because I inched my way up from the front of the 6-minute miler area.) So I was dodging these fuckers for like the first quarter mile.

Because when I lined up, there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people ahead of me. Literally. I was looking around at them all and very few of them looked to be capable of running faster than I; and I know looks can be deceiving, but I really think, e.g., that 70+-year-old dude whose orange timing chip was still stuck to his bib instead of slotted through his shoelaces was gonna run a 5-minute mile. I could be wrong.

And so it was slightly disheartening when, after the gun went off, we "5-minute-milers" still experienced a go-stop start — wherein you start to run at the sound of the gun, but you get only 5 feet before you come to a dead halt thanks to the slow "runners" in front of you. Even from the back of the 5-minute milers group — less that .1 mile from the starting mat — it took a full 45 seconds, I'd estimate, to get to the mat, and even then at barely better than a walking pace.

Total suckage. Next year, I am lining up as close to the starting line as I can. Fuck it.

And then, when you do start to run, you immediately start running into these fucking walls of walkers, walking two-, three-abreast, and even though you're a live-and-let-live groovy hippie type, you find yourself wishing something Saw 3-D-violent would happen to these jerkoffs. You wish you had the chutzpah just to run them over, but you don't, but you find yourself wishing someone would, just to teach them a lesson in running eddykit. Fuckers. They're worse than Hitler.

And thanks to the congestion and the walkers, and the slow runners, you spend as much time, in the first mile, running laterally, like pre-murder OJ, looking for daylight to charge through and out into the open. But even when you find it, you're immediately surrounded by another squadron of slow foax, on all of whom you are now wishing a case of the pox along with other vaguely Elizabethan imprecations.

My utter hatred of all the runners in this race was eventually redeemed when I got to about the halfway point, where there was, to my surprise, a water station. I don't think there had ever been one in previous years, most likely because with 4000 runners zooming by, how many do you really think will even be able to get to that little water station? Plus, it's a 5k. Most runners can manage not to become dehydrated in 3 miles — they can tough it out.

But for some reason, I decided to veer over and get one of the stubby little 4-oz (I guess) bottles of water; but it was hard (see FN1) to get over in time and when I got there the only person holding out a bottle was this like 9-year-old girl, and I tried to grab the bottle from her, which I did manage to do. But I immediately dropped it. And I'm like, "Dammit!" — I think more because I was afraid someone might trip over it.

So then, over the music playing in my ears (no, I'm not schizophrenic; I had my iPod on), I hear this dude saying, "You want mine?" And he's offering me his bottle of water. So I yell over the sound of the music that he can't hear: "ARE YOU SURE?" And he sez, "Yeah, I was just gonna splash my face." So I take it and say, "THANKS, DUDE!"

And so to the dude who gave me his water: Thanks, dude. (<-- Said in a more civil tone this time.)

I twisted off the top, got a swig or two out of the bottle, and tried to recap it, which I did, but loosely. So I'm running with it in my hand, and it's slowly leaking into my glove, which I eventually notice is pretty soaking wet. At around the 2.4-mile mark, I decide to try to drink some more water ... and I manage to drop this bottle, too. Said "Fuck!" this time, because I always try to escalate when it comes to my cussing, but it's rare that I skip over the intermediate "Shit!" and "Cocksucker!" and got straight to "Fuck!" but this time I did, I guess because I was filled with the holiday spirit.

God knows how many runners I was inadvertently guilty of taking out that day with my bottle-bombs.

So anyroad, that's why I have my rolled-up gloves in my hand in that picture, above: because one of the gloves was wet and I had gone with my shockingly scarlet pocket-less outfit that day because I like to make bold fashion choices and so there were no pockets to put the wet gloves in but I have no regrets because the pocket-less look is very slimming and creates lines that draw attention to my junk. Mystery solved because I know you fucking care and would have lost sleep over it if I hadn't explained why I was carrying my gloves. Incidentally, I can't find those gloves now, even though I know I brought them home. When I find them, I will let you know because I know how you hate unsolved mysteries.

So the rest of it: Finish line, meet up with Ian and Teh 'Bride, and then home to a hot shower.

The end.
O, yeah — one last thing: I went for a 6.16 mile run today (9:24 pace), which put me over the 1000-mile mark for the year. I have run exactly 1000.5 miles so far this year. Now I'm shooting for 1100, which I should be able to reach.
Bonus material that is unrelated to anything:

The weather held up pretty well for the race, but it snowed for quite a while afterwards. Not enough to snowboard. Or was there?

Ian shows you how to milk the promise of a doggie treat to the point where your dog sez "Eff this; it's not worth it" and just walks away.

1 If you actually had to come alllllll the way down here to this footnote to learn — - Surprise! — that all it was gonna say was "That's What She Said!1!" then you're either a noob to this blog or incredibly thick (by the way, that too is what she said1a) because if you read this blog with any regularity, or even when constipated, you should by know recognize when an irritating "That's What She Said!1!" FN is coming (That's What She Said!1!), because even I know I've been pretty much telegraphing them for awhile.

1a To be clear: our hypothetical she was talking about my hypothetical penis when she said that, not my intellectual capabilities.

And ladies? My hypothetical penis is nothing compared to my actual one, which is something "she" also noted by-the-bye.


  1. "...1 cm of snow..." There is hope for you yet! Though, to be honest, we'd barely call that frost here. You're missing a bet with "uncle" Clyde. You should be pushing his buttons by being calm, rational, soothing, yet using trigger words. You'll elevate his blood pressure and give him a coronary. Then all that booze he bought is yours, and if you time it right, he hasn't even had pumpkin pie yet, so you get more. Bonus all round.

    Sometimes I think that people should put their projected finish time on the registration form, with a link to another race result page to prove they aren't smoking dope. Sort runners from fastest to slowest, and assign bib numbers in the same order. Then at the start line if a high bib number is right up at the front of the line, the low bib numbers can, with confidence, assault the crap out of them. Cause either they are in the wrong place and deserve it, or they're sand baggers, and nobody likes a sand bagger so they deserve it.

  2. Holy crap and I was even first. All the regulars must be out shopping. I want to hear stories of the mayhem and carnage they caused by beating slower, less fit shoppers to the good deals. (Hello Missy!) Or they're eating and good for them.

  3. Congratulations on NOT getting slower this year - quite impressive. What's not impressive, though? The fact that you're blogging whern you could be out there doing some Frack Bliday shopping. Those gloves aren't gonna replace themselves, ya know!

    CONSUME, damn it, CONSUME! And you call yourself an Amerikun! GAWD!!!

  4. That's right - "whern". That's how we pro-nunshiate it here in Frostburgg. True story.

  5. Okay, so my favorite part is that there's the word "proof" written over your junk.

    On Thanksgiving, I started to tell a cute story that somehow had me say that adapted soccer "just looks wrong" and then started spiraling out of control on the word "freakish" - I was so stunned at the horrible way this was coming out of my mouth that I just had to stop mid-sentence and apologize (twice) for what I was saying and completely lost track of the actual story in my humiliation, so there would be no proof that it was actually a cute snd redeeming story - and I hadn't even been drinking.

    How many years before I become Clyde? Or have I already arrived?

  6. Not commenting on the Turkey Trot time. You have entered SQ level of race times, which are too fucking fast for me to relate to. I warned you, but you never listen.

    On to other aspects of this post:

    Big, goddamn tease!

    The Morgan/Ian video won't play. It says that is is private and for "invited viewers only."

    You know what that is? That is tranny discrimination! And I tell you what, Uncle Clyde, just because you do not understand a life style does not mean it is wrong.


    Trying desperately to not take this personally:

    ...the egregiously slow runners, who move, at least, albeit glacially...

    I am going to create my own pace group sign at my next marathon that says "Glacial Pace Group: 20,000 ft/yr" and I hope your ass is trapped behind us!

    Double hmpf

    The only thing that saved this post for me was:

    I had gone with my shockingly scarlet pocket-less outfit that day because I like to make bold fashion choices...

    AND you had pictures of it!

    Because, really, that was too awesome!

  7. Impressive running, Dude. Can't a sign be posted "All Walkers Start Here" somewhere behind the runners? Mmaybe next year you yourself should surreptitiously bring and post the sign.

  8. It snowed!!?? Are you serious? It was a hot and humid 80 effing degrees in Baton Rouge. We were swatting at mosquitos in the back yard. Ridiculous.

    So are you stoked about your time? I think maybe the Irish Ninja outfit helped get you across the line a little faster than usual.