Thursday, May 25, 2006

downfalls of a blog

my mom once told me she'd hate to race against me because i'm so competitive. "you're always plotting," she remarked. "i can't win through pure talent," i explained, "so i must resort to craftiness." plus racing can be real snoozers, so you might as well do something to entertain yourself, like figuring out how to fuck over your competition.

last night i did a local 5K because the race organiser's a friend of mine and i'd worked with her to get 32 kids signed up. my appearance was more community service than anything else, and i was looking forward to a stroll in the park. one of the vicki's showed, so i didn't have to fret about the possibility of winning, cos there is no way i'm gonna come close to a 17:30.

also toeing the line, however, was blondie. i know a lot about blondie because i read her blog. i know her weekly mileage and workouts. i know her strengths and weaknesses; i follow her ups and downs. i know she ran a fast 6-mile leg of the DE marathon relay on sunday, so she might be tired. you might say i had an unfair advantage last night.

when we took off i ran 10 yards behind her, watching her on the first descent, then the first hill (she doesn't like hills; i do). i watched her form and listened to her breathing & footfalls. i came abreast of her just as we turned into the wind (dumb on my part), and she tucked her little form behind my big one and let me brave the wind. i come from cycling, so my natural response was to weave and try to shake her, and if i weaved back & forth on the rougher patches of the road, so be it (she's not secretive about her klutziness; i am a trail runner).

approaching the tight cul-de-sac that's the turn-around, she pulled alongside, but i hugged the corner so she had to take the outside, long way 'round (she's not comfortable taking corners right beside someone -- see klutziness). when she tried to make a move to the inside, i notched up the speed just a little so she couldn't pass. i listened to her breath, footfalls.

i was 99% red-lined. my legs are still tired from sunday's tri, and we'd run our first 2 miles at sub-6min pace. when she passed me on the straight, i didn't challenge her. i thought she'd just charge up the road.

but she didn't, and i stuck to her shoulder like a fucking leech for the next half-mile. when her pace eased a bit, i pulled alongside just as we passed a little girl oncoming, headed for the turn-around. this little kid had fire in her eyes, brows knit in concentration. "great job," i said to her, "way to go!" blondie must have HATED me at that point. bitch be a cheering section now. she dropped back a little further, and i think that's where she broke.

i took off toward the final hill, the slap of her shoes on the downhill pursuing me like poe's beating heart. when we hit the ascent, i was totally depleted, and only the rhythm of my stride and a dude a couple steps ahead kept me going. that last mile SUCKED -- we ran it in 6:20. i finished in 18:59 and blondie crossed the line at 19:07 but i didn't see her cos i was looking for a private spot in case i hurled. the vicki beat us by a minute-thirty.

the good angel says i really hope blondie doesn't hate me, but the bad angel says that's racing, and if you were in a bike race, sitting on someone's wheel for 60K and then coming around them in the sprint isn't a shitty thing to do, it's just strategy. so is reading your competitors' blogs.

if you know me, pls keep it to yourself.

meanwhile, 4 races in 3 weeks is my limit. i'm looking forward to being Floater Girl in the pool at el panorama, a drink in each hand. dos mojitas mas, por favor.

1 comment:

fatmammycat said...

Man you are fricking crafty. Perhaps Blondie might start keeping her time to herself in the future. My Kick boxing partner Claire and I are inclined to push each other a lot, especially when we are exhausted and our legs are shaky and we can't keep our arms up to cover our face. It makes for better training. On days she's not there I coast along, on less Memnoch catches me, then I am screwed.