Friday, December 01, 2006

season wrap-up

5am visit to sir rudy this morning. my right calf is the color of a thunderstorm sky sunset. it's all soft tissue, says rudy, the soleus right next to the tibia, and NOT a stress fracture. permission to run, he said cheerfully, permission to train as normal.

rudy's unaware of super secret training shedjule which defines december's training objectives as follows:

  • get fat
  • get short-winded
  • lose a shitload of muscle tone
  • finish The Tin Drum
  • beat Gears of War
  • watch 40-Year Old Virgin (for the 9th time)
last weekend was my last race of the year -- the Delaware Open XC champs. this 5K race starts with a gently-downhill technical mile with rocky twists & turns, followed by a quarter-mile gradual climb, then a quarter-mile bitch-ass climb (the notorious Maintenance Hill), then a shin-jamming downhill, a short steep climb that took out my hamstring last year, then a seemingly interminable false flat leading up to another short climb right before the finish. FUN. really. sooo much better than a flat course.

F found me as i was chowing down a gel before the call-up.

- you’re wearing those? he pointed to my trainers.
- yeah…. what?
- you might as well be wearing timberlands. don’t you have spikes? flats?
- it’s MUDDY out there. plus i’m injured. and uncoordinated.
- lemme see your flats.
- do you WANT to see me covered in mud?
he cocked an eyebrow at me.

- gimmee.
i offered up my sauconys for his inspection.

- they’re fine. go with these.
- you think?
- do it. what’s your strategy?
he’s quizzed me before on this, so I know what to say.

- go hard and vomit at the end.
- that’s all you have? i’m mute; he rolled his eyes. okay. cruise the first mile. it’s fast anyway; you don’t want to go out TOO fast. keep it under control. short steps on the tight corners. keep start working on the gradual climb, punch it up maintenance and then do a full-on effort after the hill. gottit?
- yeah. i have to pee.
- so go.
- the line’s too long.
- go up there and he pointed up the hill where i’ve seen a trickly stream of runners going up and coming down. oh, that's what they're doing. i obeyed and as i trotted i marveled how light my feet feel in flats, compared to my timberlands. maybe F was right, i think.

and when i raced, i concluded he WAS right. i hung back for the first half-mile, letting the elbows fly until butterflies settled down. at the ¾ mark i passed blondie and cecily and cruised through the first mile in 6:35. followed the steeplechaser’s wife to the gradual climb, then passed her midway up it, her spikes grinding slipping over stone, breath more labored. on Maintenance Hill, gained more time on her, and some on the redhead in front of me. two more women ahead of her. hit mile 2 in 13 flat, attacked the steep, hamstring-crippling hill and peeeeeeeeetered out. the last mile was the bataan death march, only with less dysentery. i crossed the line 4th, in 20:40.


so i’m a rock, and an island, blah blah blah, but i gotta confess: it was SO nice to have someone there -- someone who knows me and how i run, and fret, and whinge; someone who knows the course and how to run it; someone to think about the things i’m forgetting; someone to send you off with a hug & pull you in with another. it was so nice to not do everything myself. just a thought.

i don’t need any help being a lazy bum for the month of december, though. i got that covered.


addon said...

excellent story, finn. i went too long before realising that there are people there who have good things to say and who can help us. nice to have someone to know, care, and offer wise suggestions. cherish these folk and your willingness and ability to listen.

fatmammycat said...

I agree addon, folk like that are as rare as pink diamonds. and it is wonderful to ahve them.
Darling girl, enjoy the few weeks lounging, don't worry about losing muscle or gaining a few pounds or anything else. You deserve it. Have a lovely weekend too.