Tuesday, July 31, 2007

RACE DAY: Marcus & Kleigman Workplace Challenge 5K

What: Marcus & Kleigman Workplace Challenge 5K
Where: Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, L.I., NY
When: Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Who: Me and about 100 other employees in my company.
Why: Because I Am NUTS.

The race actually began after I picked up Ileana at LA Fitness in New Hyde Park. I had left my job at 4:30pm. There was no traffic getting to the gym to get Ileana. But the way back was a different story. The Northern State Parkway was jammed, and much to my chagrin, it was due to the backup from the Meadowbrook Pkwy, which is the road that I needed to take. To make matters even better...it was backed up all the way to the Southern State Parkway, some 10 miles south. I didn't think I was going to even make it to the start of the race, but I finally did with only about 15 minutes to spare. All the way there, I kept mentioning how either God or the Devil loved to toy with my getting to a race on time. I also said how none of this would bother me. I said it about 3 dozen times, so yeah, it really freaking bothered me. I'm sure Ileana had a nice internal laugh at my neurotic expense.

Getting there, I wound up parking the car somewhere in Australia. It took years just to walk from my car to our company tent. Why was I racing again? Also, I had no time to warm up, STRIKE 1, did not fine my GU carbo gel pack, STRIKE 2, and did not have time to use the Port-O-San (for those of you out there who don't know what a Port-O-San is, I want you to close your eyes. Now envision loads of different people's shit all mixed up in one flushless plastic bowl. Nice right? Even nicer is the fact that you never closed your eyes. How else could you have continued to read otherwise?

The starting line was chaos. 6,800 runners, up from 5,000 last year. No wave starts, and no time markers either. Poor planning. Badly organized. People just lined up everywhere, with no regard. There was a woman that looked like the side of an old brownstone building (and weighed like one too), she was several rows in front of me. Yeah, okay, she can run the mile in 7 minutes....OK...

As for me, I tried to walk up to my "perceived" time area but it was of no use. Too crammed up. It took me about a minute to cross the starting line, and started my watch then. I felt like I was at a New York Road Runner's Race. Just like old times.

The first mile was bad. So many in front of me, that I felt like I did 1.5 miles just zig zagging around for a better position. As a result, I expended too much energy. By the time I got past the first mile mark, I was feeling dead. Why? I ran it in close to 7 minutes flat. The heat was rapidly getting to me. And I was missing my hat, which I could have at least soaked it in water.

Steve Stransky, a co-worker of mine, caught up to me after the first mile. He looked much fresher than me, and I didn't wan't to hold him back, so I backed up and gave him the right of way. It was the right thing to do, because I was going too fast anyway, and I definitely didn't want to hold him back in anyway.

The second mile was payback for the first, and it was brutal. The heat, the humidity, and the nauseas was settling in. At least the sunlight was not a factor. It was 7pm , but it was still strong. However, I purchased a pair of Ryders at Runner's Edge earlier (see "The Mean Look" below). Yet, the only consolation that I had really hoped for was some kind of breeze, since we were in Jones Beach and the Atlantic Ocean was about 200 yards or less away throught the entire race. No such luck. That wind took a vacation somewhere else it seemed.

...Perhaps the wind went to Florida, where it's even more hot and more humid, blecch! (private joke for those Floridians that frequently visit here....YOU know who you IS) ......Anyway, I have read that in hot weather a light headwind is actually good because it cools you down, whereas tailwind is hot air blowing on your back and it heats you up. I didn't care. Any wind could have been a blessing tonight. The humidity was still at over 50%, so the sweat shop was open for business again. To further promote it's progress, I wound up taking two cups at each water station, one to drink, another to douse.

I was going to wear my ridiculous looking Spongebob Squarepants hat that they gave to me at the NYC Marathon on Mile 18 (1st Avenue, Manhattan) last year. Reason? I purchased a thin large sponge (yellow too, if you can believe) and was going to place ice between the top of the hat and the sponge liner. This way when I run the ice would melt, and I would have a cool sponge keeping me cool upstairs. Fugghedaboudit! Even with the thinnest ice, that hat was too bulky and unusable. I wound up doing what Paige, one of the members on my runningahead.com website had suggested, and ran with it. Ha Ha! "ran with it". I am such a cornball.

Mile 3, I was just holding on. I even slowed to a walk for a few moments, and then would take off running hard to make up for the walk. I really wanted this race to end in a bad way. I hate short runs, especially if I am not training myself for them. The speed workout on Wednesday are just not doing the trick yet, I guess.

As we left the main trail, and headed back into that massive parking lot where Jones Beach Theatre was, I realized that there were about .3 miles left to go. At that point I basically did my "kick" and basically let out a primitive grunt and a 'yeah' that was probably heard all the way out to Long Beach, never mind Jones Beach.

I was so dizzy at the finish, that I thought I would get into a fetal position while looking for ant colonies on the ground. Instead, I drudged onward looking for the tent. I found Jon Garber, who was a crisp as a brand new dollar bill. He was looking for the tent too, and was also lost (He did great btw, came in first with a time of 23:30-I think). Jon and I scrambled some more. When we found our company's tent, I noticed Ileana sitting down, and eating some cold food that was catered in by some fat slobs. I call them 'fat slobs' because I would later on find out that they were actually eating our food, and drinking our beer while we were racing in the 85 degree heat!!

And now. It's time for...The "Mean" Look.

Another ridiculous photo to add to the pile.

That was the "freshest" I looked all day. To respect my old man's wishes, I decided to take the picture of me before and not after the race. Trust me, I did mankind a huge favor.

Anyway, I wanted to post my splits here, but it's Midnight now here in NY, I can't seem to find my Polar S625X anywhere, and I am brain dead. A brain is optional when writing blogs.

12:15 AM. Shit!


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