Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wouldn’t It Be Nice...
Random Weekend Thoughts

Wouldn’t it be nice if spring could last forever? The warm weather is finally here, the cherry blossoms are out, and everyone is full of optimism about their running plans for the year. I love this time of year because everything is fresh, and everyone is excited about something. There are more runners on the road, more participants in races. People, in general, are nicer too. Even the bikers in the park make more of an attempt to avoid you rather than run you over this time of year. Yeah, I can’t get enough of spring.

On the subject of racing, wouldn’t it be nice if we could, for one race, for one time, run well enough to stand on the podium or get an award. It just dawned on me that even though I’ve PR’d in 6 of the last 8 races that I’ve run, and no matter how much I improve in the coming years, it is still physically impossible for me to place in a race or even in my age group. Case in point. I thought I ran a real good race last week, getting a PR, and obtaining an AG of 68.6%, which is just a notch below regional class, whatever that means. Still, I ended up 30th in my age group, and 106th overall. That is a little bit incredible to me. I know that I’m not supposed to be running for any accolades, but more for myself, and yada yada yada, but I can’t help thinking about it sometimes, you know. I wish that maybe just for one day, for each of us, that they could develop special categories or criteria in a race where we could all be competitive and be the best at something. For example, if they could have a race, or a sub-race, for “Doctors who deal with hormone problems and live on the Upper East Side between 85th and 86th street”, I think I’d have a fighting chance. I think everyone could up with some “niche” that they could totally rock. I know that’s never going to happen, but it’s fun to think about sometimes.

And while I’m talking about winning races, wouldn’t it be nice if the elite and professional runners in our sport were a little bit more recognized and a little more part of the national consciousness like they are in other professional sports. For example, at a dinner party the other day, in the midst of everyone raving about the latest exploits of Kobe and Lebron, I brought up how amazing Deena Kastor was at the Olympic Trials and the spectacular women’s finish at the Boston Marathon the next day, and suddenly all conversation stopped and everyone looked at me like I was a space alien visiting from another galaxy. No one in the entire room (and there were like 10 of us) knew what I was talking about. I had to chuckle in disbelief. This is the Super Bowl weekend of our sport, happening only once every four years, where we’re sending our athletes overseas to represent our country and no one knew that it even happened? I thought it was sad on so many levels.

Oh, and while on the subject of marathoning, wouldn’t it be nice if the race was 26 miles instead of 26.2? I know it’s a tradition leftover from the Summer Olympics in 1908 when the extra 0.2 was added because Queen Alexandra wanted the finish to be situated below the Royal Box so she could have the best view. But honestly, now that we’ve seceded from the mother land and have done away with the traditions of kings and queens, can we get rid of the extra 0.2? ‘Cause that extra 365 yards is such a b*tch after you’ve run 26 and have caused so much pain and suffering for so many that we should just eliminate it altogether. (Just my way of giving respect to the Boston Marathoners who finished the race and are probably hurting bad right now.)

Lastly, speaking of 26, wouldn’t it be nice if the day was extended to 26 hours? I need that extra time to finish reading all the running blogs I have to get to before the end of the day.

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In other news…

A quick shoutout to sRod, who declared his intentions to run for president or run America, or something like that. Actually, I think he decided that he’s going to run 50 half-marathons in the 50 states (before he’s 50, that’s my contribution, but I think that’s right). I love it! FYI, sRod and I met last week for the first time on a group run and he became the inaugural member of the exclusive RBFs-that-I’ve-met-in-person club (that’s a clumsy nickname – we’ll just use the Running Laminator Fan Club from now on, haha). I’m psyched because that means he’ll have more cool and exciting running tales to regale me with on our group runs, although I’m not sure how he’ll top getting stung by a bee in his first marathon. Run well, my friend.

And if you’re coming over because Frayed Laces sent you – yeah, I know. I thought I had already fulfilled my good running deed quota for the year on my last post too. Apparently, F.L. had other ideas. But whatcha gonna do when a running friend, who ran her previous marathon with a broken pelvis for crying out loud, asks you to look over her training plan? Hmmm...yeah, I could have sent her to a real expert. But I thought none were around on a Saturday [must still be stuck in traffic coming back from Boston]. So I had to volunteer and help out.

Just don’t blame me for the crazy nickname. She came up with that all on her own.

12 comments:

The 311 Boys Mom said...

I just linked you through FL & I'm so very impressed with the LAST plan!!! She way over does & unfortunately she paid dearly.

BUT, I wanna say, I'll be putting you on my list, you are an excellent blogger.......oh, so very wise & funny!

I like how you explained (in previous post) how you stuck to other plans & it felt like a chore . . . . . I see tat & the way explained how you do it now, is awesome!!!

I look forward to reading you.

SLB said...

I am on board with the extra 2 hours per day and while you're at can i have an extra day at the weekend?

sRod said...

Woo hoo!! First member status--do I get a prize? Maybe a commemorative coin of sorts?

I'm not sure how I'll top the bee story, but that's why I have to run more races. Good luck next weekend!

Sarah said...

On the topic of placing in or winning one's age group: the key is to find some little race with a field topping out at a couple hundred. I've gotten a few age group awards and even won my age group once using this tactic, all with not-so-fast times. I hope to return to a really small 5K I did last year in which I placed second in my AG and this year I want to win my AG. I'm way faster now. It is easy for me to find small races because I don't live in a big city. Might be a little harder in NYC; the potential pool of participants is much bigger.

Lori (aka...toughnoodles) said...

Excellent post, I loved it. It would be nice...

Andrew is getting fit said...

Now I've got the beach boys stuck in my head...

nyflygirl said...

Get away from the NYRR races if you want to place! I placed twice in my AG in a coupla smaller races in NJ-and I would not even come close to placing in a NYRR race.

Nitmos said...

The key is to enter small, poorly attended races early in the season or the middle of the hottest time of the year. The top, top runners (of which you are in the vicinty) avoid these races.

My wife told me there were 3 camera carts at Boston. (1) For the top femail finisher (2) For the top male finisher and (3) For Lance.

I like Lance and the publicity he brings to the sport but, honestly, he finished 496th.

Irish Cream said...

I agree that you could totally kick some tail in Jersey . . . granted, you'd have to get yourself to Jersey at ass-early in the morn; but it might be worth it to get some of that much-coveted podium attention :)

The Laminator said...

Thanks everyone for your friendly advice. I get it now. I must get out of town and find some rural place with a population of 10 and invent my own race there. Hahaha...if only I want to place that badly.

That's really okay. I'll settle for PRs and training for a sub 3:00 in NYCM someday.

Robert W. said...

You really made me laugh with your special category. I totally think we should all have our own categories! "Fastest bearded Jewish male who grew up on the 32nd floor." Yeah!

Great post!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

I was totally jealous of FL having you for a virtual coach. Totally.

 
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