Sunday, February 12, 2012

Geezer Pleezer Freezer

Godiva held it's most interesting race on perhaps the coldest day of the year. The Geezer Pleezer is a start time adjusted race where time offsets are set by gender and age using a WAVA (World Association of Veteran Athletes) chart. Personally, I think this is a great idea for all races. The only problems is that the Godiva folks around my age (early/mid forties) are ridiculously fast, so the WAVA offset isn't helping me very much. Also, the offsets for guys in their forties is only a couple of minutes in a 4 mile race. Also, when I'm surrounded by a bunch of 40 something speedsters, and immediately chased by a bunch of 30 something greyhounds, I have no chance.

Ryan, on the other hand, being 7 years old, was awarded with a whopping 9.25 minute offset. When I told him that he would have an over 7 minute head start, he laughed and said I would never catch him.

Riding over to the race, my car thermometer indicated 27F. If that weren't bad enough, there was gusty wind to push the wind chill down into the teens. In other words, it was freezing (for North Carolina)! Luckily, the race registration was indoors, so no standing outside in the freezing wind.

Once we were registered and had our bibs, we sat on a comfy couch in the warm sun. Ryan said he didn't want to leave that couch, and I agreed, but we were there to run.

Soon enough though, we were forced to venture out into the cold so that Ryan could start. With 9:15 on the countdown clock, he was off like a shot.

I had time to get a sip of water before it was my turn to start when the clock hit 2:00 minutes. I took off thinking that if I could run an 8 minute pace, I would catch my fartleking spawn well before mile 3. Easy.

Three minutes into the run, my over trained legs said otherwise. Ready for my litany of excuses? Ok, here we go...

  • My left knee hurt. Big deal you say, but I've had 5 knee surgeries on that leg. I ignore that pain at my own peril (it's one of the few pains I actually listen to).
  • My right achilles felt like it was cold and brittle and was about to crack like so much frozen bubble gum.
  • My left hamstring was threatening to to tie itself into a square knot.
  • The two blisters on my right foot made it feel like I had angry bees trapped in my shoe. Just an aside, but I've actually experienced this, and it is truly awful (I screamed like a baby when I was stung between my toes).
  • Bill  Hansley's dog ate my homework!
This dog ate the post-it note where I had
my master plan scribbled in green crayon.
Luckily, all I had to do was slow down a bit. Bill was kind enough to put up with my constant yammering for the next mile or so. And that allowed me to not fall to pieces trying to run a pace my body wasn't able to deliver. 

And I still caught Ryan before mile 3! Woo hoo for old(er) people! Although Ryan did look a bit bummed, so I didn't tease him (too badly).

I asked him what happened and he said his lungs burned. Well, I can see why. It was still below 30F at this point. My lungs burned too. Luckily my hands were frozen to offset that burning feeling. See? A bright side!

We spent the remainder of the race really just trying to stay warm and enjoying the course. It is really a lovely little 4 mile loop, with a nice mixture of paved road, gravel road, and even a small bit of single track trail thrown in towards the end. Warning, many pictures follow (click any of them for full size versions)...

North Carolina horses wear coats when it gets "cold"

In the end, Ryan was a bit sad that Dad was so "easily" able to catch him, but as with most problems, chocolate makes it all better.