Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Will Run for Pi

In celebration of Pi Day, I went into full irrational mode and created my own Pi Day race for the 12athon. But in a fit of transcendental exuberance, I cranked the mileage up to 3pi and decided to run the distance in 30pi minutes, if possible.

It's been just a bit over 2 weeks since the Umstead Trail Marathon, and it's been a slow recovery for me. In fact, my first post-marathon 4 mile run was a full 8 days after the marathon, and it was a slow run on a razor's edge. One small mistake in my running form, and ninjas would spring from the trees, attacking my right leg with acid covered ice picks and rubber hoses. The tree ninjas in my town don't mess around.

Undaunted by the ninja ambushes, I ran again the next day, pushing the mileage to 5 miles during a workday lunch time run. Fortunately, there are no suburban tree ninjas allowed in the upper class neighborhoods that my lunchtime route winds through (against zoning laws!), so I completed the run suffering only the usual disdainful, snooty looks of disapproval from the baby-stroller driving suburban moms on the greenway trail. Actually, I would prefer the ninjas.

Surviving both the tree ninja attacks and the baleful glares of the snooty suburban stroller moms, I felt confident I could finish my planned 3pi run. I mapped out the route in Umstead and hoped I could somehow get lucky with the timing.

Pi A La Mode
Of course today just had to be the warmest day thus far this year. My car thermometer indicated 80F as I pulled into the Umstead parking area. Am I acclimated to anything even resembling warm temps? Not a chance. But this is for Pi! Full steam ahead!

I co-opted a coworker (Hi Jon!) with a Garmin GPS watch to help with the pacing, and set off on the 3pi run. Actually, Jon is training for a Half Ironman in a few weeks time, so he's in great shape and needed to run about an hour and a half today anyway.

Two miles into the run and I knew it was going to be a tough day for me. Sweat was pouring down my face and I had that weird tingly feeling in the top of my head that tells me that I'm overheating. I would have paid real money for a bowl of ice cream.

Luckily there was a slight breeze and a good bit of shade on the route, so I managed to not melt down until almost the very end of the run. Unfortunately, the last mile of the run is almost entirely uphill, and a steep hill at that. I slowed to a crawl and watched as Jon relentlessly pulled away up the hill (I had told him not to wait on me since he had real training to accomplish for a real triathlon). I had finally overheated. Slowly, painfully, I shuffled my way up the hill to the 9.42 mile point I had mapped on the route.

But somehow, with a delirious, drunken, stumbling sprint, and just the right amount of walking at the last moment (glad I wore my watch!), I managed to hit the 3pi mile point in exactly 1:34:20. 3pi miles in 30pi minutes! I am truly a geek.

Pie A La Lunch
And as a reward for my geeky awesomeness?