Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wrath of Achilles - SAS Employee 5K

Every year my employer has a friendly little 5K race to celebrate National Employee Health and Fitness Day. I try to run the race each year, but it falls at the end of my self destruction racing season, so I'm rarely healthy enough to run well (or to even run at all sometimes). This year was no different. Until the day before the race I didn't know if my irritated achilles tendon would allow me to run, even slowly, on race day. And if I did run, how would I stop myself from getting all strung out on adrenaline and hurting myself even more. Only one thing to do - run the race barefoot.

I figured that running my first barefoot race on a hilly course, with stretches of rough, chip-seal asphalt, would definitely keep me at a sane pace. Hopefully a pace slow enough to prevent the last remaining, frayed, gristly strands of my achilles tendon from snapping like so many dry rotted rubber bands. I didn't count on Kirk showing up.

The Kobiyashi No-shoes Scenario
As the race started, I made it all of 30 feet before my inner Captain James T. Kirk took the con.

"Sulu, lay in a course for the finish in the gamma quadrant. Warp factor 6!" ordered Kirk.

"Oh myyy" muttered Sulu.

In a matter of minutes, I was at full speed. Too fast! Need to slow down! But.. can't.. resist.. the.. incredible.. fun.. of.. running.. fast.. while.. barefoot!

I passed all of these people in the next mile. Like the Enterprise in the opening
credits of the original series. Whoosh!!!

For the first couple of miles I was flying. I passed loads of people and never felt any real stress. My achilles was feeling fine and so were my feet. Of course it wouldn't last.

In the final mile or so, my left foot started to hurt. I could feel a blister forming on the big toe and I had stepped on "something" which was causing the ball of my foot to feel very put out. And then my achilles made its presence known.

"Keptin! Achilles beerd of prey uncloaking off the starboard bow!" shouted Chekov.

"Scottie, I need warp 9 now or we're all dead!" ordered Kirk.

"I canna break the laws of physics, Captain! The left nacelle is so hot the outer hull is blisterin' and the right nacelle's dilithium crystals are critical!!" screamed Scottie. "If I push her any harder, she'll explode!"

"For god's sake, Jim! You're gonna get us all killed! You're not supposed to be racing!" yelled McCoy.

"Not today, Bones. I don't believe in the no race scenario" replied Kirk. "Scottie, tell me you have warp power."

"I can give ya warp 7, but no more. And even that may not hold!" warned Scottie.

"I'll take it. Sulu, engage!" ordered Kirk.

Somehow, with one last, tender-footed surge, I held on to cross the line in just over 24 minutes, beating last year's shod time by over 2 and a half minutes. Kobiyashi No-shoes scenario - defeated.

Amazingly, there were two others who also
defeated the Kobiyashi No-shoes scenario.