Monday, May 03, 2010


Firstly, in order to stay true to my typical race report format, let me begin by saying:

Yes, that is a PR.

Yes, that is a sub-60 10K time.


But, No, I'm not 100% satisfied with that time and I'll tell you why with a few carefully worded *s.

Though, before I go off on one of my patented rants, I want to first say that this was a great race for me. I felt excellent. My legs felt strong, I felt like a gazelle even though I looked like a wildebeest, my race pace was its best yet and I got that fucking :30 second monkey off my back which has been haunting me for two long and dark weeks.

HOORAY. But more on that warm fuzzy crap later.

You'll recall that I recently adjusted my training route so that I could avoid as many traffic lights as possible so that I could train to run a consistent distance because, "you know they don't usually throw in an 8 lane, 4 way stop light at miles 2.5, 4 and 6.1, now do they." 

And then we all had a good laugh at my expense because what kind of fucking idiot am I that I didn't realize this flaw in my training regimen was holding me back to the tune of at least 30 seconds. Hahaha, I'm such a retard and such.

Well, it turns out that SOMETIMES THEY DO. Stop people in the middle of the race to allow traffic to pass.

No, really.

Enter, the Workday Devil Mountain 10K and its impressively bad traffic management.

See, half of the 10K route traveled a busy street. Which they had strategically marked off with cones and retired policemen of questionable cognitive skills and physical ability directing the errant motorist by way of orange flags and colorful hand gestures.


We ran this first half of the race unencumbered by the passing traffic and, despite the rolling hills on the purported "flat and fast course", all was fine in the world of Finny. According to Garmin, I was traveling at a respectable 9:20 pace and singing along to Volbeat. Swears and all. I was even allowing myself to be amused by the runners around me (hand carrying two bottles of water PLUS a hydration belt? For 6 miles? Are we in the Sahara?) and charmed by the man who was waiting for his wife at every mile marker (Sweet man. He barely looked annoyed).

Then the course took a sharp turn down the Iron Horse Trail, which is a fancy name for a concrete pathway that cuts between two blah subdivisions. Not super scenic, but whatever.

I actually quite enjoyed this trot down this trail given its gentle downward sloping grade and the fact that the weather was trying really hard to be perfect, until such time as we began to approach road crossing #2.

Let it be known that the Iron Horse Trail crosses over roads that, I assume, lead up into the subdivisions that sit perched on the sun-blasted hills of the East Bay, and traveling along the trail as we did, required three separate crossings.

Also, fine.

Based on crossing #1, I had no reason to believe that there would be any issue with the forthcoming crossings, but I would be sorely mistaken when I came within about 100 yards of crossing #2 and a confused looking young man wearing a safety vest and carrying one of the aforementioned orange flags began lightly jogging toward us murmuring, "Slow down, please."

Thinking he was surely joking and OH HA HA HA he's trying to get us into the spirit of the race by using the good old reverse psychology trick so that we all just race our little hearts out, I laughed (really) and picked up the pace.

Hey - I'm game for a some gentle chiding on a good day! Plus, I felt strong and, like, why not boost my pace a bit. Good show, lad!

I also became British for a moment which was weird.

But then I came upon crossing #2 where much traffic had built up on either side of the road and Retired Sheriff Crabby Ass was trying to block runners' paths by waving his orange flag uselessly and yelling, "Stop! You have to stop for the traffic!"

Wait? What?

Not only was I now traveling at a slightly faster pace with my new found motivation thanks to Mr. Jolly Good Time back there, but I was becoming pretty sure that I was going to nail my sub-60 time and had ZERO intention on stopping or slowing down for any. single. thing.

Even if that single thing was a Camry with a ferocious Indian woman behind the wheel.

So I, as did the gentle trotting souls around me, gave Sheriff Out of His Mind our own versions of the finger and proceeded to sprint ever so quickly through the crossing, knowing we were all a part of an event that everyone in the neighborhood would be bitching about because OH WOE IS US we had to sit comfy in our cars for a few extra minutes while some runners sweated by before our very eyes. 

Now, I don't know if this orange flag-waver every succeeded in stopping any of the runners, but during the moment when I believed I might be creamed by the white Camry revving its engine behind the flag like a bull in a ring, I did hit the Stop on my watch so that I could record actual running time rather than Time Spent Running And Then Sometimes Waiting for Grocery Shoppers To Return Home With Donuts.

I didn't actually stop running at any point, but I did slow down some and then immediately hit Start again as soon as it became clear that my specially honed traffic dodging skills had prepared me perfectly for this moment of racing.

And that is why there's an * next to my time waaaaaaaaaay back up there at the beginning of this post. Because, according to my Garmin, my finish time was 58:04, but according to the race's chip time, which did NOT account for the traffic stop, it was 58:15.

Mmm hhhmm.

I'm going to go with the good old, WHAT-ever on that one and move on to the warm fuzzy stuff because, at the end of the day, I killed my sub-60 10K goal time and got to come home without aching kidneys.

Which brings me to the highlights of this race which I'll bullet out all concise-like for those of you who don't want long-winded recountings of my mornings' adventures. Boo on you.

  • I fueled perfectly for this race by eating a Luna bar on the drive out to the race (about 45 mins) and taking in about 8 oz of iced tea (Don't judge. I require caffeine.) I also had some water before the race started while I sat with Bubba at Country Waffles and watched him order biscuits and gravy because he's a cock.
I had the eggs benedict. HA! No.Can you imagine? Yarf.
  • Super Big Highlight: There was a Country Waffles at the 5K/10K race split and Bubba snagged a patio table so that he could see me off from behind an enormous breakfast. I hear he made many friends in the 5K crowd as he offered them bacon strips as they rounded the corner.
 Us on the 10K course were offered nothing.

  • I did a quick warm up trot from the restaurant to the truck and back to fetch some forgotten items and I think this actually helped me get the snaps out of my ankles and the rest of my body in the general running mood. I think I shall try this again.
Now, I know there are other highlights in there that pertain to the weather (glorious - 54 and sunny), my pace (best pace: 7:17, avg pace: 9:19), my well-being (my kidneys rested peacefully) and the fact that I was only elbowed once in the starting chutes (nice job setting up the self-corralling pace markers 2 feet apart, Race Organizers), but I'll stop boring you with the minutia of a 6 mile race.

Now that I have my sub-60 10K and sub-30 5K times safely stowed in my Active profile, I can start thinking about other things. Things that involve bikes, ropes, packs and starlit walks off a cliff.

At least I won't have to deal with too many traffic lights.


  1. YAY for functioning kidneys! I mean, you only really need one functioning one, but whatevs. It's nice to have extra.

  2. You crack me up! In particular: "retired policemen of questionable cognitive skills". The post-race high talking maybe??? Congrats on a great race!

  3. I can't believe they were trying to stop the runners! That's crazy. Hello??? It's a race. The cars can wait for a gap.

    And good for a pre-race warmup. I hate the ankle snaps. Those things can be painful. That's actually what happened to me when I fell. The snap caused a severe pain to shoot up my ankle and it gave out on me. I'm fearful every time I run now. Every. Time.

  4. And the race fries? What about them?

    (Good job, Finn. I knew you could do it.)

  5. Yay, yay, yay! 7:17 is a pretty impressive pace. I think. And all those other things you have planned? Those sound fantastic. Can't wait to hear all about them.

    Also, biscuits and gravy, ummmm. I just finished a four day Ayurvedic cleanse in which I ate nothing but kitchari, which is pretty good the first time you eat it, but less so after 12 meals. I lost a few pounds and cleaned my internal organs, but I'm not sure it was worth it. I'm going to go eat biscuits and gravy. Tell Bubba thanks for the suggestion.

  6. I should have followed up the "I think" with the explanation that I've forgotten everything about running and anything less than 10:00 sounds like you're superwoman.

    You know. Which you are.

    (Leaving it like I did makes it sound sarcastic, which although I usually am, I wasn't trying to be there.)


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.