Sunday, November 2, 2008

10/31/08: Running Scared 5K

I was not happy.

I was not clinically depressed or volcanically pissed-off, either; mostly I was just dissatisfied, dissatisfied with a 22:44 in the Running Scared 5K on Halloween. Which being dissatisfied is potentially a good thing if it pushes me to train harder and expect more from myself. Right now, though, I feel like for as hard as I ran - and I'd put this effort up there as one of my top three efforts this fall - I should have done better. Although I'm also entertaining fantasies of the course being short despite a lack of corroborating evidence.

The Running Scared 5K is put on by Memphis Heritage which means it's staged from an elegant house on the corner of Madison and Edgewood in Midtown Memphis. It's on Halloween every year (well, both years seeing as this was only the second annual. But they plan on having more and they plan on keeping it on Halloween.) so it's directed by the Tooth Fairy and other runners included a guy riding an ostrich, Dorothy from Kansas by way of Oz (and her little dog Toto, too) complete with ruby-red running shoes ("There's no place like the finish line!"), Wall Street Greed (complete with tutu made out of fake money which made me think she was an exotic dancer at first - which may have been the point), a ninja turtle, a hot witch, a harlot or a French maid or at least somebody sleazy in a short skirt and fishnet stockings, a clown, a NASCAR chick, and assorted ghouls and zombies. I was dressed as a Serious Runner but I was wearing a UT-Arlington UnderArmor shirt featuring the school's nickname (Mavericks) so if anybody asked I suppose I could say I was a Republican. I wonder how that joke will play in, say, two weeks.

The course is fair, moderately hilly but the toughest hill, early in the second mile, earns its degree of difficulty more for length than steepness. The first two miles seemed accurate enough but the third was way off unless I really did run it in 6:20, which I didn't. That's fine - I'd hate to think I ran the last tenth in 2:15 because I'm pretty sure I could walk faster than that. I finished seventh overall and I thought I may have been top master, but some old guy ran 22:13 so I guess I wasn't, but I was first in my age group. Which is rare enough that it's still noteworthy, at least to me. I did beat the top woman, the aforementioned ninja turtle who ran 23:04 and probably would have kicked my butt if she wasn't carrying her house on her back. I passed her at about 1.5 miles; I though about pacing off her some but I didn't want to freak her in out in such a small race along dark streets.

The postrace party was back at the elegant house and featured lots of food - bananas, cookies, doughnuts, Halloween candy, and beer of the Bud and Bud Light variety, in cans. I had a can of Bud Light; it was reminiscent of drinking in high school. The awards ceremony featured each medal recipient getting their picture taken with the Tooth Fairy, then another Memphis Heritage dignitary judged the costume contest, in which I appropriately did not place. Dorothy won, followed by the guy riding an ostrich, with Wall Street Greed third.

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