Thursday, November 22, 2007

Case of the missing Gobble

9:00 AM - 11 miles - Somerville.
Gobble Gobble 4-Miler (3rd, 20:46). 30:00 warmup on the course, 25:00 cooldown on the bike path with Erin, Kevin and Dan.

I realized a few things by the mile mark of the Gobble Gobble 4-miler this morning in scenic Somerville. No, it hadn't yet hit me that the traditional "Tri-Gob" was apparently and unfortunately renamed the "Di-Gob" somewhere between the opening of registration at 7:30 AM and when the results were posted sometime around 10:30. Fortunately, I didn't catch this blasphemous nomenclatural snafu until well after the fact, which caused me to shed a few tears before embarking on an equally emotional ride home.

OK, so no tears were actually shed and no emotions were had, but seriously, where the hell did the third Gobble go?

I may never figure out the answer to that one, but about 5 minutes into the race -- 5 minutes and 3 seconds to be exact -- I realized pretty quickly that an easy payday was not going to be in the works this morning. Owen Washburn, Wilson Perez and Tom McArdle must have caught wind of the race's unexpected name change prior to the starter's horn and in an act of defiant and unbridled protest proceeded to launch themselves off the starting line like a bunch of cruise missiles. They quickly left my tired ass and flat legs a good 13 seconds behind them at the mile mark, which had me wondering if any of the three of them were going to self-destruct before the finish line so I didn't go home empty handed.

Well, there's not much time for serious contemplation with 3 miles to go in a 4-mile race, so I quickly conceded first and second place and the $300 in prize money that accompanied it, backed off to tempo effort, put a $50 target on McArdle's back and decided to take my chances on stealing third should old Tom come falling back to me.

Like Johnny-fucking-Chan in the World Series of Poker, the gamble paid off. Barely. Just after the 2-mile mark, I pulled even with the wily old bastard from Dartmouth, who in turn situated himself directly behind my desperate ass for pretty much the remaining duration of the race. While I felt confident that I could easily hold off Bluegrass Tommy Mac to the tape I didn't realize that his brother, Boy George, was charging at me harder than a lion toward his unsuspecting prey. The younger McArdle managed to inch by me about 25 yards from the finish but a desperation lean at the line snagged me third place and 50 bucks for my troubles, I mean efforts.

My ridiculous long-winded commentary aside, things didn't go all that bad out there this morning. If you go by the official results, I ran 20 seconds faster than I did last year on the same course - 25 seconds if you go by my trusty Timex. I saw 20:40 on the clock as I crossed the finish line and when I stopped my watch halfway through the chute I came away with splits of 5:03, 5:17, 5:11 and 5:10. Where those extra 5 seconds came will probably forever remain a mystery, but as ol' KcoachB used to constantly remind me, it is what it is.

Along that same line, what today's race turned out to be was a hard effort on tired legs in the middle of one last hefty week of training before nationals - exactly what it should have been at this stage of the game.

Quote of the Day

"No, I'm going over to Dunkin' Donuts. I want to clean out my gutters this afternoon and I figure spending a few hours in a bar room before climbing up on my roof probably wouldn't be such a good idea."
- Kevin on his decision to forgo frequenting the Burren after the race this morning

3 comments:

Ryan said...

Mario,
Check out today's Boston Globe section B page 8 for a great picture of the tri gob start.

You look marvelous!

Kerry said...

Please write more race reports. that was the best take on a 4 mile race I have ever read.

I actually rode my bike through Somerville on Thursday and went by the race venue after it was over. A group of young ladies were walking across the street wearing numbers pinned to their shirts. They had just finished the race. Their conversation went something like this:

"yeah, the guys with the little tiny narrow hips and the slightly broader shoulders...you can just grab right onto those hips and pull them right in..."

I'm not making this up. I was waiting at a red light and heard that conversation.

I had a chuckle to myself and pedaled onward as the light changed.

S. M. Miller said...

Mario,

That has to be one of the most entertaining race recaps I've ever read! And that says a lot because Paul Hammond's reports are always worth many many laughs -- and sometimes a few tears. Well done. (Good running too.)

Shad