Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kurt Wagner

For the music lovers out there Kurt Wagner is the lead singer of one of my favourite bands, Lambchop, although to the comic book geeks amongst us this is also the alter-ego of sometime X-Man Nightcrawler, which also happens to be the name of 5 mile race I just ran here in Toronto:

This is the first "serious" race I have ran since the same race 2 years ago and I naturally approached it with a certain sense of uncertainty, not least because of the ankle problem I was experiencing during the Madison-Chicago relay 10 or so days ago. I'm being very cautious with my warming up due to this and the current damage report is very favourable: I'm not experiencing pain when I'm running, and it isn't swollen or anything, so hopefully it isn't too much to worry about. Not sure what plan to adopt for the race I went for a 2 minute negative split: 18 minutes for the first 2.5 miles, and 16 minutes for the second - the route follows the shore of Lake Ontario to a bridge and back so the half-way point is well defined. I felt, given that I haven't raced in such a long time, that this plan was challenging enough whilst theoretically being well within reach, either way I'd see how the first mile went and race accordingly. As it turned out, the first mile was fairly quick at 6:35 and, being satisfied with that, I started to relax and enjoy the run. I felt strong throughout and ended up running a very even pace for the middle 3/5s of the race with splits of 6:50, 6:49 and 6:49, saving some of the best for last... Having been chasing down a group of runners from the turn around point, I upped the tempo to start picking them off individually as the finishing line approached, including a very satisfactory sprint finish (for which I favour the Michael Johnson style) to see off one runner that a lot of people seemed to be cheering for and telling to run faster because I was going to overtake her, which just made me want to get past even more (when will these people learn?). I timed the last mile at 6:35 to finish in 33:40, which I'm happy enough with given that it brought me home within the time I had forecast, even though the negative split didn't quite work out as planned.

And if that wasn't enough, I scored a Asics thermal coffee mug (!?! - at least it wasn't an Asics desk calculator?!?!?!) from the stuff they were throwing into the crowd during the post-race prize giving.


Lisa said...

wow, i must be a geek because I haven't heard of the band, but my first thought when I read the post title was, "nightcrawler!"

Joe said...

glad to hear you're feeling better.

Al Dimond said...

Good run! Way to smoke that girl! And also, nice job on the consistent mid-race splits, and the symmetric pace thing.

Actually, that reminds me of a weird symmetric-paced time trial I ran as a freshman in high school, to see who would run the 1600m in a meet. I ran essentially straight 80s to finish 5:20. The other guy ran something like 65-95-95-65 and just edged me at the finish with a heroic kick. So as someone that has only maybe twice finished a race doing anything resembling "sprinting", congrats on being able to do that.