Monday, July 20, 2009

A record that wasn't quite what I hoped for and perfect 10's that didn't lead to victory.

I did my Sunday long run early in the day because later we planned to go to the CS&T "Family Fun Day", plus it looked to be a warm day so best to run while it is cool.

Last time I did this 13.1 miler, I started out fast and had a pretty good time going for 5 miles, but then I got a pain in my calf and ended up with a pretty slow pace. This time I decided to go out a little slower and build speed as I went and this seemed to work well. I had misremembered my last time as 1:55 and change and so I thought I was well ahead of that. As it turned out, the last time I did it in 1:51:33 and so my 1:50:54 ended up only being only slightly better.

One nice thing was that I had the energy to finish strong instead of dragging myself the last few miles. The final couple of miles runs from the town center to the swim and tennis club along the new bike path. I passed a man of about my age at the start of the path and said "hi, nice day" as I passed. Then I saw another runner about 1/4 mile ahead of me, so I set-about catching him and this took about a mile. Once I caught-up, we ran together chatting the rest of the way. It was nice: He too has noticed that there are not as many fast runners now as there were in the past. The guy, Joey B. set a good pace even though 10 years older than me, hopefully we will run into each other again--much more pleasant to train with company.

Later at the swim club...

The day was filled with egg tosses, potato sack races and that kind of thing. The one event I participated in was the adult cannon-ball contest. I am at a bit of a disadvantage in this because most of the men weigh more than me and that is one of the key factors in the event. To some extent I can make up for this by being more athletic than average: So I get a bit more height out of the spring board and am able to curl-up into a compact ball before hitting the water.

I had seen from the kid's belly-flop contest that the judges really like a commitment to the dive: Kids that chicken-out at the end didn't score nearly as high as kids who held the flop right into the water. So, on my initial dive I just tried to get as high as I could, form into a tight ball and then (the hard part) hold that position until under water. This worked. Four other men and I made the second round (two women had been in the first round). I was the second diver in the second round. The first guy did a serviceable dive with a huge splash and got all 9 and 9.5's. Here, I figured you have to go beyond just a good cannonball--you have to add a little showmanship. I did a straight jump and then as I curled-up I rotated 90 degrees backwards so that I landed (more-or-less) on my head. I got all 10's! The only problem was that one of the final 3 did some crazy double back flip cannonball and also got all 10's. They had done a sudden-death dive-off for the kids when they tied, but this time they awarded the other guy the crown (he has been winning every year as it turns out). That was fine, I didn't have anything that could have beat that last dive he did anyway. I did have something in mind though--in case I had to have made another attempt. I was going to do a swan-dive and then curl-up right at the end. It might have turned into a front flip, which still wouldn't have won, but you've got to offer something if called upon.

In any case, it was a lot of fun and I got a lot of compliments afterwards. The kid's favorite event was where a bunch of coins are thrown into the pool and then they all scramble to get what they can. They all got a good haul and were happy.

Oh yes, almost forgot! The guy I passed right at the start of the bike path was sitting next to us by the pool and he recognized me. He seemed a little shocked that when I passed him I was at the tail-end of a 13 mile run at the time.

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