Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, June 06, 2005


Haven't posted since Thursday. That's because not much has been going on running-wise. Friday it rained and I waited until it was too late and couldn't get myself to go out in the rain. No good excuse except that rain continues to be my nemesis. For some reason I can't make it make sense in my head that its worth it to get soaked and miserable just to get a run in. It just doesn't make sense and I can't bring myself to do it. As I write this I'm conscious of how entirely reasonable this decision must sound to a non-runner.

I don't beat myself over the head with it much, and I resolved to do a double workout on Saturday. The morning workout was to be an 8k race across the river in Moorestown NJ. Moorestown is best described as a quintessential leafy suburb and this race, sponsored by the local Rotary Club, is one of the bigger small races in the area. Me, C picked up KF and crossed the river into Jersey and only had to ask for directions twice to get there (I made C get directions as I hate asking).

The start was in Moorestown's quaint looking downtown, where the Starbucks is in an old bank building, the main street is actually called Main Street, and the registration was held in the rec center which meant that there were real rest rooms. I saw numerous folks I knew and several I knew by reputation and figured quickly that this would be a serious race.

Gun went off and I got in with a loose bunch of four or five that constituted the second pack. My strategy was basically to damn the torpedoes in this race and if I died before the finish that would be okay. Mile 1 in 5:26, sofar so good. Mile 2 got us off main street and into the back streets and, just after passing the marker in 5:30, my right calf started to cramp up. I ran through it out of necessity, as I didn't want to walk back to the start, and it stayed manageable but slowed me to 5:37. By now it was me, a 20-something kid I didn't know, and a guy I knew to be one of two brothers who are both fast. We traded off leading and all slowed down to a 5:47 fourth mile, turning through an endless set of suburban streets and oddly enough always seeming to go slightly downhill. For the last mile I really tried pushing and got a bit of a lead on 20-something guy but then heard footsteps and saw CS, a local guy a few years older than me and mainly a cross country guy (he has a website here). I don't know him personally, but do know him as someone who had whupped on me at a couple of x-c races I did last year.

This is why its good being a masters runner, as there is something tangible at stake in matchups like this, even when you're not winning outright. We went head to head for about a half mile, and I'm burning up everything I've got to hang with him. We're back on Main Street and with about 200 meters to go he kicks and I don't. Add insult to injury 20-something guy does the same and I'm the last guy in what was our little pack, 9th overall and 2nd master with a 27:45 overall time (5:24 for the last .97 mile).

When you add about ten seconds to adjust for the differential between 8km and 5 miles, my time here and my time last week are virtually identical. I did leave all I had on the course today, and this left me somewhat depressed, as I asked myself whether this is all there is to racing, busting your ass for the same time race after race. After the race my calf maintained a prolonged cramp, which hobbled me for most of the day. The humidity had me thoroughly soaked and the post race spread included the worst bagels I ever ate. KF, who finished in 28:45 or so, and I and C hit the Starbucks and didn't bother waiting around for the shwag.

I had to bag any intentions of a double workout due to the cramp. I also took today off for the same reason. Both days I don't think I spent an hour of daylight in the house anyway, as I was running around alot, metaphorically that is. It was good running around however, as it included T's Little League playoff games. T's team is now in the finals (T drove in the game winning run today) which means more baseball next weekend.

Anyway, that made for a miserable mileage total for the week. My mom also, as she has for 41 years, told me how I'm not getting enough sleep and that is why I cramped. I'm beginning to believe her, but while I got some more sleep over the weekend I'm up burning midnight oil again tonight.


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