Sunday, February 22, 2009

Coach Bubba 2009

Photos by Shannon Johnstone

"30 seconds to the start!" was announced as Shannon desperately tried to get a signal on her Garmin GPS running watch. "OH NO! My tracker!", I tried stretching her arm up in the air, closer to the satellites. "15 seconds to the start!". Having the "tracker" (as Shannon calls it) record a run is critically important, because if it doesn't, then the run didn't happen.

I would like to thank all the volunteers
who braved the cold, especially
Melissa who managed to give me my
bib and race packet before she tragically
succumbed to hypothermia.

Over the last couple of years Shannon and I have become obsessed with our running statistics, logging every run down to the second and 1/100 of a mile.
We run with our heads down, fixated on the GPS pace readout, sprinting to the end to get our minutes per mile down to some acceptable number. After every race, we analyze and dissect the results, applying our advanced racing mathematical theories, "Wow, I beat this guy by 5 seconds, who beat this women in a 5k last year and she ran Boston in a 3:20 back 1995, which means I should be able to run this 10k coming up in 6:49 pace".
Anyway, the race started and I put my head down and ran, carefully monitoring my heart rate and pace on my watch, not wasting any time stopping for water. I did manage to say thanks to the police officers holding the traffic and to the few cheering spectators.
With all of this focus and concentration, I managed to meet my goal with 13 seconds to spare, but it was pretty damn hard and I couldn't wait for this race to be over. Coach Bubba was my final test before the Umstead Marathon in 2 weeks and I really wanted to see if all the training had paid off.
Shannon also had a really good race and would have come in 1st in her age group, but unfortunately it didn't count because her "tracker" didn't record it.

"Bubbles" McFong, Carolina Godiva newsletter editor and social butterfly

Marc Jeuland, PHD in Environmental
Sciences and Peace Corps volunteer,
FAILED to break his own course
record from last year. What a loser.

Our friend Micky Fong crossed the finish line being her usual bubbly self, able to enjoy her run because she doesn’t even wear a watch.
Like most of the other Godiva Club folks, she isn’t too concerned with her finishing time; she's there more to socialize. It turned out that the best part of this race was hanging out after and hobnobbing with all the Carolina Godiva Club folks.

Shannon and I had pizza for lunch at the Mellow Mushroom with Laura MacLean and Bubbles McFong, and actually discussed a few things besides running. Barbara and Carolyn stopped by to chat and we decided to do the hash coming up next weekend. Eventually talk turned to the Umstead Marathon, and I became very jealous when I realized that all three of the women at the table had already “got wood”. Which means they have the top finisher wooden plaques from the race that I so covet, which I will discuss in my next post…

Micky and Ronnie Weed trade nicknames for hills in Umstead Park.
They both "have wood"

More pictures from the race can be found here.

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