Sunday, October 05, 2003

Just about a Perfect Day

I got up this morning at 6 and checked my email. The usual array of spam. I went downstairs and made coffee and headed to Lawrence, Kansas for the Sand Rat Run. Put on Another Live by Todd Rundgren's Utopia and cranked the stereo in the truck, reliving the best parts of my high school years as I went down I-70.

I got to Lawrence and met up with the crew: Bad Ben, Sasha, Jim G. and his daughter and Janice. Tried for a pre-race constitutional but failed. Didn't realize I was wearing my singlet backwards.

Anyway, I started slowly, chatting with Ben as we leisurely cranked out 8:30 miles for the first 3 until we got to the levy and out of the singletrack for awhile. I hit it hard from there on out, picking off people and just simply running and thinking of nothing but running. There is something so wonderful about just picking your feet up and down, concentrating, throwing your shoulders into the turns, absolutely being nowhere except in the run, alone in the woods with the river below on a perfect sunny day. I passed runner after runner. It's really what racing is all about, pitting yourself against everyone else.

I finished last out of 4 in my age group, 34th overall. Checking the results tonight , I see that the person I passed on the final stretch of pavement was John Rinkenbaugh, brother of my former fiance'. Small world.

We hung out at the finish. None of us won anything save the lovely Laura Cheek. If I ever hoped for hardware, it would be at the Sand Rat Run, where the trophies are squeaky rubber rats spray painted bronze, silver or gold. My life might well be complete when I win a rat.

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