Here's the important bit: I beat Koss. She, myself, the child bride and, apparently, the entire Upper Midwest ran in the pissing cold this morning to take part in the Get in Gear 10k race.
I finished the race with a time of 50:29, giving me a pace time of 8:08. The child bride finished with a time of 54:38, giving her a pace time of 8:48.
Koss, meanwhile, finished the race with a time of 52:26, giving her a pace time of 8:27.
By the way, my fellow wage slave, Maggie (aka Catfish, aka The Beast), ran in the 5k race. She finished with a time of 27:18, giving her a pace time of 8:48. This is bad news for Maggie, because it means that in a Beast vs. Child Bride Battle Royale, she would not be able to rely on her speed.
To echo Omega's jubilation from the other day: Yay me. I beat people younger than me (and one who's slightly older) -- that's what's important.
Having said that, I am forced to retract some of my glee and point out that this was the most piece of shit race I have ever run. Koss shouldn't feel bad about not making her goal time of under 50:00, because the race conditions made it nigh-impossible for a person to run to his or her potential.
I don't know if there were too many people or the streets were too narrow or what, but I spent at least the first three miles of the run constantly fighting for open space. Instead of locking in and just running, I was darting back and forth across the street and pushing through gaps.
This stop-start-sprint style hit me around mile 4. I developed a massive cramp in my left abdominal muscles that slowed me down and filled me with inexpressible anger as the open space I had been fighting for the entire race became simply open space for me to limp.
The cramp cleared up after a few minutes; at the mile 5 marker, I decided I was going to do what I could to salvage my race and started pushing. I drove hard across the Ford Parkway bridge and practically ran in traffic for the opportunity to run without anyone being in my way. We crossed over to the Minneapolis side and I was finally feeling that I was finally pushing myself on the slight hill where 46th Avenue runs down to Godfrey Parkway.
At this point, the stupid fucking idiots who had set up the race had the courses of the 10k and the 5k merge for about the last 200 yards. The timing of the races meant that I found myself merging with 5k racers who were coming in at more than 30 minutes.
So, let's put that all together:
Sudden male moment of competitiveness and whatever it is that makes scrumhalves scream "Come on, fellas! Let's get our shit together, goddamn it!" when the team is down by two tries + running full tilt after six miles + knowing I could have done so much better + two races converging onto tiny road + slower 5k runners = Chris Cope Rage Party.
Wait. If I had run my pace time from March of 7:35, I would still have come in No. 533 in this race. That's 532 people between me and the bloke who won. So what the hell was my problem? The prize for 533rd place is the same as the prize for 830th.
I managed to get most of my sulking out of the way by the time the child bride caught up with me. She was in a good mood because running in the rain makes her happy.
"I had a good time," she said.
"Good," I said. "I'm glad."
And somehow that made me feel better.
We turned the heat on full blast when we got to the truck. After hot showers, we went to an Australian-themed restaurant and I had an enormous mug of Foster's. So, it wasn't a total loss.