Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making It Worse

or...How Not To Run 21KM

This last weekend the city of Pereira hosted the 4th Annual Eje Cafetero Half Marathon.  I ran this race two years ago, implausably as the "3rd Annual," and achieved my personal best time for running 21 kilometers (13.1 miles).  This time around was a little different.

I finished in a reasonable one hour and 43 minutes, about twenty minutes slower than my last and best attempt, but given the circumstances (read: excuses) I can live with the time.  Pereira is in the coffee region of Colombia and is quite hilly and a slightly higher elevation than Cali, however, not enough to really blame altitude for my poorer performance.  The race started off gloriously cloudy at 9 am but began clearing about thrity minutes into the race.  The sun, while scorching, will also stay off my "blame list."

Yes, its gross.
First on the chopping block is the fact that I got sick during vacation two weeks ago.  This took some time to recover from and, combined with the start of the rainy season, afforded me only three solid runs last week.  Also to blame: myself, for forgetting my current running shoes in my locker at school and having to use an older pair that just do not fit as well as they used to after my dear maid sent them through the wash.  (Although they are impossibly white.)  This unfortunate mistep resulted in the pain of a blood blister the size of my thumb, pictured at right.

Finally, and the proverbial nail in the coffin, was the decision to eat a buñuelo 45 minutes before the starter's gun.  A buñuelo is Colombia's delicious answer to a donut hole - a deep-fried salty mass of white flour, corn meal, and cheese the size of a billiard ball.  Obviously, this is not the fuel of champions; don't ask me what I was thinking.

All in all though, it was a great day for a race.  The water stations, route, traffic controls, and military presence, were all organized well and its always good to have a feeling of accomplishment to start off a Sunday morning, even if it is with a sore foot and a little nausea.


jsmarslender said...

Hilarious! Sorry for the off time - I'm surprised impossibly white running shoes don't win races. : ) And what is with Colombia and late start times!? Happy recovery.

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