A little background on this: the spring recreational running season on the East Coast pretty much ends in early May. After that, the weather gets to hot for putting together a great race, so everyone goes back into training mode to prepare for the fall races. And with the way training for road races works, you pretty much spend a couple of months putting in a lot of effort with the goal of peaking at just the right time, for a specific race.
For a lot of people, last weekend was that specific race. The Pittsburgh Marathon, the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, the Frederick Marathon and a host of other big races in the Mid-Atlantic were all last weekend. And last weekend, it was suddenly 95 degrees – absolutely brutal weather. A lot of work from a lot of racers went right down the toilet because of the weather. And it's lead to some pretty great writing; I've ben addicted to reading it this week. And by far, this is my favorite, completely summing up the feeling of total disappointment:
Scores of cheerleaders from Plum lined the street in front of Kauffman's and I wanted to punch every one of them. Everyone who cheered for me was a total effing moron. They clearly didn't know good running if it kicked them in their moronic faces.
It sounds harsh, but I can totally understand the feeling. To go out and fail so miserably, and yet still have people treat it like an accomplishment – after all, how were they to know what you should have ran – is awful, completely inconsolable feeling, made all the worse by platitudes from the folks around you. Myself, I had no race last weekend and still had such a miserable training run I nearly threw in the towel all together, and I'm nowhere near this guy's league. (Those minute per miles he was dragging through at the end were faster than my 10K pace.) I kind of want to compare and contrast this with the attitudes of the UNC basketball team his season, but that's unfair to everybody and involves more than a bit of blogging mind-reading, which I avoid. Still though, great writing.
This Sunday, naturally, the high is going to be 65 degrees. Near-perfect running weather.
(It wasn't horrible everywhere, of course. In Oregon, one of the best distance runners today had a race designed to break the American 10K record on a track. Perfect weather, pacers to make sure he got off the blocks at the right speed and overall ideal conditions; and break the record he did. Only he came in second place. Chris Solinsky now holds the record instead.)