Friday, May 20, 2011

I should have bought a lottery ticket

To be clear, I don't run trail races for profit. So far this year I have already spent almost as much entering trail races as I did in all of last year. While the amount sounds large at first, when you spread it out over five months and consider that this is my primary form of weekend entertainment, it's not that bad (about the same as going to a few concerts - or one big one with some aging band from the 70s making yet another farewell tour - and 2 or 3 movies a month). And compared to some other outdoor activities, the equipment is fairly cheap (but I need to be a bit strong when it comes to shoes - I've spent more on running shoes in the last year than on all my shoes combined in the previous decade).

And then one free race comes along and completely changes the equation.

Where I work, they hold a walking/running event for the company on Bike to Work day. (I'm sure this makes sense to someone - the possible thinking is that we've already got a lot of sweating, musky-smelling bike riders in the offices, why not combine them with a bunch of sweating, musky-smelling runners.)

The Cupertino event drew over 2000 participants.

We were divided into two groups: 3K walkers and 5K runners.

This is my cricket-playing buddy Mit (not his real name) and I before the race. He is recovering from a knee injury and would be taking it easy in this race. (He only beat me by around five minutes this time.)

This is Samoht (not his real name either), who took the previous picture. He had never run a 5K before. He only beat me by 3 seconds. (I had to talk him into doing this race - we both had a LOT of work to do which made this a bit of a luxury. "It'll only take 30 minutes and we'll be done" I promised.)

Two things happened:

1) My camera's lens quit working. I normally take a lot of pictures while doing this sort of thing, and was really bummed about this.

2) I managed to finish in less than 30 minutes, which stunned me.

Others have pointed out that thing number 1 might have something to do with thing number 2. I choose to scoff at that notion, although there's probably something to it. Maybe.

In any case, there is a raffle after everyone is done, and I usually hang around just in case someone I know wins something. But like I said, we had a lot of work to do, so Samoht and I headed back to our offices while the 3K walkers were still coming in.

Then I got an email congratulating me on winning the grand prize. I took it as a joke, but then an iChat from someone else showed up. And actual people started stopping by my office to congratulate me.

And it turned out to be true - I won the grand prize of a 13" MacBook Air. (Important note: This had nothing to do with my running skills - it was a completely random drawing. I do not intend to put this thing with all my other race medals.)

Alert readers will notice the water bottle sitting next to it - I was trying to introduce the two of them to each other. The computer was understandably nervous about having water so close, friendly or not.

And here's the kicker - earlier that morning I had spent a bit of time trying to pick out a laptop for my parents - I'm determined to inflict Facebook on them when I go back to Colorado for that Pagosa Turkey Track trail race in June. This one should do fine.

Wow. Just, wow.

Completely unrelated (other than me surviving shows my lucky streak is still alive),  I went out on Wednesday and was nearly attacked by this fierce snake. I hate snakes, but I had to admit this one was kind of cute (and tiny - as skinny as a pencil and about a foot long). In any case, it inspired me to run a bit uphill to put some distance between me and it.

Only to be faced with this thing. It's not obvious when looking at the pictures, but this lizard was a lot bigger than that snake. It could eat that snake and still have room for dessert, and I'm sure it had its eyes on me. In a sinister voice, it calmly said "Go ahead punk - take your best shot." 

I've never made it to the top of that particular hill as fast as I did that afternoon.

And that's about it. I have no races this weekend, but am volunteering at two of them (volunteer at a race and you get a free entry into a later race - a great deal that helps keep the costs in line, although finding races that I don't mind not running is not that easy).

That's it - move along...


DAK said...

You're giving the Macbook Air to your parents? Did they run in the race? What have they done for you lately?

mary ann said...

Love the Macbook ~ congrats!