So, what do apple pie and HDTV have to do with running? Well, let me tell ya. On Turkey Day, we headed to Rapid City for the annual Turkey Trot 5K followed by a gourmet meal at the Golden Corral (don't laugh, it's cheaper and easier than cooking it yourself and then having a buttload of leftovers). If y'all remember, I just set a new 5K PR last month and went sub-20 for the first time in the process. With the memories of how painful that effort was still fresh in my mind, I had absolutely no intention of pushing it that hard again at the Turkey Trot. My number one goal for this race was to win one of the 300 pies they raffle off following the race. This race does not have awards or keep official times; they just give away pies. I was actually so unconcerned about my race time that I ran 4 miles around the neighborhood before we left for Rapid City.
We drove down to Rapid after my morning run and arrived about 20 minutes before the race started. I paid my $5 fee, which got my name in the hat for the pie raffle, and set out for a warmup jog. It became apparent during this warmup jog that I was going to have to make a visit to the portajohn before the race started. Of course, by the time I got back to where they were located, there was quite a line and not a lot of time. I really didn't have any choice but to wait, because if I didn't then something ugly was going to happen during the race. Finally, about a minute before race time, I got into a portajohn and conducted my transaction as quickly as possible. Even so, I emerged to find that I was 40 seconds late for the race start. This is the kind of scenario that haunts my dreams before nearly every marathon I run, but this time I honestly didn't give a damn. I took off running, hit the start button on my watch when I crossed the start line, and set about passing the hundreds of walkers and slower runners in front of me. I spent the entire first half of the race running around people, bobbing and weaving and trying to find a gap that I could shoot through. Even so, my split time at the halfway point was decent (10:41). I was feeling pretty good at that point and had finally passed enough people that I could actually run a solid pace, so I decided to kick it up a little in the second half, just for the hell of it. I would pick someone in front of me and focus on them until they were behind me, then would seek out my next victim. Much to my surprise, I ran the second half in 9:49 and my overall time was 20:30 (according to my watch). I could have easily gone sub-20 again if I had pushed it the whole way and started ahead of the mass of humanity instead of 40 seconds behind it.
Anyhow, the race was actually just a prelude to the real reason I was there: to win a pie. Like I said, they had 300 of em to give out and I'm guessing there were at least 500 people there, so the odds were good, but certainly not guaranteed. I should mention that it was pretty cold that morning; temps were probably in the low 20s. I had built up a good sweat during the race and was actually kind of hot right afterwards, but 45 minutes or so of standing around changed that pretty quickly. As name after name was pulled out of the box, I could feel my toes getting more and more numb. I briefly considered whether a chance at a pie was worth hypothermia and/or frostbite, but quickly dispelled any thoughts of leaving early. Finally, approximately 250 pies into it, my name was called. I picked an apple pie and made a beeline for our vehicle so I could thaw out my appendages. Was it worth it? Hell yeah, it was.
So, that's how apple pie relates to running, now on to HDTV. Okay, honestly it doesn't relate to running, I'm just excited because I finally have one. As everyone in the free world knows, the big box stores have some insane deals the day after Thanksgiving. Well, this year Best Buy was offering a 42 inch plasma TV with 3 years no interest financing. To my surprise, my wife was almost convincing me of it as much as I thought I would have to convince her (does that make sense?). And, to tell the truth, she did the legwork to get the thing. You see, each Best Buy only gets like 15 of these things and in order to get one you have to be there at 3 AM to get a ticket, which allows you to come back when the store actually opens to pick up your TV. But, it's not quite that easy. In order to get a ticket, you have to get in line, which as my wife discovered begins forming Thursday evening. I want to go on record as saying that I DID NOT pressure or encourage her to spend a cold night outside of Best Buy just for a stupid TV, but, ever the trooper, she did it anyway (also for the record, I would have done it myself, but I was back at home watching the kids....my wife had already planned on being up most of the night getting our Christmas shopping done elsewhere in Rapid). So, long story short, we have a brand spankin new TV and all I can think about now is how badly I want to skip work so I can stay home and watch football in HD. It's like I'm a kid again, faking sick so I can stay home from school and play Nintendo (hope my mom doesn't read this).
Oh yeah, I ran 71.7 miles last week, my second highest total ever and only 3/10 of a mile short of my record, which I plan on breaking this week. That is, if I can peel my ass from in front of the TV long enough to actually run....