Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Subtitled; “Close but no Cigar.”

As chronicled here before, I stumbled into running and actually spent the first several months running purely on a treadmill before discovering there are people that actually run outdoors (this was back in ’99.)

My mistake (if you could call it that) was entering a race and picking up hardware in my first ever race. Granted it was a small race (less than 1000,) but I apparently had years of running pent up in my system and picked up a 2nd place in my division in a 5k race.

Little did I know there was actually a post race ritual of bagels, bananas, potential massage tents, war story sharing, and awards. Being na├»ve about the whole thing, I finished the race and left immediately. My only shot at hearing my name blasted over the megaphone went to waste as I was on my way home when the announcement went out…(“Bueller…Bueller…Bueller?)

The mistake was thinking I would certainly pick up more trophies along the way. Ten years later, the “Run the Rock” 2nd place trophy is my one and only. It has moved twice and suffered a chip and epoxy repair.

With my running group, Runner’s Edge of the Rockies, between the winter maintenance session and the start of spring training, the group had an idle weekend and I was going through running and race withdrawal. I was jones’in for something to provide a running “fix” on Saturday through running friends on Facebook and Daily Mile. I was going through all the obvious signs of withdrawal…trolling for a race and pinging my running buddies for a long run that wasn’t by myself.

I discovered there’s a 5 mile and 10 mile Frosty Run at Chatfield Reservoir. the 10, fulfill the long run weekend commitment and I’m thinking in the back of my mind…”maybe it will be crappy weather, low attendance and I could place in a decent spot.”

With my last marathon (CIM,) barely “under my belt,” I was still feeling fast. On race day, I broke all advice and came out of the gates way too fast. I finished the five mile mark in 35 minutes which is fast for me—a seven minute pace. The second half of the course presented more hills and my nemesis—WIND. I finished with a 1:12:28. My mistake in this race was thinking that a 1:14 would place me “in the money.”

The problem is there are apparently a lot of 40 something men who are some pretty fast dudes. Fourth place in my division. I should feel good about a 7:14 pace in a 10 mile race (my third PR in as many months—I’ve set PR’s in ½ marathon, marathon and now in a 10 mile race.) Perhaps I have an unhealthy balance of competition in my blood?

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand I’ll have to wait for the next small race to try and pick up the hardware. Nevertheless, a good first trimester race tune-up for Boston in April.

Follow Ty's quest for his first Boston Marathon at;


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