Saturday afternoon I made my way back to the tattoo parlor for some fresh ink in the legs. Like they hadn't been beaten up enough by the 18'er. I was absolutely craving some new ink and had a few ideas to explore. After everything came together, I got out there and got this done:
|Koi fish on the back of my right calf|
|Tribal Dragon on my left quad|
The legend has it that if a koi fish can swim upstream it will display the strength and courage necessary to be transformed into a dragon. So koi fish represent beauty and perseverance, and dragons represent strength and transformation. I really like this, since I know a few things about strength and transformation. Specifically black koi are reserved for men who have overcome a major obstacle in life. Even with the placement of the tattoos, the koi fish on the back side of my lower right leg gets transformed into the dragon on my upper left leg. It all fits.
I really love these tats. They came out very clean, and provide an image and story that I can get behind. Great conversation starters. I think I'm going to name the dragon Eddie, that just seems like a good name for a tribal dragon. You can't see him in most of my street clothes, even shorts. But some running shorts leave a little tail showing. Good stuff.
The artist warned me I would be a bit sore for the race the next day.
Monster Dash 5k
Sunday was the Monster Dash 5k 2012 and it was a blast. I finished in 22:25, and I expected the course to be a bit faster than that. It was still a fun race. You may remember back in 2010 we all four did the 1 mile race in costume and had a blast. This year the kids did the 1 mile race in costume, Kelley and I did the 5k, and everyone had a good time.
The kids race was first, and they went out with a bang. They just had to run half a mile out on the 5k course, then turnaround and come back. I think the winners were around 6:38. Our kids took off at a pretty good pace, then got out of sight. I moved up to a spot where I could see the clock and finish line to cheer them in. The winners came in, then huge groups of people, then more kids, then other kids. 10 minutes on the clock, then 12, then here comes little babies with the stumble walk going along side their moms. Finally around 15:37, here come my kids back into view walking and laughing at each other. They weren't last! I was glad for that. Still as a parent, watching your kids leave with a large group of people and then not seeing them come back was starting to freak me out.
The 5k course was a straight out and back with one turn around Cameron Village (this is within walking distance of Kelley's dad's house). It started out going up this really steep hill that felt longer than it looked, then turned right onto Oberlin. Oberlin is one of the few very flat roads in Raleigh, so this worked out well.
The line for the port-a-pots cleared out right before the start, and I had to make a last minute stop in there anyway, so I took advantage. When I got out I heard the announcer say there was only 3 minutes until the start, so I cut it a bit close and got stuck at the back of the pack. I tried to get in front of the people pushing baby strollers, but it's not my normal third or fourth row of people starting position. Still, they started the race and we got out there.
I didn't try to crush the hill, just took what the hill gave me. I had a lot of people to pass. After the turn I just tried to hold a steady pace on Oberlin. Again I passed everyone that I could. It was kind of flat, but generally had a slight uphill grade so I tried to keep my pace around 7:10 per mile. After the turnaround, that same grade was slightly downhill, so I tried to keep the pace around 6:50. That didn't work so well. I took some water at the turnaround and choked it down a little too fast, so I ended up stumbling and coughing pretty good on the side of the road for a while. ooops. Eventually I did regain my composure eventually to get my speed back up.
The giant uphill at the start became a crushing downhill at the finish. When I get a really steep downhill, I like to really lean forward and kick my heels up really high. It increases the float time between foot landings which translates to more time falling down on a steep grade like that. My goal for this race was to get a PR, it was supposed to be one of the flattest courses in town and should have been very fast. It was pretty fast, but when I saw the finish line at 22:25 I was really just glad to be done. Between getting bogged down at the start and choking at the halfway point it just wasn't my day to PR. But I know it's out there.
22:25, 7:13 pace
9/38 M 35-39
Kelley ran a good hard race coming in at 30:53. The funniest things happened after I crossed the finish line. The kids were there cheering me in, waiting with Kelley's dad. The first thing they ask me is "Did you have fun Daddy?" and I told them yes, I did. Before the timing chip could come off of my shoe Bigun tells me she's never doing another race again because she hates it all so much. So apparently she didn't have as much fun as the constant laughter and playing would suggest. After I collected myself a bit we got back to the other side of the finish line to cheer in the incoming runners. When it started getting closer to 30 minutes on the clock you start to see the people who are really excited either just to finish or to break 30. One woman hit the line with both arms in the air and screamed "I F*#^$(NG DID IT!!" very loud, then grabbed another woman on the sideline and started kissing her. Mickey gave me that "did she just say that?" look and I had to concur. That was hilarious, and I'm happy for her but it's a family event in the deep south people. Come on.