Monday, October 15, 2012

“Some of That Pumpkin Shit”: Paddy’s Road Race (10/14/12)

A round of Some of that Pumpkin Shit

Race: Paddy’s Road Race
Distance: 3 Miles
Goal Time: 18:30
Actual Time: 18:43 (4 ½ minute PR!!)

I felt another twinge in my back as I passed mile 2.  This one was going to make me slow down.  I leaned trying to avoid whatever pain I could avoid…

Nobody ever starts their story of how they hurt their back with, “So I was trying to pick up a Volkswagon…”  No, it’s always picking up a cat, grabbing the remote, turning on a light.  Or, in my case it was putting paper in the copy machine.  I hurt it so bad that I spent all day Saturday laid up in my bed watching Battles BC on youtube.

Sunday morning my back was in serious pain.  I had trouble walking around.  If it was not the last race of the Pub Series, there was no way I would have made it to Paddy’s Road Race.  Yet, to finish the Pub Series I needed to run 5 out of 6 and I missed Common Fence because I ran the Reykjavik Marathon the day before.  (I know; I’m a slacker for not taking the redeye back from Iceland to run a 5 miler in Rhode Island…)

This would not be my first Paddy’s Road Race.  In fact, my other Paddy’s dated back to the time before.  In 2004, my cousin and my friend Grant and I ran this race.  A heavy smoker at the time, I was in my first incarnation of trying to reclaim myself.  In 2004, I had ran SRR’s An Ras Mor and the Malden Rotary’s St. Patrick’s Day race. I had easily defeated Jason in the race.  Grant had obviously not viewed the map since as we came toward the set of turns before the finish line, he thought it was the finish line and sprinted away.  As we turned onto Webster, I jogged passed the now exhausted Grant.

2012 was not the same.  The first mile I ran right at 6/min.  The second was a slightly slower 6:12.  That is when the twinges came into my back.  I lost Andrew who I had been trying to keep in sight if not on pace with.  Dan ran by me; and then Jess did as well. I finished up pretty strong and ran a respectable 18:43.  While not what I wanted, it was still 4 and a half minutes faster than 2004 and guaranteed a top 20 finish in the Pub Series!

The post-race was in Paddy’s Pub.  In 2004, it had been a beautiful day (2012 was NOT), and we spent the post-race on the side of the pub talking with a guy who was probably my age now.  We also had the most remarkable beverage – Pumpkinhead beer.  We had never had a pumpkin beer before.  In fact Pumpkinhead was relatively new, only coming out in limited supply two years earlier.  Grant and I were so amazed by the beverage we kept wanting more and more.  Grant even told the waitress: “give some of that pumpkin shit.”

Since then I have tried a variety of pumpkin beers, Harpoon's Pumpkin UFO, sweet pumpkin beers, imperial pumpkin beers, pumpkin IPAs.  8 years later I drank Pumpkinhead upstairs in the unfinished attic of Paddy’s Pub.  And, to this day it is still the best.  (Smuttynose’s Pumpkin is a close and acceptable second place).    

I stood among people who like me enjoyed the racing.  My back hurt a bit, but we were able to relive the race and our paces and the steps.  I got to talk with and meet Andrew and Jess. Once again I was able to connect yet another strand of the past to the person of the present; exorcise another set of demons and whittle them to the wisps of memory; ghosts of yesteryear.  Dan went to get another round and I told him: “give me some of that pumpkin shit.”

SRR Shoutouts -
Robert, Chris and Joe all finished in the top 10
Jess was fifth in women and locked up 3rd in the Pub Series
Dan added some more points to his total (enough for 17th?)
Bradley continued his great year - matching 10th in the Distance Medley with 10th in the Pub Series.

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