Monday, May 17, 2010

Race Report: Some Pig.

I raced a local 8 km this week-end. 4 km uphill, 4 km downhill - more or less. Strangely the race itself was run in a loop around large petroleum storage tanks, the kind that are so big that you notice them at 40,000 feet when overflying in an airplane. Yet, the roads were winding and narrow, lined with greenery and vineyards and the coourse was actually quite beautiful. Only in Italy could a loop around petroleum tanks wind up being attractive.

This was a good race for me to recitfy last week's going-out-too-fast blunder since the climb came at the beginning of the race. I was quite pleased that none of my uphill kms went over 4 minutes: 3:51, 3:49, 3:52, 3:57. I passed through 4 km in 15:30 and then proceeded downhill: 3:38, 3:35, 3:37, 3:34. I did a better job this week of not getting demoralized when people passed me. With each passing person I tried to calmly evaluate whether I should try to stay with them or keep on doing what I was doing. I am getting better, in general, at thinking and analyzing while racing and not just giving into blind fatigue. I was pleased to dip under 30 minutes for the 8 km - 29:55. This is a much slower performance than my half marathon a few weeks ago but that was really the focus of the season and I have just been jogging or doing nothing really since then. I have essentially been coasting off the fitness I gathered for that race. I am out of momentum now though, if I don't start training again (which I did, this morning) I will definitely see a precipitous drop in fitness soon.

My major issue during this race is that this song got stuck in my head starting at 3 km. Il coccodrillo come fa is the only song in Italian I sing to la cocotte and it's cute, fun, melodious but not 5 km worth of cute, fun and melodious. At one point I actually physically shook my head as if I could dislodge it that way prompting the guy next to me to comment "dai, dai, scendiamo subito" (go! go! we'll be going downhill soon). I guess he thought I was shaking my head in resignation at the hill.

The most astounding part of the day were the prizes and give aways. This really requires pictures in order to be believed. First, came the participation prize - this was given to everyone who finished the race, as in "thanks for coming out, here is your pig":

Participation Pig! (yes that is la cocotte's hand attempting to slide some of it out of the picture).

Then I won the women's race overall; my prize was a duffel bag which was full of... pig! As in "You won the women's race! Congratulations! Here is your pig!".

Overall woman pig! Again you can see the lurking cocotte in the lower left hand corner.

But, as they say in the late-night informercials, wait! There's more! I also won my age category. Normally they don't do cummulative prizes, which I think is more equitable, but in this case they did. "Congratulations! you won your age category! Here is your (everybody all together now) PIG!".

Age category pig! This time I was not quick enough with the camera and la cocotte did succeed in dragging one package of prosciuto almost out of the frame but you can see it in the lower left hand corner.

All in all, 3 Kg of pig including 2 roasts. That's a lot of pig. I'm not complaining. The sponsor was obviously very generous, especially with the participation prizes which must have cost them a bundle. The timing is just odd because I have been thinking for the past two months of dastically reducing my meat consumption or going back to being a lacto-ovo vegetarian. But that's a topic for a different post (coming very soon).

In the meantime, if anyone who reads this blog lives in my city (hint, hint) and enjoys pork, it would be my very great pleasure to share some of this. Particularly say if there was someone whose nutritional needs were perhaps augmented right now (hint hint hint).

Running song of the day: Il coccodrillo come fa.


  1. Have you checked the expiration date on all of those? Maybe they needed to get rid of old "pigs".
    I love how la cocotte is trying to get some of those:)
    Buon appetito!

  2. Yeah. I agree with mmmmonyka about la cocotte! Love the little hand and foot sneaking in there. But WHAAAA? They gave you meat? I'd be soooo mad. Ok. I guess I'd be grateful, but still a little mad. I hope it is good though. Italians sure are proud of their pig products. And I guess one has to respect that. Congrats on a well-tempered race (and a great time!)

  3. There's a local race here where I usually get a prize of 6-12 (depending on place) ears of sweet corn, but I've never won meat. I'll have to check to see if the Hormel plant in Austin has a SPAM run.

    Prosciutto vs. SPAM. Societies in a nutshell. One has thousands of years of careful cultivation and cure perfecting, the other a way to preserve by-products in metal for a decade.

  4. Yeah yeah, Canadiens vs Flyers it is. Canadiens' goalman Halak is from Slovakia:) That's just a side note.