Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Arch Nemisis

With the season debut of my favorite TV show, The Big Bang Theory, coming up Thursday night (8pm CBS), I thought I'd take a little spin off of the show and apply it to my 10k on Sunday.

Hey, it sure beats me complaining about my pre-race hypochondria and lack of sleep.

Back in season 2 (I can't believe season 4 is starting and it's lasted this long), Sheldon--the brainy Physics PhD grad student--enters into some card playing-type game tournament. The opposing team in the final includes Will Wheaton (of Star Trek fame, not sure which "generation" --never really got into that sci fi tv genre).

Anyway, Sheldon the know-it-all has the game won. He then tells Wheaton why he has had this decade-long built up angst toward him (didn't show up at some Star Trek convention when Sheldon attended one back in his youth). Wheaton goes on to say that the reason he wasn't there was because his grandmother was sick. Sheldon feels bad that he held this resentment all these years when there was a legitmate excuse.....or so he thought. Sheldon relents and lets Wheaton's team win. As he's placing the winning card, Wheaton tells Sheldon he made up the whole story and his grandma's fine. You can relive that on Youtube I think here. (Couldn't embed the video due to copyright issues)

Then, near the end of season 3 last spring, Wheaton returns as the arch nemesis during a bowling competition.
More laughs I think you can see here. Wheaton says to Sheldon (pointing to Sheldon's forehead), "I'm living rent-free up there." since he was clearly in Sheldon's head. Wheaton also says, "It's on," to which Sheldon replies under his breath as Wheaton walks away, "Oh you're wrong, it was never off."

Throughout both episodes, Sheldon will growl out with teeth clenched, "Willlllll Wea-tonnnnnn."

So reliving this teeth-clenching scowling of hated people's names made me think about how, in racing, just about everybody has come across a similar "arch nemesis." You know the person I'm talking about--they always finish right around you, usually beating you. Things always seem to come so effortless to them while you feel like your laying it all out there and still coming up short.

Well, I've discovered my arch nemesis over the past year. Let me give you the data on a person I'll just call "Racer X" to conceal the identity (not that he probably even knows who I am):

1/10/10 Frigid Five Miler: Racer X 5th place……me 6th, 13 seconds behind.

3/10/10 Martha’s Run 10k: Racer X 4th……me 5th, 13 seconds behind (isn't that crazy being the same time?).

4/25/10 Burgh’s Pizza & Wings 10k: me 5th……Racer X 6th, 32 seconds behind…but the disclaimer is that he also ran the 5k there about 30 minutes previously before the 10k and I was “fresh.”

Also, he ran the Philly Marathon last year. His 10k split – 38:29. Mine 39:02. Before I fell apart around mile 20, my half was 1:23:11. Racer X’s half was- 1:24:07. Needless to say after my hamstring siezures, he finished ahead of me that day, too.

So, my goal on Sunday is to finish ahead of Racer X. I'll try to spot him early, key off of his pace, and try to outkick him at the end. Who knows if he's even doing the race, but since he usually does like 2 races a weekend (included 3 or 4 marathons a year), I'm guessing he'll be there. AND I'LL BE WAITING FOR YOU, RACER X!!!

Actually, it's more amusing than anything, but just funny how I've been around him in recent races. My actual goals are to try to get under 6:00 pace (how far under, who knows?) and have fun watching our contingent of 10 or so teachers/family members from my school all shooting for PR's.

In other news, with their win on Tuesday night, the Pirates won 4 in a row for the first time since August of 2009. Ouch. Hopefully next year will be a little better with the core in place.

The xc teams had a good invitational up at Slippery Rock last weekend (albeit with a smaller field).

This weekend, we're heading out to Carlisle for an overnight trip to an invitational and a chance to see some teams from central and eastern PA.

Pictures and updates from the Carlisle/Great Race weekend to come...


Beth said...

Racer X must go down!!! :) I can feel it - it's coming soon....

Steve said...

You should introduce yourself to racer X. He'd probably get a kick out of the story.

Like Beth said you will get him one of these times.

Sounds like it is going to be a hard one this weekend, hopefully this will be the time.

Wendy said...

Great job at the race, Oscar. (I just realized that Racer X isn't in your age group:)