Friday, September 08, 2006

Familiar (Again)

We find ourselves in a familiar circumstance. It's 12:13 Am. Earlier than usual actually, but still very late. I took a nap today, so I ought to be able to pump this post out. I do want to write it, so I'm going to. I know that tomorrow is going to suffer a little bit because of it, but that's a choice that I'm willing to make right now.

I'll type fast.

First off, the Alliance is progressing still. I'm still excited about it. I'm still happy to work on it. I swear this is the first project in the past long long time that's really worked. This, along with frisbee, is going to make this year a big success I'm thinking. Today we worked a little more with the intro paragraphs. No graphical stuff today. Hopefully I'll be able to reveal some graphical stuff tomorrow, it'll be cool.

It's hard to say how cool this is really getting. I'm sitting there at school, and I'm excited to go home and work on it. We're getting there. We have set next friday as our official grand opening day. We know that we were supposed to reveal it tomorrow, but that's just not going to happen. You'll get a teaser. Trust us though, we've got some good stuff coming for you guys. It's going to be like nothing you've seen out of us before.

We had a meet yesterday. It's very interesting to note how many posts I have written the day before meets, as compared to the posts that I write the days of meets. I rarely write after a meet. I always talk about how pumped I am, how I'm gonna go run my heart out. But it's seldom that I actually tell you how the meet went.

Here I am. Kicking the habit.

The meet went really well, I was happy with it. It was on our home course, over at the valley regional park (the park park... the one by park library). It's not the friendliest course, but it's sorta fun I guess. About half of it is run in this barren wasteland that we all call "the desert". It's just a gravel/dirt road dealio, it's where everyone parks during Taylorsville days. So, you've got the desert, and then some grass, a little bit on the trails, some sidewalk stuff. It's pretty flat, but the terrain switches between soft to hard and all that jazz. We were running against Skyline and Jordan, probably the two best schools in the region.

It was beautiful weather. It was super super windy right before the races started, but that died down before the gun went off. The girls race was pretty good, Megan got 10th place. I forget how the others did, but it wasn't bad at all. Since I don't run in the girls' race, I'm not gonna talk about it. Take that.

Our race was pretty fun. I felt a ton better running than I have all week. The gun went off, and I tried to go out strong, but I was really thinking about pacing myself. I always jet out too hard, so I really wanted to keep it a tiny bit slower on the jump, and just keep myself steady. I think I did fairly well at it. I started the race off in good position, and just kept on trucking. Kirt lead Taylorsville out, with Noakesy pretty close behind him. I wasn't too far away from Noakes, and I had no idea what was going on behind me. The lead pack stayed pretty close together for the first half of the race, it was pretty odd. There's usually a few guys that just blow everyone else away. Granted, skyline's top guys weren't running because they're saving it for BYU this weekend, that might have been why.

But anyways, the race goes on, and the pack starts to spread out a bit. We were all holding our positions pretty well. Kirt was still 1st from Tville, Noakes second, and me third. The distance between me and Noakes kept on growing, but there wasn't much that I was willing to do about it. I just ran on, kept my head up, chest out, trying to get that stride working.

I got pretty close to Noakes about halfway through the race as we went into the second lap in the desert. As we were about to enter, two jordan kids passed us up, going at a pretty fast pace. Noakes ran with them for a bit, so he gained alot of distance on me there. I knew inside thatI'd have to go catch those kids later. I knew I was going to, and so I moved my strategy to do so. I started crawling up, mostly because I didn't approve of their actions.

See, it's always surprising to get passed halfway through the race. You don't expect it. Especially at a pace like that. I mean, I can see someone gradually coming up and slowly passing me, because their stride is stronger than mine. But this is weird, they just jet past you, it's like their on a little vendetta spring till their ahead of you, then they go back to normal. It's a little irritating, and for some reason it just doesn't sit well with me. I understand getting passed in the beginning and the end. It's just weird to get passed in the middle, because it's not my race strategy at all. I sort of see it as my duty to do them justice and pass them back come the end. It's like standing up and saying "Now now, that's not how we race. It's not smart, therefore I must beat you."

So, that was the plan. I think I passed one of the kids on the far side of the desert, and set my sights on the next guy. It was really fortunate that the girls were there to cheer me on, or I don't think I would have got him. As I ran past, they shouted out "C'mon Thatcher, you can catch this guy, you've got longer legs than he does."

I thought about that, and it was true. Not only had he gone crazy and passed me in the middle, he had short legs. It was my duty as an American to pass him. If I didn't, a little puppy would die somewhere, I just knew it. I had to do it.

And so I went for it. I started picking up my pace, crawling up on him. I was doing something that I had just learned the day before, I called it paddlefoot. It's just sorta getting in to the rythym, soft steps, but long strides. It's a new feel for me, and I really liked it. I was sneaking up on him, trying to pass. At first he offered little resistance, so I was thinking it'd be good. Usually when you go to pass someone they'll match your pace, then gradually speed up. This kid wasn't speeding up, I was closing the gap pretty well.

Then, all the sudden, he looks back, sees me, and sorta jets ahead. He gets a nice little distance on me, and goes back to normal running.

He was just racking up points against him now. First the wrong pass, then the short legs, and now this. I knew that he wasn't running smart. That's just not the best way to run. You run steady, you don't sprint/slow/sprint/slow the race, it never works. I vowed to pass him, I knew I had to.

So, I tried again. Maybe I'd wear him down. I keep up that faster pace, the paddlefoot. It's not really fast, but it's just slightly faster than my normal. I close the gap, get really close, he looks back and jumps ahead.

He did that for the next mile. The whole next mile. That's a long time to play that game, I'm not going to lie. But he kept in front of me. As we came down the little slope to the last 500 meters or so, I knew that I'd have to go take him. I started speeding up, hitting the juice and whatnot. I came and closed the gap, pushing pretty decent now. He matched my pace, but I was going too hard for him to jump ahead of me. I kept increasing my speed, testing his breaking point and my own. He didn't fall, he just kept going, right in front of me. I have no idea how he matched my pace so exactly. It didn't matter what I did, he was always just that far ahead of me.

Now, things are beginning to get desperate. I'm not the worlds greatest sprinter. I'm not even a good sprinter. I knew that if this kid had a good kick in him for the end, he'd beat me. Puppies would die, I didn't want that. I knew that he had made mistakes while running. He just wasn't doing it right, c'mon! I knew I had to beat him, I had said I would. I had longer legs. I had a cooler uniform. I had fruitsnacks in my sock.

We push it all the way down that straightaway. Still he doesn't budge. We've got that last building to round, and then it's a 150-ish meter sprint to the end. We take that last cone really tight, he's still in front of me. Up ahead, I see Noakes. He's only two places ahead of me, finishing in strong, but not with a death sprint.

I had a choice to make. I took the high road.

I had been running hard, and my body hurt. But as I turned that corner, I knew that it was now or never. I had picked it up a ton coming in to this, I was very surprised this kid was still in front of me. If I was going to beat him, I'd have to go right now.

And so I did. I did the same thing I do every time it's a genuine sprint to the finish line. I put my mind somewhere else, out at bennion elementary. I saw Brad throw that amazing throw down to the endzone, and I knew what I had to do. I had to run it down, I had to catch it. It was way over my head, cruising so hard and fast. I had to outrun the defenders. I had to outplay the forces of gravity and get underneath that disc before it hit the ground.

At that point, when you want the frisbee that bad, your body just goes for it. There are still only 5 paces when you run. There's your start pace, it's faster than your regular pace, and it's used for the first 400 meters or so to get good position. You've got your normal race pace, the hard and moving one that keeps you throughout 70% of the competition. Then you've got your passing pace, the one that you start creeping up on the bad guys with. And then there's the death pace. It's where you run as hard and fast as your body possibly can. It's the end, the top. It's what you've got.

But, there's still number 5. I call it the frisbee pace. This pace ignores your body, and is entirely devoted to catching the frisbee. You don't think, you catch the frisbee. Your body moves, and you don't know if it's faster than your death pace or not. All you know is that you're trying to get under that frisbee. Whatever else happens is secondary. You're just going.

And so that's what I did. I ran, I raced, I was a wild man.

I passed him a little bit before halfway to the finish line. He had been racing, trying to catch Noakes. He was only 5 meters or so behind Noakes when I caught them. I yelled out "Go Noakes go!" He had to push if he was going to beat him. I passed the Jordan kid, and a second later I had passed Noakes. I knew that they would both be hard on my tail, and so I never slowed down. Never stopped. I ran hard all the way in. 10th place. 2nd from Taylorsville. Noakes got 11th.

Now, I beat Noakes. That doesn't happen often. I don't know how I feel about it. I ran a few seconds faster, it's true. But he's a senior, and probably should have beaten me. He called me a sly dog. I dunno. I'm super happy to have run and done so well. But still, it's like stabbing your friend in the back. You just don't wanna do that. Oh well, I'm still very happy about it. /sly smile.

Most importantly though, justice was served. I beat the jumper. Go go go frisbee pace.

So. I make a trade now. I could write some more, but I'm going to go to bed. The 15 minutes I'm gonna sleep extra is gonna make me stronger tomorrow, so I can work on the Alliance site some more. It's coming along guys. w00tah, hopefully I'll have some cool info for you tomorrow. As for now, grood night, I'm a tired tired kid.


Courtney said...

hey thatcher, good work on CC. i'm excited for the alliance. yay for everything

Combat Kyle said...

Oh man, you are making me miss CC. It was good times...except for all the bodily fluids I liked to...dispose of. You know--the puke was the least of it for sure :D Good work though dude, I really want to come see one of your races. Once I can drive, I will for sure. For now, I'll show you support in other ways...Warcraft? :p