Hail my running brothers and sisters! It is 2 days to the 2009 Rudolph Red-Nose Run 5K, and I'm feeling somewhat nostalgic. The 2008 Rudolph Red-Nose Run 5K was the first race that set me on this road of fitness, running, and awesomeness. Last year, I hoped to finish at just under 10:00/mile, and I ended up running 9:27/mile. This year, I hope to do better. Much better. So much better that my awesomeness will be forever cemented in the annals of Christmas racing! Realistically though the best that I can hope for is about 2:00/mile off of last year's time. Now a lot of you are saying, what asshat doesn't think that 2:00/mile improvement isn't good. Don't get me wrong, a 7:27/mile in one year's time is pretty damn good. But sadly for me, I live in my head, where unrealistic expectations are par for course. For example, at the beginning of the race last year, I actually believed that I might actually be able to keep my secretary in sight and pace her to the end. Not beat her, but at least keep up with her. Less than a tenth of a mile into the race, the cold rush of truth slapped me harder than the wind coming down the Woodland Street bridge, and before I knew it, she was gone. This year, my near-constant state of delusion has me believing that I should easily finish this race with 6:30/miles. Like I said, de-lu-sion-al! But why not? After all, hasn't my (super-patient and tolerant) wife allowed me to purchase every gizmo, gadget and piece of tech clothing and gear that should catapult me up to elite status? Why would I buy all that stuff if they didn't make me Flash-fast? And don't tell me, it's because I'm a sucker. Clearly I am, but I KNOW this stuff makes me faster. All those commercial advertisements can't be wrong. So come 6:30 PM on Friday evening, I will be lining at the front of the race, wearing my stabilizing tights, thermal compression shirt, GPS, and lightweight, neutral Nike TriD III's ready to whoop some Rudolph 5K ass! If you come out, looking for me, I'll be the guy at the finish line smacked with the cold, hard slap of reality (I call her Sweetie) with my 7:30/mile time. Run hard and have fun, kids!