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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Up Your Game

I’ll be the first one to tell you, I am not fast compared to seasoned endurance runners.  However, for a guy who wasn’t running at all nine months ago and has no official background in the sport, I’m pretty proud of where I am time and distance wise.  My main focus has been covering the distance.  Speed work is slowly becoming a more regular part of the routine.

On Saturday I ran a five mile race.  The field was about 70 people.  I came in smack dab in the middle.  I almost pulled a “no show” when I realized how small the field was and that most of the runners were pretty seasoned and serious.  I rarely back down though, but this is so new to me I’ll admit, I was a bit fearful of ending up dead last behind some seven minute mile grandma. 

I put it aside.   Who cares?  I’m glad I let “who cares, just do it me” win out over, “dude, this could look bad” me.  I ran a strong race, my first and last miles being about a minute off of my normal pace.  While it was humbling to not be able to get lost in the crowd, it was cool to be in  small field with some elite area runners.  While I knew I wouldn’t break records or come in up front, I decided to push myself hard in this race.  The course tested my limits.  This was no five mile jog as it was complete with long, sustained climbs and rolling hills.  I survived. 

On Sunday I went out on the canal towpath and kicked it for a strong but relaxed 8 miles.  My weekend performance made me proud.  Can’t wait to get out there again with rookies and veterans alike!

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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Crass Greetings versus Happy Greetings

As the mild winter we enjoyed has transitioned into an early, summer like, spring, and the hour change has shifted daylight to the evenings, I have made an observation:

While running in the winter, oftentimes in the dark, people were far less likely to responed to my greetings.  I make it a point to say “hello” to everyone I pass on the road and to wave to every passing car.

My reasons are simple:  1)  It is the nice thing to do.  2)  I could collapse with injury at any second and one of these people might come back this way….being friendly makes sense. 

In the winter, most folks would just ignore my “hellos”.  I would get a grunt in return at best.  When folks are silent after I greet them, deep down inside I want to say, “HELLO!  DID YOU NOT FREAKING HEAR ME?  AM I INVISIBLE?  ACKNOWLEDGE ME ASSHOLE!” followed by grabbing them by the ears and using my knee as a meat tenderizer for their face.  Seriously, it pisses me off in case you couldn’t tell. 

Then all of a sudden it got nice out and people became far nicer.  “Hello’s” were returned with “Gorgeous out isn’t it?” and “Great day to be outside.”  Pointless banter really, but acknowledging existence never hurts.  Naturally, the economist and business man in me cannot just accept what he sees on the surface, he must tie things together and dig deeper for causation.  I think I figured it out.

1)  People who are outside walking the roads or streets in winter in the dark generally HAVE TO.  They’re using their feet as transportation to and from a crappy job.  Only the crazy and somewhat upwardly mobile are out there by choice!  The sane and upwardly mobile are home watching cable and playing Xbox.

2) When the weather is nice and the evenings are light, all of the gainfully employed people are suddenly out and about.  ITS LEISURE!  Of course they’re more friendly! (they have a car!)

Just thought I’d share that analysis with you.  I hope to put a good four or five miles on the sneakers tonight.  Get out and do something, you’ll feel better!

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

If you’re on www.dailymile.com you can find me……..

HERE….I think…… http://www.dailymile.com/people/Hank323#ref=tophd

I’m not looking to friend whore, but I’ll add anyone that wants to be in the network. Its a cool motivational tool and it never hurts to network in your favorite niches.

Got a great five miles in tonight with a long, laborious, steep mountain road thrown in for good measure! The weather is great, its light out after work, and I can SMELL SPRING!

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Toughest Three Miles since…..well…the first three

On Saturday afternoon I took off for Burkitsville (yes, Blair Witch Burkitsville) for a short three mile run.  I decided I would run on the Appalachian Trail and would knock it out quickly and easily.  Well, I forgot how rocky this stretch of trail is and I forgot how steep it is and I forgot how wet and windy it has been and how many downed trees there are this time of year.

The first quarter mile was an uphill hurdling contest.  I spent more time hopping over downed trees than I did in running stride.  I reached the crest and turned around.  I hopped on another stretch of trail that was much cleaner and slightly less rocky.  At the halfway point I had to stop and catch my breath, something I have not done in so long I can’t remember when the last time was.  Needless to say I was frustrated at how this mountain trail was kicking my butt.

Then it happened, I looked up into the canopy and saw woodpeckers, jays, songbirds of all sorts busy flying around doing whatever birds do.  I didn’t hear a car or see a person, just nature.  A couple of wild turkeys then crossed the trail in front of me.  My frustration lifted and I was reminded of how lucky I am to live where I do and how thankul I am for moments like this.  I managed to finish my run strong and refreshed.

While the trail may have kicked my butt on a run that should be easy for me, I am glad I chose the path I did. 

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Can We Just Spring Forward Already?

The thing that I absolutely, positively hate most about winter is the short days.  Cold weather is manageable, you either put more clothes on, or you don’t go outside.  The short days are the worst though.  I dread my first drive home in the dark every fall and then the early evening darkness hangs around until March.  Projects can’t be started outside.  I begin to forget what my house and yard look like.  This year, since it never got really cold, but we still had lots of precipitation, made for a muddy, dreary, DARK too early everyday, MESS.  I’m glad the clocks are springing forward in less than a week.  I’ll be able to come home and get things done in the daylight and still have time to run before the sun sets. 

I can almost taste the vegetables out of the garden. I can almost smell the mowed grass.  I can almost feel the sun on my neck.  Yes, I know even late March and even April and May can be cold, dreary, bitches, but just having some daylight in the evening will be a much anticipated change.

Here’s to SPRINGING FORWARD!

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tim Kennard Ten Miler: Success!

My Almost Wife and I ran the Tim Kennard Ten Miler and 5K (Almost Wife ran her FIRST 5k and this was my first ten mile race) this Sunday down in Salisbury, MD.  We rolled in Saturday night about 15 minutes before packet pickup ended which was a big relief because I hate getting all of that stuff figured out on race morning.  We also took part in an EXCELLENT pasta dinner catered by Salisbury University.  What a NICE campus they have there. 

Sunday morning was cool, breezy, and it rained for about three seconds as the crowd was walking to the starting line.  I ran the first 1.75 miles with my other half before the 5k and the 10 miler split.  I wanted Jenn to have some support early on and to get a feel for a good rookie pace.  We had a nice humbling experience as the super dooper fast racers crossed a street in front of us, nearly a MILE ahead only 12 minutes into the race.  These folks blow my mind.  I ran a documented six minute mile on a track when I was 14.  The thought of someone running three five minute miles is crazy….but then we read the race results.

My Almost Wife finished her race despite needing a short breather walk or two.  She is totally new to this and barely trained due to some ankle issues, but I was really proud of her.  The best part is she already wants to sign up for the next one. 

I ran a safe pace.  My goal was to finish without stopping, and I did that.  While I was probably at the back of the pack, I feel like I’m laying a strong foundation to improve over the coming years.  My splits were negative, the last two being faster than the previous 8 miles by about two minutes.  The fact that I had that much in the tank at the end tells me I have room to improve and that I need to find a stronger pace earlier.  Overall, the race was a positive experience and a milestone for me as I build toward my first half marathon in early May.

The Tim Kennard Ten Mile River Run in Salisbury was a great event.  The volunteers were wonderful and there were folks cheering around every turn it seemed. 

Before I ran Sunday, my plan was to take this coming week off from running.  One problem:  I’m itching to train already!

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized