Week Roundup

March 22, 2008

Last sunday, our group met to go run the trails at Elachee Nature center. This is a nice 5-6 mile loop that we all enjoy. Everyone wanted to go different distances-two people wanted 1, three wanted two, and one idiot wanted to do three. (Yes, you can guess who the idiot was without much difficulty.) No problem, we’ll each do our own thing and meet in-between and as we pass each other.

The trails were quite beat up from the major storm the day before, but everything is manageable. Just a few extra trees to jump over. I saw the lead group once at my mile 2, their mile 3.5 as we were headed in opposite directions. Then I saw them again as they started lap 2 and I was finishing lap one. So far, all is well. A quick stop at the car to hydrate and say hi to the two people doing just one lap. They offered some water, but I had some in my car. That’s cool.

Half way through lap 2 I scared the bejezzus out of an old lady who was walking (and looking behind her for some reason when I came around the corner). I stopped and chatted for a few minutes. Then I continue on. When I finished lap 2, everyone else had packed up and left so I hydrated again and decided what to do. As I was standing next to my car, I noticed they left me a baggie of trailmix and a bottle of water. Real nice, you may think. But the water was one of these little 4 oz bottles. Like that’s going to do any good! That’s just teasing me…

I headed out and did another 1/2 lap (about 4 miles) instead of a full and finished feeling strong. As I left the parking lot, I made a quick call to one of the group to “thank” them for the water. (and to make sure I didn’t need to wait for anyone else who needed a ride.) I ran into the old lady again who couldn’t believe I was still going. Again, we chatted for a few minutes…a while later, when I was on my last mile, I ran into her again but didn’t stop to chat since I was on a beautiful downhill and enjoying it.

Thursday I managed to hit some speedwork on the treadmill during lunch. It was a very busy week, so didn’t take much time for lunch on Monday-Wednesday. Oh well, the rest days were good, and I did get a bowling lesson in on Monday evening and the bowling league Tuesday night. (For the record, I bowled my high series of the season! My average is slowing getting larger. Another few weeks and it will almost seem like I know what I’m doing.)

Saturday, we met for the RunnersFit group run. A couple of of the guys mentioned the water they left me, and how they were disappointed that they didn’t get mentioned as jackasses on the blog. So folks, the first couple paragraphs above are for you, Jackass!

We ran the Braselton 8K course. I pushed myself a bit and managed to keep the group in sight for more than the first half. In finishing, I beat my previous time on the course by a minute and a half! WooHoo. A shoutout also goes out to Jenny, who ran the full course for the first time and came in a couple minutes behind me. (As she later mentions, she was madly trying to keep me in site so she wouldn’t get lost…and I didn’t even know, which is good since I would have slowed down.)

I also remembered to pick up the Thrill in the Hills 1/2 marathon pictures from Ryan (taken by the other Ryan). I’ve posted some of my favorites over here. Thanks Ryan for taking them.


Spirit of the Marathon

February 22, 2008

Last night, some or our jolly gang ventured to the movies to see the encore presentation of The Spirit Of The Marathon.
Back in January when this movie was shown as a one time presentation, it got great reviews and was sold out across the country, so naturally, they did an encore presentation. It’s a look at 6 people getting ready to run the Chicago marathon, from first timer’s to world class elite runners.

Ah, where to start…To get in the right frame of mind, three of us met for pizza and beer. I know all my friends from Seattle will never speak to me again, but we drank Bud Light. I can’t even remember if it had any flavor, but at $5 a pitcher, I guess the price was right. On a side note, one thing that makes me laugh every time I go out I ask what’s on tap. The response I get is always some mass produced beer spoken of reverently, like it’s the best in the world. I’m sorry, but 95% of the time, it the choices just don’t make the grade and I end up getting a diet Coke. Anyway, we hung out for an hour talking about running and other stuff. Roman had just run the Myrtle Beach marathon the weekend before, so we spoke of that. If it fits into the calendar next year, I think I’ll have to do it. (I’ll let him post is race report to give the reasons why.)

After rushing over to the theater, we met up with the other 2 members of our group and proceeded to the theater. A couple girls were handing out some Team In Training brochures. Cool, but some coupons for Active.com or something would have been great, since we walked into an Active commercial playing. Our noble leader led us to the nose bleed seats and we settled in. The theater wasn’t more than 1/2 full and no one else was too close to us.

The movie itself was good. Better than other marathon documentaries that I’ve seen and a full gambit of emotions came through. I’ve seen other reviews where people got choked up during certain scenes, but I never did. But that could be because we were having too much fun with our own running commentary. Sitting with a group of runners, we’ve all been through everything they’ve shown, so we felt free to inject appropriate comments as needed.

The race coverage was good, including some great shots of the start.

After the credits, they showed some extras (that I suppose will be on the DVD). Most of the people had left, so we had the place mostly to ourself. Without ruining anything, we now know Deena Kastor’s secret ingredient for avocado enchiladas. (Deena, just to let you you, it’s not a secret anymore. Sorry.)

The “rock throwing” deleted scene was great, possibly one of the best parts of the movie in my opinion.

Overall, I’d say to go see this movie in a theater where you have a mass of people around you to get into the mood. Or if you rent it, be sure to invite your friends over to watch it so you can talk and enjoy it together.

Group run in the wood

January 18, 2008

This morning the Runners Fit group headed off to Elachee/Chicopee Woods for a group run in the woods. 13 of us braved the cold (31 degrees) for this grand adventure.

After the caravan over there, I headed in one direction with my camera while everyone else ran the other way. (I know there is a joke in there somewhere!) The plan was for me to meet them at the suspension bridge for pictures, and I wanted to go the slightly shorter route to make sure I beat them. I barely did, by about 3 minutes.
Having barely time to set up, I started snapping away. Once everyone made it over, we paused for a group picture. Given that this meant people had to stop for about 5 minutes while everyone gathered, it went okay. After this, everyone quickly took off for the back 3 miles. I hung back with Mark to take the short route back.

GroupRun_20080105_0094About halfway back, I split up with Mark to wait for everyone on a straight downhill section I
noticed on the way up. Seemed like the perfect spot to pick up some more pictures. After going up and down it a couple times to stay warm get some exercise, I heard the leaders coming back and barely got turned around in time to meet them. Another 5 minutes of great shots later and everyone was done.

I packed up and headed back, last in line as usual.

I managed just under 4 miles, and about 175 shots. Highlights can be seen here.