Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Sunday run

So I did something that I was very proud to do, but it was something that I would much rather not do. Sunday I ran in the Steve Hancock Memorial Run/Relay. Steve Hancock, for those who do not know, was a runner, a good friend, a Mohegan Strider and Marine Corp Vietnam Veteran. A group of Steve's friends set this up to remember Steve's passion for running and for living. It is an informal run in the sense that there is no sign up, no one keeping time, everyone supporting everyone else. There are seven legs, 6 being running legs and 1 being a walking leg. We carry the American Flag, the Marine Corps Flag and the MIA Flag. I planned on running the whole thing, as I do every year. Although I would much rather do my long runs on the trails, I do this road run to honor Steve's memory. A group of 7 runners started from the Colchester Green at 9 am in a steady rain and cool temps. Running through the town of Colchester (and beyond) elicted a steady sound of horns echoing in support of our little Memorial show. Once we got out of town, it was not as steady, but it was nice every so often. Within an hour the rain had stopped and the sun was steadily making its way from beyond the clouds. While my goal was to run the entire way, my pace was slower then the other runners. So after some contemplation on my part while in the 5th leg and realizing that the day had warmed up quite consideredly, when I reached the change over for the 6th leg about 10 minutes behind the group I took a break. I told John that it would be better for me to catch a ride to the start of the last leg and run in with them then to slow everyone down by trying to continue. I got a break, cooled down, re-hydrated a bit and was ready to go. The last leg was mostly uphill and while it was a struggle at the end, it was also very satisfying to complete most of the course. I have to remember to reorder some S-caps. Ran out and really could have used them during the run.

Monday, May 18, 2009

So I took most of this past week off from running, allowing my legs to hopefully rest. Of course, I biked to work everyday, including Saturday, so I am not sure how rested they were Sunday when I ran the Trails for a Cure race in Cockaponset State. Eight miles in the woods, through mud and water, over rocks and roots. Aaah, nirvana! Once I finished, I turned around and ran back onto the trail, this time running it backwards. Again, a good run, although I really had to pay attention as the race course was marked with orange paper plates in one direction. But no worries, I still had a good time. Getting out in the woods allows my mind to wander while also making my mind pay attention, heed the signals that the trail sends to my eyes. Running on the roads, my mind also wanders but there is also less to heed from the roads, although the cars can be dangerous. I, like many trail runners, feel a whole lotta free on the trails. As I ramp up the time on the trails, the better I will feel going longer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So here I am, four days from running the Green Trail 50K on Long Island and I am still not sure how I am feeling about doing a longer run this coming June. The run was pretty good; the trails were a surprise, at least for me and there was some good mud. Who knew that Long Island had trails. The day started with some rain before the race that primed the trail with some muddy spots. The temp was slightly warmer than what I have been comfortable with. While the run itself was pretty good, the thought that I had around the 27 mile mark was "In every ultra race that I have done, the taste of whatever I eat seems to be increased markedly". I said this to one of the awesome volunteers who was manning the aid station that I was ate. It seems like my taste buds get super charged after running for distance. I really enjoy the taste of what I eat (so far). Of course, I also consider how lucky I am that I seem to be able to eat whatever I want while I run. Other people are not so lucky. So now I need to do some thinking about the June race. I also need to convince my wife to let me do it if that is what I decide. Here's to decisions.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

First time

This is a new experience for me. I have written articles for a running club's newsletter, but nothing like this. I went for a run this morning on a local trail with a friend, John, who has decided to give an ultrarun a try. I wanted to get in some time on the trail before next weekend just to have my trail legs when I get to the race, although the course for the race sounds like a walk in the park compared to the local trail. One of my biggest peeves is the fact that people treat the outdoors as their own trashcan, no matter where they may be. When I race on the trails, I take extra time to pick up other runners gu packs (they should know better) for disposal when I finish. So this morning while running out and back, I saw a piece that had broken off of a motorcycle laying on the trail. Of course, the owner of the motorcycle obviously could not be bothered to take care of it himself. I saw it on the way out and remembered it when we were heading back to the vehicles. Why go on about this? I am not sure why it bothers me so much. I take my dog for a walk, taking extra bags with me. A walk that normally would take 20 minutes takes me an extra hour because I am picking up the trash along the road! It drives me crazy that people 1) throw things out of their cars and 2) cannot pick up the garbage that accumulates in front of their homes. Do they not care what their own property looks like? Obviously not.