Friday, November 23, 2012

A Day of Thanksgiving!

Yesterday morning I awoke with great excitement in anticipation of my first race in some time. After downing 2 Gatorades and heading to the gathering area in Ft Worth, I discovered that evidently almost 15000 others had the same idea which made parking quite difficult. It was not long before the announcer stated that the 10K would be starting in 5 minutes. And then the 2 Gatorades made their presence known in my bladder. I asked a race official if he could give me the location of the nearest portable facilities and after getting directions from this fine gentleman, I rushed to the facilities only to find out that I could complete the actual 10K and still not have made it through the long lines to the facilities. At this time, the announcer declared that the 10K would be starting in 2 minutes so I rushed back to the starting line and after a few side-straddle hops and cartwheels, the race began.
My racing strategy was quite simple. I planned to start slow and the gradually go slower. When I reached the 5th mile, my plan was to catch everybody that was within my vision to the front by sprinting to the finish line. I felt that since I ran 6 miles on Monday evening in 1:08:35, I was going to aim for a finishing time of about the same for the 6.1 mile race. I decided to play it safe with my ETA since I had never run this course before and only had one rough map to gauge elevation.
Surprisingly, I kept to my strategy quite well during the first 5 miles and I found that the time I spent studying the course with the rough map I did have proved quite helpful. At no time did I not know where I was on the course and how far was left to negotiate. The hills that were on the course were quite tame in relation to the trail hills I have faced and thus I was able to power up the hills with some ease. It was amusing to hear people curse when they arrived at the hills and then watch them slow down to a walk. It brought me great pleasure to pass these unprepared enthusiasts.
Before I knew it, Mile 5 had arrived and I was ready to begin racing. I gradually increased my speed and began roping people in. It appeared I inspired a few runners in my area because a few of them attempted to start their kicks with me. One female wearing a White Rock Marathon shirt seemed to be especially keen on staying with me for the last 1/4 mile. But when I saw the finish line ahead and the PA speakers blaring SRV, I smirked and took off even faster leaving her behind to enjoy the view of my posterior. My finishing time was 1:06:06. but strangely my phone read a distance of 6.3 miles. If that is accurate, I actually ran faster at the race than I expected to!
As I crossed the finish line, I headed straight to the facilities and found no lines. I do not know which felt better: finishing the race or relieving myself in the facilities. After this task was complete, I began to look for my work friends who were on the 5K course. I reversed the course and was able to walk in to the finish line with them thus completing this race day chasing a very fast 5 year old grandson of a coworker across the finish line. He crossed the line and yelled "I won!". Yes you did!
After a few more cartwheels and side straddle hops, I headed home to begin my feasting and to give thanks openly for my great speed!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A 6 Mile Excursion Along the River

 I would like to open this rendition by congratulating the strapping Flugelhorn players in Amarillo for their victorious match against Lubbock High School last week. Their Winged T formation was a beautiful combination of artistry and substance!
 Last night, after achieving limited hours of sleep and no runs on the weekend past due to a staph infection obtained by my offspring, I ventured to the Trinity River for a 6 mile run. My objective was to ensure my body was at least slightly prepared for the 6.2 mileTurkey Trot on Thursday morning. I decided that a slow pace would better serve me since this run was basically a test to find out at which mile I would be needing medical attention. It would appear that this will be at miles 2 thru 6.
 I am pleased with my decision not to run for time. My run was interrupted frequently by work issues and families of 10 that felt it proper to not move aside for sparsely clothed runners as myself. I finished in 1 hour : 8 minutes : 35 seconds with an average pace of 11:25 per mile. Also, I chose not to kick at the end of the run which will almost certainly not be the case if I am still verticle at mile 5. Unfortunately, this may not be the case since my initial course preview says that the Turkey Trot contains quite a few hills. However, my strategy is developed and it is sound. I feel the best way to enjoy the race is to visit each individual person who I see on the race course and thank them for their support. And if they have a house nearby, I will ask them if they would be so kind to let me borrow their facilities and / or couch / bed / undergarment drawer.
  No intentional runs are scheduled until the Turkey Trot. I hope to blog immediately upon the conclusion of the run if the medics will allow me to do so.  Until then, I wish all great happiness and bliss!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Tale Insanity....

Since last night's run was not accomplished, and slightly inspired by my completed registration in the Ft Worth Turkey Trot that takes place on the Day of Thanksgiving, I decided to challenge myself this very eve. After work I immediately dispatched to the Trinity River Trail and embarked on a 3 mile run. After the run was complete, my plan was to go without delay to the last Flugelhorn practice of the year. Then after Flugelhornery was complete, I would embark on a 2 mile excursion to place my daily run total at 5 miles.
As I neared the practice, I discovered that neither my son nor my brother were at the practice. Thinking the easy task to perform would be to go home and focus on nutrient acquisition, I decided that a trip to the local track for a 2 mile run would be the least intelligent endeavor to complete. So obviously I went to the track.
My legs were not happy with my decision so Run # 2 was not off to a fun beginning. I decided that after 4 laps I would re-evaluate my condition and then see if a continuation was feasible. The first mile went extremely slow, but I found the pain ironically pleasurable and I as I hit the 1 mile mark, I continued running. At this point, stopping before another mile was complete would seem foolish. Thus I continued running and quite honestly, when I completed mile # 2, I felt I could have perhaps run at least another 10 yards to 1 mile. While my pace for the second run was not anything to boast about, I felt pleased that I put myself in a challenging situation and did not collapse in the process.
This night validated my reasons for running. I was able to place myself, voluntarily, in a position above my current fitness level and enjoyed the opportunity to feel some decent pain in the process. I can summarize my reasons for running by saying I run to hurt.
Tomorrow I am playing with minstrels in Frisco so no running excursions are planned. Additionally, I would like to congratulate the Wing T Formation Sandstorm in Amarillo for their competition victory tonight. From the sound of the score, their victory came with great ease. This concept of ease is something that my running is not very familiar with.
This weekend I plan to run 1 long run (by my standards) of 7.5 miles. Then a maybe a 3 mile run on Tuesday to keep me loose for my 6.1 race on Thursday morn.
I wish all a good night and I wish the good and just people of Frisco good luck with my playing tomorrow night. I hope they are patient and understanding with my musical talents!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A River Revisited!

Since an All-Star Flugelhorney practice was scheduled at 6:30pm last night, I decided that the best chance I had to get a decent run in was to head back to the haunting Trinity River and run 3 miles. My plan worked almost to perfection and I arrived at the park @ 5:15pm. My objective was to get my run completed in 30 mimutes and then head straight to coach the young flugelhorn enthusuiasts. To my great surprise, I finished the run in 29 minutes and 33 seconds and off to Flugelhornery I went.
 Tonight there is no practice so I am going to attempt 5 miles despite my soreness from the 2 days hence. Perhaps some type of ointment rubdown will be of benefit. I can proclaim for sure that this run will be slower than my previous 5 mile run. But miles in the bank will surely facilitate a stronger finish at the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morn.
 At this time, I would like to wish the Amarillo High Sandstorm good fortune in their playoff match against the Lubbock High Westerners tomorrow evening. The Traditional Wing T Formation of marching that is used by Amarillo should surely find them great success against the Westerners. I wish I could attend the event in person, but I will be playing with the minstrels this weekend so my moderately untalented services will be needed in the burg of Frisco. I feel with great confidence that the Amarillo instructors will have their flugelhorners fully prepared and that their choice to wear exotic thongery will inspire their students to an exciting victory! And to show my support I will also wear exotic thongery for my endeavors this weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Run on the River....

With a raging fever and frequent Frugelhornery limiting my runs last week, I ventured to a park near my office of employment after work to embark on a 5 mile adventure along the Trinity River Trail. The trail was sparsely populated and I felt as if it was just me and the river (and whatever was floating in it of unbeknownst origins).
My pace was fairly quick for me and I decided that I will see if finishing in 50 minutes was feasible. At 2.5 miles, I turned around and headed back to the starting point. At mile 4, my timepiece stated that I had been running for 41 minutes. A 9 minute mile on my last mile would indeed be a challenge for my lacking fitness, but I gamely kept moving as fast as I could manage in hopes that my efforts would seize the day!
As I approached my vehicle at the conclusion, I looked at my timepiece and it stated 51 minutes & 4 seconds. And more disappointedly, it stated 4.95 miles. My logic and meager calculation skills dictate that if Point A to B is 2.5 miles, the reciprocal should also be 2.5 miles. Evidently my calculations skills are indeed lacking. After cursing loudly, I got inside my vehicle and contemplated the whereabouts of the missing .05 miles. The only workable conclusions that I could surmise were the following:
1. The curvature of the earth and it's rotation spinning towards me caused the finish line to move up .05 miles
2. I entered a Distance Wormhole
3. A combination of the 2
Either way, I will not tarry too long with such complex physics calculations. If had such skills in my possession, I would surely not be writing this blog but instead be traveling through time with a trusty band of Ninja Monkeys.
Tonight's plan is to run an easy 3 mile jaunt again along the Trinity. And perhaps tonight my distance will not be shortened by enviromenta phenomena!
I have attached a few photos the Ft. Worth skyline on last night's run. Besides the floating carcasses in the river, the Nutria trying to splash me and the sounds of coyotes, it is quite fun to run this trail and watch the traffic congestion on I-30 & I-35 and observe the road rage from a safe distance.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Plan is Devised....

 With it being Election Day and Frugelhorn Practice Day yesterday, I prioritized my evening plans and journeyed to my voting site dressed as George Washingtonfirst after my workly duties were complete. To make my vote count even less, I decided to run to the polling site in honor of our great forefathers who voted before cars and hove-arounds were invented.
 It was indeed going to be a long journey to the site so I took off running attire at a steady pace cursing at the stability of my wig (or Whig). After a few paces were completed, I heard my name called out and turned around to see my patriotic son coming after me. He asked my permission to accompany me to vote even though he is not yet eligible to vote for he is 6 months too young. But his enthusiasm for witnessing the democratic process (and additionally his desire for probable extra credit for his AP US Government class) inspired me to run at a brisk pace with him trailing behind me. After our 200 yard journey to the polling site was finished, I rushed in to vote and we returned to the domicile feeling patriotic and rushed about to get to Frugelhorn practice. The young men were quite confused by my George Washington attire and asked why I was dressed as that dude on the money. I replied that for $1 I would give them an answer. Much to my surprise, my coin purse was not any heavier at the conclusion of practice.
 After practice was complete, I referenced my new running plan and was happy to see that I was scheduled for a 3 mile run. I completed that quite easily in an embarassingly slow 29 minutes and 3 seconds. From the lack of traffic, it appeared that most citizens were carefully monitoring the election results and were at home working on their excuses for not being able to vote.
 I would like to share my racing (the term "race" hardly feels apropriate considering my inadequate skills) plans for the next few months so that you, my loyal reader, will be able to share my future defeats with me. Here is a list of my future races so that you may mark your calendars enthusiatically with your quills:
 November 22nd - Ft Worth Turkey Trot 10K (dressed as pilgrim or Native American - gender       undecided)
 February 16th - Cross Timbers Trail Race @ Lake Texoma Half Marathon (dressed as cupid)
 February 23rd - Cowtown 5K in Ft Worth (attire undecided- suggestions welcome)
 March 23rd - Grasslands Trail Race in Decatur TX - despite my earlier threats, I feel it will be more entertaining to run the marathon at this race and save my first ultra race for the summer when it is warmer and potentially more fatal.
 I hope all are doing well and that this post-election day finds you in great spirits!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Weekend Trail Run Accomplished!

With an afternoon of the work phone looming in front of me, I felt it only appropriate to head to Cedar Hill State Park armed with a pens and work papers stuffed in my Fanny Pack of Fun with 2 water bottles for hydration purposes ready to handle any obstacle that appeared before me. The weather was outstanding with the temperature a sunny 74 degrees and plenty of daylight left to attempt the 7.5 mile Blue Loop .
I considered staying on the short loop and doing laps, but I was harboring a desire to get out a little bit to avoid the crowds that generally stay on the short loop. My plan was a success and I was only interrupted by workage calls during the first mile. I was pleased that the appropriate materials was stuffed in my Fanny Pack of Fun and handled these issues with surprising efficiency.
The trail was at times densely populated but my manuevering skills made their impact on my run minimal except for the large group of Asians who were predominantly pushing their bikes and made me feel like I was watching a parade pass by. At least they apologized for their slowness and I was able to continue my jaunt through the park with great enthusiasm.
Today I was able to total 7.5 miles and feel pleased that I had some energy left at the end of the run despite this being the beginning of my resurgence into the world of running. This week will surely be a challenge to get quality miles in, but I have contingency plans in place. I look forward to putting them in place to continue my quest for a last place finish in March.
Now it is time to prepare to watch the Dallas Cowboys Football Club continue their dreadful display of football!