Thursday, September 30, 2010

Four Miles - Easy


RUDY is dressed and ready for work. He is busy making the family’s lunches in a short assembly-line fashion, i.e., bread-bread-bread, cheese-cheese-cheese, lunchmeat-lunchmeat-lunchmeat, wrap-wrap-wrap, bag-bag-bag, and so on.

D’KID is also dressed, but hardly ready for school. Her hair is a serious mess, resembling wildly grown shrubbery than a hairstyle. She sits at the kitchen table, deftly “schemer”-ing her toasted bagel with cream cheese.

D’WIFE enters, yawning. She comes up behind RUDY and hugs him.

Did you run this morning?


How far?

Westerby’s Farm. Just four miles. Easy

Good job, dad

[REPEAT Scene as necessary, sometimes replacing “Westerby’s Farm” with “Atco Ave”]


That’s been my morning routing lately: Four Miles – Easy … sounds kinda boring, huh?

On paper, it is. My training log looks like a gappy blue picket fence of perfectly level slats. Even the pacing is just about the same day after day[mostly because I round my times off significantly]

Every run however is different, just as every wave is different. There are the changes in weather, naturally; but I mean more that just that.

Some days, as I’m stretching, I’ll have in my mind that I’m going to do one route, but when I get to the decision point, I’ll change my mind and do the other [or just forget where I was going HA!] Other days, I’ll stick with my plan and, almost as a reward, I’ll see or hear something I hadn’t noticed before.

There are internal, subconscious variations as well. My mind will wander in ways I hadn’t foreseen. The internal radio station [Noggin 101FM] might play one song at mile one on Monday, and another on Wednesday; even though the playlist on the iPod as I was doing my pre-run Punk-Yoga was exactly the same.

They say that Ben Hogan wasn’t allowed to play the same golf course two days in a row, because he was so consistent that his ball would land in the divot he’d struck the day before. I’m all for consistency, but it’s not like I’ll be putting my foot down in my own shoe-prints anytime soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

2010 MS150 City to Shore - Epilogue

The first 10 miles or so were fairly shady and comfortable, but it got pretty warm down to the 2nd rest stop. Along the marsh was cooler, as there was more of a breeze. The last rest stop wasn’t at the park/field like last year, but at a school that looked pretty new, which was nice. We had a crosswind from the left on the first bridge and a headwind on the 2nd. D’Wife was pretty well bonked by the time we rolled into OC; but we finished around 3:20 – at least an hour earlier than last year.

Oh! We saw Capt. Stacey & SafetyMan at the first stop, which was SO AWESOME!!! And at the tent, of course.

We caught the 6PM Bus back to Hammonton; we were the last ones on & had to STAND the whole way. We got to our house about 7:30, showered, changed, I got the bikes put away & we picked up D’Kid. I FINALLY got my post-ride beer [Flying Dog Dogtoberfest] at about 9:30 LOL

Then I remembered something Donna asked me sometime after we'd finished and were walking the Boardwalk.

"How much beer did you drink last night [Friday]?"
"Only two," I replied "One with dinner, then another around 10; to calm down & get to sleep"
"You are SO good," she complimented, "That Greg Norman Shiraz went down too smooth"
''Smooth-LY'' I said under my breath, correcting her grammar as I am known to do.

I didn't think anything of it until I was pouring my beer. You see, she had been low on her Shiraz and I figured I'd pick up a bottle Friday night, since I didn't know where we'd be Saturday post-race or when we'd get or if we'd have time to hit Canal's on they final leg back to the house.

Turns out, she'd drunk all but a glass and a half of the bottle on Race Night.

Basically, she rode 45 miles on a hangover!!!

Yeah, it was stupid on her part, but I HAVE TO give her props for doing the ride, finishing strong and not even mentioning it ... that's Hard Core

I TOTALLY forgive whatever bitchy-ness she may have given me on the road [which was substantial, mostly stemming from camera issues, sorry to say]

All in all, it was a great ride, for a good cause and we looked AWESOME at the finish in Ocean City


Team Tania fielded 422 riders this year [down from last year’s 465] and raised more than a quarter of a million dollars to fight MS; but still feel just short of Captain Stacey’s goal of $275K.

In an email the week of the ride she said “This will be our last year riding as Team Tania.”

She had her reasons and they make sense: “Because staying the same in a changing world is like moving backwards. If we don't do something more, something different, we will lose our effectiveness” PLUS She’s moving to more responsibility in the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter.

However there is ONE part of her email that worries me: “If I have my say, some of you will step right up to the plate and form your own MS cycling teams. You've got great ideas, energy and passion. You have been waiting for just this opportunity to create your own way. And hopefully you'll take what you've witnessed as the best of Team Tania with you, including some of your teammates. “

Yeah, the Midnight Madness girls have already named me Captain of Team “We don’t have a name yet, but we’re sure Randy will come up with something awesome … and make us some nice jerseys, too!!!”

Stay tuned

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autumnal Equinox

In my own personal internal calendar, Fall begins at about 4PM on Distance Run Sunday* ... I usually celebrate by pouring a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale.

That being said, the last BEACH day of the year wil be Saturday when D'Wife & I roll into Ocean City, NJ after pedalling 4 dozen miles or so ... did I ever mention how the ride ends??? Yeah we gotta ride 40-something miles or so across the reasonably bumpy Jersey marshlands then, just for fun ... up & over this little bridge


Oh, wait ... there's TWO of them


it can be a pretty hairy "Share The Road" Experience


ETA: Thanks EVERYONE for your support to me, D'Wife and the National MS Society ... That is what it's for ... The Twin Bridges are just a metaphor for the struggles that people with MS face All Day EVERYDAY!!! It takes power, determination and [for those of us who are afraid of heights] courage to conquer these two obstacles in the last hour of our day, once a year ... Imagine what people with MS go through ... compared to that? It's a cake-walk ... thanks again to our Sponsors [material and otherwise]

* ReGARDless of what ING and their $$$ says the race is called, to those who have run it and love it, it will ALWAYS be The Distance Run