San Antonio, Girls

Well, the deed is done. Missy and I are registered for the San Antonio Marathon in November. Plane tickets are bought. Plans have been laid.

I’m pretty excited. As I was looking back through the blog, I noticed that I’d forgotten to post results for the Oklahoma City Half – 1:53, which isn’t exactly shabby. Sure, there was injury at Bluff Point a couple of weeks back, but that looks to be all better now. AND, I’ve got exactly enough time to train.

So, I’m struck by Lyle Lovett’s immortal song, “San Antonio Girl”, and the thought that

He ain’t exactly bright, but he’s a little bit pretty

may be a pretty good description of myself.

So, let’s head to Helotes, Flores Country Store, out Highway 16, to hear some Robert (Earl) Keene. There’s no more hotels down on the RiverWalk, at least not at which I’ve got frequent stayer points, but that’s all right.

Whew – this is going to suck.

Vermont City Marathon and Y.A.M. Scram

Memorial Day Weekend ended up being the first (in hopefully many) Jank family long weekends. Dunno why, but we’ve been kind of remiss in taking short trips – possibly partly ’cause we live in Mystic, and possibly partly due to lack of time etc.

Anyway, the trip was amazingly great – Burlington may be the perfect town, even more so than Mystic, in that it’s big enough to have cool stuff like theater and arts, but small enough for normal people. We had a great balance of stuff for all of us to do, and the races were Amazing.

Saturday was races for the kids, the YAM Scram. Exceptionally well organized, and amazing in that the race announcers featured Bill Rodgers and Bart Yasso. I ran the half mile with Nate (the 4 year old). Highlight of that race – as we reached the first turn, in heavy traffic, Nate looks up at me and says “Daddy, I’m never going to quit.” Man, I just wanted to grab him and hold him right there forever.

Jake did the mile race, and did really well. His 8 year old legs pushed out a 10-ish minute mile. We saw him at about 1/3 mile looking like he might want to walk, but then he finished the rest of the race REALLY strong. Missy and I were exceptionally proud of the kids.

Sunday was the Marathon. Again, well organized. We dropped Missy off near the start and parked down by the lake. After picking up bagels and coffee (me) and juice (boys) for breakfast, we went and parked ourselves a block from the starting line. The start was incredible to see – I just can’t comprehend exploding out of the start like the leaders did. Turns out that the eventual winner didn’t need the jump, but he was the leading full marathon runner when the pack came past again at mile 3.

We headed off to find sunscreen, and to park ourselves at Mile 9, where we finally were able to see Missy. She looked strong, didn’t actually need anything from us, and gave us a smile and a wave. Between mile 9 and 14, we wandered around a bit, and set up the fishing poles. Missy passed mile 14 looking good, and about 10 minutes behind the guy in the banana suit.

After mile 14, the race headed out north of town. We decided to just wait at the waterfront park for the finish instead of trying to fight our way to see again in the next 12 miles. Right after Missy passed, we headed to the park, and watched the winners come in. Then, we drowned cheese for a little while – couldn’t find anyone selling a worm to save our lives – though we didn’t catch anything.

Missy finished right on schedule at 4 hours – cutting more than 8 minutes off of her time at Hartford. I was amazed, thrilled, and generally felt luckier than i usually do.

Sunday afternoon I got out for a run again, at long last. 4 miles, and it all felt good. The run was a fallback, though – I tried to bike, but came up with a flat inside the first half mile. Monday, I woke up early and went fishing. Didn’t see any trout, didn’t actually see ANY fish, but it was amazing to watch the world come alive on a river again.

So, I think I’m putting the house on the market. We’ll buy a trailer in South Burlington; I’ll take a job as a barrista while i’m working on a PhD, and life will be good.

F*scn’ Shoes

Yeah, so it turns out that I am paying for breaking the primary racing rule (Don’t change shoes on race day). While walking’s been no more problem than usual since the Twilight Trail Race, running hasn’t happened.

Sunday evening, I figured I’d jump out of the house and run to the church to pick up the audio file to build the podcast. So, tucked the kids in, strapped on the sneakers, and started running. Everything was kind of tight, but that’s kind of to be expected, right?

After about a quarter mile, though I bailed. As I kept running, instead of the usual loosening, it felt like the tendons were just getting tighter and tighter. I stopped, stretched, declared defeat, and walked home.

I’ve been on travel this week, which is usually great for the running. AND, believe it or not, I’ve been in the same hotel all week, which happens once in a blue moon. So, I ought to be getting great runs in.

Tuesday, I made it a mile on the dreadmill before I bailed to the bike. It didn’t hurt to run, and I was really hopeful. But when I woke up on Wednesday, walking was bad again. So, stretch and bike Wednesday and today.

This morning everything feels good, but I don’t want to press it. I’ll go for a group ride tomorrow morning, and try to do 5K a couple of times over the weekend. If that’s OK, I’ll pick up the routine next week – the long run is only 8 miles for the weekend, with a 4, 6, and 2 between now and then.

Otherwise, it’s time to re-evaluate goals and start turning pedals a lot more.

Twilight Trail Run 2008

So, the Bluff Point Twilight Trail Run was tonight.

And aside from the classic mistake (Never, ever, ever change shoes for a race), it was another classic race.

The race was good, aside from the shoe mistake. I broke out my trail shoes for the first time in a long while. Turns out they’ve got no arch support, and I’m guessing they are what gave me issues last spring. Hmmm.

The best part about the race is the weather. May in New England is either incredible – sunny and perfect. Or, it’s awful – cold and wet. Today was a cold and wet.

Yet, there were a hundred or so folks toeing the line in the intermittent rain again this year, driven by the promise of chowder and massages at the end.

There’s not a whole lot to say – the first three miles of the race were miserable, as my legs adjusted to the lack of support in the shoes. Once I passed the original governor’s mansion, I managed to run most of the rest of the race, finishing in about 70 minutes. Nike+ said 69 minutes, the woman at the line said 73 minutes. I’m pretty confident that I set Nike+ at the start and the end, but who knows.

Some guy tried to pass me at the end. Probably I should have let him go; not played the jerk, but I still had a little bit in me and sprinted it out. Loss of style points, I suppose.

Chowder was wonderful as always.

Anyway, I still love the race. Soaked, cold, and hurt from the shoes, and I’m counting down the hours until next year.

The more you drive ’em

So, I’m making a couple of concessions to age.

First, I’ve realized that I actually need sleep. And I’m getting it (kind of). 11 is late now, as opposed to 1 or 2 AM.

Second, I’ve realized that my metabolism is slowed way, way down. I can’t eat like I used to. If I do, I get fat. Even if I run.

Lastly, if you don’t use it, you lose it. When I run – the joints feel great. Take more than 2 days off, and they start getting rickety again. I’ve been taking a bit of glucosamine and chondroiton – snake oil to be sure, but it seems to work.

I’d been having a great run of sticking to the schedule, until this week life got into the way a bit. I missed two runs earlier this week (4 miles Tuesday and 2 miles yesterday). Surprise, surprise – my legs started getting creaky, I started getting cranky, and I REALLY needed to run.

So, the wife gave me the kitchen pass tonight, I stayed after work, and made 7 miles in 61 minutes. Felt good, felt great. The first 20 minutes sucked, and then suddenly – running was good.