Friday, March 30, 2007

Deal Or No Deal

Would you run this race? Why or why not?

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I first met this fellow back in ‘89/’90, when I was a young consultant, called up to Washington DC to do whatever the partner needed. My business suit hardly masked my inexperience, which contrasted sharply with two distinguished gentlemen on the team, former Air Force Colonels, 40 years my senior and several worlds of experience wiser than I. They were kind enough to take us kids to dinner, followed by a trip to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, with a final stop to see him. I still remember Colonel Bill Neill remarking that this was his favorite monument in the city, which has no shortage of them.

I never knew where he was, until this morning when lo and behold, I ran right into him. From Dupont Circle, I had planned to run to the Lincoln Memorial and back, and as I was waiting to cross Constitution Ave, I saw him tucked away behind the bushes. I went back around, and for a few minutes, it was just me and Al alone again, looking just like he did that night some 17 years ago.

At times like these, I invariably start reflecting back: Where has all the time gone? What did I do all these years? Did I make the right decisions? Did I use every opportunity? Hell, who knows? No, I never regret any decisions, but no, I also surely didn’t make full use of everything that life threw at me. Nothing to do now but move forward anyway.

So move forward I did. Literally that is. I was motoring up 23rd street on my way back, when across from the State Department, I finally bit it. In my short running career, I’ve come close several times but I’ve never gone down. Today, I hit an unmarked, poorly repaired pothole that was now bulging with asphalt. I went down on all fours at full speed (well, my full speed), and luckily only 100-150 people were there to witness it. I had gloves and long pants on, so injuries of the physical kind were nothing to write about.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

2nd 5K - Going Down

2nd stop on my 4 x 5K Spring Tour was this morning's St Paddy's Day Dash Down Greenville. I haven't exactly been running wild in preparation the past couple of weeks, but I did squeeze in one feeble attempt at speedwork.

This race always brings out a slightly wacko crowd, and the tradition continued this year. Guys in blue speedos, guys as leprechauns, guys with green hair, guys with green body paint, guys who clearly had too much beer for breakfast ...

We had 1700+ lined up at 8:30 this morning, including my 15-yr old nephew from Florida, who I roped into running his first 5K! The start was crowded, and as to be expected with any popular "fun" race, you have to deal with the wrong people in the wrong place at the start. Oh well, at least they're out and about, and I can support that. So with a little bit of weaving, dodging, colliding, and sidewalk jumping, I finally made it into the clear.

I forgot to set my stop watch at the start, so I just ran by "feel". I passed on the free beer at the first stop, took a little water on the second stop, did the best I could on a little hill about half mile from the finish, and came home in 25:03 (34 secs faster than my previous 5K, and yes, I'm counting). I've got another race in two weeks, and I'm getting within spittin' distance of my PR.

As for the 15-yr old stud, he finished in 32:16. He may be taller, bigger, and probably stronger than I am, but for the time being, the old dude's faster. Even so, for a first timer, I salute him for going out and getting it done.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

1st 5K

Just over 8 months to the day since my last 5K. With marathon training last year, I passed on the fall racing season, reserving my weekends for long runs instead.

I stepped to the starting line at 8:30 am for the RHS 5K. It was in the low 40's, brilliant sunshine, but nail-biting wind. I was in shorts, long sleeved tech shirt, long sleeved light running top, shivering and regretting that I decided not to bring a pair of gloves. When the race finally started though, it felt just fine.

It was a small race of about 500 runners. Started at a high school, ran through the neighborhood, and ended up back at school for a 3/4 loop on the stadium track. Given my near total lack of preparation, I was happy with my time. 25:37.

After the race, I high tailed it back for Sydney's soccer match. I don't remember the last time we lost this season, including mowing down a bunch of all-boy teams, but they had a tough fight today. Sydney scored our only goal, and the other team, well, had a few more.

Nevertheless, a nice start to a weekend. Beats sitting around at home watching cartoons and chowing down on donuts!