Friday, May 18, 2012

Random Thoughts

I wrote most of this two days ago, but my car was suddenly ready so I was back to work.  I figured that I'd better get it posted or it'd never happen.  So there may be some typos that Alison can correct tomorrow or sometime or never.  I'll try to post a Jemez race report tomorrow evening or Sunday.

Where to begin? I’ve had several ideas for blogs, but no time to write a blog up. That problem was solved today as my car began to die repeatedly on me while out working. I made it to a dealership who had openings to check it out and then fix it. So I was left with about 4 hours to kill; write up a blog for La Sportiva that I’ve been meaning to get to, do a run I wasn’t sure I’d get in today, do some emails I’ve been putting off, and now write this.

So I’ll rewind to a few random thoughts from several weeks ago. I was out working over the weekend, meaning I was working until dark, running, sleeping in the car, and up to work again the next day. As darkness fell that Saturday, I found myself hanging a trap at large golf course in the Greensboro area. A great place for a night run in the rain without a headlamp. I cruised along the golf course, drifting around, wondering if I’d be able to find my way back to the car within the distance I had planned on running. I began to think about the last time I was at that golf course. That was with the previous girlfriend before Alison. We were playing golf with her parents. She was crazy, like bad crazy. She had liked the stories of my foolishness and adventures when we were first getting to know one another. But that soon became “time for me to act more mature.” I believe she was confused about who she was talking to. The final straw as they say was when we got into an argument over what I wore to a wedding rehearsal for a friend of mine. It wasn’t overly outrageous, but a little loud. I was just having some fun; my friends there appreciated it. This girlfriend said I was seeking attention. I argued that what difference did it make to her, she wasn’t even there. She said that it made her look bad for dating a psycho like me.  The tie from that evening is the same tie that I wore to my and Alison’s wedding. I roamed the course thinking how good Alison is for me. She rolls with my foolishness and still sees the humor. It just fun to do things together and laugh.  Alison said early on in our dating, "I like dorks."  Some people point out that she was calling me a dork.  I point out to them that that was and is accurate.  I like that she saw who I was, not who she could make me into.  Plus Alison isn’t too concerned with what everyone else thinks might be wrong with her for being married to crazy, goat bearded Jason.

Then I thought about the previous time I was at this golf course. It was when cross country nationals were there. Adam Goucher won. I was there with Coach Mitchell and Amiean who ran at the high school. I helped Amiean procure a souvenir later in the day. Something I seem to be good at.  The best memory from that day was while we were roaming the course between races. We walked by a guy and after we passed, I looked at Coach and said, “That’s Billy Mills.” I'm not even sure how I knew that it was Mr. Mills as I had only seen photos from his running days.  I had read about Billy Mills in high school and seen a movie about him. Billy Mills is the only American to win the 10,000 at the Olympics, in 1964. In high school I had decided to be 10,000 runner and try to make the Olympics in the event. Oh well, just another failure from my delusional mind. I had to go speak to Mr. Mills. He was friendly and kept trying to introduce me to his author friend, Nicholas Sparks. I was not interested as I was talking with Billy Mills. As a young person there was only two athletes that I thought would be neat to meet someday, Billy Mills and Terry Bradshaw.  That was a fun day.  Though Terry Bradshaw was not there and I haven't met him.

Throughout my running on this evening, I had never checked my pace on my garmin. I was just roaming the golf course in the rain and thinking. When I looked at the end, I had been fairly quick. It was nice to just drift away on a run, unconcerned with how I was running. I found a puddle to bath in post-run, then a place to park and sleep in the back of the car.

As for my recent racing, I’ve run a few local races. I did a local 5K to work on my speed. The 5K mainly showed that I needed to work on my speed as I only ran 17.37. Most fitness was back from my break in the winter, but not all of it. I was second in the 5K as a fast guy from Texas who was in town for work and a co-worker told him about the race. The next weekend, I ran a friend's crazy trail race at Stone Mountain Park near home called the Drool Deer. I finally got my second win of the year. The following Thursday, I did the Critter Crawl 5K at Grandfather Mountain, as I was doing some work in the area. It started at MacRae Meadow and ran through the animal area on the way up Grandfather Mountain. I felt pretty good climbing on the both the more gradual sections and the steep sections. When I finished in 21.30, I assumed the course was short. But I spoke with someone who said it was wheeled and was actually closer to 3.2 miles. That would have put my average pace around 6.45. I was a little surprised, though I’d recently had a really good mountain workout at Pilot Mountain. Next I did the Shelton Vineyard Running of the Vines 10K. The race finishes 2.8 miles from my house. Most of the course is my 10 mile night time loop. I went hoping to run it at the fast end of my tempo pace, 5.45 pace. I was pretty steady around that pace, getting just a little under through 4 miles. Then there is a fairly big 1+ mile climb. I lost a little time there finishing in 35.52 with a 5.46 average pace. Plus I got another win to make it three in a row. The 10K time was actually a PR as I’ve never done a flat out 10K when fit or focused on a 10K. My previous 10K PR was on a trail course from 2009.

Now it is back to the more competitive races. Up this weekend is Jemez ½ Marathon in New Mexico. It is the sixth race on the La Sportiva Mountain Cup.

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