A week of vacation

It’s been a while since I last posted but only a week since any real activity. I was actually very consistent with running and lifting over the past month or two, but took the past week off since I was on vacation until this morning. As I write this, I am awaiting a call telling me that my wife is finished with her colonoscopy. Since she did her prep yesterday and was in no condition to join me, I started the day at our YMCA on the treadmill. December has started and there will be enough interruptions due to the holidays that I needed to get in a run first thing. I only ran a 5K, but decided that it was enough to get my blood flowing and brain working as I head back to work. I also determined that I really need to replace my treadmill shoes before covering too many more miles. They have 450+ miles on them, but that is all inside on the treadmill. Needless to say, it will be cheaper to replace them than to pay for a few doctors visits when I screw up my legs continuing to run on them.

Last Friday, I drove 500+ miles to Virginia to spend time with the guys on an annual fishing trip in Deltaville. I have missed this for the past few years, but decided that I had both the time and need to see the boys. On Saturday, we played two sets of tennis outside (and it was cold). I played in my “normal” walking shoes – old and cheap. The tennis was fun but my calfs were both screaming at me for days after the activity. I attribute the pain to lack of use in a back and forth motion, since running doesn’t have the same sort of lateral movement associated with tennis. It had been over five years since I even held a racket, so was pleased with a few of my shots and not overly disappointed in my overall playing. I took my time coming back to Connecticut, visiting with a few friends on my way home. It was relaxing to spend time away from work and not worry about working out, eating right, but enough is enough. One good thing is that when I stepped on the scale this morning, I was right where I was when my slack off week started (give or take a pound).

On Thanksgiving, my daughter and I headed to our local turkey trot a just under 5-mile race named the Manchester Road Race. She has been having hip pain for a few years now since her body is totally out of alignment. She was a sport, trying to run a few times but mostly giving up to walking the majority of the route. Since it was purely father/daughter time, I stayed with her the entire time. We nearly froze at the start since it was in the upper 20s with a wicked wind blowing through the streets. Since we both planned on running, we were both wearing at least one layer too few on our tops and both fingers and toes were feeling the cold enough to ache. We were very thankful to have the starting gun go off at 11, although the feet were so cold it was hard to feel them as we started. One really cool thing about this race is the number of celebrity runners that it attracts. Amby Burfoot (former Boston Marathon winner and 51 times finisher of this race) and Desiree Davila from the women’s side both ran in the 77th running of this Thanksgiving day tradition. This year there were 15,000 participants. It’s amazing that this small town race gets such a huge draw of big names each year – especially with it being held on Thanksgiving day!

A Little (running) Gear Tells a Story

This morning, I ran in my first race of the year. This race was actually advertised via the discount site Living Social. It was a 5K, benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Hartford, and was the 3rd running of this event in Manchester, Connecticut. I signed up early, through the Living Social link, and had no idea how this run would go for me. While I have not been running much over the past two weeks, I had built a pretty decent base. I have had a difficult time getting in the solid runs I need with my schedule, but continue to pound away using the 3/1 run/walk ratio.

Sunday took me to New Haven to catch the Acela train to Washington, DC where I spent four long days attending a conference and just a single morning running on the treadmill. The gym at the hotel was nice, with a few empty treadmills when I started but all full when I finished. I cranked through four miles and felt great all day.

This morning, I walked to the start line early, and was chatting with an older gentleman who was wearing a hat with sunglasses up on the brim. We were discussing where we lived, when we moved to the area, and where we moved from. Both of us had moved from Virginia, and then he removed his glasses from the hat’s brim to show that it was from the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K – an historic Richmond race that I’ve run many times. We had a good chat about Richmond and went on our way. After the race, I spoke briefly with his wife that worked just up the street from my old position. All, as you know, because I saw his hat from a common 10K.

After returning from the race and getting cleaned up, it was time to head to Lowe’s. Not thinking anything of it, I put on a Carytown 10K shirt. Carytown is an artsy part of Richmond, home to an annual watermelon festival and many cool restaurants and coffee shops. This particular shirt has the Richmond Road Runners’ logo on the right sleeve. The fact that I was in the left hand self-checkout meant that the logo on my right sleeve was visible to the self-checkout on the right. There was a couple on the right and, before I left, they looked at my shirt and asked if I was from Richmond. After a couple of back and forth conversations, we realized that we both lived in the Far West End of Henrico County, both moved during 2008, and both moved from Richmond to South Windsor the same year. It was a very odd set of coincidences that we left, then ended up at the same place at the same time. Furthermore, the fact that we both ended up in Lowe’s at the same time and the fact that I happened to wear this specific shirt today was even more of an odd coincidence.

So wear your running gear with pride. You’ll never know who will recognize an event, or location and will reach out to say hello based on what you’re wearing!