Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cool(er) Runnings

A Chronicle of Dan's Running and Other Stories Since Returning Home from Jamaica

Really Cool Runnings

Debbie and I got into the house at 1am Sunday, and darned if I was going to miss another Sunday morning run at Hinckley. Now I wasn't quite so silly as to try to make the 5:30 loop, but 7am seemed doable.

So a few hours and 75 degrees later, I was there at the Spillway looking for all my running companions. Nary a one showed up. What, was 9 degrees too cold for them? Hey, if I can go from Jamaica in the mid-eighties to Cleveland in the upper single digits in a couple hours, they should've been able to make it too.

But they didn't. So I did the big loop (only one of them, thank you) alone. It was actually a pretty peaceful, nice run. The cold didn't bother me at all.

Later That Week

It got a wee bit warmer. I ran at Hinckley a couple more times. Once I did two of the big loops including the first one with Mandy (whew, that was tough). The other was my Boxing Day Run. More on that one later.

In the mean time, I did a few other runs, including a 15-miler from home and ten with Dave on the parkway on Christmas Eve day.

Family and Friends

There is Life Outside of Running, and sometimes *I* even have some. Veronica, Barry and Malcolm came for almost a week, and Valerie made it for a day. At my suggestion, we had an open house on the 23rd in order to show Malcolm off to family and friends. Besides everyone else, Dave and Carol brought Mom so that she could see the Baby as well.

Sandy and Nancy's Christmas Eve Party was fun as usual. Christmas Day itself was rather quiet. We visited Mom and prepared for our trip to Connecticut, which included taking down the tree and decorations.

The Great Snowstorm of 2010

We knew it was coming, and we knew that our plans had us driving into the thick of it. Should we leave a half-day early on Christmas night in order to beat the storm? We decided against driving all night. Should we simply leave extremely early on Boxing Day? Yes, but in retrospect, it should've been earlier.

I did manage to get in one Hinckley loop with the gang. I really wanted to do the second 7am loop as well since I had set the thing up and there were more folks ready to go at that time. But I didn't want to be the one holding everyone up with us driving into the storm.

And wouldn't you know it? We drove into the storm just when it was at it's worst. It got so bad that we had to stop and get into a hotel in Middletown, NY. Luckily it was a fast moving one, and Monday was cold and extremely windy, but, by mid-day, generally drivable. That is, assuming one has four good tires. Somehow Barry's Ford Edge had gotten a flat, and the tire needed to be replaced.

So it was an eventful trip, but it wasn't quite over yet. We had to dig our way into the driveway. And with drifts several feet high, this wasn't easy at all.

I should say that out of the five human beings in the car, the one least troubled by all these events was the smallest one. Malcolm just seemed to take it all in stride.

Running in CT

I tried to take running in Connecticut in stride as well.

Who was Daniel, and why did he put his farm at the top of such a long, arduous hill? That is, of course, what I was asking myself as I was running up Daniels Farm Road. It's quite a hill, but the worst of it was that the footing was so bad. With all the traffic I was relegated to the sidewalks, which had been plowed, but were nonetheless still snowy and very icy. It was even tougher coming down than going up.

Hearing from new Ohio resident Dave James that he was in Connecticut caused me to send him a message wondering if he was close by and if so, whether he would like to go for a run. He responded that he was and he would. In fact, we'd be meeting a group of runners at the Housitonic (or whatever you call that durn thing) trail head - the place I run all the time.

Well it didn't work out. Dave got sick - just like everyone else around here - and I decided to just run around and get back a bit earlier than planned.

Speaking of sickness: Veronica, Barry and Malcolm all had colds, and Debbie got some kind of stomach illness. They're all recovering while I'm knocking on wood.


This morning's run here in Connecticut is my last for 2010. The grand totals:

3,465 miles, the most ever in a year for me. don't know why..
8:31 per mile average. not nearly as slow as last year, but my second slowest ever. don't know why.
gobs of races, including 4 or so marathons and 5 or so ultras.

Hey I've got an idea! Start 2011 off with a marathon!! I'll discuss this one in my next post.

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