Friday, June 25, 2010

Flashback Friday--Country Music Marathon 2004

One of the things that I like about reading other people's blogs is about their adventures and events that they are competing in. Since I am currently in training mode for what I hope is a busy fall, I'll write about a few of my favorite past runs.

My first marathon was the 2004 Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN. Training had went very well for this event with my long run progressing to the desired 20 mile length.

Race morning, I arrived at 5 a.m. for the bus ride from Titans stadium to the start line near Vanderbilt University across town. This is where the fun began. I had been advised to take a trash bag or a rain poncho and an old t-shirt or sweatshirt in order to stay warm and dry. I didn't. Don't ask me why. I just didn't.

Shortly after getting off the bus, it began to rain lightly. I found a BBQ shack near the park in which to hover in misery (in an outside eating area) with several other unprepared runners. The weather soon went from bad to worse. It began to pour. We were thinking that things could not get much worse when another runner came jogging up and told us that they had just announced that the start of the race had been postponed due to an impending thunderstorm which was approaching. We were also advised to seek better shelter.

The McDonalds near Centennial Park and the starting area was at MAX capacity. We decided to walk to a nearby convenience store. There were about 70 people stuffed inside this little store. I had already called my girlfriend (now wife) to tell her what was going on. Several minutes and a nice April thundershower later, someone entered the store to announce that the race was on and would be starting in a few minutes. Everyone quickly rushed toward their starting corral and began the warmup process.... only to stand and wait another 45 minutes until the race finally began. I had serious doubts standing, waiting, and shivering that I would have enough energy left to complete this event.

I ran pretty well through the first half marathon hitting the half way point at about 2:13. Very close to the desired 10 minute pace. I then got a lesson on "the wall." And I don't mean Pink Floyd. I didn't drink enough. I didn't eat enough. I wasted way too much energy high-fiving the various cheerleading teams. The second half of the marathon was miserable. I was out of gas in a major way!! I remember someone offering me Bugles at around mile 17 and I turned them down. I almost turned around and ran back to them. Mile 22 took forever... or it seemed that way. I suffered throught the last half in 2:37. My overall time was a 4:50:33.

Brad Paisley performed that night but without me!! I was pretty much out of it!! We had a great trip. I finished the event, not in my goal time, but I finished. We hit some local establishments (Wildhorse Saloon, Hardrock Cafe, Waffle House...)and got to enjoy ourselves a little. I had completed an event that I never conceived possible. I was a marathoner!!

My overall finish place was not impressive. My overall pace was not real impressive. My gender placing, my age group placing, nothing to really brag about except.... I had just run 26.2 miles on a miserable April morning in Nashville, TN. I was a marathoner!!

As always.... Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Sad Realization

Ok, very short, very sweet.

History first. I have had the privilage of helping a local fireworks distributor set up tents the last two days. Four hours Sunday. Four hours Monday. Two tents, one of which is 120' x 40' and the other which is 100' x 40'. My wife and I operate a local stand for them to make a little summer cash. As teachers, the extra income is nice as well as having a little something extra to liven up the summer schedule which can get a little humdrum at times. (I operate best with a schedule....) I helped with the tents to perk up my end of the cash!

The work setting up the tents is pretty physical. In the words of my mother, "I couldn't whip a cat without getting a mouthful of hair." (I AM WEAK!!) Simply dragging my end of the tent or using the sledgehammer to drive posts or the constant walking, lifting, and carrying tent poles.... I mean I'm a big stud runner right? Means very little in the world of upper body strength.

I think the stress (embarrassment) of only feeling somewhat functional or not performing as well as I would like my be enough for me to get my butt into the weightroom and maybe stay there somewhat consistent. The 100 Pushup Challenge.... The 100 Squat Challenge...... who knows where this may lead.

I was rolling through training for my first triathlon earlier this year and pulled up injured because of stupidity in the weightroom. (Got a little cocky doing squats!!) Yes, I know I'm 46, I may need to warm up, stretch, follow a plan..... ect.... ect....ect.... My Principal at school is an excellent athlete/triathlete. He lectured me on all of this.

I tend to make my way in there but not stay because I'm tired or I don't stick to a routine or schedule and it seems to drag down my energy level. Hmmm. The first lift came today. I went back to the schedule I was following last spring for my TRI training. I didn't lift legs today however.

HEY, I SAID SHORT AND SWEET!!!

Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Miner's Memorial and the Sesser 5-K

Today we traveled to Sesser, IL for their third annual Homecoming 5-K. During my warm up session, I noticed a very impressive memorial in the city park. This memorial turned out to be dedicated to the coal miners that have lost their lives working in the mines of Southern Illinois dating back over one hundred years.

In speaking with an area resident, I learned that there are nearly 350 names carved into this memorial. I also learned that there are no mines in the area today which are still in operation.

The name of each miner who has lost their life was listed under their respective mine. The shear number of individuals was astounding as was the number of mines in the area which were once in existence. Having witnessed some recent mining accidents through the media over the last several years, one has to stop and think of the pain and anguish that these families experienced in the loss of their loved ones.

The race itself went extremely well. Relatively balanced splits (8:32, 8:47, 8:18) led to an overall time of 26:38 which was good for 2nd place in my age group as well as an overall 41st place showing out of around 120 or so runners.

The busy day continued as we arrived home, picked up my children, as well as some chicken from the Colonel, and headed directly to my parent's house for a small Father's Day gathering. After finishing the meal, we had a great visit with the folks before finally heading toward the house. A fitting end to an excellent day.

As always..... Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fighting The Blog Addiction

As I stated in my first post--I've been following several blogs for a couple of years but just sat down yesterday to create my own blog page. I went to my classroom to have access to more pictures and to have reliable Internet. 64 Classic "quickly" began to take shape.

Today, I have begun the fight with a terrible problem facing America today. Blog Addiction. WOW!!! It is amazing how many posts I have read in the last 24 hours. In the past, I had a blog or two that I would usually read. I might link to a few others but I usually kept it in check.

I hit it hard well into the wee morning hours as well as off and on much of today and this evening. But ALAS!! Tonight I must quit!! I have a 4:30 wake up to head for Sesser, IL for a 5-K run. I would like to be at least somewhat functional. I've read several great posts and look forward to finding more interesting people to add to my blog list.

Every day is a good day, some are are just better. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Frequent Listener, First Time Caller

I will occasionally listen to call in talk shows and have many times heard the title phrase, "frequent listener, first time caller." I do have to say that this is the first time that I have actually used this phrase.

For my first ever blog on 64 Classic, you get background information. I am a married father of two who has been a public school teacher for 22 years. My daughter is 18 years old and just graduated from a local high school where she was a member of the Girls Cross Country and Swim Team. (More on that later.) My son is a soon to be Eighth Grader which kind of freaks me out considering that of the three grades I teach, Eighth is usually my favorite.

Also in the realm of personal information, I am very fortunate to have a wonderful wife (who I have taught with for 15 years) as well as a great ex-wife who is amazingly enough, my next-door neighbor. (You've seen the show "Reba" right? That's our street!)

About 3 or 4 years ago, a friend of mine from another local school (Rural Runner E) started a running blog. I've been hooked ever since as a reader but just now decided to begin my own blog. Running For My Life, Frayed Laces, I Am Boring, If I can't convince you--I'll at least confuse you.... are just a few of the blogs who provide regular reading.

I hope to chronicle my running efforts and family events in a manner that at least one or two people find entertaining. I also hope that as I begin to post race performances and training logs, I get both positive and negative feedback to make these adventures more meaningful.

I constantly tell the kids at school, "as you get older, you are going to have aches and pains whether you are sitting on the couch or running around town being active. You may as well be on the move doing something fun."

Everyday is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.