Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Very quickly on the television series Lost we were introduced to the numbers that changed Hurley's life: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42.

In last night's $355 million MegaMillions jackpot drawing, had you used those numbers, you would have had FIVE correct (4, 8, 15, 25, 47, 42). How insane is that? There are probably millions of people now who use those numbers, thanks to Lost, each week, and according to my sources, had you played those numbers, you would have won $150.

I took a break from updating this, not because I didn't want to, but I got lazy.

Following Celtic Solstice, Godsey's stay and a high-octane karaoke jam, I headed up to New Jersey for Christmas. Because I am an addict, I noticed there was the Polar Bear 5 Miler on Sunday, 12/26, in Asbury Park, and decided I would do it. Pat was on board, and after the race the big thing is to jump into the ocean for the Polar Bear Plunge. My body was not feeling great following CS; the days after included the challenging run at Patapsco, where I fell, and Monday was a longer-than-usual run to and from Fed Hill Runners. By the time I got home on Thursday, I didn't run, and then didn't run on Friday, either.

Saturday (Christmas) I went to Hartshorne with my brother. We ran 3 miles together, and then I did another 7. I felt pretty terrible. I figured I would just have to grit through Sunday's race. Upon waking up on Sunday and seeing the snow, I thought man, can they even have this race? Oh yeah, they can.

I got cheated out of my chance to run in miserable, blinding snow last year at Celtic Solstice, so this was my redemption. As a result of the snow and some family obligations, Pat was unable to make it down to Asbury. I drove down with my brother, who was not racing, and realized just how terrible this race was going to be. They wound up having to shorten the race, from 5 to 3 miles. Then, they had to re-route the course to avoid the roads. So it became a 3 loop, out-and-back with a turnaround in the parking lot, run just along the boardwalk. Which was covered in snow. And the galeforce winds were blowing north to south, so we had a tailwind out and nasty headwind back.

I lost contact with a little lead group after the first lap, and running on the snow was really not being kind to me. I ultimately finished up 5th, in 19:28, with the winner about 55 seconds up. And I also got beat by a girl - Allison Linnell, who apparently runs for the University of Washington. Not the way I had hoped to end the year, but whatever. It meant I got in 8 races for the year: 4 road races and 4 triathlons. Pretty good for starting my season in mid-August.

Following the race, I was not going to go in the water. The waves were overhead, and it looked menacing. A few people did go into the water in a slightly calmer section, but I was cold and miserable enough. Maybe next year.

The snow continued for the remainder of Sunday, and by midnight my brother and I were shoveling over a foot and a half of snow. When we woke up on Monday, we had about the same amount of snow to get rid of. It was insane. Much more snow than I had in Baltimore at any point last year, and our township did not do a great job getting rid of it. In fact, the entire state had trouble. I was stuck at home for an extra day, but managed to get back here on Wednesday.

Friday was New Year's Eve, and to end the year on the right foot, a hearty group of us did a run from Mt. Vernon up to Mt. Washington. Very hilly. Very, very hilly. It also was 20 minutes longer than I thought we would be running, so instead of 90min we were out almost 2 hours. I took Saturday off, normally I hate taking the first day of any month, and especially the year, off, but whatever.

Then came Sunday's clinic on how to enjoy running less. Alyssa was using the PHUNT Run 50k as a training run en route to her 100 miler next week, so a few of us (members of TCYB plus a couple others) piggybacked our long run on her event. Pat, Cheese, Zero and myself got lost a LOT, and wound up being out for 2.5 hours for a "20k." We did have one runner's GPS reading at 15 miles, so we figure we ran probably closer to 16, but it was hard. The trails were in poor shape, and the following of ribbons was apparently too much for our blunt skulls. There were times you were just running, or hiking, through woods and thickets, and then you would be in a huge open field with no idea where to go. We thought 100min would be the most we'd be running for, so when I hit an hour I thought for sure we were more than halfway. Nope. Not even close. It was really tough, and by 2 hours I was cooked. I phoned it in, fortunately the 4 of us kept it together.

It was a good way to start the year, however, and I'm glad I challenged myself in that way. I don't think my knees are good enough to handle trails like that, right now at least, so I probably won't do any more of them for a while.

I have a few more posts that I'd like to do in the next couple days, including paying homage to the home that I have to leave, a review of 2010/look ahead to 2011, and a Decade wrap-up. Hard to believe the "Naughts" are over!


alyssa said...

I always thought it was the "aughts"??

Back in my time in the Navy, we would refer to our year of graduation as "aught-8"...or at least I did. I'm not sure now what everyone else was saying.

RM said...

Naught = 0, so it was probably the naught 8's