Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blossoms of Hoop

I say it every year, but I hate March.  If it weren't for the NCAA Tournament, I would gladly tear the page off the calendar.  This year was deja vu, all over again.  There was a weekend where it was warm, teasing us with the promise of outside riding, and then it dropped back to unseasonably cold temperatures.  This past Sunday I had to ride inside!  I thought the days of trainer rides were over, but I was sadly mistaken.  Additionally, now that I've moved to my spring/summer schedule of Tuesday Night Track and riding on Weds/Thurs, it continues to be cold and rain on W/Th, nixing my rides.  But, March has provided some pretty memorable moments over the years, and they haven't been all bad.

March 14, 2009 - I finally made it to one of the Pub Runs.  It was a lot of fun. 

March 15, 2009 - Shamrock 5k.  Didn't run as fast as I had the year before, but I still managed a 16:56. 

March 21, 2009 - National Marathon.  Went to spectate Brennan, Arjun and I tried to run with him for a few miles.  He was ripping into the race so hard I could only keep up for 5 miles from 14-19.  Arjun made it another 2 or 3. 

March 13, 2010 - Pub Run again.  I couldn't run, so I helped out.  It rained.  150 people had a blast.

March 14, 2010 - Shamrock 5k.  Couldn't run, but watched as everyone ran real quick.

March 15, 2010 - Surgery #2.  I don't generally buy into the Ides of March stuff, but it seemed a little eerie this day. 

March 20, 2010 - National Half Marathon.  Probably was pushing it trying to drive just a few days after surgery, but wanted to get down to spectate the race again.  And there I was, at mile 10, on crutches, as everyone ran by.  And they ran super fast. 

March 12, 2010 - Pub Run.  This year, Ed and I put it on.  Another awesome event.

March 13, 2010 - Shamrock 5k.  Didn't sign up in time, so did another race instead, and won money for the first time.

March 15, 2010 - Strides of March.  Track comes back with an appropriate theme.

You'll notice the trend, that sweet spot week of March.  The Pub Run, Shamrock 5k, National (although it was a week later this year), March Madness, and this year it was truly mad.  My bracket looked great on Thurs/Fri, was busted by Saturday.  Then it came roaring back, only to fall flat again.  I had an opportunity to win my pool, but VCU had to go all George Mason on that ass, and UNC couldn't get shit done.  Now I'm disheartened because I don't think 3 of the 4 Final Four teams "deserve" to be there, so I have to root for UConn.

St. Patrick's Day, of course being one of my favorite holidays, is also another plus for March.  So maybe March isn't all that bad. 

As much pain as I've been in lately (foot), it beats where I was last year, which was, to say, coming off a second knee surgery and severely depressed.  It is always better to be able to do something, than to not be able to do anything.  Last March seems impossibly long ago.  I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Amsterdam, for one last visit with the Sgrizzis (they're back in Baltimore now), and by that point I had not swam, run or ridden in over a month.  I would continue to not do anything through March, and even into April.  I guess from that perspective, I'm automatically ahead of where I was this time last year.  Unfortunately I don't feel very comfortable.  My foot is going on over 3 months of pretty bad pain.  My swimming is just not there.  On the bike, I feel okay, but I haven't ridden as much as I'd like in the last two weeks. 

One of the things I always appreciated about living near DC in the month of March was the Cherry Blossoms.  There really is no better time to be down there (actually, it's the only time I enjoy going there).  In college, I would drive or metro down during the week, when the visitors were few and the blossoms were generally in full bloom.  I love how they have the Cherry Blossom Festival, of course it's got to be on the weekend, but it's almost always a week late.  The fake warm days trigger the blossoms early, and then they wind up popping.  It was great to be able to jump down there on the days you knew were going to be full bloom. 

Saturday I headed down to DC for the National Marathon once again.  I met Nina at Judiciary Square - she had already put in 7 and change and we were running by 6:50.  We headed out on the course around mile 3.  It's awesome when the wide avenues are completely shut down.  Of course it didn't look much different than a normal Saturday at 7am down there.  There are very few spectators, and, for this race, no mile markers.  But it was a nice, calm morning down along the Mall, and we were enjoying the adoration of the few spectators, who thought we were in the lead.  We made it around the course back to mile 16, and then I ran back to my car, which was parked at New York and N. Capitol.  I figured for the 2h15m of running I probably got in just over 17 miles.  Sunday, Pat and I were stuck inside in the morning for a 1h45m ride, chased with a 45min run.

This weekend looks to be cold still, and of course there's rain in the forecast for today and tomorrow, which may impact my riding.  Sunday is another spring tradition, the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.  With the exceptions of the years I've not been running, I've made it down there for the past 12 years.  We started running down from College Park in college, and have kept that going.  I did run the race one time, in 2009, and it was terrible and I don't anticipate doing it again, but I do like running down TO the race.  Run down, metro back, Bagel Place afterwards, home before noon. 

Go UConn!

1 comment:

Luke said...

I don't merit a shout-out for throwing a sweaty hat at you at Mile 10 of a half marathon where I dropped back to pace a friend?