A good run around Thaddeus Kosciusko Park in Dublin. I really like this park as it has a gentle slope and has a mix of gravel path and the ability to head off into the woods. As usual I did a clockwise loop on the gravel path for 1/2 mile and then headed across the field and into the woods for a slosh through the mud. Yet again the weather was great for December, I was wearing shorts and my Columbus Running Company bright green shirt. The ground through the woods was pretty muddy due to the rain we’ve had this week but still firm enough that I wasn’t going to slide all the way down the hill.
I got to the pond, looped around and headed back to the main trail and completed the 2 mile loop on gravel. It’s nice to see that the gravel path seems to be holding up and is a nice offroad 1 mile loop (the woods adds another mile to the loop).
I finished the first loop and as I’m still slowly increasing mileage, I headed back out on the loop and took a diversion off one of the paths intending to cut through the middle of the loop and cut it in half. Instead the path I chose for some reason dropped down into a valley, over a stream and back up the other side and then back to the path I had left. I therefore decided just to run back the way I had came but made a mental note that next time I’ll use that side path as it gives you more of a workout (not a big one mind) going down the hill and back up again than staying on the gentle incline.
When I made it back to the car I had done 2.6 miles in just under 28 minutes. A fun run, not rocket fast, but I’m going to blame that on recovery and my first muddy run where I had to slow down a bit to navigate through the puddles (the deep/muddy ones at least) (an ok I admit it – a couple of walking breaks too)
I did regress to my childhood as I splashed through some of the puddles and sure enough my socks were a very dark brown when I took my shoes off but I did get an impressive set of splashes up the legs.
After the run I tried to take a picture of myself with the shelter in the background and the bright green Columbus Running Company shirt I was wearing. Unfortunately the fact that I didn’t get to sleep until 3am this morning and then up at 7am – makes me have a weird fixed eye gaze in this photo – but you can see the brightness of the shirt. So after the photo was taken I headed off to Kroger for some weekend shopping and whilst I was walking around the aisles I had a funny experience.
I was looking for some enchilada flavoured soup that I’d had a couple of days ago, had my running shorts and the bright shirt on and was looking puzzled in the aisle as I could not find this soup anywhere. This woman came up to me, tried to squeeze by me and so I moved the cart over and she said she liked the shirt – it was nice and bright. Seeing as though I’m in my running shorts, shoes and a running shirt, I assumed she knew I was a runner, laughed and said that it was so I don’t get shot as it’s hunting season. She looked at me blankly as if to say “why would someone shoot at you in Kroger?”. I explained that you have to take precautions when running through the woods. Yet again I got a blank “there are no woods in kroger”. I explained, Not *here* – I was running in the woods earlier and the shirt makes me more visible. At that point – the penny dropped for her – she hadn’t realised I was a runner and was just liking the brightness of the shirt I was wearing (or trying to make conversation).
We laughed and carried on shopping – that was the most bizarre conversation I’ve had in Kroger for a long while and not exactly the most successful one with a woman 😉
*At Least For Runners – isn’t it perfectly normal behaviour to wear bright clothes so they don’t get shot and go to Krogers?
1. What is the weirdest conversation you’ve had in the grocery store and do you go shopping in your work out clothes or go home and change first?
I don’t mind shopping in my work out gear but if I’m wet from rain or a sweaty run, I do avoid the freezer aisle as wet clothes are not pleasant and in the case of sweat I do towel off and use deodrant first.
2. What other Perfectly Normal Behaviours are applicable to runners?
I’d have to say running in the road rather than on the footpath. Used to bug me as a nonrunner to see runners doing that, but I know the tarmac surface is a lot kinder than the footpath – less tripping hazards to start with. However the camber of the road and crazy drivers does offset this benefit. Give me a trail through the woods any day.
Last Tuesday night, the Columbus Running Company had a social evening run sponsored by Mizuno with every attendance getting a free gift which was a pair of running socks.
The weather at 4pm on Tuesday night was horrible – it was absolutely chucking it down and I was mad – I had been looking forward to this run for ages and it looked like it was going to be miserable. The plus side was that it would be my first real opportunity to run in the rain. However as it turned out, most of the rain stopped by the time the run started.
As I got out of the car I clipped my new Roosport to my shorts and walked to the store, was just about to open the door when the Roosport fell off my shorts. Not a good start. I didn’t bother messing with it any further and put it in my running jacket pocket. I switched shoes to a pair on bright green Mizuno’s, picked up my free socks and figured that at least if it does chuck it down later I can switch back to my shoes and I have a free pair of socks to change into. I didn’t win the drawing for the gloves and we soon formed up by time and started to run.
I’m at the back right of this photo – initially I didn’t think it was me due to the mysterious green glow, but funnily enough that is my Garmin back-light. The previous week’s run I ran over my planned distance as I was unable to get the backlight to show whilst running so I could work out if it was time to turn around. I obviously got it working as this is the back-light shortly after I started the watch.
It seemed that everyone was doing sub 9 minute miles – there were only 3 of us who were running slower than that, so everyone shot off and I ran most of the way out with one guy but he turned around shortly before the 1 mile mark. So I had company for the first 0.9 miles and at the 1 mile beep I ran to the end of the road and then headed back by myself – so much for a social run!
When I got back to the store after about 20 minutes I was pretty wet from sweating (I probably didn’t need the jacket to keep warm as it was actually 51degrees after the run) and the rain. A shopper who had been at the start looked at me and asked if I had finished already with a look of amazement. That made me laugh as the run was a 5 mile run and I was back in 20 minutes or so, making it a 4minute mile for 5 miles – a nice compliment though 😉
The Mizuno (and my Glycerin 9’s) have been weird to run in lately. Due to the stress fracture in my knee, I know I’m not running evenly on both feet and I can hear the difference on the pavement – my left leg doesn’t make much noise, but the right leg slaps the pavement with every step which is most annoying. Initially I thought it was the glycerin’s but the mizuno’s did a similar thing. I’ve not run in my old NewBalance shoes recently – I used them before thanksgiving and was not aware of any issues, but I was running on gravel paths as opposed to tarmac so the noise was not as noticeable. The Mizuno’s were pretty comfortable although they were a bit stiff across the top of the toe and I could feel them rubbing a bit as my feet flexed on impact.
Thanks to Mizuno for sponsoring the run and thanks to Columbus Running for putting on the event and congratulations on being one of the top 50 running stores in the country – a well deserved honour.
It’s been a month since my last post, but as I’m not actually running at the moment, that is not really surprising. Since the last post I’ve been to see the doc twice and have got the all clear to not need crutches. Last Friday was my last visit and after being left in the room waiting for the doctor to arrive I found out a few minutes later that the door was not unlocked and the doctor was not able to enter the room – apparently that happens on the first appointment every morning. I did get the go ahead to start doing some exercises and just to take it carefully and don’t overdo it so I decided to help out with the water stop at the Columbus Marathon on Sunday. This should have been my first marathon so although it was sad to not take part, it was still nice to get some of the race experience in.
Sunday morning came round early and I was up at 5am which seems crazy for being a Sunday AND because I wasn’t running but we had to be at the aid station by 6.34am. I’m not sure why it was 634 – it’s not like people have 4 minute snooze buttons on their alarm clock – I’m sure most people have it set to 10. The morning was pretty similar to a race morning – I got dressed in my gear that I had laid out the night before but this time I dressed in layers – no shorts and a tshirt this morning! After having the coffee, bagel and the usual morning routine I headed into Columbus. As I pulled onto Broad Street at 625 I drove past a couple of aid stations that were already busy filling cups, but they were the first two aid stations so would be getting the people a few minutes before us.
I got out the car, grabbed my gear and walked over to the group to get my orders. I started off putting cups out but was soon asked to start filling the cups with water. I was glad I had brought a pitcher with me as it was so much easier to pour water from than some of the other containers that were in use. I just kept filling cups and then going to refill my pitcher and then heading back to the table to try and work out where I (or someone else) had left off. Due to the darkness and the shadows in the cups it was actually pretty hard to tell whether the cups had water in them so I went back to the car and grabbed my running torch and headed back to keep filling (side joke for the american readers – don’t worry about having a torch on my head – the abundance of water meant I was not concerned about catching fire)
The tables were stacked up to four levels high and then it was time to grab a group photo (thanks to the Columbus Running Company for their photo)It was quite funny – as we all lined up for the shot an ambulance came from behind us with it’s sirens going so we all had to move over to allow it to pass. We all lined up under the inflatable race marker normally used for the start and finish of races – I’m not sure if the Start Logo would be demoralising after running for 6 miles already. If you look carefully, in the bottom right of the picture you can see the aid table for the elite runners.
Shortly after the photo was taken, the wheelchair athletes zoomed past followed by the elite runners and then the hordes came. At first there were only a few people but when the first pace group hit, it was really crowded. We were holding out the water cups, shouting Water, Water and trying not to grab cups as fast as possible. I did find that having long arms really helped – I was able to reach out and pass to some of the runners who were not able to get close to the side of the stop as it was really crowded. When it wasn’t too busy, it was possible to read the name on the bib and then hand the water over with a hopefully encouraging personalised word mentioning the runners name. I know that when I was running the Capcity half – it was really neat to hear someone call my name out – but it did surprise me the first time. For those runners who had distinctive dress, costume or gear it was great to see their smiles as we recognised their effort. My favourite were these two.
I was very impressed at how many runners said thankyou for volunteering and thanks for the water as they came past. It was really nice for them to take the time and the energy to thank us and we got tons of smiles too. Everyone was really friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves even though it was pretty crowded at the water stop. I was amazed at just how many people and how close together everyone was as they came through – I know it would have driven me nuts if I had to run 26.2 miles with that many people packed together, but I think it was just the sheer number of people hitting the narrower and slower water stop that was causing a bit of a bottle neck.
I kept a look out for the several runners that I knew were running the race and saw 4 people that I recognised but only gave water to one of them.
After the official pace car drove past, there was still quite a few walkers behind the vehicle so we stayed a bit for the last few people and then packed up which went pretty quickly. Then it was back home. I was pleased that my leg hadn’t given my any problem despite being on it for 3.5 hours with a lot of carrying water and then turning for cups. In fact my left arm probably ached the most due to holding out that many cups of water.
I was a good morning. My preperations of a decent pitcher (mark with your name), headlamp, thin gloves to keep your hands a bit warm, rake to gather the cups and waterproof trousers and several layers meant I kept warm and I helped the waterstop run efficiently. I think the weather was perfect for running and I was glad to be involved in a bit of running culture – something I have missed for the past two months. (Although today I joined a gym and was really glad to get some exercise in – that elliptical and treadmill are looking very tempting – especially as the stationery bike that I’m limited to at the moment really makes for a sore bum)
If you get a chance to volunteer for a race – especially if you are sidelined due to injury, then I highly recommend it, especially if it’s a Columbus Running Company one 😉
For more photos of the race, check out their Facebook album.
What is your snooze time on your alarm clock?. Have you ever volunteered at a race and what has been your favourite running costume that you’ve worn or seen?