Monthly Archives: February 2005

Weather Weenie

 People come to Florida to escape the cold, nasty winter weather of wherever they come from. If you ask Bill Bradley, he’ll tell you about some of our really bad weather run adventures. Whether it was rain, wind, snow or a combination of all three, we went out. On one of the runs, we had a chance to turn around a mile into the run and we passed it up. The snow was heavy and the wind was blowing hard (I’d say gale force but it probably wasn’t quite that strong).

We ran an 8 mile out and back from Green Street to Sager Road. On the way back we were coming up the hill just South of the corner of Cook and Quimby. We got about 10 yards apart and, with the heavy snow being blown all around, we completely lost sight of each other. We decided that day was the benchmark for the worst weather we would go out in.

So here it is at 9 AM when everyone in the running group is out running in Michigan and I’m in Florida sitting inside. The weather report for Sunday for Hudson was an 80% chance of rain with some wind and a chance of thunderstorms. Since I don’t like running in the rain, and I never run in thunderstorms, I ran my 12 miles yesterday. So I guess that means when the Trilanders Triathlon Club has their next meeting, I’ll have to stand up and say “My name is Jack and I’m a weather weenie”.

Everyone who runs knows that there are some days that you have to drag yourself out to run, and often have to fight yourself not to quit in the first mile. On other days, you feel comfortable from the first step and you feel like you could run all day. Ever since the Ironman Wisconsin race, I’ve had those difficult runs where I’ve never felt comfortable, my heart rate was high, and I got tired quickly. Not yesterday. I started out comfortable and never got tired. At two hours I felt like I could keep going forever, but knew that would be a big mistake. So, as of today, in my training for the Bayshore Marathon, I’ve had one good run day.

Jean is spending less time on the run and more time on the bike. We had been riding a flat stretch of the Suncoast Bike Trail from Hwy 52 to Hwy 54 and back, a round trip of 21.5 miles. When I was back in Michigan, she rode with some people from Buffalo, New York on a different part of the Suncoast. There are a few cross streets that you have to get by, but only two have very much traffic. The ride starts near the YMCA where we lift weights and goes North. The first 6 miles is a fairly flat warm up. After Hwy 50 (yes, the same one that goes through Clermont for you Great Floridian veterans), it becomes rolling. By the time it gets to US 98, it has some pretty good hills. Not like Ironman Wisconsin or Lake Placid, but definitely hilly.

The entire ride from the park where we start to 98 and back is around 36 miles. Jean wants to get her mileage up so she has some base going into the 24 Hour Challenge, which she plans to do this year for the first time. She says she’ll only do the 125 mile loop and then quit, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

Well, I’d better sign off. I’m trying to muster up the courage to go out to the local IHOP for pancakes. With this terrible weather (OK, it’s only sprinkling and it’s 60 degrees), we may be the only ones there.

Just (I’m Afraid to Get Wet) Jack

Ahm Tard

 Today ends the first week of my formal training for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City on Memorial Day weekend. My schedule calls for running five days a week. Three are short (35 to 45 minutes) and two are longer. This week’s long runs were 70 minutes on Wednesday and 105 minutes today and I’m tired, or as the rednecks say down here “Ahm tard”. I’m used to running three days a week since the race in September, and it’s quite a shift in the energy drain. Studies show that geezers (that’s the medical term for what we refer to as “age challenged”) need more recovery time than younger people (let your mind wander on this one).

It’s interesting that when we run with our friends in Michigan, I know I’m the one of the oldest (Pat’s much older than I am) and, as a result, I’m not expected to finish the long run until well after the youngsters are done and have eaten most of the food at the Sunday  brunch. Down here, we’re considered the youngsters, and most of the people just shake their heads and think we’re nuts, which we are.

This morning I had an age challenged gentleman, who was shuffling out to the street to pick up his morning paper at 10:30 AM in pajama bottoms that were as old as I am, tell me I should be carrying weights in my hands instead of my water bottle. I was100 minutes into my 105 minute run, and my water bottle, which was empty, felt like it weighed 10 pounds. I usually come up with some cocky, snide remark like “Come out and run with me and tell me what I’m doing wrong”, but I was too tired even for that.

Most of you know I’m an animal lover. Not just dogs, and I do tolerate cats, but I marvel at the different things I see on my runs (and road kill on the bike rides). Today it was the wild parrots that have a raucous squawk, but are fascinating to watch, and are a pretty green color. On my Wednesday 70 minute run, a big gentleman (yes, bigger than me and he was age challenged) was walking two little dogs, the kind I refer to as “ankle biters”. The dogs were on leashes but as I ran by, unlike everyone else, he let one dog get too close and I was almost nipped. He thought it was quite funny. I didn’t. They might have been his little “children”, but to me they were a couple of furry rats with a somewhat dimwitted owner.

Contrary to my personality shortly after the bike accident at IM Wisconsin, I kept my thoughts to myself. When I ran by him a few minutes later he said something and laughed and I didn’t say a word. So, Bill, Diane, Becky and Jean, unlike the young man at Panama City Beach, I didn’t call him an a$%^#le. I must be getting better.

I’ll be back in Michigan on Thursday this week for some hospital meetings and will fly back down here on Tuesday, the 22nd. My plane gets in at 1:30 PM and I’m still trying to make arrangements to get from the airport to Green Street. It’s not like down here where they have shuttles that take people to all the coastal cities from the Tampa airport. So my e-mail next week may be from the cottage, if I can get in the driveway and get the heat cranked up. If not, I may be off the air until the 27th.

By the way, that’s the date of The Great Escape Triathlon (olympic length) at Clermont, so if any of you are flying down to do that, let us know.

‘Til Later,

Just (Oh My Aching Body) Jack

It Must Be Spring

 My training for the Bayshore Marathon starts tomorrow, so my run today was the last of the base warm-up runs. I only went 9 miles (my first long run is 105 minutes), and ran quite slow, but I always do so what’s different? Every time I run I see Robins, so spring must be just around the corner. It seems that I see them earlier each year. It must be a global warming thing.

Jean and I went on our third bike ride yesterday. The wind was the same as the previous two times, out of the North from 10 to 15 mph. The ride down was easy and the ride back was a chore. I had a hard time keeping the bike at 16 mph on the way back, and dropped to 14 in a couple of spots where the wind was blowing hard.

Of course, Jean rode behind me on the way down (just to warm up) and rode away from me on the way back. When we got back to the car, to rub it in I think, she asked if we were gone an hour. It’s a 21.4 mile down and back, and in my trademark, sarcastic way, I said “I didn’t average 21.4 mph so I was gone 1:15:43”.

Brother Bob and his girlfriend, Debra (not Debbie or Deb, but Debra), said they would go with us when we were out to dinner Friday evening. I don’t know if it sounded better after a couple glasses of wine or not, but they didn’t make it. They both let work get in the way of bike riding, something our group doesn’t know about. I did that for 28 years before I attended one of Jon Anderson’s “big tent revival meetings” and saw the light. He must have learned the process from Jimmy Swaggert on TV and adapted the “altar call” to a “1,000 jumps” spinning class.

Jean and I spent the last week going through model homes in some new developments. One was a golf community and two were not. On the 26th or 27th there is a”Great Escape Triathlon” over in Clermot. We aren’t ready to do one yet this year, but will go over and watch it, then take a tour of the Clermont area with some friends to see what is there.

We had dinner with Larry and Lorrie Blair and Jan Kietzmann (all from Hastings) last evening at Club Wildwood. Many of you know Larry as Dr. Blair but most of you don’t know he is an excellent cook. Jean made the mistake of, twice, calling it a trailer park. She was told it’s not a trailer park, it’s a mobile home community. When we left, we dropped Jan off at her place, and several residents followed us out with flaming torches and pitchforks, with signs that said “Yankee Trailer Trash Go Home”.

The weather is warming up and I kow it’s been quite mellow in Michigan for the last week or so. I’ll fly up on the 17th for a meeting on the 18th, teeth cleaning and a haircut on the 21st (yes, it’s long, but not as long as Larry Etter’s was…hair, not teeth), a Pennock Board meeting on the 22nd, and will fly back on the 22nd late.

Better go. We’re on our way to brother Bob’s to watch the superbowl. I made a bowl of what they call “South Georgia Caviar”. It has black-eyed peas, corn, diced tomatoes and chiles, diced jalapeno pepper, diced red bell peppers, diced onion, diced pimento, and italian dressing. It’s served with corn chips or tortilla chips (no double-dipping allowed). It’s enough to feed 50 people, so if you are free, stop by. Call and I’ll give you directions.

Just (Tired From This Morning’s Run) Jack