Sunday, February 12, 2012

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Last weekend, we all raced at the Red Top Rumble at Red Top Mountain State Park.

The Rumble is my very favorite race of the year.  Doug raced the inaugural running several years ago while the kids and I spectated.  From our car, we could see the lines of runners snaking through seemingly unmarked woods and I was inspired.  I was injured in year 2, so I volunteered at the last water stop with a nice guy from Big Peach Running Co.  In years 3 and 4 I got to run and it was beautiful.  Running around the lake on a pine straw trail watching the sunrise is fabulous!  Because there are no mile markers and Garmins don't work well in the woods, you can just run like a kid.  Here is a photo of *some* of the kids.  Top row from left: Katie, Jay, Daniel, John, James, Doug, Steve, Eric; second row:  Sarah, Michelle, Nat, me, Lisa, Michelle; front row: Eli, Dagny, Brady (in red), a girl I don't know and Annika. 

Greg was taking the photo, but for whatever reason, we missed Dan, Karen, Tom, Dave, Jason, and a bunch of other folks in the photo.  Red Top is like old home day because lots of peeps show up.

My knee has been bothering me since the Goofy, so I was not gunning for any particular time or place.  I knew that my run fitness was really good from last year's training plus the Goofy miles, but the knee . . . who knew?

I toed the line and went out pretty fast (it is downhill!  use the gravity!).  I chased Dave and then Nat and her sister.  I ran with Eric for a while and then James until I had to make a pit stop, and then my knee decided it was done.

So, I walked it in and picked up the trash off of the course.  Littering is a huge pet peeve of mine, and some buddies mentioned a lot of trash on the Mountain Mist course last week so with the potential for knee failure, I was primed to carry a lot of junk out.   

And?  There was not much trash at all.  I picked up what I found and deposited it in appropriate locations (cans or aid-station bags).  : ) Yay!

While I was still on the course, they ran the kids race.  It is so cool to watch.  Curtis rides his mountain bike out front to show the way and the kids chase.

Here are Annika, Owen, Dags, Jack and Eli talking some smack.

Racing!  Owen did not yet know that (1) Annika's goal was to win, and (2) that she is right behind him.  He picked up the pace when he figured it out.  Doug said the lookback was priceless.

Here comes Dags!  She loved the cheering and fun atmosphere.

Doug and Karen both ran PRs.  Jay and John passed me like I was standing still.  Nat ran with her sister and we all had a great time.  The food was awesome (egg strata, sausage and biscuits from Colonnade chef and ultradude Ryan Cobb) and a good time was had by all.

Here is hoping that my knee gets its act together so I can get back on the trails and roads!  The Georgia marathon is not looking good.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

There's a Hole in My Bucket

The darn bucket song irritates me because I want to just take the stupid bucket from Goofy and fix it myself.  It makes me not like Goofy.

In the late 1990s, when we were just out of school and under-employed (but glad to be employed at all, because the market was bad that year!), my friend Stephanie made a list of the things she wanted to do before she died.  We talked about the inherent morbidity of the list, especially since she had no reason to think her death might be emminent (it was not - we work together now) but decided it was a good idea.   Why not make a list of the things you always meant to do but never got to?  Stephanie read some classics and learned to juggle and a bunch of other things.

I never made my list.

Since then, the "Bucket List" has made its way into the common vernacular and everyone has a bucket list, much like a "top 5 list."

For whatever reason, though, the idea of the bucket list also irritates me just like the bucket song because it seems to represent doing something just to check it off the list and not because of value of doing the thing or the reason that you put it on the list in the first place.  And, it seems that my bucket has only a very small hole because stuff keeps coming in faster than it comes out.

Anyway, about eight years ago, sometime after Natalie started running marathons, Joe told us about how he had been to Disney World to run the half-marathon.  A half-marathon!  It seemed to us like an amazing athletic feat.  I knew Natalie could do such things, but she is special.  However, if Joe could do it, maybe I could too.  Joe encouraged me to give it a try and Doug was game, so I signed up while Joe decided to attempt the marathon.

Here is my race report from that half-marathon.  Doug, Joe and I were astounded at the people who were doing the Goofy Challenge that weekend, which is completion of the Donald Half on Saturday and the Mickey Marathon on Sunday.  I remember standing in my corral at the start of that half, marveling at those uber-athletes wearing the orange Goofy bibs.  Soon after that race, Doug started running (and by the way, he is really good at it) and now we run all kinds of races.  So, last year when Doug signed up for the Goofy, I was jealous of him and then thrilled when he suggested that we invite my parents to join us so I could run too!  WHOO!

We had a great time doing the Goofy.  I still can't believe that we did it.  I walked around Epcot for the rest of the day telling Doug, "We did the Goofy!"  My friend Cathy from the Savannah marathon was there too, and I ran the marathon with her and her running buddies, including Moore on Running.  It was awesome.  My favorite part was singing "Sweet Caroline" with Annie coming down the exit ramp to Hollywood Studios.  I could go on for days about the awesomeness of Disney or the way they can put on an event. 

Instead, I will leave you with some photos and the memory my dad relates every time we talk about Disney World.  He recalls a girl with big glasses and long blonde pigtails in a homemade shorts outfit skipping down the path with her sister (in a matching outfit with long brown pigtails) singing "It's a Small World".