Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Bit More Road Running....

Hopefully Thanksgiving was both happy and peaceful for you and yours. It certainly was around our house although I would be telling one whopper of a story if I did not admit that I am very hopeful that some November in the not-too-distant future that all of us shall again be in the same time zone on Turkey Day. That has not been the case the past three years. Next year perhaps.

I spent a part of my Thanksgiving morning running in a 5K race in Princeton. I was under the impression that it was going to be something of a low-key, small affair. Not so much. There were close to six hundred runners who participated in it. Here 'NTSG we actually had to endure a smattering of snow flakes - although mercifully none of them left even a trace of their visit behind them. It made for a bit of a chilly run through the streets of Princeton. Actually, that is not entirely true. The race started at 8:00 a.m. I know not whether the streets on which we ran Thursday morning comprise a particular neighborhood in Princeton but I do know that the mercury never got high enough to approach the neighborhood of "chilly". It clearly enjoyed its stay in the cold 'hood and never bothered to leave.

Cold weather notwithstanding it was quite a nice event. I actually ran my fastest-ever 5K time, which is - in the interest of full disclosure - the running equivalent of being the skinniest kid at fat camp. Perhaps the cold weather was motivation to run a bit faster than I ever have. I know not. I know that it was a fine way to spend a small piece of my Thanksgiving. It was nice to see a lot of other folks out there braving the cold weather - engaging in what might be considered 'anticipatory weight loss' prior to the commencement of Thanksgiving's eating festivities - and giving a little something for a good cause. Thursday's event included a drop-off point for donations of non-perishable food items for those in need of a little help this Thanksgiving. When I last looked into the rear of the truck as I was heading to my car post-race, it looked as if there was quite an impressive amount of food in it. Nice to see indeed.

Yesterday morning I eschewed my own 'black Friday' tradition of getting to the office by 4:30 a.m. (good thing too since all those earlier morning shoppers clogged the highways and byways between home and the office) to take part in another race. I met up with Gidg in Mr. Springsteen's hometown to participate in - for the first time ever - the Born to Run 5 Mile Race. Man, what a blast. We ran not only through the streets of Freehold Boro but also through a trail in Lake Topanemus Park, which was a new and exciting adventure for me (and for Gidg). It was a day that fairly could be described as "raw" in Bruce's hometown with slate gray skies and a bit of a biting wind. Fortunately the rain in the forecast, which had been estimated at percentages ranging from 40% to 70%, never made an appearance. While I have only run in a small handful of five mile races, in my limited experience running five miles in the rain - especially a cold rain - is not much fun at all.

Yesterday's race proved to be quite a bit of fun. Bruce himself did not make an appearance - although I ran accompanied by nothing but his music on my iPod - but several hundred runners did. No - neither Gidg nor I finished in first place - a result that I assure you neither of us found the least bit surprising but each of us had what I would consider a successful race. Gidg went under fifty minutes for the first time ever in a 5 mile race, which made her understandably very happy. I finished in forty-one minutes and one second, which prompted the Missus to exclaim, "One second!" as if I had only leaned into it a bit harder at the finish I might have finished in 41 minutes flat.

Truth be told, she might be right. Maybe next year I can shave that bloody second off of my time. Something to look forward to I suppose. As the man says, "You gotta take 'em as they come." Sage advice indeed.

-AK

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