Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Big Bright Light Show

The Big, Bright Light Show is a dazzling holiday light display that attracts over one million visitors to Downtown Rochester. During this event, the buildings of Downtown Rochester are covered in holiday lights every six inches, equaling over 500,000 points of light.

Last year, we headed down during the holidays, and besides being a very cool display of lights that little dirt dawg enjoyed, we also dined and bought a toy box for little dirt dawg that made the whole experience feel a little more like the holidays than fighting for a parking spot at the mall. This year, Grandpa Headbutt also joined in on the trip and commented, " I don't know how they get all those lights to stay lit. I can't even get three strands of lights to stay on."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Energy

As you rush about this holiday season from here to there
Looking to spread that little holiday cheer
Take faith in knowing
GU has come out with a little something to keep you going....

A yummy treat washed down with a little H2O
Will help keep you running all day and saying HO, HO, HO.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Trot

Dirrty Girl had this wonderful idea a few weeks ago that we should institute a new family tradition and run the Turkey Trot 5K in Downtown Detroit with the kids before catching some of the parade and then making the requisite family stops for caloric consumption of ginormous proportions. I was all gung ho of course, and only wondered what the weather might bring. Nervously, after the Gobble Dash @ work yesterday, I headed down to pick up our race #'s, make Little Dirt Dawg's, and kept changing the radio and looking at the weather channel at a system that was supposed to bring snow and a driving wind.

While the rest of the family slept, I did a short recon run this morning to see what the weather was like and to advise on the proper gear needed to complete the Turkey Trot. It did not look promising as snow showers and a pretty stiff notherly wind threatened to derail a tradition not yet started. Dirrty Girl and I bundled Dirrty Feather and Little Dirt Dawg in their warmest gear, crossed our fingers and headed down to the D.

Luckily, just before the race began, the snow showers stopped and it was almost pleasant, if you called 34 degrees with a northely wind pleasant. Little Dirt Dawg was in full Thanksgiving mode as he yelled, "Gobble Gobble" to fellow racers and Team Dirt ran the whole way together with a final sprint leading to Dirrty Girl and Little Dirt Dawg rolling across the finish a mere 1 second ahead of me and Dirrty Feather. Our respective times of 33:27 and 33:28 were of no concern as we were all thankful to start a new tradition that everyone enjoyed.

Of course the tradition was not complete without a stop @ the DSO to watch some of the parade!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

2nd Annual Gobble Dash

The 2nd annual Gobble Dash as part of the Fun Run Series threatened to turn into a Gobble Splash as falling temperatures and more importantly a steady rain descended on the course.

Cleared by his physician to return to the series with any future incidences of blood letting to be followed by a Cat Scan, Einstein returned to the Fun Run Series with the edict :
" Any idiot can run/walk when it is nice and sunny."

The W.I.P. 's huddled around like girls at a sleepover and did the "if you go i will go, but you know it kind of wet and rain” banter.Dirt Dawg chuckled at the peer pressure being applied and even threw in the incentive of buying the first round of cowboy pops to fuel the fire.

As it turns out, only Chai Tea Latte and J-No were the only ones from the W.I.P.'s who answered the call and were rewarded with a hearty pint of Blue Moon.

Gobble Dash 2
November 21, 2007
3.25 miles
Unofficial Results

Dirt Dawg - 30 min
Einstein - 34 min
Chai Tea Latte - 45 min
J-NO - 45 min

Saturday, November 17, 2007

You know how I know...

I am a runner? Instead of sitting down to watch a battle for the Big Ten Championship btwn U of M vs OSU from start to finish and ingest copius amounts of cowboy pops and cheesy poofs, I headed out for a nice 5 miler as it was the only time I had today. I admit at least watching the game was a nice incentive as I made it back before the end of the first quarter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Runners Fear Me...

I am a wimp
. Let's just put it out there. Sure, I can run for miles on end and endure hours of sustained discomfort, but ask me to drop and give you twenty, and I am more likely to ask you if you would like that in small bills.
Like most runners, I have avoided any strength training like you do any sick family member before a marathon and could think of a million reasons as to why it is not good for you. I don't want to bulk up, it might slow me down, that's less time I have to run, and so on.
However, earlier this summer as I was going out for a late night run, I noticed this barbaric torture device sitting out on the curb. Suddenly, a crazy and some might call stupid thought, entered my head. The little voice inside said, "Go get your van and bogart this crude and archaic device, put it in your man cave and when the weather turns dark early, lift those plates and become a wimp no more." Stupidly, I did just that, and there it sat all summer long, used more as a place to lay my running gear than to pump myself up.
Sadly, this morning, instead of a tempo run, or hill repeats, or intervals, it was replaced by words that just hurt to say them: Squats, Pushups, Bench Press, Arm Curls, Shoulder Presses, Upright Rows and so on. Oddly, I felt a different rush when I had completed this circuit of torture, but I am going with the idea that if I actually followed a plan all summer long and it produced a 50 miler and new PR in the marathon, that surely this will improve my running somehow, right?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

From 8 to a 10K to 5.22

While Dirrty Girl and Little Dirt Dawg headed off to church, I decided to take Dirrty Feather out to my church, the road.

The plan was to head to Kensington Metro Park for an 8 mile loop and then maybe stop for a quick bagel and coffee. After loading up Dirrty Feather and her necessary gear, we headed out. Forecast called for some spotty showers but it was clear until we got 1 exit away and then the rain started. Rats!!

A quick glance showed that if I turned the car around and did about 80, I could possibly get to a local 10K that was being run about 25 miles away. Seeing as how Dirrty Feather was napping, I didn't see any reason not to give it a whirl.

We made great time but trying to get to the race parking and register was impossible as the parking and registration were at the epicenter of the course that was shut off.

Dejected, I turned the car around and headed home, and after approximately 80 miles of driving we still hadn't run a mile. Dirrty Feather had gotten a great nap so after a quick snack we rambled around town for about 5.22 miles. Maybe we should have just done that all along.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Why the FR is important..

Every Thursday, a merry cast of characters with colorful names such as Chai Tea Latte, Dr. Hagopian, J-No, Abstract, Prancer, Twinkle Toes, and myself amble and ramble along a 3.25 mile course outside of our school in the name of fitness and comraderie.

This school year though, we have been facing an enormous challenge as we have been dealing with students and families whose behaviors and experiences are nothing like you could imagine. Forced to do more with less as the economy has tightened, agencies have cut back on services and trying to help our students before they fall between the cracks or decide to take the wrong path is difficult.

Needless to say that stress and tension on the faces of our staff is easy to see. That being said, I have found particular salvation in the weekly Fun Run, newsletters and conversation with staff about running/walking, nicknames and clothing options as the colder weather descends on us.

Today was a perfect example of how at the end of the day, I was particularly stressed and worked up about a number of issues and incidents but told my boss that I was going for my fun run and would return with a clear head and finish up when I got back. It really was what I needed. A chance to get some fresh air, clear my head, and engage fellow staff in banter that at least for the moment took my mind of off work.

Upon returning to school to finish up, one staff who has been unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts stated, " You know, you started a good thing. People look forward to it." And so do I.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Run In The Park Final Results

Without chip timing, the official results posted today on RunMichigan.Com for the Woodhaven Run In The Park 4 Miler were even better than Dirrty Girl and I had reported.

Dirrty Girl: 39:51 (4th in the female 35-39 age division and 106th out of 126 participants)

Dirt Dawg: 27:09 (3rd in the male 30-34 age division and 21st out of 126 participants)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Woodhaven Run In The Park 4 Miler

Prior to leaving the house today for the Woodhaven Run in the Park 4 miler, I tried to divert the debacle that ensued at our last race, when without a race #, Little Dirt Dawg was upset and was wondering why he did not have a #. So I made him his own race bib # with a 1 on it, but he said, "No, dad, this is my third race, it should have a 3." Dirrty Girl and I just looked at one another and said, "He's right." and quickly made a race bib with a 3 on it.

Minus a slight detour thanks to a construction filled I-75 and me not paying attention, we arrived with barely enough time to get the troops into their respective chariots and discuss racing strategy. Pushing Little Dirt Dawg, Dirrty Girl was aiming for a finishing time of 44 minutes or 11 min/mile pace. I was aiming for a 30 min/7:30 mile pace with Dirrty Feather.

The temp hovered around 35 degrees, and we made sure the troops were layered and hunkered down before the gun went off. A wide open, flat course gave Dirrty Girl the opportunity to smash the time she had originally thought of as she used the mantra of " I can catch that skinny girl in front of me" and rambled on to a 39:52 finish and average of 9:58 per mile!!!

Dirrty Feather and I sped through the course in a time of 27:22, an average of 6:50 per mile. Good thing, because she had consumed her zweiback toast and her hands (no gloves) were cold!!

Besides the cool sweatshirts and lunchbox door prize we received, a ribbon to remind of us another family run Dirrty Feather proudly displayed on the way back home.