Sunday, December 31, 2006

'Tis the season... run with friends. It's been great, really, as I've only had to venture out solo a handful of times during the last 9 days. Last Friday was an easy hour with Hodge in Sterling before getting caught in the rain all by my lonesome on Saturday. Last Sunday marked a first for the weekly Carrara long run, as we fielded a full 7-person team for 92 minutes of nature romping through the Sudbury Town Forest. Monday's Second Annual Christmas Day run with KTGwyth went off without a hitch, and Tuesday saw a dandy little group parading around the Hopedale loop, with myself, the aforementioned KTGwyth, Mark Driscoll and Dan "The Man" MacKay all taking part in the fun. A couple solo shuffles through Auburn - including a hearty helping of hills on Thursday - took care of the next two days before venturing back to Hopedale on Friday, this time with Sean, Dianna and Driscoll, for 7 easy miles followed by the best brunch this side of 495. Yesterday capped the week with an easy 5 miles from the store after work and this morning was another solo shuffle from home to end the year on a high note, that being the fact I'm healthy and happy to be in good working order.

So that does it for '06. Due to a whole smattering of circumstances, this blog has taken a back seat in recent months, but I've decided that I'm not going to pull the plug on it just yet. Hopefully things will fall into place in the near future and that valuable ingredient often referred to as free time will resurface to some degree and my contributions to this space will be more fruitful than they have of late.

Thanks to all of you who have visited frequently, lurked quietly, contributed graciously and commented honestly over the past year. Your efforts are appreciated and didn't go unnoticed by this author, even if it seemed like I abandoned this project from time to time. You are what have made this experience enjoyable for me, so thanks again.

Until next time - and there WILL be a next time- take it easy.

Quote of the day:

A long December and there's reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last.
- Counting Crows

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rocky Mountain high

Greetings from Colorado - let's cut right to the chase. Early highlights from my weekend trip thus far:

* Sitting next to perhaps the scariest, but most soft-spoken dude I've ever encountered in my entire life on the flight from DC to Denver. Turns out he's a holistic healer from Rhode Island on his way to Boulder for some sort of hippy healing seminar. Picture Mark Wetmore - ponytail and all - with a beard. Yes, it was really that frightening.

* For my first run at altitude Oscar took me to some trails nearby his place here in Lakewood. He told me "the loop" takes about an hour. He also warned me we would do a little climbing, but nothing too strenuous. 40 minutes and 1,600 breathtaking feet later we're at the top of Green Mountain as Senor Ponce proclaims, "That's Denver way down there." When I inquire as to just how high up we are, he laughs, "6,900 feet rookie. It took me 2-1/2 months after I got here before I did this run." Apparently, 2-1/2 hours was plenty of adaptation time for me.

* Dinner at a kick-ass authentic Mexican restaurant, complete with Mariachi band. I was the the token gringo among los Mexicanos, but got by just dandily with my limited Spanish vocabulary, including but not limited to: si, no, gracias y agua por favor. I was asked to refrain from singing, however.

And that'll do it for this brief edition; more to come soon. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

"I didn't want to discourage you rookie."
- Oscar, on his reasoning for not telling me about the 1,600 foot elevation gain on our run yesterday.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Still kickin'

No, this blog hasn't completely shit the bucket yet. It's on life support and I reckon it will hang on till the end of the year, at least. I vaguely remember Kemibe posting something about the inevitable downfall of undertaking such an endeavor, but since he's terminated any evidence of said claim, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Anyway, not much excitement to speak of since the last posting, unless you count working 64 hours in a given week exciting. Actually, it kinda was. The adrenaline rush of finishing up at one job and rushing to the other provided small moments of excitement, but by Sunday I was pretty wiped. On the running side of things, my planned down week fell in nicely with the unplanned temporary spike in work hours, so no real trouble to speak of there. And just as well, because it allowed me to take care of some minor Achilles niggles earlier in the week, which as of right now thankfully aren't presenting me any further problems.

Kevin has helped me map out a rough plan for the next few weeks which should bring me into the new year in pretty good shape. Hopefully by then I'll be able to piggyback some of my workouts off of Ryan and his Boston Marathon cronies as I get ready for the New Bedford 1/2 Marathon on March 18. That's the working plan as of right now and I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Lastly, I'm off to Denver for the weekend to kill some vacation time, visit old pals Oscar and Carrie and make good use of a $133 Travelocity VIP round-trip special. It will be my first trip to the land of the Rockies and I'm very much looking forward to it. With any luck, I'll keep a journal and post it here when I get back. Keep your fingers crossed and it just might happen.

Best of luck to my New Balance teammates out in San Fran this coming weekend at Club Nats, as well as former Chieftain cross country teammates Sean and Dianna who are heading up from sunny San Diego.

And that'll do it for me. Take it easy.

Quote of the day:

The fire is still there. That's the only reason I'm coming back.
- Jason Lunn