Runsketeers have the run of a "Lifetime"

SIOR asked me to substitute her face with the first lady’s 

Today’s run (Bethpage State Park Bike Trail): 5.1 miles

After Friday and Saturday’s mild weather, today’s 32° (with wind chill) felt darn cold this morning. I met SIOR and KWL at the lot in Bethpage State Park where SIOR was scheduled to lead a run for Lifetime Fitness. Unfortunately, our stalwart pal TPP was not able to join us today. She does very long bike trips with her cycling friends (I suggest she nickname them the Bikesketeers) and needed some recovery time.

KWL and I hung out in my car while we waited for SIOR to arrive. There was a guy dressed for running who was waiting in the lot, but we couldn’t tell if he was there for the group run. Once SIOR finally showed up, I tried to subtly convey that we were the Lifetime group by saying Lifetime really loud a couple of times. The guy didn’t respond and I’m guessing he looked at us and decided he’d be better off running alone, which he did. That turned out okay because I’d brought fresh pumpkin loaves for my Runska-buddies (baked by Mrs ER and ER daughter) and it would have been embarrassing not to give him one.

With that settled, we decided to run six miles. When I say “we”, I mean SIOR. I wasn’t sure I’d be up to doing six today and as it turned out, I was right. The plan was that KWL and SIOR would go three miles, turn back and intercept me as I progressed to the turnaround point.

The first obstruction to the plan came about a mile and a quarter after we’d started, when SIOR and KWL saw a sign that the bike trail was closed. We decided that meant closed to everyone but the Runsketeers so we kept going. That meant occasionally squeezing through barriers that reinforced that the trail was closed. We weren’t the only ones who ignored the sign’s suggestions.

I saw a few other runners and a father and his pre-adolescent son riding bikes. The bike riders ignored the fact that cars come quickly off the roundabout west of Quaker Meeting House Road and I almost witnessed a terrible accident. Thankfully the SUV’s driver was paying attention and stopped in time to let these oblivious riders cross. I yelled at the father who didn’t stick around to debate me.

Felt like freezing

I decided to run five miles rather than six, and turned around after I’d reached the  2.5 mile mark. I wondered how long it would be until I heard the footsteps of my run mates coming up behind me. I was surprised when I reached the final mega-hill without being overtaken. I made it back to my car and waited for my friends to come in.

It turned out that SIOR had experienced a problem with her toes and needed to walk that off before resuming her run. Soon enough, I saw KWL coming down the final hill into the lot, followed a minute or so later by SIOR. We immediately headed to our post-run coffee spot.

There were no free tables at Starbucks, but SIOR managed to intimidate a couple into leaving. I didn’t complain. KWL, SIOR and I covered a lot of topics including fasting and nutrition, Orthodox practices on the Sabbath and how we will survive despite the awful thing that happened on November 8. We spent time talking about guns and the dumb things that happen when people use them (let me be clear – we are not gun supporters). Without TPP, the technology talk was minimal and we missed her. I’m really hoping the gang can get in another run in December

I ended up having a busy afternoon spending more time than advisable in the windy freezing weather. It’s not getting any more pleasant outside so I’m going to stay in for the rest of the day. A slice of pumpkin bread and a cup of dark roast sound like a good way to round out the day.

The Runsketeers take on Eisenhower Park

The homeless guy offered to take this picture but I wanted to keep my phone

Today’s run (Eisenhower Park): 6.4 miles

As I selected my gear this morning for today’s run with my Runskebuds, I was a little concerned about the howling winds outside. I wondered if the story of the day would be about our group being blown all around Eisenhower Park. The wind didn’t turn out to be much of a factor after all, but we did literally run all around the park.

I met the usual suspects in the Bear Park lot (#2). I don’t know why it’s called that. In fact, there isn’t one sign calling it that, but SIOR told us to go there. It was pretty damn chilly and most of us dressed for the weather. One of us wore shorts. Guess who that was. We debated whether to run through the park, over to Hofstra University or along the perimeter of Eisenhower. We decided on the latter and off we went.

We stayed together for about a half mile, long enough for me to think I might be able to keep up my fleeter friends. KWL stayed with me and videoed our progress while TPP and SIOR burned up the bike trail. I did run close to my current pace which is much better than the last time I ran with this bunch. We regrouped around the two mile mark and made our plan to continue circling the park. I naively assumed that would total about four or five miles, but it turned out to be over six.

My splits were fairly even as I made my way around. My slowest mile was my 4th because I elected to run on the grass strip along Salisbury Park Drive because I didn’t want to run on that road due to cars. The surface was pretty runnable but the uneven surface slowed me down. The slope at times was a foot higher on my right leg compared with my left.

We regrouped again when we reached Carmen Ave, just short of five miles. My friends fed me a line that we were “very close” to our endpoint. I appreciated that because running Salisbury seemed endless. As it turned out, running Carmen was more of the same. When it spilled out to Hempstead Turnpike, I realized I’d been duped. I had no choice but to keep running and I eventually made it back to reunite with my friends at the Bear lot.

It seems smaller when you’re driving around it

We headed to Starbucks, as is our wont, and the place was crawling with Alpha Epsilon Phi sisters who were getting their mid-morning caffeine rush. By the time we got our coffee, the big table was free, so we swooped in. Well the table was mostly free. There was one guy sitting there who may or may not have been a homeless person. He was kind of creepy but we were nice to him.

SIOR sent a group picture via Instagram and Facebook and hash tagged some of our conversational highlights: Garmin, Shoekicker, Sketchers, Underarmor, ASICS, Brooks, Apple, Time Warner, Jeep Wrangler, politics, flashers, clowns, Berlin Marathon 2016. There was certainly more than that, but I thought that was a great summary.

The time went by unbelievably fast, but then again it always does. We agreed to meet again in November and the plan right now is to run a 5K in early December. It will be my first race in two years. I’m not quite where I want to be for a race right now, but I’m getting there.

I love the Runsketeers and today was great as always. They made me run over six miles, something I probably wouldn’t have done without their company. Despite feeling like parts of the run would never end, I really liked today’s workout. I feel like I’m holding my gains and I know I will soon be a little faster. KWL, SIOR and TPP inspire and motivate me to push harder than I have in a long time. Our Starbucks conversations go everywhere and are always entertaining. I look forward to the day when I can join the conversation while we’re still on the road.

Runsketeers run an easy, peasy three-sey

Bananas, coffee and happily no crickets

Photo courtesy of TPP

Today’s run (Bethpage bike trail): 3 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.2 miles

Could it be possible that the Runsketeers had not got together for a full group run since February? A look through the Emerging Runner archive confirms it. Unbelievable. Criminal really. Well, no matter, we reunited this morning at Runsketeer headquarters adjacent to the Bethpage bike trail and had a short, pleasant run and a long pleasant coffee-breakfast at Starbucks.

The plan was to meet in our usual spot at 8:00 AM. Although we have met there many times before, it’s always necessary that I send out an actual address to my run mates to GPS, lest they end up going to Bethpage State Park instead. That worked, and when I pulled up at 8:00, KWL, SIOR and TPP were sitting curbside talking about some unmentionable affliction being suffered by TPPs paramour. I now understand KWL’s expression when I arrived. It was a silent thank you for interrupting that conversation.

The four of us chatted for a surprisingly long time before we started to run. Usually SIOR demands that we get started when I’m about halfway out of my car. SIOR and TPP took the lead while KWL and I followed. Unfortunately, my Garmin had gone from ready mode back to nothing mode. When I reignited the GPS, it wouldn’t find a signal or let me start the timer. By the time KWL and I got going, our runmates were a quarter mile up the trail.

SIOR has been unable to run for a number of weeks because she has tendinitis and a slight tear in her meniscus. She became a vegan and everything is fine now. Actually, it’s been a tough recovery for her but she’s back running easy 8:30 miles. Or as I call them, going full bore during a 5K. KWL and I ate up the trail, moving along at my meager pace. The good news was that I could run and talk with no problems, something I have not been able to do for some time.

At the 1.5 mile mark we caught up with SIOR and TPP who had stopped because that was the turnaround point. Soon after, we were passed from the north by a couple of runners, one that SIOR knew. He was a run leader for Life Time Fitness, which SIOR does as well. We chatted with them for a few minutes covering important topics like dead mice on the bike trail and why I can’t run in the Diva half marathon unless I pretend TPP or SIOR are my daughters.

The 1.5 miles back seemed to take no time at all. Soon enough, we were back again at Starbucks for post run refueling. I got a Grande coffee and an egg and cheese muffin because I don’t eat sugar very much anymore. KWL got a much meatier version of that, because he’s running 18 miles tomorrow and had ridden his bike 25 miles to meet us this morning. Oh, and he’s running a half Ironman in Atlantic City in two weeks and then running the Berlin marathon a couple more weeks after that. SIOR had two bananas and TPP had pumpkin bread which I would have shared with her while she wasn’t looking, but held back due to its sugar content.

We covered a lot of subjects, most having to do with nutrition, tech gear or politics. We are pretty much aligned politically which made that okay. The one area where we violently disagree is the consumption of crickets (and silkworms) as a protein source. Well I violently disagreed. KWL was fine with both, SIOR eats silkworms (sort of and also, gross). I don’t think she was in the pro cricket camp, but I think it’s because she’s a vegan now. TPP was pro cricket, but I don’t know her position on silkworms.

The great thing about the Runsketeers is that we can go seven months and start exactly where we left off the last time we got together. But it’s better when we don’t go seven months between our runs. We agreed that we’d do this all again next month after KWL gets through his international running tour. I really loved today’s run with my buddies and was very happy with my workout. I could have easily gone six miles or more today. SIOR’s knee held up great and it looks like she’s back to normal. Well, at least her knee is.

Running in circles while my friends ran at Bethpage

I forgot to mention the invisible airplane on the track

Today’s run (track): 4.1 miles

Due to a science fair scheduling conflict, I needed to run extra early this morning. That was fine, as I’m trying to go back to early day running. The downside was that I missed SIORs run-palooza at Bethpage this morning. This was another Life Time Run Club adventure and today’s group included both TPP and KWL. Long before they all went out, I was at the Syosset HS track getting in 16 laps. The Runsketeers had a great time and I’m very jealous.

I always hope that the track will be empty when I arrive, but there’s usually someone there before me. That was case today. It was mostly walkers, but there were a couple of guys running intervals and one person run/walking wearing a pair of big studio headphones. I tuned everyone out for the most part rather than construct back stories of every person on the track like I usually do. I just wanted to get through the workout and stay on schedule.

I’m going to need to go out early again tomorrow. I’d like to do at least five miles so I’ll probably run somewhere outside my neighborhood. I can’t go too far or too long, because I need to be ready for yet another science fair. But no such problems next weekend. After Monday, science fair season will be over.

The Runsketeers talk a lot about a supermarket

KWL, TPP, Stewy, ER

Today’s runs (Bethpage and neighborhood): 4.6 miles total
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.4 miles

I was not feeling too well on Friday morning and elected to postpone my run until after business hours. I had a busy day, but felt even worse by the end. I considered doing a workout at that point, but decided there would be no fitness benefit. I took sinus medicine before bedtime which caused much restless sleep. By morning, the pounding sinus headache was gone and I was excited to get outside for a run.

We’ve had a lot of snow and ice since late January and I hadn’t run outdoors in over a month. I’ve made my peace with the treadmill but being on the road on Saturday was a welcome joy. Still not feeling 100%, I managed to get around the neighborhood without much problem. Unfortunately, I was not fully recovered and conked out by early evening. That was probably related to the rigorous hike my son and I did in Cold Spring Harbor later in the day.

Long climb to the top at Cold Spring Harbor

This morning I met my Runsketeer buddies for the first time since the New Year’s Hangover run. Between schedules and weather it has been tough to find a weekend to get together. SIOR and KWL were looking to run about 10 miles and TPP and I were looking to do less, so we met them in the Bethpage lot after they’d covered five.

We decided to head north and things got off to a rocky start with a discussion about running pants that I still don’t understand. That was the first of many discussions we had today that didn’t make a lot of sense. TPP and KWL took the lead and SIOR and I ran and chatted until she stopped to walk because my pace was so slow it hurt her knees. We walked almost a mile where we caught up with the other two and ran together back to the lot.

I felt badly that my inability to run my friend’s preferred paces interfered with their objectives for today’s workout. But they never complain about that and supported the fact that I wasn’t feeling great today. I had expected to run at least three miles today but, with the walk, I fell short of that. But I got to have a great conversation SIOR without my usual huffing and puffing.

I’m sure SIOR did this by accident

We decided to switch venues and went to a different Starbucks today. After coffee was ordered, we began the first of many interesting conversations. SIOR, TPP and I talked about strategies to restore my speed to previous levels before we got into some serious discussions. We began with the extremely complex subject of supermarkets. Actually a supermarket called Stew Leonards that recently opened in the area.

I am not kidding when I say that it took over a half an hour to successfully explain the following:

1. Stew Leonards is a supermarket.
2. There is also a Stew Leonards wine store.
3. They are not the same thing.

Once that bit of highly intellectual discourse was completed, we moved onto less challenging subject matter: whiskey appreciation and rock climbing walls. As usual, the time went by too quickly and we needed to start the non-running portion of our days.

Probably due to these energizing discussions, I decided to go for a couple more miles when I got home. Although I ran pretty slowly with my buddies, I did a little better on my second run, I’m sure that being warmed up with my earlier effort helped that.

Back to the work week tomorrow. I’m hoping to do at least four workouts this week and dedicate one of them to speed. SIOR made a point that adding distance is a good way of increasing performance. I should probably work on that. I reached my top performance when I was running six days a week and my speed has declined commensurate to the drop in run frequency. I don’t have an easy way to get back to that schedule. But the point is, this is not easy.

Part 2 – The Emerging Runner: A look back at 2015

The Glorious Runsketeers

Today’s run (street): 3.2 miles

2015 – A look back from July to December

The second half of 2015 had a lot more runs with friends, starting in early July when SIOR and I met up on the Bethpage trail to run a few miles together before heading to Starbucks. TPP was with JC in Connecticut that day and was unable to join us. I ended up covering six miles, my longest run of the year at that point.

Missing TPP

Two weeks later, I met SIOR again, this time to run another six at the Massapequa Preserve that extends the Bethpage trail to the south. I’d run through the northern Preserve before, but had never started a run there from the south. I met up with SIOR once I was three miles in. It was super humid that day and the route seemed to defy physics, with both directions appearing to be uphill.

Massapequa Preserve: up and up

In early August the Runsketeers got together to run the Dirty Sock course at Belmont State Park. KWL joined us on this route that is primarily dirt trails. I stuck to the classic 6.2 mile course and added an extra third of a mile because SIOR forced us to start running before the trail head. The top of the route is a circle around beautiful Belmont Lake. I circled it once, TPP twice and KWL and SIOR did it a third time because they’re the cool kids. We regrouped afterward at a Starbucks that we found in the area. It had really comfy furniture. One of my best running days ever.

Starbuck’n after Dirty Sock runnin’

After over-thinking my running shoe portfolio for months, I finally dropped $52 on a pair of Kinvara 5s in September that I bought through a startup app called Shoekicker. It was love at first footfall. I also did a trail run with my financial whiz running buddy Steve at Stillwell Woods. No one bought my theory that one trail mile equals 1.18 road miles.

❤ my Kinvaras
Me and CrossFitter Steve

In mid October, the Runsketeers returned to Bethpage. SIOR and TPP were both recovering from hard races and ran slowly. That allowed us to all run together the whole time, something we haven’t done in a while. Later, SIOR drove TPP and I back to where we’d parked on Colonial Road. I figured out that five minutes is probably the maximum amount of time SIOR and I can spend together in a moving car.

All smiles after Bethpage

My work schedule did not help my running schedule and I found myself limited to three or four workouts a week. My typical run length had fallen to 3-4 miles and I decided to do something about that. In November, I ran 7.1 miles on the Bethpage trail which turned out to be my longest run in 2015.  I intended to do base runs in increasing lengths, but I failed miserably. In fact, I didn’t do a single run longer than 5 miles for the remainder of the year.

Later that month, the group got together on a chilly post-Thanksgiving morning to support TPP and her sister NIMC who were racing at Stillwell Woods. KWL, SIOR and I ran laps on the track before heading across the street to the start of the race. We all ended up at Starbucks where the five of us didn’t shut up for a second. When we finished, we grouped together for a picture that was taken by a metal column.

A Runsketeer Thanksgiving

In December, KWL visited the Emerging Runner household for a morning of running and food. Me and KWL headed over to Stillwell for a short but invigorating trail run and later he and the ER family had lunch at a new restaurant in my town that featured intestines and pigs feet. Tempting as those choices sound, we opted for vegetarian offerings.

Stillwell done well

I did 155 runs in 2015 but the best ones were those I did with friends. January started off great with the 2016 Hangover Run with SIOR and TPP and I got in a few more miles this morning. I’ve run every day this year. Let’s see how long that streak lasts!

2016 Hangover with the Runsketeers

Mini photo bomber, SIOR, TPP, ER

Today’s run (Hangover Fun Run): 4 miles

2016 has arrived and the Runsketeers rang in the New Year this morning with the LIRRC Hangover Run at Eisenhower Park. After so many days of unseasonably temperate weather, the cold returned for real. I arrived a little after 9:00 AM and met up with TPP. She and I walked over to the staging area where we signed the waiver doc and tucked into a corner to avoid the the chilly winds. SIOR texted that she was delayed and would join us after the start.

The Hangover Run is a perfect running event for me, because it has elements of a race like a formal start and timing clock, but no individual tracking of runners. Running distance is at the discretion of each participant although most people run five 1-mile laps. I normally do that as well, but I wasn’t feeling great this morning and elected to run only four.

There’s a lot of construction work going on at Eisenhower Park and today’s route differed a little from the previous four times I’d done the Hangover. The old route was basically a half circle. This year it looked more like a giant comma. I actually like the new course better,  even though you still end up looking at the same scenery, mile after mile.

Comma course

TPP and I took off, she was the hare and I was the turtle. The course allows you to see runners coming back in the opposite direction and I was able to monitor her progress. TPP seemed to be running half a lap ahead of me but she covered five miles in almost the same time as it took me to complete four. I watched for SIOR and I think I saw her once along the way. She did a lap after TPP and I had finished and we took pictures and videos of her as she came around at the end.

SIOR showing her signature maturity

Once done, we made our way to the lot. SIOR started a conversation with a random runner who was walking ahead of us. She complimented his running tights and told him some websites that have good running gear bargains. The guy said to TPP and SIOR that they probably shop on-line a lot. I thought that was a sexist thing to say. I stood up for them and told him that SIOR prefers stores because you can’t shoplift on a website. He left quickly after that.

As tradition dictates, we headed to Starbucks. Our timing was perfect because a motorcycle gang was just leaving when we arrived. We practically had the place to ourselves until some guy SIOR knows showed up and sat at the end of our table. To her credit, she didn’t talk to him about his pants.

The Runsketeers exchanged holiday gifts. SIOR gave me a runner’s headlamp and TPP gave me a framed picture of the Runsketeers that also included KWL and NIMC. Knowing them as I do, I gave them red wine and homemade chocolate truffles. As usual, we talked about everything and I was shocked when I looked at my watch and saw it was almost noon.

We said our goodbyes and talked about our next run which we hope will happen in January. Once again, the year started out great, with a bracing run and the company of good friends. Happy New Year to all.

The Emerging Runner: A look back at 2015 – Part 1

Today’s run (street): 3.25 miles
Yesterday’s workout (elliptical): 30 minutes
Monday’s run (street): 3.4 miles

As the year comes to a close, I thought I would take a look back at my 2015 running year. Okay, it was really SIOR’s suggestion. She’s doing one as well. For the record, when we are both writing about the same thing, my version is the correct one.

2015 – A look back from January to June

Hangover course

The year begins with the 2015 LIRRC Hangover Run, a timed “fun run” with a suggested length of five miles.  Me, TPP, SIOR and her daughter, SIOR Jr met up in Eisenhower Park before the run and shivered until the 9:30 start. We circled the one-mile course five times and then regrouped at the start/finish line. I was dealing with a herniated disc which slowed me down a bit. That problem got worse before it got better, leading to a week of non-running in the middle of January and a few other non-running periods in the months to come.

Sole F63, kicked to the curb

It snowed a lot in January, leaving me no choice but to use the treadmill. That was until the treadmill finally stopped working in early February. I recorded its final moments for posterity but the Sole F63 wasn’t finished torturing us, gouging holes in the wall as it was carried away by the installers of our new machine.

This was not real fun

I loved our new treadmill so much I managed to aggravate my then-undiagnosed injury to the point that I needed to switch to elliptical workouts for the next 23 days. I saw an orthopedist who put me through x-rays and an MRI and determined that my problem was, in fact, a herniated disc. I ellipticaled a lot over the next few weeks.

Reunited with the ‘sketeers

After some bad winter weather and abstaining from running most of February, the Runsketeers got together for a Bethpage run in April. It was a tough run for me due to the disc related pain, but hanging with my buddies more than made up for it. SIOR gave me a SPIbelt as a birthday present. That was very sweet of her. I use it on every run.

We did most of the testing in space

While I continued to recover, I shifted from running to running-like workouts and was part of a panel at Consumer Reports that tested and evaluated “Alternative Cardio Running Machines.” These units seemed like weirdly mutated, expensive (one unit was priced more than $10K) elliptical machines. The timing of this testing was perfect. I got to do all my workouts during office hours and benefited from the no-impact “running” motion. I also got a stand-up desk for my office that I like so much I haven’t used my chair in months.

Love this thing
Me, TPP & SIOR after all the unpleasantness

Mid-May was the time for our next Runsketeer outing, again at Bethpage. I ran far better than when we got together in April, but I was still hurting from my disc problem. SIOR may have been off her meds during the May run, because she was hallucinating friends on the Bethpage trail and later started a fight at Starbucks. That may be a slight exaggeration of what actually happened.

Dogsled route

June was a hot and humid month and I mostly kept to local roads. In order to fight the tedium of neighborhood running, I switched up my routes and discovered that some of the GPS maps looked like pictures. Around the same time, TPP was starting to run some routes in her neighborhood that resembled bunny rabbits. I wanted to do a run that spelled out a word but I never got around to it.

That’s it for the first half of 2015. I’ll post second half highlights soon!

Warmer and slower one year later

Today’s run (street): 3.8 miles

I’m not sure what it was, but I wasn’t feeling too great this morning. I had a brief moment when I considered a lesser workout or even skipping it altogether. Then I remembered that I felt a little off before my run with KWL yesterday, yet I still ran okay. Encouraged by that, I dressed for my run (short sleeves and running shorts today) and headed out with no route in mind.

I took it very easy and thought about the fact that the last race I ran was exactly a year ago: the 2014 Jingle All the Way 5K. I had recently developed a disc injury, although I didn’t know it at the time, and ran a decent race. As I recall, SIOR and TPP both won their respective age divisions. They tend to do that. In fact, SIOR just became a certified trainer. Contact her through her site if you want to learn how to dominate your age group.

I also thought about the early fall-like weather today and compared that to a year ago when we had 9 MPH winds making it feel like 31°. We’d spent most of our pre-race time huddling near the large fire pits that were placed around the registration area. My objective was to cover a little more distance today than yesterday, but not at the cost of making myself feel worse than when I started.

I did not come close to the pace I ran a year ago this morning, but I wasn’t going for performance. I’m hoping that I can fit in a couple of extra runs this week. It’s almost Christmas week and, if things start winding down at work, I may be able to get them done.

The Runsketeers induct a new member

The Run Crew: ER, KWL, TPP, NIMC, SIOR

Today’s run (track): 3.25 miles

Today was a Runsketeer reunion run that coincided with TPP and her sister NIMC racing Rob’s Run, a 5K trail race that takes place at Stillwell Woods. SIOR was considering racing, but she was dealing with a head and chest cold. She decided instead to run with me and KWL across the street at the high school track.

KWL, SIOR and I met up at the tennis courts on Southwoods Road and did a warm-up jog to the track. Warm-up was the operative phrase because, according to Garmin Connect, the “feels-like” temperature was a chilly 34°. I’d brought a fleece vest to stay warm before my run and ended up wearing it the whole time. We reached the track and ran a few laps together before spotting TPP and her sister heading our way. It was the first time we’d met NIMC who was instantly inducted into the mighty Runsketeers.

NIMC lives in Minnesota and came to LI to spend Thanksgiving with family. She’s a very active person, an accomplished runner and frequent racer. It’s clear that speed runs in the TPP family. The two racers made their way back to Stillwell and the non-racers continued to circle the track. I decided to run clockwise after a while, because I do so much of my running on the left side of the street and I thought that might counterbalance it. I also did it because it gave me an opportunity to communicate with KWL and SIOR at least once a lap.

I ended up covering 12 laps, plus an additional .25 miles at the beginning. We then headed over to Stillwell to meet up with TPP and NIMC and watch them start the race. It was freezing and I could tell that TPP was anxious to get moving. I tried to manage her expectations that the huge crowd of runners (600 estimated), combined with narrow single track, would produce a slower time than a typical 5K run on pavement. Turns out I was wrong. NIMC PR’d and TPP ran sub-9:00 pace.

Rob’s Run start

SIOR, KWL and I headed to Starbucks after the racers took off. We managed to find a place to sit despite it being somewhat crowded. Soon after, TPP and NIMC joined us, looking like they’d barely broken a sweat. We had lots of discussions about running form, destination marathons and running at high elevations. SIOR wants to do the Maine Coast Marathon in Kennebunkport, KWL and his wife are going to run London and Berlin, and NIMC wants to run Athens. TPP and I are not hopping on the marathon train.

Selfie courtesy of  magnetic theory (and TPP)

Perhaps the funniest moment of the morning was at the end, when we were getting ready to go our separate ways. TPP was leaning her iPhone on the ridge of a column outside Starbucks to do a timed group shot. The column turned out to be metal and TPP has a magnetic gadget on the back of her phone for a car mount. That made it possible to stick the iPhone right on the column at the perfect height for a perfect selfie. That’s our TPP!

It was great seeing my buddies and meeting TPP’s sister today. Thanks to working at home on Wednesday, I was able to string together an elliptical session and four runs. SIOR has organized her army of friends to do a running streak (at least one mile a day) from Thanksgiving to New Year. So far, I’m on track, but unfortunately my streak will end tomorrow. I do hope to do at least four workouts per week whenever possible. That should count for something.