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Jingle Bell 5k

Well, I said I would give it a shot and I did so.  Last Saturday, starting at the high school track, through the praking lot, down through the Spirit trail, down “R” street, a couple twists and turn then back down River Road, back down the track and, 3.2 miles late, through the finishline in under thirty minutes at 29:19. 

Previous to the beginning of the race, I picked someone who I was going to try and beat.  I found the one guy who I thought would be no problem.  Sadly, reality set in when I was huffing and puffing toward the high school finish line, and my target (number 51) finishing his cup of hot cocoa in the parkinglot. 

I had dreaded throughout the whole run that I was going to be the last runner to cross the finishline. As I’m heading down the last quarter-mile on River Road, I notice one person who was slowly making a bid to upset my position.  Once I crossed the finishline, I had made up some distance from my chaser.  I totally out ran that elderly woman.  To ease my fears, I was actually far from last and equally far from first.  There were at least fifteen people who ran in after me.  Thankfully, none of the 5k walkers finished before nor near me.

I was glad to be able to run this 5k, I would definitely run another one.  One of the best parts was that I got to run with a buddy of mine, Garrett.  We pushed each other to both join up and then tried to recruit others to join up.  We were the solid ones, we stuck to our word and finished the race, although Garrett had finshed ahead of me.  He got close to our goal of running the 5k in 27 minutes.  Garrett was a lot closer than I was, through our first mile we kept our pace, running a 8:53.  I had to slow down after that, I realized that my competitive nature was overpowering my pace and could have made the run a lot harder on myself than it had to be; so I scaled back and kept my pace… which helped make successful.

What did I learn.  Well, I learned there is a lot I can do that I assumed I would never have.  If you had suggested a year ago that I could run, let alone finish a 5k, I would have been severely skeptical.  But yet, here I am, having finished my first race and looking forward to others.  Maybe, if I’m lucky, the next one will be in a faster pace, but if not, so what… at least I did it.  And even that is an improvement.


I thought that I would make use of this post and get a couple of different things into it.

First off, here is a picture that was captured at one of our home games, I’m assuming it was earlier in the football season as it was starting to get dark earlier at the later part of the season.  I’m pretty sure that was taken when I was running over to the whole team with the linemen after their group warm ups:

Second item on the agenda; I’ve decided to run a 5k this Saturday.  I’ve been running pretty regularly for the past couple of weeks.  The race is call the Jingle Bell run which is put together to help support the Cottage Grove Jog Club as well as a charity here in town.  Believe me, I have no intention or want to (nor believe that I could) win the race.  I’m looking for a steady pace and a finish.

Emphasis on the finish.  Luckily, I’ll be running with at least two other teachers from the high school.  Their pace is little faster than my natural gait but I can easily keep up, hopefully keep enough energy for a kick at the end.  I’ll post the results here.

Like I said, I’ve been running consistently, three miles here, four miles at other times.  I’ve ran with Jess, my mom and co-workers… and I haven’t had a bad run yet, even though I have had to scare away a couple of dogs.  As for today’s run, I couldn’t find a partner so I ventured off on my own, which was a first.   I was worried that I would lose my motivation to keep a pace and finish without stopping if I didn’t have others to pace me or compete against.  But I was wrong, I plowed through nearly four miles.  Here’s a Google Map view of today’s run:

My buddy Ricky, who is the long-distance coach for the track team, sent me a wonderful site that has helped me map out my routes and tracking what I have done.  You can find a link here.  Using Google Maps, it allows me to click out my path, giving me mileage counts and even elevation.  As well, I can save my routes for later use or look up other saved routes to give me a variety of runs.

Ricky also gave me an immense spread sheet that charts absolutely everything.  Mileage, Year-to-Date mileage, Life-to-Date Mileage, average pace, heart rate, how far I’ve ran in a particular pair of shoes and even tracking my progress to the moon or around the world.  Twenty-eight miles down.  Hopefully, I will be diligent and keep track of my progress.

To help me do so, even when I’m away from my spreadsheet I’ve added the WPss plugin to Box of Whine.  This allows me to intergrate spreadsheets into this site.  If you haven’t notice, there is a new section to the top of the post and to the side that says “Running Log”.  Here, you can see my progress, when I’ve done well, when I’ve slacked.  This is just a parred down version of Ricky’s spreadsheet, but nonetheless, it helps me track and I can add to it from any computer with internet access.

Everyday is a winding road

My Thursday:

So… I finally talked myself into it, I got my big butt up at 5:15 in the morning and got dressed for a run. I tied my house key onto my drawstring of my shorts, and I was all set to take off for about 30 minutes. As I opened the door and headed out, i saw this gray thing dart towards me from across the street. I realized it was the puppy from across the street. Apparently, he had slipped under the new fence that they had just put in yesterday afternoon… I guess it wasn’t low enough… or high enough, if the dog has a seven-foot vertical leap. The puppy, Jax, was crying and whimpering when he got to me. I picked him up and he was shaking pretty good, so I think he slipped out early in the morning… to confirm this, there were a plethora of muddy puppy prints on their front door.

Being the knight in shining Adidas shorts, that I am, I take him over in my arms and knock on their door for 15 minutes. nothing. Head back to the house, wake up Jess… tell her that Jax is here and now that Moose has seen him, they’re both itching to have an early morning doggie rave. She keeps them busy while I do a reverse phone number look up… no phone number. I do 411, no phone number. I do the CG police… yeah, no phone number. I head back over to their place, Jax once again in my arms–I bang as hard as I can, wondering how these people can sleep through this. Well, apparently, they weren’t because they were supposedly at work. The guy works at the mill and his wife’s working place has yet to be determined. Luckily, our next door neighbor comes out for her early morning smoke… she says that she’ll hang on to him until one of owners comes home, which is usually 9 o’clock.

I usually come home for lunch around 11; so on this day, minutes after I’ve been home there is a knock at the door. It’s our neighbor from next door with, yep, Jax in tow. She says that it’s strange that the owners haven’t come home yet and she asked if we could take the dog back because she needs to run some errands. Jess and I reluctantly agreed to take him back.

What we found out is that Jax is, indeed, a pitbull… seeing as anytime Moose came close to him when he had one of Moose’s toys, he’d let out a frightening growl and bark. It also doesn’t help that Moose thinks that it is his duty to constantly straddle and walk on top of Jax, no matter where he goes. From this we decided that this pup was cage-bound–our second mistake. This dog has the screech unlike any other… it is a horrific screech that reaches beyond the human ear, physically disrupting neurons and knocking brain waves off-kilter.

Later in the day, this is where he remains, pent up and vocal as before. It’s kind of amazing what terrors lurk in cute little puppy packaging. Any coarse word I’ve said about our dog, I have taken back… we have a dream compared to this gray and white demon. I was praying that the owners would come home quick, and if it’s not quick enough, they need to come over with hat-in-hand and ready to clean up some puppy messes.

While talking to the secretary from the high school, who lives three houses down, I found out that her husband worked at the mill with the guy from across the street. Through a series of phone calls and a couple more hours, the guy showed up before any serious damage could be done to the carpet or Jessica’s eardrums.