Running, Biking, Triathlons, Swimming, Snowshoeing; what's next? Sal's does it all.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sign of the Day

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sal's RROY Domination!

In spite of an Executive Committee member and her husband being out of state celebrating the birth of their first grandchild, Sal's Racing Team members earned enough points to finish in the top five or higher in the annual Rochester Runner of the Year series.

Mike Weinpress finished second in the 60-64 group and Pete Leonard second in the 70-74 group. Jan was third in the 55-59 group, Eileen fourth in the 60-64 group and I squeezed into fifth place in the 55-59 group. Jennifer Katz (we have to have one youngster) finished fifth in the 25-29 group.

Man we have gotten old. But still kind of fast.

In the last race in the series, Race with Grace 10k, Jennifer won her age group. Jan finished 7th, earning four points. The father/daughter team of Lou and Jennifer finished in third place, winning another award. Jan and I were 7/28 in the husband/wife division. My daughter Andrea finished her first road 10k.

Below are some photographs from the East Avenue Grocery Run, Scare Brain Cancer Away 5k, and the Medved 5k at Frontier Field.

Eileen Grocery Run
Lou - Grocery Run

Mike M Grocery Run

Jan Grocery Run
Mike M Scare Brain Cancer
Mike M Medved 5k
Mike W Grocery Run

Mike W Scare Brain Cancer
Pete Medved 5k

Pete Scare Brain Cancer

Pete Scare Brain Cancer

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Moonlight Bootlegger 5k

"Transition back to the 1920’s Prohibition Era rum running and race through the wooded trails of the backcountry. Like our bootleggin’ ancestors, see if you can make it through the moonlit woods to get to the stompin’ grounds, where you can enjoy a nice glass of moonshine and flatfoot it to bluegrass and old timey music."
The Moonlight Bootlegger 5k race series came to Oak Mountain State park near Birmingham, Alabama last week (11/12:16).  My daughter Andrea ran this race, a nighttime trail run. Her boyfriend ran along with her. This is Andrea's race report;

I send a text a few days after our first date.  “Look what I just signed up for, do you think I’m crazy?” laughing at myself, because, well, I am.  A little.  Fifteen minutes pass and I get a response,  “Nope, sounds cool.  I just signed up too!”  Fast forward about ten weeks and I’m meeting the boyfriend we now know is as crazy as me in the parking lot outside the state park.  We jump into one car and head towards the parking lot our race will end in.  Poor guy didn’t know how much anxiety I could go thru until I had accomplished everything I needed to in plenty of time before the race starts.  There’s just too much to do and not enough time to do it! (editorial note: you really can inherit this trait?)  Start by picking up our registration packets, t-shirts, and the magic bracelet in the gazebo (the one that says you are old enough to drink).  Also hanging out there is a live bluegrass band.  Perfect!  A quick stop in the bathroom and back to the car to put on braces, oils, numbers, sneakers…you get the idea.  Then stretching (highly recommend not doing a lower leg workout the day before a race, what was I thinking???).  Time for one more bathroom stop before the pre-race meeting.  It’s a small field, 72 runners.  And as a group, we all walk the half a mile down to the race start as the sun sets.  A young kid (14?) passes us on the walk.  I nudge the boyfriend, “he will be the winner.”  Called it, kid kicked everyone’s butt.  Never fails. 

Two minute countdown, headlamp on,  gun fires, and off we go!  My boyfriend is a hiker, I haven’t run in weeks, and I was able to jog his walk pace and felt like I was sprinting thru the dark when he ran, trying to watch for the little rocks and roots hidden just beyond the light.  Every tenth of a mile was a little tea light, glowing along the path in the woods.  In order to prevent hunting for mile marker signs in the dark, there was bluegrass music playing from speakers.  I loved the music idea!  You could hear it approaching and the pace would pick up.  But I also had that movie scene in the back of my head, where banjo music in the woods was not a welcome sound.  My excitement over a mile completed quickly washed that away.  The volunteers were great, helping to guide us, and places on the trail where there was a small chance you could veer the wrong way were clearly marked.  As we approached the finish line, we could hear the other runners hanging out and the live bluegrass music playing.  Sprint towards the end!  The boyfriend bolted, his sprint was kicking my butt.  Maybe this is wrong, but when a girl fell on the sidewalk (yep, she managed to find her way thru the little trips on the trail only to be taken out by pavement) and he was a complete gentleman, stopping to help her out, my thought was “Yes!  I can catch him!” I know, not very nice.  Cross the finish line with the race leader (I think, was watching my feet trying to avoid the evils of pavement running) calling out names and cheering you in!  Best part about the end, moonshine in a mason jar!  Choices were cherry cola and peach tea.  Food was banana halves, fun sized candy bars, granola bars, pretzels, and popcorn, yum!  I managed to win second in my age group and received a cute mason jar, few rocks in the bottom, candle, and homemade metal handle.  A backwoods lantern!  (We won’t discuss out of how many in the age categories).  Super proud of the boyfriend who also won a lantern, coming in third in his age group in his first ever 5k.  This was the most fun 5k I have ever been around/participated in. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Porta-Potty Etiquette

An insightful and funny article on Porta-Potty Etiquette from Competitor
(every runner/triathlete should read this, even if it might be a bit gross). Click on the link.

Friday, November 4, 2016

When I Get Older

Rumors abound that another member of our Sal's Running Group is soon to be a milestone age. It's an age that doesn't seem remotely possible for this person to be (60). He/she will be moving into a new age group, which isn't necessarily a good thing since there are some fast runners in this group. Usually you can count on one or two good years in a new five year age group as far as the possibility of being in the top 10% or higher of finishers. That may not be the case this time.

Damn those old guys who still run fast! This song is for age 64, but close enough. It's a good version of the Beatles original.

When I was younger people would clap for the old people who were marvels just because they still ran at the age of 50, 60 or, my god, even 70? Now everyone in our group is in those age groups. What happened? I became a "runner" (someone who ran for running's sake, not to get in shape for another sport) at the age of 22 (1979) sort of. I would run a couple of miles, stop for a couple of weeks and try again. Two miles seemed insanely long for a former football/tennis player. But I needed to get outdoors, had a wife and infant daughter and no money and didn't know what else to do. Then I saw an ad for an 8 mile race sponsored by Kodak. It was the spring of 1981. I went out for the horribly long distance of four miles as a practice run and Jan followed me around in the car. I barely finished the run. A few weeks later I did the race and finished around 62 minutes, felt like a slug and wondered why I ever entered.

I haven't stopped running since. Now my 5k times are what I would have felt bad about running in the last 3 miles of a marathon. I routinely do the first two miles of a training run around the time I would race 3.1 miles "back in the day". I've done snowshoe 5k's faster than what I now race a road 5k. It is an internal conflict to realize that and still keep racing.

I think it's the hair. Once that started going my times got slower. At least I'm healthy enough to keep running, most of the time. Staying upright and not falling should help that continue.

To misquote Aragon (Lord of the Rings); "A day may come when you can no longer run, when Sal's  Running Group is no longer a group. But it is not this day. This day we run! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you run! Men and women of Sal's!

This is the original quote; "A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of Men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand! Men of the West!"

I think Aragon was speaking of us, though. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Monty Python Olympics

For some reason this video clip reminds me a lot of the male side of our Sal's running group, particularly the last 25 seconds of the skit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Rochester Runner of the Year

The RROY series is down to the final two races, the East Avenue Grocery Run 5k on November 5 and Race with Grace 10k on Thanksgiving Day.

Our local Sal's running group is doing quite well in the series, whether intentionally or not. A minimum of four races and maximum six (out of 12) are needed to be included in the final year end standings. The top five finishers in each age group get awards for the series.

Pete Leonard currently leads his age group, but is in a tight race with two other competitors. Mike Weinpress is in second place in his age group. One runner has first locked up and four others are on Mike's heels. In my age group first place is also locked up. The second place runner should at least remain in the top five. Then there are five runners, including myself, who need to run at least one of the next two races to qualify. Any one of us could finish from second-seventh place. I am currently in fifth.

On the ladies side Jan is in a very tight battle for 3-7th place and currently sits in fourth. First and second places are probably locked up. Eileen Weinpress is in fifth place and may be able to move up to fourth.

There are some great competitions in all of the age groups. I do believe, however, that the RROY committee should look at over the winter how to increase the series participation. It seems like running four races out of twelve shouldn't be a problem. Maybe it's the races they pick that count, the prizes awarded at year's end, the cost of attending the banquet (which is far more than the coffee mug or other prize they give AG winners), or advertising?

Jan and I like the series though. It's one method of measuring yourself against similar aged runners, especially after all of these years of running, of training enough to stay competitive and keep motivated.