Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Yesterday I ran. I did nothing else all day, unless you considering napping and watching movies something.* Around 1 pm I checked the local weather - 49 degrees, chance of rain 50% (looked out the window, 100%) and WINDY! Being from northeast Ohio this revved me up and I thought to myself "What a perfect day to run!" Crazy, I know. There's something about autumn in Ohio, the slight (to moderate, to intense) chill in the air, the dampness that seeps into the core of your bones, it's all part of that wonderful Ohio experience. In honor of the weather I decided I would run on the towpath. As I was gearing up a wave of panic came over me, what should I wear?! Up until yesterday the weather had been mostly moderate and pleasant. What does a running enthusiast wear in chilly/rainy weather? Luckily, I had Women's Complete Guide to Running by Jeff & Barbara Galloway on hand. According to their chapter of attire I should have donned a long sleeve light weight shirt, shorts or tights, and mittens or gloves. Not to shirk the advice of real runners, but I had to tweak the suggestion. I have long sleeve running shirts, but they're all meant for some serious cold (this is Ohio after all...) and mittens??!! For serious? I'd look like a pansy ass on the towpath with mittens when it hasn't even reached freezing yet. I decided upon tights with a skirt, a t-shirt (the fancy kind that makes your sweat not stick to you), and my fleece vest. Since I am a dork and have to wear glasses, a ball cap was also necessary.

I decided to start at the trail head that has the most hills, granted they are small and sloping, but hills nonetheless. I parked the car, stretched out the ITB (coming off some not so fun injuries) and I was gone! The run was pleasant, I pushed myself for some much needed speed. The towpath was covered in downed twigs, branches, walnuts, buckeyes and leaves. I almost took a spill trying to maneuver between the walnuts, but I manged to stay upright. The rain had turned into a mist, that was refreshing when it wasn't annoying. The end result, a good run.

So the point of all of this: I ran. I have been a fair weather running enthusiast for about a year now. A few months ago a day like yesterday would have been enough for me to stay on the couch and not get out there. I feel dedicated this time, I feel excited and eager to keep on running. (In February when there's ice on the ground, the high for the day is 20 degrees and snow is falling - please remind me of my dedication!!)

* I am not a bum. I am in academia with a kick ass schedule where I work only two days a week.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Working the Marathon

This past weekend was the Akron Marathon. I know people who run it and admittedly, the people I do know who run it give me a reason to feel motivated, to feel excited about running. So last week, while perusing the marathon website and checking out the race course I came across the "Volunteer Sign Up" link. I thought to myself "Could I get a free t-shirt out of this?" The answer: YES! It was settled, I would be a volunteer - a beacon of community service, an involved member of my city, a wide eyed and eager running enthusiast ready to meet some real runners... "I wonder: could I snag one of those freebie bags, too?" HELL YES!

I signed up for the Expo. I could register a racer, couldn't I? My assignment: 10:00 - 2:00, Packet Pick-up. I decided to ride my bike to the Expo, I would look soooo cool rolling up in my Giant mountain bike. So super cool. I got there 30 minutes early... and there really wasn't anyone to witness my coolness. Anyways - I arrived at the same time as the blue haired brigade. These four elderly ladies were quite nice and volunteer veterans, I followed them into the very large John S. Knight center. After 30 minutes of folding tech shirts (those are slippery suckers when it comes to folding) I took company with the blue haired brigade and went over to registration. I asked to work the marathon check in, far less complicated than checking in those relay teams (5 bibs, one envelope - that was frustration just waiting to happen.) I stood ready with Amy, a perky recent college graduate and my new friend for the next 4 hours. Every ten minutes the loudspeaker bellowed the countdown to 11:00, zero hour, the opening of the Expo. At 11:00 we braced ourselves, waiting for herds of runner to attack us demanding their bibs. This - did not happen. It was a steady flow of runners. As each person picked up their bib I wondered "What pace do they run?", "How many marathons have they raced?", "Did they travel far to get here?" Hell, Runner's World highlighted the Akron Marathon, I half expected to give Kara Goucher her bib. This did not happen. However, I did check in loads of first timers (they had special stickers on their bibs) and some relatively seasoned marathoners with some seriously hot thighs.

My work ended and I took a couple of jaunts around the Expo -- I left with loads of free goodies, great company and sense of accomplishment. I was part of the Akron Marathon, even though I didn't run in an event. As for the actual marathon the next day, I was on duty yet again. I drove two marathoners into Akron, provided loads of fan support, cheered like the dickens and cried like a baby when the first wheelchair marathoner finished. (Now that's some serious dedication...)

As for next year, perhaps I will be in a relay team, maybe I'll even be trained up enough to do the half. Will I volunteer again? HELL YES! Who can resist the freebies and the sense of community? I definitely cannot.

Here I Go...

The decision to blog has not been an easy one; I know others who do it, I have made fun of their blog world, I have even gotten jealous of their blog "friends." But putting aside my prejudices I have decided to unabashedly enter this blogging world. So the next hurdle (now that the pro-blogging stance has been established) : What to blog about? I like lots o' things, from chocolate pudding to Old English Sheepdogs - but hell if I'm going to blog about those. I like to bike, though I'm not a cyclist, and I like to run but I am not a runner. I am a simple trail biking enthusiast and a slow moving, albeit motivated newbie running enthusiast. Call it a side effect of chubby childhood, book worminess and an affinity for things like yoga, manicures, art history and exploring recipe websites that I cannot call myself anything more than an athletic enthusiast.

With this blog I intend to document my life as a new running enthusiast and a biking enthusiast: I will share my struggles, achievements and the numerous funny stories along the way. (Trust me, there will be plenty - I have the propensity to always take myself too seriously or nowhere near seriously enough, the end result is almost always comedic.)

My other interests (ie, good beer, yoga, crocheting, cleaning hardwood floors (more of an obsession), cooking, traveling, being Greek, and art history) will likely seep into my blogs. I warn you readers now: I am a self proclaimed nerd/dork, this will become evident in subsequent blogs.

So yes - here I go!