Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Ultimate of Weekends

I played ultimate twice this weekend and could have played a third time.  I mean I went to a book launch party in addition to playing ultimate twice.

I started the weekend by heading to my Saturday morning pick up game.  That was a mistake.  See, we were having Santa Ana winds Friday and Saturday morning, and it was pretty much impossible to throw the disc with any accuracy.  It was a game of chance and luck.  I should know better than to try to play in weather like that.  I really should.

Saturday afternoon was the launch party for Laura Levine’s latest book.  And being a Halloween themed book, the fact that it was so late to launch turned out to be a good thing.  At least it was themed correctly to the weekend.  This was down at a restaurant in Santa Monica.  The wind was much, much less down there, and that was a huge relief, especially since the party was outside.  Got to chat with several friends we have in common or we’ve made over the years, so it was a nice time.

But at the park across the street were people playing ultimate.  I kept watching when I wasn’t talking to someone.  At one point, I did wander over and saw that I did indeed know several of the people who were playing, so I said hi.  I was really wishing I had some water and wasn’t wearing jeans because I would have loved to join them.

I did get a chance to play again Sunday afternoon at my other normal pick up game.  The weather was perfect and there was hardly any wind, so that won the day over my calf, which was bothering me that day and has been bothering me off and on.  I probably shouldn’t have gone since I’m trying to get it to heal up, but the weather was just too nice.  In fact, I probably should have run last night for the same reason, but it was feeling great when I left.  I quit before everyone else did because of my calf, but I’m still thrilled I went.

My calf seems to be doing better most of the time right now, and I’m making a point of stretching it.  However, it’s still not at 100%.  I think it’s more my dress shoes (which I’m only wearing twice a week) instead of my running.  I keep hoping it will get used to my dress shoes, but that doesn’t seem to be working.  I’ll have to see how to progresses before I decide for sure what to do with it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Word Association for October 30th

I'm going to sneak in this week's word association before the day gets away from me.

  1. Crying :: Sad
  2. Reluctant :: Dragon
  3. Decade :: 10
  4. Mustache :: Beard
  5. Water :: Swim
  6. March :: Spring
  7. Stripes :: Red and White
  8. Friendship :: Happy
  9. Weirdo :: Strange
  10. Contacts :: Glasses

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ornament Signings?

Yep, that’s right.  I did something new a couple of weekends ago.  I went to my first ornament signing.

This is one of those things I didn’t even know existed until I started getting into Hallmark ornament collecting.  I wasn’t completely sure I’d want to go, but I figured I’d give it a shot anyway.  And I had a great time.

The signing was down in San Diego.  So foolishly (and it was foolish since I had to get up earlier than I am right now for work), I drove down on Saturday morning early.  With gas prices as they are, I also considered staying home.  But I bravely set out and went on my way.

I arrived about the time the artists were going to start signing.  I quickly got a signing time and then proceeded to wait.  Yes, they are organized so that you have to get a time to get a limited number of ornaments signed.  Otherwise, collectors would come and monopolize them with everything from their collection.  You can go through, get a couple of things signed, and then get another signing time.  It keeps things more fair.  And as people like me who only brought a few things to be signed clear out, it opens things up for the die hards to get their stuff signed.

There were two of the Hallmark artists there that day.

I actually had to go out and buy an ornament for Rodney to sign.  Somehow, I’ve missed all his stuff over the years.  But Tom had been doing a series of stained glass window ornaments I really like, so I took all three of those with me to be signed.

I don’t know why I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it because I love book signings so much.  Both artists were personable and cheerful as they signed ornament after ornament.

Plus, I got to chat with several people I “know” from a message board I’m on for ornament collectors.  It was fun to put some names to faces.

And I broke down and bought the event pieces.  Hallmark artists collaborate to produce a big piece that they all can sign.  In this case, they were Mrs. Claus’ stove and table.  I was going to buy them for someone on the board who hasn’t been able to make a signing, but I fell in love with them.  When they opened them up to buying more right before I left, I bought a second copy for me.

Not being one to waste an opportunity, I stopped at Disneyland on the way home for several hours.  I was by myself, so I read in line, which was fun.  The park was very crowded, but I still got in several rides and a bit of shopping.

All in all a very expensive but a very fun day.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for October 27th

Amazing Race – Well, it had to happen at some point.  The substitute teachers were just barely holding on the last two weeks as it was.  If not for bad drivers, they would have been gone by now anyway.  I liked them, but they just couldn’t seem to pull it toether.

Once Upon a Time – They actually seem to be having both Regina and Mr. Gold giving up magic now.  This ought to be interesting when Cora and Hook show up.  Nothing really on the big mysteries of the season, but it was still a fun step forward and a great way to bring in an antagonist for Gold.  Not completely thrilled with all the changes they made to Hook, but considering they’ve changed just about everything else, I can’t say I’m surprised.  And in interest of this story, I can most certainly deal with it.

Dancing with the Stars – I was wondering how they’d do this with the debate on Monday night.  I like how it was split getting to see everyone dance both nights.  The first group free style was amazing – much more so than the second.  Both nights were fun, although I loved the waltz to “So This is Love” the most.

Covert Affairs – Annie is certainly going dark right now.  It’s a natural progression of her character, and I like it.  I’ll be interested to see if they have her fall into the same pattern of sleeping with a fellow agent with the Israeli guy.  Just get together with Augie already!  Joan and her pill addiction is also an interesting twist.  I can’t wait to see where they go with the remaining four episodes.

Survivor - I have not seen such a one sided season of the show ever.  One tribe kept losing.  Then when they were down to two, another tribe keeps losing.  It's amazing how quickly they've gone down hill, although losing one last week to sickness certainly didn't help.  Anyway, I found it interesting that they ended the challenge with the bargain instead of actually playing it out.  I agree it wouldn't have gone anywhere, but it still seems short sighted to the winning tribe.  Honestly, I think the losing tribe got the better end of the deal by getting more rice.  But that's easy for me to say from the point of view of the person sitting on the couch.

Arrow - I'm still digging this one, and I was thrilled to find out that they got a full season pick up.  I know the villain of the week is from the comic books, but I'm not familiar enough with him to know more than that.  I wonder if his body guard is now going to be in on the secret.  That sure did look like what happened at the end.  If so, that's going to be interesting and more helpful to him in the long run.

Big Bang Theory - Again, poor Howard.  Yes, he was annoying, but I can understand his excitement and wanting to talk about it.  Penny and Leonard in his lab were very funny.  I wonder how long it is going to be before Raj comes out.  They are playing up the gay stereotypes like crazy these days.  But I do love having Stewart around more.  And the whole costume picking between Sheldon and Amy was a hoot.  I loved the in reference to Dharma and Greg, too.

Tron: Revolution - Interesting to get a bit of Tron's recent back story.  He's turning dark, too.  It'll be interesting to watch next week.

Nikita - Yes, it was a predictable episode.  But I really enjoyed it and got sucked into it anyway.  That's the power of these characters and a testament to the great writing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Word Association for October 24th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Authorize :: Transaction
  2. Plunge :: Dive
  3. Work :: Play
  4. Throttle :: Strangle
  5. Drill :: Hole
  6. Toot :: Horn
  7. Conference :: Travel
  8. Hodgepodge :: Random
  9. Bumble :: Fall
  10. Scandalous! :: Politics

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for October 20th

The Amazing Race – Second week in a row a bad driver has cost the team the race.  I feel so sorry for teams when that happens, although I might have grown tired of this team before the end.  Looks like the U-Turn did nothing.  I wonder if anyone will find out who U-Turned them since this was a blind U-Turn.

Once Upon a Time – A bit of a character centric episode, but it really developed and worked out some arcs they’ve been building with Emma and Regina I like what they are doing with Regina I’m actually feeling sorry for her for the first time ever.  But the way they started the new balls juggling with Cora and King George was great.  I can’t wait to see what happens there.

Dancing with the Stars – There are two couples that should go right now, and they were both in the bottom two.  I certainly agree that Bristol has really come out of her shell more this season, but she just isn’t in the same class with everyone else.  I was sorry that Broadway didn’t wind up being one of the styles this week.  Maybe somewhere down the road.

Castle – That episode was a complete hoot!  I laughed multiple times.  And the acting was perfect, especially from Ryan as he learned about Caskett and Beckett as she wanted to find out if Ryan knew or not.  This show does comedy so well, and I loved seeing it again.  Plus the nods to the fans with Caskett was great.

Covert Affairs – The torture and escape episode.  Not too much to add here.  It was pretty much what I expected to see.  The real question will be what happens next week now that Annie is back.

Survivor - So they took the tribe with two people and added them to the other two tribes.  Shocking, right?  And how ironic that someone leaves because she gets sick in a season where they've brought people back who left like that.

Arrow - Okay, I officially love this show now.  They're already setting up some complex characters and interesting storylines.  Like what is his mother up to?  And his relationships with his former girlfriend and sister are very interesting.  I think this is the keeper of the new crop of shows.

Big Bang Theory - I actually felt sorry for Howard, which is rare.  But to come back to how things have changed has got to be hard.  The real fun of the night was the battle of the sexes game night.  Here, I felt sorry for Leonard being saddled with Sheldon, but watching him in action was a riot.

Elementary - I'll keep my eye on this one until Dr. Dani guest stars, but I think I'm pretty much done with this one.  I really don't care, and it's not like I need more shows to watch.

Tron - I feel like I missed some new episodes in there.  Either that or it's just been too long since I watched the show.  Still, I did enjoy seeing the characters again and look forward to getting back in the swing of things.

Nikita - Started a bit weak, but it quickly got very interesting.  I absolutely loved the end, with Michael going back for the ring, Nikita's reaction to the revelation, and her line when he actually did propose were great.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The First Dam Mud Run

This last Saturday was my 12th race of the year.  My goal for the year was to do 12 races, so this is it for the year.  And I finished off with That Dam Mud Run, the first annual.  It was put on by the people who do Irvine Lake Mud Run (which was my first mud run period back in 2010).  I was doing this one by myself, but I did win a free entry, so I can’t complaint.

The run took place at the Santa Fe Dam, which is just east of Pasadena.  I got there plenty early, and wound up having to wait around.  I figured one guy could slip into an earlier wave, especially since I was in the non-timed waves.  But they actually had people there watching to make sure that didn’t happen.  It also caused great confusion because people were waiting outside the start corral whose waves had already done.

Anyway, I finally did get going, and I had a lot of fun.  We were running around a lake, and the scenery was nice.  We were also on paved paths for quite a ways, so it wasn’t as out in nature as I thought it might be.  They actually had us run into the swim lagoon at one point.

And let me tell you, the weather was perfect.  We’re talking upper 70’s with a slight breeze.  The kind of weather where you get warm enough running that you really want to get wet and muddy.

I was surprised at how quickly the miles flew by, too.  Every time we hit a mile marker, I was sure they were joking.  All told, the course was 3.5 miles.

And the mud was in the last mile and a half.  There were plenty of mud pits, although I wouldn’t have complained if they had been spread out more.  Anyway, in and out of the mud.  Some of the mud pits has already drained themselves, some were thick, some were watery.  It was a nice mix.

The shower situation was horrid.  Not nearly enough showers for all of us.  So I headed out and found a sprinkler.  A bit of an unconventional way to get clean, but fun none-the-less.

On the way home, I stopped and visited with my friend Luke for a couple hours.  Lunch and Cribbage.  Then I went to a first birthday party.  So it was a very long, very full day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ending is Beginning

That was the name of one of downhere’s studio releases, and I can’t help but think about that right now.

See, Monday night was the last concert of the Canadian Christian rock bank downhere.  They are retiring from touring, which pretty much means they are retiring period.  And the news, originally made in July, has made me so sad.

They’ve been around for 12 years, and I think I’ve been a fan for 11.5 of them.  I first heard of them when people were talking about their debut on a message board I used to be part of for Christian music.  Naturally, I gave them a shot, and I immediately feel in love with their music.  It showed some real depth while still being fun to listen to.

While I wasn’t as big a fan of their second release, I got to see them in concert the day after their third CD came out.  That one is still my favorite.  I've got all the rest of their catalogue and love it.  Their Christmas CD is amazing with one of the best original Christmas songs I've heard in a long time.

And I would get to see them in concert a total of 5 times.  3 here in town.  They introduced me to Jason Gray, another artist I now love.  I think those concerts might be the most I have seen any artist before.

I find that going to see an artist in concert really helps me love them, so that’s created a strong bond.  Plus, two of the times I’ve seen them in concert have been in the last 12 months.

Another reason I have connected with them so much is I feel they are "my" band.  Despite my efforts, very few people I know seem to have even heard of them.  And believe me, I have talked about them all the time.  So they have become something special to me as a result.

There are other ways they have enriched my life.  Two of the members are runners, and they almost got me running several years back.  I’ve become friends with two fans over the years, and while I’ve lost touch with Faith, Chris has been a great friend this last year.  Four of my 12 races this year were run with him, including Tough Mudder and the Disneyland half.  His encouragement actually got me signed up for that race, a challenge I am thrilled I have met.  Plus we’ve had fun hanging out this last year.

Also, I really feel like I know these guys.  Jeremy and Glenn are very active on social media, and that has given me a huge window into their world.  They have recognized me after concerts, which blows me away.  (Or at least recognized me as a huge fan since I was wearing my autographed “Rockstars Need Money” shirt.)  Jeremy and I have e-mailed a couple of times over the years as well.  Heck, he even offered me free tickets to a concert last April, but I had gone to another one instead.

So you can see all the reasons why I am so bummed that they are no longer a band.  Not that I don’t get it.  Three of the four of them have kids now, and all four are married.  Touring is not the way to raise a family.  I certainly get that.  But for me, this feels like a big part of my life is ending.

I’m trying to figure out why this band is affecting me more than the others.  I think it’s because of the concerts.  I feel a connection to them I don’t to many of the other artists I listen to, even those I have heard since high school.

Fortunately, I still have their excellent music, and I will be enjoying it for years to come.  And that's another reason why I as surprised by my sadness.  I'm not really losing anything except a change to see them in concert again and get more great music.  But there is the fact that God has used it greatly in my life over the years, and He will continue to do so as I keep listening to their music.

It was funny, but last night, I had a dream that I was hanging out with all four of them.  It ended with us praying for each other.  I woke up as I said “Amen,” but the sentiments of that prayer certainly hold true, and I lay in bed for a few minutes praying for them again.

So Marc, Jason, Glenn, and Jeremy, thank you for what your ministry has meant to me over the last decade plus and what it will continue to mean to me as I listen to your music for years to come.  May God continue to use you mightily in whatever new directions He sends you.

My only regret – I didn’t get my shirt re-autographed.  It’s been washed so many times the signatures are faded.  I almost got them to resign it in April, and now I wish I had.

And official warning guys, I still want to see "Calmer of the Storm" live.  Be prepared for a concert in Heaven.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Word Association for October 16th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Textile :: Clothing
  2. Ginger :: Snaps
  3. Strength :: Training
  4. Keeping :: Up Appearances
  5. Beard :: Goatee
  6. Pregorative :: Huh?
  7. Closing :: Store
  8. Podium :: Stage
  9. Rationale :: Explanation
  10. Secondary :: Unit

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for Oct. 13th

The Amazing Race – I always hate to see a team get eliminated because of the luck of the taxi driver.  Yes, even those I don’t like.  Not that I really liked or disliked the team since I really didn’t have time to get to know them.  None of the teams are sticking out to me in good or bad ways, still, so I don’t know that I’m really rooting for anyone at this point.

Once Upon a Time – I love this show!  The way they contrasted Regina slide into evil against her current efforts to leave it behind was wonderful.  And even though I saw the final reveal coming, I still gasped when we saw Cora.  So where has she been? Are they really in the Enchanted Forest And how long ago did Rumplestiltskin lose his son?  Has he been plotting this all along?  Is he really pulling Regina’s strings?  This is getting interesting.

Dancing with the Stars – Double elimination, and two former champs are gone.  Yes, part of that is because of how tough the competition is this season.  Everyone knows how to dance, and it shows.  But I wonder if the voting is along my lines.  These guys already won, so let’s give some of the runners up a chance.  Not that I have a problem with the former champs being on here.  This truly is an all star season with some very strong dancers on here.  Having said that, I wonder how much longer Bristol and Kirsty can hide.  I do think they are the weakest of the lot.

Castle – Love it!  The little moments made this episode so much fun.  And the flirting that Castle and Beckett have always done takes on a new tone with them being in a relationship.  I actually like the fact that Martha was the first one to figure out about them, too.  She’s smarter than she lets on.  And that handshake was the hottest handshake I’ve ever seen.  The sub-plot with Gates was funny if a big plot hole (Castle didn’t need to break the dolls because they weren’t broken to hide the things in them in the first place).  Oh yeah, there was a decent mystery here, too.

Survivor - The learning streak continues.  I get Russell's frustration, but his outburst was fast forward worthy.  I'll be interested to see what happens to the two people left next week.  Merge with other teams.  Keep them by themselves?  Very interesting.

Arrow - An interesting pilot.  I was expecting more on the island, but I guess we'll be seeing that in flashbacks.  There is certainly potential here.  I'll be back next week, but it's not a keep yet.

The Big Bang Theory - I'm ready for Howard to be home.  I hope that's the plot of the next episode.  In other news, this new assistant could be a fun character.  I wonder what Penny will think when this is all over long term.  At least I believe she's around for several episodes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Working Man

I am a working man again, at least temporarily.  I’m at a company down in Burbank helping out with a bunch of different stuff.  That part is certainly fun since I get to experience different stuff every day.  I get tired of the same old things.

And the pay is wonderful.  I’m making more than I was several months ago.

Of course, the bad thing is the commute.  It’s taking me between 40 and 50 minutes one day.  I’m used to my total commute taking that long on a bad day before.  It also means I have to get up much earlier than I am used to.

But the pay is wonderful.  Or did I already mention that.

The hard part is trying to figure out my free time schedule.  I can’t keep doing what I am currently doing and maintain my sanity.  But how much and what stuff do I cut out for a temp job?  That’s the part I’m struggling with.  If it were permanent, then I could make some hard decisions.  So for now I’m trying to cram everything into my evenings and weekends.  And you know, there just aren’t enough hours in those.

Of course, this is coming as the new TV seasons is getting under way.  And if I weren’t interested in the all stars on Dancing with the Stars, I would have a little more time in my week.  But this may be good for me.  It’s making me very reluctant to start a new show.  It really has to wow me to make me want to commit right now, and none of them really are.  Maybe I’ll actually not start any new shows this year?  What are the odds of that?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Word Association for October 9th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Exorcise :: Run
  2. Theory :: Big Bang
  3. Possible :: Not Likely
  4. 1600 :: White House
  5. Feeling :: Happy
  6. Excuse :: Me
  7. Mortality :: Death
  8. Trivial :: Pursuit
  9. Pupil :: Student
  10. Challenge :: Accepted

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Weekly TV Recap For October 6th

Once Upon a Time - Wow.  There was a lot to wrap my head around in that one.  I'm feeling a bit like season two of Lost with the Tailies.  Hopefully they take that in a new direction.  And I hope the wraiths aren't too bad as well.  Still, there is potential for lots of good storytelling here.

The Amazing Race - No one has really stood out to me in good or bad ways yet.  But this had the perfect example of why you don't help someone else.  It's a race, and the one team gave up their chance at $2 million because they were too nice and shared the location of the final clue.  And I seriously hope they get the weird food out of the way this early so we don't have to worry about it any more.

Partners - Slightly better than last week, although the gay character is still annoying.  I really do like their friendship, and that's why I would be drawn back to the show.

Dancing with the Stars - From here on out, it is going to be hard to lose anyone.  I don't know what else to say.  The dances are amazing, but someone had to go.

Castle - There were so many great little moments involving Beckett and Castle.  In fact, I think this may be one of their best episodes to date from a character point of view.  The mystery?  Fun like always but nothing really special.  And I'm wondering if Ryan and Esposito have worked things out that easily or if there will be more to that story.

Survivor - The same tribe keeps losing.  I'm wondering if they will be mixing it up soon or if this tribe will finish self-destructing.  Yes, they made the right choice, but Russell is next on the chopping block, as well he should be.

The Last Resort - I turned it off after 15 minutes.  I didn't really care about any of the characters, and I didn't want to start caring since I really don't have time for another show.

The Big Bang Theory - So many great lines, I really had a hard time stopping laughing.  Great episode, and I wonder where they will go from here with Penny and Leonard's relationship.

Elementary - Maybe I should have watched it closer, but I was a bit surprised by the ending.  Still, it feels like a rip off of Monk (which was originally a take off of Holmes), only Monk was better.  I'll give it another chance, but that will probably be it.

New TV on DVD Reviews:

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Word Association for October 4th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Desire :: Want
  2. Paint :: Walls
  3. Sides :: Building
  4. Gauze :: Bandage
  5. Telegraph :: Telephone
  6. Slip :: Fall
  7. Recommend :: Review
  8. Amused :: Funny
  9. Sorted :: Category
  10. Canvas :: Tarp

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

West Hollywood Book Festival

In case you don’t live in LA, this weekend was Carmagedon II.  Last summer, they closed down a 10 mile stretch of the 405, one of the biggest freeways around here, to demolish part of a bridge going over it.  This last weekend, they did it again to take down the rest.

Now the stretch is far enough away that it doesn’t affect me in the town where I live.  In fact, last year the weekend didn’t change my behavior at all.  This year, however, I really wanted to go to the West Hollywood Book Festival.  And depending on how traffic went, it was going to either be a great idea or a lousy idea.

So I kept a close watch on traffic to see what it was like all weekend.  When it didn’t look too bad, I set off after the race Sunday morning.  (We won’t discuss that the surface streets on the other side from where I was going were closed for a triathlon.  The triathlon was planned first, but it was poor planning to have them both the same weekend.  Lots of people were upset, and for good reason.  I just felt sorry for the cops who had to shut down the streets and the triathletes.  They certainly weren’t to blame.)

Traffic was the lightest I had ever seen along the route, although I wasn’t the only one who was foolish enough to venture out.  I got to the festival with just enough time to find the panel I really wanted.  And the panel worked because I bought books from all the panelists, not just the one author I wanted to see.

I hung around for a few hours afterward.  An author I love was there, so I chatted with her for a while.  And I bought about 5 more books than I was planning on, something I haven’t done for a long time.  I also went to another panel/discussion, but I dozed through it.  I hope the authors didn’t notice.  My sunglasses might have helped, but the crowd was so small that I couldn’t hid my nodding too much.

But boy was it hot.  I was searching for shade as much as I could and constantly refilling my water bottle from the drinking fountains in the area.

And I think between the heat and Carmagedon, crowds were small.  Granted, they had been small when I went several years ago.  It’s certainly not the LA Times festival of books (although that seems smaller since it moved to USC).  But there were very few people just browsing and buying books.

Traffic was again light when I went to leave.  I was heading over to a friend’s house in the Pasadena area, and I had a little fun getting there just because I missed a sign, but other than that, it was uneventful.  And I got there early enough to read and nap a little before the viewing party for Once Upon a Time started.

Between the race, the book festival, and the viewing party, it was a very busy day.  But it was also lots of fun.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Shelia Stride 10K aka 10K Goal Met!

Yesterday morning, I ran another race. This was a regular road race and not a mud run.  Even better, it was here in town.  I was very happy for that since it started at 7AM.

I was doing the 10K, and my goal for the race was to finish in under an hour.  The last two I did were both in 2011, and I had finished just over an hour both times.  As a result, I’d done a couple of 9 mile runs over the last couple of weeks, hoping the longer distances would help my legs and cardio be ready to push it on race day.

Then Wednesday, I came down with a cold.  I blame the 2’s and 3’s from church the previous Sunday.  I wasn’t sure how I’d do, but I figured getting my goal time was pretty much out the window.  I canceled my last short run on Thursday to give my body more rest in hopes it would heal.

It turned out to be a mild cold, and by the time I got up Sunday morning I was feeling pretty good.  Maybe I could PR after all.

I’m still not quite sure what happened Sunday morning.  I got to the race in plenty of time and wandered around a bit.  I hit the bathroom one last time and then walked back to my car to empty my pockets.  I thought I’d have about 5 minutes before the race started, but as I got back to the start line, they shouted go, so I took off.

Not too far past the start line, I was passed by a friend.  I was supposed to be doing this with two friends, but I hadn’t seen them before we started.  One of them caught me and said the other couldn’t make it at the last minute due to a long night with a sick daughter.  Then he took off at his own pace, and I was on my own.

We hadn’t made it more than a quarter mile when my shins started bothering me.  I hadn’t given them much thought, figuring I’d be up in plenty of time for my legs to warm up.  Obviously not.  I stopped for a few seconds to stretch them, but they still were bothering me.  Not enough that I couldn’t run, but enough that they were noticeable.  I decided to keep going and stop and walk if they got to bad, but after mile one, they began to feel okay, so I just kept going.

Most of the course was on the bike path that travels through town.  Since it was the other side of town from where I live, it was very nice running an unfamiliar stretch.  It’s the nice part of the path, too, not the part right next to the road.

I kept a close eye on my watch, trying to keep my pace around 9:30.  If I was under that, I didn’t back off, but if I was over, I’d start speeding up again.  Every time I passed a mile marker, I’d check my time, and I was under10 minute miles, but not by much.

When I hit 3.1 miles, I checked my time again.  I was just over 30 minutes.  That’s when I knew it would be very close.  The suspense was beginning to kill me.

It wasn’t until I hit mile 5 at 48 minutes that I began to have faith I could actually make my goal.  My legs didn’t feel too badly, and I wasn’t nearly as tired as I thought I’d be.  I pushed just a bit more, always aware that I didn’t want to overdo it and miss out at the last minute.

I made the final turn toward the finish line at 59 minutes.  Fortunately, I just had a few feet to go, and I poured on the speed.  According to my watch, I finished in 59:16.  My official time via the race organizers was 59:20.  I’ll take either.  Even better?  I finished 24th overall out of 90 something people doing the 10K.  Actually, I saw lots of people walking the course behind be after I turned around about mile 4, so that doesn’t surprise me.  But it still made me feel good.

So, despite my potential set backs, I made my goal.  Might I have gone faster without them?  Probably.  But for today, I was rejoicing in my time.  Plus, I’m happy that I didn’t feel like I was going to die like I did when I hit my first 5K in under 30 minutes back in March.

My shins are definitely a little sore today.  I’m debating about trying to run on them tomorrow or if I should let them rest all week and wait for ultimate Frisbee this weekend.  I’ll probably decide based on how they are feeling tomorrow.