April 2009

Went out for a trail run this morning. It was raining, cold, and miserable. Perfect conditions for the Mt. Penn Mudfest 15K Trail Run!!! Spent 2 hours romping in the woods hurdling over and limbo-ing under blowdowns, sliding in mud, skirting around deer carcasses – that was really disgusting! – climbing mudslides on hands and knees, rinsing off the accumulated mud in stream crossings, fueling up at beer, cheese ball, and marshmallow peeps stations, and just generally having a good time. Great way to end the Reading trail season. Can’t wait till next year.


April 4, 2009 – the birthday of all birthdays.

The HARD Runners group decided to run the 1st annual Garden Spot Village marathon in Lancaster, PA. We would be running it as a relay, divided into 3 teams of 4 runners each. We were the Hard Runners Team 1 (the serious group, i.e. the fast runners!), The Young (Nicole and I) and the Restless (Bonnie and Shawn), and The Bold and the Beautiful (we never settled who was who on that team!). Nicole and I would be officially running leg 3 of the marathon – 8 miles. Unofficially, I planned to also run leg 2 (4.x miles) with Kathy J and Shawn, and leg 4 (6.x miles) with Cindy and Michelle to get my scheduled long run in for the Colorado marathon I plan on doing in June.

The I.D. scramble
We met at Shawn’s at 6 a.m. for carpooling to Lancaster. First stop was .1 mile down the road for coffee. Second stop was .1 mile back to Shawn’s for people to get their driver’s licenses for the packet pickups. At 6:30 we were off.

Club Durango
Arrived, picked up our packets, and figured out how the shuttles worked for the relay starting points….not very well. They left at 8 and 8:30. Never mind that the people running the latter legs wouldn’t be running for 2, 3, or more hours. I had talked Nicole into running leg 2 with me in addition to our 3rd leg. So we rode out with Kathy J. and Shawn to the first drop off point – some farm field in the middle of nowhere….to wait an hour….in the cold…and wind. Wait, that should be


We stood around trying to keep warm. Wait, that should be “we stood around trying to keep from being miserable!!!” I hunkered down beside a car, trying to get out of the wind. Didn’t work very well, the wind just whipped around. I tried the door of the car to see if it would open. Low and behold, it did. With very little coaxing, we got Marc to go ask the water station volunteer if that Dodge Durango happened to belong to her. Yup! Could we sit in it? Yup! Woot! Major score!!! The 5 of us crawled in and life was good again. The miserable cold and wind turned into a fun hour of clowning around in Club Durango.

The Village Idiots
Life was good until the first leggers showed up. We saw them coming and jumped out of the car to meet them and get the race chip. We asked how it was with the wind. They both sloughed off the question and told us to get going. We did….running directly into a brick wall. The wind was fully in our face and was so strong that we were literally running in place with some of the stronger wind gusts. It took so much more effort than normal just to move forward, never mind thinking about making good time. This would be constant for the next 8 miles and then intermittent for the next 5. After a while we got smart and started running in single file, drafting off each other…so only one would get the full brunt of the wind. I’m not sure but this tactic may have resulted from trying to redeem ourselves from being called the “village idiots.” Apparently some people don’t understand not only why we would be attempting to run in such conditions but also why we would have PAID $50 EACH to do so. At that point, I was questioning it too. Village Idiot, indeed!

Other Clubs
By the time Nicole and I finished our 2 legs, I was ready to be done. There would be no 4th leg for me! We handed off the time chips to Cindy and Michelle and waited for the shuttle…dreading how long it would be, when out pops Patty offering a ride to the finish. Woot! She had waited for us! You rock Patty!!!! We headed back and heard Patty’s account of the race…of hunkering down in Club Porta-Potty to stay warm!!! And of Michelle and Cindy hunkered down in the Club Ambulance to stay warm!!!! ROTFL!!! You do what you gotta do!

Party Time
We got back to the start/finish, got food and a nice massage. Shortly after, everyone else finished up and we headed to a pub for some serious partying. We rehashed the race, wished Patty luck at the Boston marathon, and chowed down, and worked our stomach muscles from laughter so they would be as sore as our leg muscles the next day!

Returned to Shawn’s from the race to find my car “decorated” for my birthday with balloons and window markers. It was graffitied with things like, “Happy Birthday,” “old fart,” and “Honk, it’s my day.” I’ve gotten 13 honks that I know of thus far.

Party Time, Round Two
I got home, took a long nap, and then got ready for round 2 of my birthday. Went out to a club with some friends from work and laughed like hyenas all evening.

Party Time, Round Three
Woke up a bit…uh…groggy…feeling a little…uh…under the weather. Took a little while to get going. But got ready and headed over to a couple of friends’ house for the day. They’d asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday – go kayaking? Go to a movie? Etc. I opted for some nice downtime of just sitting around, relaxing, talking, eating hot dogs and ice cream, and enjoying the beautiful, sunny, spring day with some really cool friends.

It was the best birthday weekend EVER!!!!!!! Thank you EVERYONE!!!

Marc always makes everyone feel so welcome.

On the shuttle – Waiting to be dropped off in the middle of some field somewhere

Ann at Club Ambulance

Marc saving a porta-potty from tipping….errr…more likely, causing it to tip.

Al, the only completely crazy one of the bunch, on the home stretch of running the entire marathon with encouragement from Sharon.

Massage time for Bonnie and Marc

Massage time for Kathy J.

All finished with the medals to show for it.

Kathy, Nicole, and Michelle hanging out at the post-race festivities

Patty and boyfriend replacing burned carbs.

Shawn and Cindy on the outside with Marc being typical Marc in the center.

For my birthday, Marc, being the thoughtful guy he is, went to the men’s room and bought me two condoms for the big evening I had planned with friends from work. Uh, thanks Marc. Ahem.

Jen, me, and Bonnie hanging out, waiting for food.

The group