Archive for November, 2010

A taste of DINO racing

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 by Trail Boy

My energetic, thrill-seeking son, Jake, got his first taste of DINO racing today.

And I tried to keep up.

Jake and I ran a 5K trail race at Fort Harrison State Park, the final event of the year in the DINO Series.

Jake, age 11, loves to run and stay active. He just wrapped up a season of cross country with his middle school. And he’s done plenty of short road races.

So I thought he might enjoy running in the woods , and testing himself on challenging hills. When I mentioned it to him yesterday, he jumped at it.

The weather was beautiful for a trail race: clear skies, 50 degrees, with sights of fall everywhere.

We headed out to the park early this morning and arrived in plenty of time to buy our numbers and do a one-mile warm-up loop.

Then we trotted over to the starting area to watch the 15K get started. I’ve run the 15K twice previously. It’s a tougher race, not only because it’s three times as long as the 5K, but has several steep hills and two creek crossings.

But today was a day for introducing Jake to trail racing, and 5K was plenty long enough. Even that distance would take us into the woods, up and down hillsides and through plenty of dirt.

At about five minutes before 9 a.m., the runners began gathering for the 15K.

A few minutes later, the starting horn sounded, and the runners took off…

…and crested the nearby sledding hill and ran down the side.

At this point, I saw an old running buddy, Terry Fletcher (in orange shirt, below), and watched him run by in a blur. Terry hosts the Indiana Trail Running web site, a very cool social network for trail runners.

Finally, 10 minutes after the 15K race got under way, it was time for the 5K to start. Jake and I and a few hundred others lined up.

Then our race started. We ran 100 yards or so down a road to the Lawrence Creek Trail and began climbing the long, steep trailhead.

Jake is no stranger to work. And he kept that message in a visible place, as he began passing runners.

I ran at Jake’s pace, and told him several times not to let me push him too hard or slow him down. He nodded and kept plugging away. Soon he was 10 steps ahead of me. Then 15.

Finally, we hit the last straightaway. I told Jake to give his final kick. He turned on his rockets and passed three other runners.

He crossed the finish line in about 27:55. I came in about 20 seconds later.

We got some water, then hung around to watch the 15K finishers come in.

Here’s a friend of mine, Jon (yellow shirt, below), who finished strong. He told me later this was his first run since the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon last Saturday.

Then it was time to eat lunch, provided by Qdoba, the title sponsor of the DINO series.

We chowed down on rice, chicken, steak, beans and chips.

Now that’s a taste of DINO!

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Indy Monumental: running and watching

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2010 by Trail Boy

It was a crisp, clear morning today — perfect for running a marathon, and for watching one too.

So I did a little of each.

This was the running of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. It’s a scenic race that takes the first Saturday of November, running through a bunch of pretty neighborhoods on the north and west sides. It also takes in scads of downtown landmarks, including the Colts Stadium, Monument Circle and the Statehouse.

With my leg problem, I’m still not up to super-long distances. But I was up for a one-hour run. And Kayleah, my road pimp, was running the marathon and was in the mood for some company. (Her usual training partner had the flu.)

So I decided to jump in and run with Kayleah for a little while.

That took a little planning. A few days ago, I looked at the course map. After a few minutes, I saw a perfect spot. I could wait for Kayleah near a water stop at 46th and Washington, just past mile marker 10. Then we could run a six mile loop together, which would drop me off just a block away from my starting point, at 46th and Meridian. And that’s what I did.

The race started at 8 a.m. downtown, so I knew I should get to my waiting point by 9 or so, figuring Kayleah would come by within 10 or 15 minutes, near the 3:50 pace group.

So I had fun watching runners go by for a little while. First, the greyhounds:

Then the midpackers. Here comes the 3:30 group.

Then I saw Kayleah come by, near the 3:50 pace group.

I jumped in, and asked how she felt. She had been on her feet for nearly 90 minutes. She said she felt fine.

So we gabbed and gabbed. Meanwhile, I was done looking at the front of runners. Now I was looking at the back of runners.

Here’s Miss Pink Socks and Mister Orange Coat.

And of course, this is a Real Man.

And I think I could make a wild guess what company this guy works for.

The miles passed quickly — at least for me. I was doing a short run. But Kayleah and the others were starting to crank up double digits.

I started a few conversations with nearby runners. This guy is Chris, from Pickerington, Ohio. He has run more than 100 marathons. He said today’s was his 16th this year.

The guy in the middle of this shot is Brian. He recently ran the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. (Kayleah is on the left, and Miss Pink Socks is on the right.)

Before I knew it, I could see my exit point coming up: 46th and Meridian, near the Governor’s Mansion.

I jumped up on the sidewalk, helped Kayleah with a few quick stretches, snapped a photo, and wished her well. My time was about 52 minutes for just under six miles.

And right behind was the 3:50 group, which hopefully would take Kayleah right to the finish line.

Later, I looked up the results and saw he finished in 3:54. So she did just fine.

Happy marathoning, Indy. I hope to run the entire race with you next year.

My kind of weekend

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 by Trail Boy

And so a busy, fun three-day weekend comes to a close. Here are highlights:

1) Friday. Go hiking with the family at Turkey Run State Park. Watch the boys do all the typical stuff that all boys love: scrambling on the ledges, cliffs, caves, woods, trails. Come home and relax. Read running blogs.

2) Saturday. Run six miles with hard-core trail runner Jeff on the Monon. Hear lots of Jeff’s fun stories about a relay called the Bourbon Chase, a 200-mile overnight relay, which he did a week or two ago. Come home and do lots of yardwork.

3) Sunday. Go to church. Come home and spend hours with a chainsaw, cleaning up storm damage in the back yard from Tuesday’s wind storm, which pulled down most of a tree. Look forward to running the Dino 15K trail race at Fort Ben in two weeks. Think about finding a race next weekend. The big one is the Indy Monumental Marathon and Half Marathon, but it’s too expensive and too ambitious. Maybe find a 10K somewhere.

Here are a few photos of the weekend.