Friday, January 01, 2010

Crazy Run Grandad

Today I ran in a five mile road race. Or, to be more accurate, I ran perhaps a couple of miles that were on roads and ran another three miles that were on hard-packed snow on top of roads that you couldn't see. The race was the seasonally titled Hangover Classic in Bristol RI and the course wound around the northern side of Bristol Harbor through Colt State Park and along the shore of Upper Narragansett Bay.

Regular readers of this blog will know that that route goes by two of my favorite Laser launching places, the locations of many of my 94 Laser sailing days in 2008. But today I wasn't wearing the hat of Crazy Laser Sailor Grandad; I was wearing my other hat of Crazy Run Grandad.

In my younger days (my 40s and early 50s) I used to run quite a lot of shorter road races... 5ks, 10ks etc. Then for a few years I caught the marathon bug and never raced shorter distances. Then I kind of became lazy about running and didn't race much at all. I think in 2010 I'm going to get back into racing "sensible" distances again, i.e. anything shorter than a marathon.

I'm even joining a running club. I've just filled in the application form to join the Rhode Island Road Runners Club. They have a whole range of activities, several of which sound interesting...
  • During the warmer months there's a five mile run every Thursday night in Warren, the town just across the bay from my house, which is followed by beer and pizza in a local pub.

  • There's a Grand Prix which is a series of twelve races spread throughout the year in various locations around Rhode Island and nearby states. The Grand Prix has some incredibly scientific-looking age-adjusted scoring system and was won last year by some dude aged 79. The race today was the first in the 2010 Grand Prix series. I kind of like the idea of a race a month in different places to look forward to.

  • I see they even give an award to any member who runs a race in the year in each of the six states of New England. Now there's a challenge that could be fun.
I'm a phenomenally slow runner these days. I hope I don't embarrass myself too much by joining a running club. But it will be good to meet up with fellow old geezer runners. Maybe if I run more I won't be quite so slow.

Today was a spectacular day in Bristol. Snow-covered trees and houses and fields. Soft hazy pale gray vistas across the harbor and the bay. Sun almost breaking through thin wintry clouds. One of those "good to be alive" days when the best thing to do is to go for a five mile run across the winter landscape with a bunch of other crazy runners.

I don't think this is going to turn into a running blog. I will still write mainly about sailing. But I expect I will write occasionally about running. If there's anything interesting to report.

And that's all I have to say about running. For now.

But if you want more, check out my other running posts at Proper Course/Running.


Antolin said...

well boss...I'll say this, "arriba los viejitos" I though about you...just for a quick second as I was feeling the cold creep inside my bones and the wind pushing harder on my full rig laser main...I thought..."man, I am such a wimp...Tillerman must be sailing a frosbiter somewhere really pushing it!!" I was participating in the First Annual Hangover Regatta at DIYC. Geez...very cold weather (low 50 is very cold for me), winds howling a sustained 20 knots and gusts to 30 and waves crashing on deck too often!! The courses where tricky things like winward/leeward and you pick which way to start it....or a windward/leeward but you have to finish stern first...arrgh lost two boats doing that...or a long triangle doing a 360 in every leg....argh... I got a 5th amongst 2 fireballs, 3 flying scot (or two), 2 420's, 1 snipe and a j24. It was very trying but fun as well..everybody got a free tshirt, a toilet brush and a roll of toilet paper plus whatever trophy you get to select from the lot according to your finish....I chose a brand new bottle of beefeater gin :)

tomorrow I'll be on a j120 racing the egmont key race...about 65 nautical miles!!

a great start to the new year!!

inspire me with your running feats...I plan to go back to light jogs this year :)

be well and a great 2010 to you


ps have you used that mug?

Tillerman said...

Thanks Antolin for reminding me of the New Year's Day regatta that I sailed in several years at Cedar Point YC in CT. We used to do all those weird fun races there... including one where you had to pick up a can of beer at the committee boat on the downwind leg and drink it before you passed the RC boat going upwind on the next lap. Of course in CT it really was frostbiting weather on Jan 1. I did contemplate going back there yesterday but I live a bit further away from there than I used to... and I wanted to do that run.

The mug you made is displayed proudly on the mantelpiece in our living room. It's much to good to actually drunk from!

JP said...

Running in snow seems a bit like any activity that includes the word "frostbite" - not for me!

Tillerman said...

JP - I guess one thing about racing -- whether sailing or running -- is that it occasionally challenges you to take on conditions that you might not otherwise choose. I've never run on snow-covered roads before. It wasn't too bad, though I did run a little more slowly on the snowy stretches. I also learned from one of the other runners that you can buy things called Yaktrax to put over your shoes to improve traction in the snow.

JP said...

That comment about racing is very true. Also with a point series just going out can make all the difference.

But at the moment other commitments mean I won't be worth signing up for any racing series.

That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it like glue!

Unknown said...

from a 64 year old Laser sailor who sailed 306 races, Bay races only in 2009, Hempstead Harbor.

been running 21 miles a week and fast walking 10.5 miles a week as a warm up to runs. The walking before has been key to keeping running injuries down.

I peaked in my sailing as crew on 3rd place boat in 1961 Blue Jays Nationals but feel the running helps against the young guys sailing Lasers (40 year olds)

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