Starting this blog I had intentions to post weekly.  Obviously I haven’t kept up as well as I’d hoped but I also think it’s better to post entries when you really have something to say.  It’s been a few weeks, a few BUSY weeks, so I’ve got plenty to say.

Training these past few weeks has been good.  I haven’t been great at doing the tempo and speed workouts as much as the easy recovery runs but my long runs have progressed and I’m feeling good nonetheless.  Last weekend I got a solid 9 miles in despite there being a blizzard just 3 days prior.  This weekend I’m looking to get another 9, maybe 10 in for my long run.  The ankle has bounced back and I’m feeling good about my pace in the long runs.  I know it would improve if I got those tempo runs and speed workouts in, but with work and so many other things going on these past few weeks, weeknights have been tight.

Through Twitter I’ve discovered a new blog that a Lehigh Valley runner created called Lehigh Valley Running Scene.  I’m really impressed with the site for having great all-around info for runners in the Valley – races, trails and nutrition tips.  Another thing the site has created is a weekly ‘Runner Spotlight’ of a local runner.  The first post went up today and features Bob from Allentown.  A couple days ago, the administrator of the site, Jill, tweeted that they were looking for people who’d like to be spotlighted.  I jumped at the idea – what better way to get the word out about my training and fundraising.  So Jill emailed me some questions – how long have I been running, favorite training foods, biggest running accomplishment, why I enjoy running, etc.  (My spotlight will be next week so look for my answers to those and other questions then!)  The whole questionaire had me reminiscing on all the fun, memorable, sometimes quirky, experiences I’ve had running.

There’s the Christmas Eve (drunken) pact that Carrie and I made 3 years ago that got us to sign up for our first 5k together (my second ever) – Fools Run in Kutztown.  That led to a whole summer of 5ks and my first black toe.  My first 5-mile race was that fall, and I sprained my ankle just 2 weeks before it.  The following Spring we returned to Kutztown for the Fools Run 10-miler, which was a sequence of brutal hills that led to painful blood blisters.  A couple half marathons followed – Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia – and more black toes.  Then Niki twisted my arm (not very much either) to do a trail run, at night, on Mount Penn in Reading – and it thunderstormed for a good portion of it.  That race, Dark and Dirty was the first (and only since) time that I’ve seen a medic after the finish because I fell so many times I had a gash on my elbow, which still shows the scar (see photo below).  Also after that race I traded in my glasses for contacts and retired my beloved Kayanos – which I continue to call my jackpot shoetest.  Over the years I’ve seen and appreciated places as non-runners cannot, and I’ve put my legs, feet, toes, elbow, IT Band through a gamut of conditioning.  I can’t say that I’d trade any of it in either.  Every road you run on, every race you run, every runner you meet you take with you.  I may not remember all the races I’ve done, but I remember where I’ve run and people I’ve run with.  And that’s pretty neat.

Photo – Me and Niki following Dark and Dirty