So.Much.Garbage

This morning I went to pick up trash.

A few years ago, when I began running, I was always appalled at the garbage along the Bronx River Parkway in Westchester County, New York.  Piles and piles of post-consumer trash, as well as some bigger things – a tire, a shopping cart in the middle of the river, etc.  For some time now I’ve regretted not trying to do something there.  Now I live in Celebration, Florida, and the trash still drives me bonkers.  I pick up litter when I can, and make it a point to be as careful as possible with my own.  But a few weeks ago I was finally driven over the edge and into action.

Two things did it – one longer term, and one short term.  After the election of 2016, I was so disappointed and frustrated with the general tenor of the conversation in America that I checked myself out of politics, which has been one of my passions since I stayed up in the 5th grade to watch the 1988 election returns.  I said at the time that if progressive voices made some noise in the 2018 mid-terms, I would get interested again … and might get active.  That happened, and I’ve been trying to figure out how I want to put my money where my mouth is.

And then I was training for a half marathon a few weeks ago and ran past a stretch of road that had so much garbage on it that I was blown away.  Just a disgusting amount of trash.  A McDonald’s location had recently opened up just up the street, and I felt like I could see yellow “M”s everywhere I looked.  But that wasn’t all – while I didn’t get down and look closely, you could tell this area just loaded with garbage.

Well – I have found my issue, I think.  I don’t have to be part of a presidential election in order to make a difference.  In fact, I will probably be able to make a much bigger difference right here in my own community.  I also don’t need to attend enormous river- or shore- clean ups.  I can do my part in a much more micro way.  Instead of getting mad about the garbage, I’m going to pick it up.  And I’m going to try and shine a spotlight on it so people can see and a difference can be made.  Who knows.

Enough preamble – this morning I went to pick up trash.

Continue reading “So.Much.Garbage”

RR #28 – 2018 Celebration Half Marathon

I wasn’t planning on running the Celebration Half Marathon again this year.  For the last several months now, running has felt like a slog – I enjoy having run, but I do not enjoy running.  I’ve struggled to drag myself out of the house to run in the morning in a way that I don’t struggle to do my other workouts.  After a while, it begins to dawn that it might be time for a break, and so you stop signing up for races and you prepare for a break.

And then plans change.

Race afterglow is dangerous.  After September’s Ragnar, the whole team was feeling that afterglow.  We had just run 200-ish miles, and I guess we weren’t thinking clearly.  We just spent a night in a proper bed (as opposed to a van seat), and had eaten barbecue and drunk beer the night before.  Now, at breakfast, we were feeling good, and the conversation naturally turned to upcoming races.  One of the teammates (I think it was Dottie – I blame Dottie) mentioned that the Celebration Half Marathon was a good race, and she planned to make it her “A” race this year and try for a PR.  Then I mentioned that I had run the race last year and really liked it – good organization, good after-party, flat course (which was particularly appealing after the hills everybody had just hated).  And then somebody said, “Hey, why don’t we all plan to come down and run that race?” And Dottie and I said our houses would be available to stay at and it is all a bit hazy but we left with an agreement (I thought) to get signed up for that race if at all possible and run it in January based probably out of my house.

Dottie was already signed up, and I came home and signed up immediately.  I laid out my race plan and I started to run.  Because I’m so familiar with the course, and because I can walk to the start line, much of the race stress that I feel before big races just doesn’t exist – I can relax into this one.  But as we got closer to race day, it became clearer and clearer that I was the only one that had signed up after the Ragnar.  Everybody bailed when the race afterglow faded.  But the good news was that we were still going to get a visit from our friends – they were going to be here to cheer, even if they didn’t run.

I’ll take it.

2018-01-27 19.21.23
I should have been sleeping by now…

Continue reading “RR #28 – 2018 Celebration Half Marathon”

RR #27: Celebration Rotary Club Pancake Run 5k

I thought that Ragnar DC was going to be my last run for a while.  My plan had been to run that event, enjoy myself, and then take some time off from running to focus on some CrossFit goals.  I like how running makes me feel, but sometimes the actual doing of the thing is not my favorite.  And then, I ran Ragnar DC, and the curious thing that happens when you get around other runners having a good time … happened.  We started talking about the next events we want to run, the next races.  We started making plans.  And the next thing I know, I’m signing up for races.

I ran the Celebration Rotary Club Pancake Run 5k last year.  That was my first real attempt at getting back into running shape and running a race.  That 2016 Pancake Run represented my first “serious” race in over two years.  And I had a good run – I missed a PR by a minute or so, which was still a good outcome for me.  The race was pretty well run, though small, which wasn’t helped by the fact that it was raining and not a generally nice day.

My sign-up for the Pancake Run this year was prompted by two things.  First, I thought I was capable of finally breaking through the 30 minute barrier in a 5k.  The fat guy holy grail of a sub-30 minute 5k had eluded me now for several races, and this looked like an opportunity to get it done.  For whatever reason, 5k races don’t make my calendar much anymore.  Since that Pancake Run last year, I have run three 10ks, two half marathons, and a Ragnar … but no more 5ks.  This was a chance to see what I had. Continue reading “RR #27: Celebration Rotary Club Pancake Run 5k”

Race Report #23: Celebration Half Marathon

When I registered for the Celebration Half Marathon, I actually viewed it as more of a training run than a goal race.  I’m registered for the Gasparilla Half Marathon in late February, and I had registered so early that I believed I could get in a “practice” half marathon and still have time to recover for a real push at Gasparilla.  Also – I live in Celebration.  It felt like if I were going to be doing a 12 or 13 mile training run in town, I might as well get a medal for it.  All indications are that the race is very well run and very runner friendly … so I signed up.

Training went well.  I’ve clearly gotten faster, which I attribute largely to endurance gained with Crossfit.  My taper was very non-traditional – two weeks before the race I ran most of the actual course, about 12.25 miles by the time I was done.  And then I didn’t go for another formal run for those two weeks.  I went to Crossfit 6 days a week, and that often included running, but at no time did I go out for a run.  For dinner on Saturday night I made a chicken barley soup and homemade bread to carb up, and called it a taper.  My prior half marathon PR was 2:36 flat – my stated goal going into this was a PR, my secondary but really no-brainer goal was under 2:30, my stretch goal was under 2:25, and in my wildest dreams I hoped to get under 2:20. Continue reading “Race Report #23: Celebration Half Marathon”

Thanksgiving Throwdown

I did something this morning that would have befuddled me from a year or two ago.  I participated in a Crossfit competition.  This was Celebration Crossfit’s Thanksgiving Throwdown – my partner, Winston, and I squared off against five other teams, and we had zero shot of winning anything.  We were there for the workout and the fun.

And it was fun.  I particularly enjoyed the farmer’s carry – that’s one of my favorites.  We finished tied for last place.  Our team, Hurricane Bernabe, did not embarrass itself.  And I got a Saturday workout and a t-shirt out of the deal.  Good times! Continue reading “Thanksgiving Throwdown”

RR #20: Celebration Rotary Pancake Run 5K

I registered for this race last year and wound up getting lazy and not running it.  This year, I didn’t register for it initially on the theory that I didn’t need races and would like to save the money. But I eventually relented and signed up.  This is a charity race that Celebration Rotary does each year in conjunction with the fire department.  They have a big pancake breakfast at the fire house that is free for runners but that you can buy tickets for if you don’t run.  And they have a 10K and a 5K.

And the start line is about a mile and a half from my house. Continue reading “RR #20: Celebration Rotary Pancake Run 5K”

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