Wednesday, May 18, 2011

September 30, 1966

I grew up in Canandaigua, New York. Close to Rochester, but not so close that we were a suburb or anything like that. It was a small town, but not real small. It was on the northern tip of Canandaigua Lake and there were lots of places to go and things to do. When we were younger we had the Goodie Shoppe on Main and the movie theatre where we could meet girls without having to ask them out and Little League baseball and Sonnenberg park where we played important character building games like tetherball and jarts, without any adult supervision.

When we moved on to high school we spent our summer days at Kershaw Beach where we could meet girls without having to ask them out and then later, when we had mastered the fake IDs, we could go to Clarkie’s Bar to meet girls or the drive-in theatre if we actually had a date. We also had high school football.

Our house was across the street from the football field. I started going to games when I was ten and, while I loved all sports, the one thing I wanted to do above all others was catch touchdown passes for the Canandaigua Academy Braves. I wasn’t crazy about the contact part of the sport – didn’t like getting hit all that much – but I loved to catch passes.

Sophomore year I was playing for the Junior Varsity, and the coach would have five or six of us JVs suit up for the Varsity game just to give us that experience. The first three games of the season I watched from the sidelines. But in the fourth game, we played Eastridge High School. They were overmatched. By the fourth quarter Canandaigua was ahead, 33-7, so the coach put the JVs in the game.

I can remember stepping on to the field for the first time. It felt like the field was electrified. My legs trembled. We ran a couple of inept running plays and lost about twenty yards. That pissed off our coach and he yanked the JV quarterback and re-inserted Tom Elliott, the varsity QB.

Elliott called a pass play to my side. I ran a corner route and I was wide open. Tom waved at me to go deeper and as he hurled the ball down the field. I remembered thinking, damn he's thrown it too far, but I leaped high and managed to tip it with one hand. I kept running and caught up to the ball and suddenly there was nobody between me and the goal line and I was going to score on my first varsity play, and I was preparing to celebrate when someone grabbed me from behind and I went down on the 13 yard line. It was a 63 yard pass play.

It was two more years before I actually caught a touchdown pass. I think, if I worked at it, I could attach some heavy metaphorical import to that catch, positive or negative depending on my mood, but I prefer to just remember the play.

A couple days ago for my sixtieth birthday my sisters presented me with a dvd, which they had made from my dad’s home movies. They extracted all of the footage he had taken of our football games. Dad was a good photographer, but he never got the hang of the movie camera and most of the film is pretty much unwatchable.

But he did have “the catch.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tempe International Triathlon - Results

My sister Carol and her sign

Last Saturday when I ran in the Wisconsin Half-Marathon. The weather was supposed to be cold and rainy, but it turned out to be a pleasant 50 degrees with spotty sun. I remembering thinking around mile six, that this race was actually sort of fun. While it got less fun in the second half, I have to say that when I was on the run segment of the Tempe Triathlon yesterday, that fun notion never popped into my head.

The start of the race was delayed for 45 minutes so I went in the water at 8 am instead of 7:15, which meant that I started out on the run at about 10 am and instead of 9 am. The temperature was in the high 80s by then. Anyway that's my carefully constructed excuse for the poor run.

I didn't have a great race, although I did finish 2nd in my age group (out of 7). I had a strong swim, but I went too wide on the return and swam farther than I needed to. If I swam the course more expertly, I'd have made my goal time of 30 minutes. I had the same bike time as last year, but on the run I just started slow and got slower. I know I can run a lot better than a nine minute pace.



Next race: Evergreen Lake Triathlon July 16, 2011

The New Age

Friday, May 13, 2011

Temple International Triathlon – May 15, 2011

I am out here in Phoenix for the Tempe International Triathlon at Tempe Town Lakes.

I ran this race last year so I know what to expect. The temperature will be in the 70s when we start but probably in the 90s by the finish of the run. It will be sunny. The only real unknown right now is whether they will allow wetsuits. If the water temperature is above 78 degrees they won't be allowed. The wetsuit buoyancy improves my swim time by a minute or more. Last year we got to wear them and I am going to assume for my goal setting that we will do be able to do so again.

Here's my goal:


I didn't swim very well last year, got a little off course, but I'm much more confident in my swimming this year and I know I can do that distance in 30 minutes. The bike course is flat and again, I need to hit it a little harder at the beginning. I've had weeks of training on the computrainer and I know I have the strength to push for 25 miles.

Last Saturday I ran the Wisconsin Half-Marathon and my time at the 10K mark was 50 minutes, so I don't think 52 minutes is an unreasonable goal for the run.

I will find out on Sunday, which happens to be my 60th birthday.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nicojoy Millinery

My daughter, Nicole Joy - the founder of Nicojoy Millinery - is displaying her line of eco-friendly hats - Chapeau Noveau - at the Green Festival in McCormick Place, Chicago next weekend.  You can check out some of her creations on her "Chateau Nouveau" Facebook page.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wisconsin Marathon

This morning I ran in the HALF Marathon component of the Wisconsin Marathon ("the world's cheesiest race"). Last year, my first attempt at this distance, I ran the course in 1 hour, 49 minutes. I had entered it to help me get ready for the Half-Ironman races that I had later in the year. So this year I had a better idea of what to expect. My goal was to run it into 1:47 and I was well ahead of that pace through the 8 mile mark, but again, like last year, I faded in the stretch. I had plenty of cardio reserves, just couldn't get the legs to move as fast as I wanted.  Could be an age thing, but more likely it's because I don't do much long distance running.

I finished with a time of 1 hour 48 minutes. A pace of 8:14 per mile.

It is a nice race, well organized and the volunteers and crowd were friendly and supportive. The weather forecast was for rain and 49 degrees, but the sky was clear and the temperature was in the 50s and there was no wind. Perfect conditions.

I finished 250th out of 2057 competitors. They don't provide age group results, but as I scanned the totals, it appears that I finished 2nd in the 60 to 99 year old category. But the guy who finished ahead of me was only 61 and he was 6 minutes faster, so I have some work to do, to catch him next year.

Here were my split times:

MILE 2010 2011

 I can't believe that my last mile was that slow. I was trying to go faster. Maybe they measured the course wrong?  No action pictures this year, either. I drove up by myself and was home before my official photographer was out of bed (almost.)