Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fun in the Sun: Running, Drinking, and Winning!

August is the final lap of summer, it hurts, it burns, but when it's done, you know you did something very real.  August is one of my favorite months to run in, most people hate the heat and humidity...not me.  I prefer a musky, drippy 85, over a bitter, numbing, 35; every time.  And it's my birthday month!   Fast runs happen in August! Adventures happen in August! Victory, memories, legend!

Highlights of the Summer:
1-August's running total: 289miles, short of last yr's total by 4miles, but I've had some good quality runs and workouts recently.  There should be some good races coming down the line...lets just not talk about the Jimmy D 5k, yeah that happened, mooooving along!

2-Destination runs: Deer Path Park and the roads of Readington, a great 16miler with GSTC teammates. Two very nice runs(8 and 15 miles each) in Cape May with RVRR friends, views of the Ocean, marshes, and grasslands lying beside it were very peaceful, running along the beach was a delight. We spent a few days at Anne McCarthy's family beach house, thanks Anne!

Cape May Point

Whiiillle we were in Cape May, the Agents of the Clandestine Service of Beer Mile took part in: Operation Thunder Storm.  We like our beer miles, my friends and I, and when we're all together, and we've been talking about it all day, week...month, um year? Don't get me wrong, there are other beer miles, but the Cape May Beer Mile is a very special event, simply because we're all there just once a year together.  There was  no backing down.  Rain, Thunder Lightning, pff, whatever, we're gettin' on the track, we're puttin on our racing shoes, and we're crackin' cans!
We found a mostly dark and secluded track, converged with our beers of choice. One foolish soul, Tim "That's not Puke" Morgan, believed that Heineken was a good choice...I tried it once, it was a no go for me, and if anything is worth believing in, it's whatever your stomach tells you(except for puking during lap four of the beer mile)!  My stomach says, Ice beer is alright, it doesn't seem to taste as bad as other things when chugging, go figure.
Small side bets were made, but mostly pride and bragging rights were on the line, and not to be forgotten the coveted Championship Belt and Jacket!

How it all went down: Rules were reviewed, beer were arranged on the infield, and the competitors lined up with Beer #1 in hand.  The time was started and Steve "Name Tag" Dovidas, as usual, was hot out of the gate, a demon chugger!  But I wasn't too far behind him, and passed him within 100m, I was quickly chased by Mike "The Great White Kenyan" Dixon, Dave "Boogerz" Allara, and Lindsay "Beer makes me faster" Hammoudi.  I accelerated to increase my lead at the 200m mark and then coasted the last 50m to catch my breath a bit. Powering through beer #2 I got out just ahead of Lindsay to begin lap 2.
Beer #3: I started to struggle, and Lindsay got away from me when i still had a couple of onces in the can as I tried to maintain my breathing as to not hurl.  I threw back the last couple ounces and chased him down with surprising ease.  I surged to open the largest gap I could without going full throttle, still fearful of losing control and vomiting.  I knew that the outcome was in the hands of the gods of track and beer, and yet I still had to chug with all my might.  Fear and panic struck as the flying Scot loped away with empty can dropping to the ground, as I stood there, hoping to summon the strength to push down the last couple ounces once again.  He'd gotten 40meters on me in that time.  I steeled my nerves, and ran after him, belching through the first 150m, I reeled him in and sat on his shoulder. With 150m to, I unleashed the fury, there was no more time to wait, and the sky opened up once again, the rain fell hard on us as we sprinted, and I quickly pulled away.
I ran so hard that last 150m, I lost my beers 5m after the finish line, perfect timing, a new PR by 11 seconds(6:38)!  A title that has been held by now I believe, six, different people within our guild of beer mile, and it's mine once again.  It never felt so good to violently vomit, and I've never felt so good about myself after violently vomiting. Note to self: Fish tacos 2hrs before beer mile=no fish tacos in your digestive track for more than 2hrs.
PS. We ran the Lance 5k(3beers from a red cup pre-poured, xc), in July...I won that too. see the photos below!
Beer #1 goes down the hatch.

Tom and John enjoy Tim's suffering, hehe!

Spectators and "official timers" look on as I run down the home straight with my hand raised to signal the victory!

The Champ and the beer that made it all happen, Natural Ice, a True American Beer for a True American Hero!

GSTC at Mansquan Reservoir July 29th. Apparently Ken and I had the same idea.
 Long Runs: There were 2 trips to River Rd in Bedminster, as always, a fleet crew cruised through a 15miler
there in the 6:20's.  River Rd never disappoints. Great conversations with Jeff Perrella, Anthony Harris, Ken Goglas, Chris Heibell, Rich Angelillo, Steve Mennitt and other members of Garden State Track Club

Also ran: Fairmount Park in Philadelphia with Adin Mickle, who gave me a pretty solid tour of the park. The next day we did a very solid 16x400 workout together, good training south of I-195!   And in the days since my birthday, I've pretty much been running locally.  Every now and then, I have to remind myself, it's nice to live on a slope that leads into Donaldson Park alongside the Raritan River!

The days are getting shorter again, and my heart shrinks back a bit, but at least I know, it can't be denied, we RACE fast in the fall, so lets go!
view of Center City at the top of Farimount Park
The 1st Annual Lance 5k participants
Short Shorts+bloated abdomen+fast chuggin'=a 5k beer xc Champ-time of 18:26!