Tag Archives: running

‘Staching through the cold

‘Staching through the cold

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Mike and I did our second 5K together in a month when we wogged our way to the finish line at the ‘Stache Dash.   The run was in support of Movember, an international movement to raise awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s issues.  It was nice to know that part of race fee was contributed directly to the Movember charity.

After somewhat warmer weather earlier in the week, things had turned cold in Milwaukee – just in time for the Saturday event.  Although it helped that the race had a later start time of 12 noon, it was still a mere 23 degrees – with 15-mph winds – when we queued up.  We ended up bringing up the rear when my mustache hat flew off in one of the gusts and I ran back to retrieve it.  At least I got some extra running in!   The costumes were super fun, and there was pretty scenery along our route.

We had a great time despite the cold.  The best part was that Mike brought home his first medal!  Now we just have to find someplace to display it in the rig where it won’t take a chunk outta the wall as we motor down the road.

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Wogging on the Charles River

Wogging on the Charles River

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“I thought this was one of those crazy mud things you’re always doing,” Mike said as I was picking up my bib from the tent near the river.  We were in Boston on a drizzly Sunday morning so I could do the Boston River Run along the Charles.

“If I’d known it was a regular run, I might have done it with you.”

I wrapped my arms around him, squeezing tight and grinning up at him as I said, “You still can! They have on-site registration!”

He sighed knowing he was beat and let me drag him over to the next table so he could sign up.

And that’s how we ended up wogging (walk-jogging) our first New England 5K together.  We walked most of it, sprinting for the photo opps and the finish line.  We held hands and laughed and took delightful detours – discovering graffiti aliens and wrecked crew boats – because we were too wrapped up in the moment to keep track of the other runners.   It wasn’t my fastest 5K, but it was definitely one of my best.

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The Undy 5000

The Undy 5000

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Because we were having such a wonderful time with Grant, Barbie and their daughter Catie in Virginia Beach, we didn’t make it to DC to do the Diva Dash.  Instead, I ended up doing the Undy 5000 a week later.  It wasn’t an obstacle race, but it was notable because it was my first event with a dog.  While Mike and Sadie cheered from the sidelines, our little athlete Meeko was my running buddy.  He did great.  At the halfway mark, I joked with the race volunteers that if Meeko was running by himself, we’d already have finished.

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The Undy 5000 is a family-friendly, dog-friendly 5K run/walk that was created by the Colon Cancer Alliance as a fundraising event.  All through the course there are informational placards about colon cancer, and the finish area has a giant blow-up colon showing how malignant polyps and advanced cancer look.  Participants are encouraged to run in their “undies” to bring attention to the area affected by colon cancer.  We were so busy doing stuff in DC that I didn’t have a chance to go shopping for a top-notch costume.  So, the night before the race, I created an outfit with a polka-dotted tank top, lace-trimmed boxer shorts, and striped tights.  Not my best look, but it worked.  Meeko was the real star of the show anyway.

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The race was held in Rock Creek Park.  Not only is the park stunning, but it also has quite a history.

For millennia, American Indians quarried rock outcroppings to make tools, fished the creek, and hunted wild game in the woodlands. In the 1600s and early 1700s, European Americans claimed title to the land. As tobacco farming and African American slavery became more widespread, Georgetown was chartered at the mouth of Rock Creek. In the late 1700s and into the 1800s, tobacco farming exhausted the soil, resulting in many farmers switching to wheat and corn production. Gristmills, the most successful being Peirce Mill, were constructed along Rock Creek to convert grain into flour.

The Rock Creek area was deforested during the U.S. Civil War. Logs and branches were felled and then laid out systematically throughout the soon-to-be park by Union soldiers to make a Confederate march through the valley impossible. Civil War fortifications in and around the valley bombarded General Jubal Early’s Confederate troops during the July, 1864 Battle of Fort Stevens.

In 1890, Rock Creek Park became one of the first federally managed parks. Since then, citizens seeking recreation and re-creation in nature have sought out this 1700 acre park.

Doing events like this is one of the many wonderful things about our nomadic lifestyle.  I am fortunate to run in lovely, historic places all around the country, places I’d normally never get to experience.

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A peaceful place

A peaceful place

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As Mike and I headed into Rapid City, South Dakota, driving by the Flying J about a mile away from our campground in Hermosa, my eyes would be drawn to a white chapel perched atop a small hill.  The green grass surrounding the tiny building was dotted with granite headstones bedecked with brightly colored floral arrangements.

One day, after I dropped Mike off at work in Rapid, on my way back to the rig, I turned onto the dirt road next to the Flying J that led up to Highland Park Cemetery.

The entrance is flanked by two historic Civil War canons, and the views of Hermosa and the road to Keystone are spectacular.  The chapel holds an altar with a Bible on one side and a pew on the other.  On the back wall, a glass-enclosed spreadsheet details whose remains rest there. Benches are scattered around the grounds, and there’s often a white-tailed bunny scurrying about.

That day, and every other day after that, I did my morning run on the gravel tire tracks that encircle the site. The solitude was soothing; the panorama was inspiring.  A special, peaceful place.

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