Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hands Folded

"Stop it." "Keep your hands to yourself." "Fold your hands and keep them in your lap." All common phrases heard in households across the world when raising kids. For me, I often use word pictures to describe something either to someone or just in thoughts to myself. Sitting on a chair, upright, hands folded and in my lap. That's the picture that I couldn't get out of my mind all day today. I volunteered to carpool runners from the finish line to the starting line of the Green Jewel 50K. Two years ago at the inaugural event, they had a 100K and it was the longest run of my life...62.4 miles. I remember it like it was yesterday...along with the lightning and downpours from mile 15 to 55. As the runners headed out this morning out of Rocky River, just south of Lake Erie and west of Cleveland, that word picture just "popped" once again. That of me...obedient, do-nothin', not-participatin' me. I'm not feeling sorry for myself, it just really stunk really bad! I wanted to be running with them...not watching them. Nearly immediately after they headed out and the parking lot grew silent, my plans changed for the day. Before, I was just a shuttle for a few runners and then I'd head back towards home and find something to do. Now I just had to spend the day with them...perhaps more in spirit and through capturing them in pictures. Whatever I didn't matter. I just wanted to be out there with them, imagining I was covering the distance, too. So for the rest of the day, I just "leap-frogged" the course, following the green-dashed-lines of the All Purpose Trail, aka: Emerald Necklace, all the way back to Oak Grove within the Brecksville Reservation...also the start/finish of July's Buckeye Trail 50K.

A brilliant, blue-sky, sunny day it was. Temps started at 28F and rose to the low 40s today. Perfect temps and conditions for a fast race. At first, I tried to get as many runners in pics as I could but the field of runners quickly widened and it became impossible to get everyone. It was a fun race to watch, though, with Lloyd charging hard all day for 1st place. My money was on him to take it all but the guy in 1st place was simply relentless and never let himself get overtaken. An out-of-towner and complainer at the finish line, I never did learn his name. "I hated the course." "You need to work on the course markings!" Whatever, dude. Take your packet and go back to where you came from. Markings? They are painted green dashes on asphalt!!! Are you serious? I followed them in my car all day, not knowing my way other than those dashes. Hate the course? That's simple. Don't register. Apparently, he trains on pancake flat roads and must have thought, like nearly everyone else thinks who simply doesn't know, that there are no hills in Ohio. Guess again! Bye bye now. Anyway, big 'ol kudos to LT for a race well run and even under 4 hours for 31.2 miles. Way to go! Greg was not far behind in 4th place (we ran the 2008 Green Jewel 100K together) and cracked the 4hr mark by only seconds and set a new personal record.

I also got to talk to a bunch of others who I consider to be good friends throughout the day and even caught some lunch with Chef Bill at the Courtyard Cafe in Brecksville and enjoyed a yummy Tumbleweed Salad and a fresh blueberry muffin. Definitely a day well spent in a community I belong in. Like I was talking to a friend earlier today, I don't really have anything else except for running and the trails....outside of my family, that is. No other little side-things to keep me busy. It's all I really want. So this little pesky "injury" (dare I call it) that is keeping me from running as I wish is really putting a damper on things. Today, though, hands folded in my lap (with the occasional picture)...I still had a great time immersed in what I love...where I love, and with people I see eye-to-eye with and value greatly. It was a good day.

Thanks to Chef Bill for putting the video together that you see below. Great job, Chef!

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