Thursday Track Report: Embracing The End Of A Tara

July 15, 2010

The track was simmering and the smell of bacon was in the air as Jim Myers, Randy Jepson, John Domico, Kevin Becker, Jim Laudermilch, John Sheakoski, Costas Maranas, Libby Covelli, Tom Cali, Greg Dillon, Mark Traband, Judd Michael, Jon Oatley, Tara Murray, Rob Shaver, Anne-Marie Oldani, and Bob Cornwall sizzled through today's workout--leaving grease stains in their wake.  Today was Tara's last track workout--and although I'm making it sound like she's about to be embalmed in stamp glue, she really isn't going far--and knowing Tara--working in Bellefonte just means that she will have a bit longer warm-up run to get to the workouts!  Alas, poor Libby will have a bit longer commute when she runs in from Montana.

Since I conveniently arrived late, the workout was in full swing when I joined in.  From what I could piece together, there was talk of a relay workout, which somehow turned into 3 sets of 4x200.  At least that was the goal, although it seemed like a bunch of people "adapted" the workout to their own liking.  And of course, there were numerous splinter groups doing such crazy things as mile, 1000, 800, 400, 200 and other such idiocy.   Tara, Rob Shaver, and Jim Myers appeared to be doing non-stop repeats, although I didn't get their exact method of torture. Anyhow, at the end of the workout, the gents all lined up to give Tara their fond farewells. Costas even wore his new running shorts with the neon green piping for the occasion!  And Cali kept rippling his abs.  Unfortunately, the hugs probably should have been dispensed with before the workout---because even though the guys were doing their best to look cute and cuddly, they were really just sweaty and smelly.  Ahhh well, good thing us runners aren't afraid of a little stink!  Tara suffered through the hug-fest (apparently Jim Myers was the lucky recipient of a "Bro Hug.")  She probably has some more suffering to do tonight at Zeno's.  Just watch out--she might starting employing the "Blackie" response.  

And finally, if you've made it this far, which of course you have because I'm sure you don't have anything better to do, here's my
Ode To Tara (sung in three-part harmony)

"Tara Tara She's Our Gurl
If She Don't Make Us Hurl
Then No One.....Wurl...."

Amen.

Thursday Track Report: Arts Fest Weather!

July 8, 2010

It was hot enough to cause serious discomfiture as Tom Cali, Dave Mengle, Dave DeGroote, Meira Minard, Tara Murray, Matt Soccio, Lee Culver, Rob Shaver, Rob Peterson, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. Mark and Natasha Fedkin, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Kirk Rager, Dana Todd, Jim Laudermilch, and Kevin Becker were already there basting in their juices. Tatum Del Bosco had already been turned to bacon by time the Crew arrived and went home to de-crispify. We knew we were in for a hot one.

Beads of sweat dripped from Bwana's brow as he introduced young Natasha Fedkina (age 11), the Blond Blur, to the Crew. Natasha just finished third in the 800 m at the USA Youth Outdoor National Championship in Lisle, IL. She had a PR time of 2:25.84, just two hundredths of a second in back of second place. Bwana decided to reward the whole crew for Natasha's performance, just as he punishes the Crew for individual misdeeds. The workout was an easy 800-2X400-4X200. Several Trackers, including Bwana, skipped a couple of 200s. Punishment awaits on another day. Mike Casper hobbled to the track to saw howdie. Mike, unfortunately, is the victim of a recent spate of misfortune that has hit our Crew. Cheryl Capone, almost mended from her fractured bone, is being replaced by Mike and Pam Scott, both wearing a boot due to freak running mishaps.

Now to punish the truly deserving. Mark Traband and Tom Hilands abandoned the Crew to go chasing llamas and unicorns in Walnut Springs Park. I think they actually headed up the hill at the end of the park to Tom's house for some cold beer. Greg Dillon was at Alpha Fire Company teaching some firemen how to run in the heat with a 50 lb flame retardant, insulated jacket. All Greg had to wear was his Wookie suit, which he carries all the time. We're worried about Greg Fredericks loosing his marbles in retirement. He was last scene at the Arts Fest kiddie fair buying a vuvuzela. And Dave Moore didn't know what to do without his training partner Tatum. He went home and stood in front of his air conditioner.

Thursday Track Report: Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em

Zeus was threatening some juice as Tom Cali, Jim Moore, Andrew Webb, Dave Moore, Costas Maranas, Mark Fedkin, Jonathan Thurley, Mark Traband, Meira Minard, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Tara Murray, Julie Grubb who recruited newcomers Katie Stec and Hannah Grubb, Janet Jonson, Ron Cunfer, Kevin Becker, John Peterson, Dana Todd, Joel Niemann, Matt Soccio, Jon Oatley, Steve Olson, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. But the only thunder that was heard was from Bwana's "mounds", which are whatever Hill Queen Meira had in mind when she christened them.

Bwana welcomed some newcomers. Apparently track terror Tatum put the word out to some of the local high school talent, and with a ride from Julie Grubb (making her first track appearance in ages), Hannah Grubb and Katie Stec made their first trek with the trackers. But where was Tatum? Bwana called out the truant officers. Just in case the old guy upstairs started hurling bolts, Bwana had the crew do a bunch of short, low recovery stuff so the they could leave on short notice and wouldn't be turned into smoky bacon: 2X6X200, going every 65 seconds (though Dave Moore had time for a cigarette and a cup of coffee between runs at that rate).

Dave Moore wasn't the only one who was smokin', but he was the only one who was doing it at the track. Nick Downs and Judd Michael made it down late, but there were plenty who didn't make it at all. Sherry Tirko, Marv Hall, Tom Hilands, and Bob Cornwall must have had something better to smoke and someplace better to smoke it. Mike Casper, child of the 70s, was teaching young Tim Aydin a one-handed roll. Ann Marie Oldani was having a second bowl, and it wasn't grape nuts. And John Domico was sitting on the floor of a cabin in Tennessee, eating brownie mix right out of a box.

Thursday Track Report: Voyage of Discovery

July 1, 2010

It was cool and breezy as explorers Jim Myers, Jim Moore, Andrew Webb, Costas Maranas, Dave Moore, Marty Klanchar, George Lesieutre, Jonathan Thurley, Rob Shaver, Tara Murray, Esther Prins, Meira Minard, Adam Smith, Steve Olson, Rob Peterson, Matt Soccio, and Marty Mazur set sail to try to find the Northeast Passage shortcut to the track. The crew had following winds all the way down, but upon arrival, like Columbus, they found that the place was already inhabited by Lee Culver, Ron Cunfer, Paula Jech, Janet Jonson, Tatum Del Bosco, Dana Todd, Rich Harter, Kevin Becker, Dave Mengle, Ed Thompson, and Jon Oatley.

Bwana liked the cut of this crew's jib. But the winds died down. So after some jabbering he decided to have them take their turns at the oars. Seated in pairs, the crew did 4 rotations of 800 strokes apiece while Miles "Standish" Smith and his son Max beat out the tempo. After that, Bwana passed out the grog so the crew could row upstream back to Rec Hall. By the time they got back, they were two sheets to the wind.

Bwana was having a hard time finding some of his explorers. Tom "Ponce" Cali was tanking up at the Fountain of Youth, the location of which he refuses to share. Julie Grubb was lost and fiddling with her Magellan, so she couldn't bring Hannah Grubb and Katie Stec back for a return voyage. Hill Conquistador Libby Covelli was sitting on her kiester at the Dairy Queen, pouring extra sprinkles. And Ken Davis was giving a lecture to Al Gore on how to get his boat out of a jam so his voyage could have a happy ending!

Thursday Track Report: Recruitment Poster

It was the last forecasted "nice" day for a while, with temperatures in the low 70s and light breezes as John Domico, Bob Cornwall, Tom Cali, Jim Moore, Judd Michael, Andrew Webb, Greg Luna, Marty Klanchar, Nick Downs, Meira Minard, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Libby Covelli, Ann Marie Oldani, Esther Prins, Tim Aydin, Rob Shaver, Mark Traband, Dave DeGroote, newcomers Tatum Del Bosco, Jon Oatley and Steve Olson, Adam Smith, Dana Todd, Jim Laudermilch, John Ake, Mark Lee, Joel Niemann, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, Matt Soccio, and Marty Mazur headed for the track.

There were several newcomers as well as some long-lost friends on hand. Libby Covelli, recently recovered from a nagging injury, was there to try her legs and model her mountain girl physique. Unfortunately for us, Libby will become a real-deal mountain girl soon. She'll be heading for western Montana in about a month to start a "pre-doc" (they want her so bad, she gets to be on the faculty before finishing up her PhD). There were some true newbies this week. One was Jon Oatley, brought in by Judd. Jon seems to know his way around the track. And Bwana finally cajoled Steve "Bassoon Boy" Olson to try a workout with us. Steve was a runner half a lifetime ago in high school, and really did pretty well today. But the star newcomer was Tatum "Rock Star" Del Bosco, who deigned to descend from the heights of local fame. Tatum has won pretty much every local race she's entered this Spring, including the the Black Mo 5K, the Boalsburg Memorial Day Run, and the Crack O' Dawn 5K. Her Dad, mere World Record holder Miles Smith, wanted to make sure it was safe and there were no paparazzi. You see, Tatum is only 14. Welcome to all n00bs!

Bwana had the crew do a medley relay to give the newcomers the best sample of what we do. There were some great pairings and face-offs. Grandmaw Meira "Muscles" Minard, she of the matchless Hyner and the local trail race queen, took tiny Tatertot under her wing and attempted to take on another toddler/dodderer duo made up of Tim "Babycakes" Aydin and Tom "Cadaver" Cali. Unfortunately for the girls, Tommy and Timmy have some legs under them, and the guys handled the Streak Sisters. But Meira and Tatum put away all the rest.

Thirty is a darn good showing this time of year. We hope to see more of you out there. Bwana is in a good mood, so won't go too hard on the people from each end of the age spectrum who weren't there. But like any organization that's been around awhile, Thursday Track needs to recruit some youngsters, particularly females. We're losing three gals pretty soon: Tara to a new job, Meira (for a while) to school, and Libby to the mountains. Get recruiting!