Thursday Track Report: Up To The Challenge

It was a breezy day, with plenty of pollen and Game Lands smoke in the air as John Domico, Tom Cali, Randy Jepson, Judd Michael, Greg Dillon, Andrew Webb, Meira Minard, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Jonathan Thurley, Tim Aydin, Dave DeGroote, Joel Niemann, Mark Lee, Michel Goldfine, Jerry Steffy, Matt Soccio, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. The conditions made the track workout even more challenging than usual.

The Nittany Valley Running Club is full of runners with great gifts. The guys have their special powers. Tom Cali has discovered the Fountain of Youth. And while Costas Maranas keeps his Fabio Locks long to sustain his speed, John Domico takes a more aerodynamic approach to give him the edge. And Greg Dillon uses Wookie Vision as he blindly blazes round the track. But what makes the women of the NVRC so fast? Ann Skulas-Ray is packin' some powerful guns. Hill Queen Tara has pistons for thighs. And Kathy Koetje-Simin's used her jet packs on Monday for a Boston PR. And now we know that Meira Minard's got one heck of a Hyner! Meira Minard was the top woman in the Hyner View Trail Challenge by over 20 minutes! Congratulations, Meira! The Crew all wanted to pat Meira to get their own piece of that running skill. But Meira made us promise that after today we'd leave her Hyner alone! And congratulations again to all the runners who took on the challenge of qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon for CVIM! From the Thursday Track Crew: Tom Cali, John Domico, Costas Maranas, Greg Luna, George Lesieutre, Marty Klanchar, Tim Spigelmyer, Jeff Smucker, Mark Lee, Tara Murray, and Kathy Koetje Simin.

Bwana started the Crew out on Sheakoski's 6X1 Lap challenge: Do 6 1 lap runs, increasing your lane number in each successive lap, but maintaining or bettering your per-lap speed each lap. That is indeed a challenge in a strong headwind, but Meira did fine with a tailwind.

There were a few Trackers who were feeling a bit "challenged" today. Bob Cornwall and Jim Moore are obviously the "My Dad is My Buddy" types who don't challenge their kids. They showed up at the track on "Take Your Kid to Work Day" with youngsters in tow but without the requisite gear! What kind of parent does this? Andy Arndt had enough of a challenge running in the Game Lands on Tuesday and is taking the rest of the week off. Dana Todd had all the challenge he could handle on last Friday's Herbstritt 5K. And Tom Hilands finds it more and more challenging every week to just make it up the hill to Rec Hall!

Thursday Track Report: We All Deal With Pain In Our Own Way

It was sunny and really nice, a fine April day (of the kind we're getting much too accustomed to) as John Domico, Tom Cali, Bob Cornwall, Judd Michael, Greg Dillon, John Sheakoski, Marty Klanchar, Jim Moore, Tom Hilands, Ken Davis, Jonathan Thurley, Meira Minard, Esther Prins, Tim Aydin, Rich Harter, Jerry Steffy, Dana Todd, Matt Soccio, Ryan Booze, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, and Marty Mazur headed for the track.

Today was the Boston Marathoners' day off, but a few of them were there anyway to kiss the track for good luck and say they'd been there. Kissing the track is about as close as John Domico has been to a date in several months, so the workout started out as a big pity party for him. Bwana agreed to invite Tammy D. to the next track workout so John could at least trade lewd sexual innuendo with her. A few runners who are at the tail end of their marathon training (Pocono) did some hard miles in the outside lane. Most of the rest of the group did "Indians" at a pretty nice clip (though slower than the marathoners!). But at least a few of the Crew were limping around, but just glad to be out on such a nice day.

Some in the group persevere through all kinds of adversity. Lance Bland has been biking quite a bit to keep his edge for when he can run again. I hear that Katie Davis is slowly working her way back into her game. And Greg Dillon has been given the green light to run again as long as he has a taser clipped to his nipples with his thumb duct-taped to the trigger. But a few in our select group have a different way of working through injuries. Janet Jonson is going to take another three or four more weeks off to recover from the brush burn she got on a Game Lands run. I think Cheryl Capone is starting to enjoy her sessions with Dr. Pain a little too much. Lee Culver is getting fitted for a cushier Barcalounger. And Greg Luna is waiting for the huge box to appear at his door from the Mexican pharmacy he deals with.

Thursday Track Report: Hello Goodbye

It was gray, but pleasant as the crew of John Domico, Jim Myers, Tom Cali, Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Marty Klanchar, John Sheakoski, Greg Dillon, Martijn Westhoff, John Wilcock, Jonathan Thurley, Mark Traband, Joel Niemann, Meira Minard, Tara Murray, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Dana Todd, Ron Cunfer, Lee Culver, Kevin Becker, newcomer Rob Peterson, and Marty Mazur said hello to Spring.

Before the "Fortitude Workout" (4X(400-200) with short rest), Bwana introduced the newcomer, Rob Peterson, an experienced triathlete, old college friend of Kevin Becker, and new employee at ARL, working with John Sheakoski and Marty Mazur. The crew also said goodbye to Martijn Westhoff, who will be returning to the Netherlands next week. Martijn made quite an impression on the Club in just a couple of months. A good running companion, and none too slow, either. His youthful good looks also worked their charms on the ladies. His attendance at every single hill workout since arriving here also helped spike attendance among the gals. Now he returns to Holland. Instead of the ladies and hills here, he'll only have the levees and dykes over there.

The Crew could use a howdy from some of its erstwhile members. Ultra-Tri man Marv Hall might drop by to give Rob some Iron Man tips. Tom Hilands is working at the "ghost town" branch of ARL and needs to come to the track to see his old pals from work. Greg Fredericks has no excuses anymore: he can thumb a free ride in from the crew at ARL-SP. And Michael Goldfine needs to say hello to the track before he ends up saying goodbye to his girlish figure.

Thursday Track Report: The Slippery Slope

It was the start of what might be a record-breaking weekend, temperature-wise, as Jim Myers, John Domico, Tom Cali, Bob Cornwall, Marty Klanchar, John Sheakoski, Tim Aydin, Costas Maranas, Tom Hilands, George Lesieutre, Meira Minard, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Janet Jonson, Ann Marie Oldani, Kirk Rager, Mark Traband, Ron Cunfer, Rich Harter, John Wilcock, Matt Soccio, Michael Goldfine and newcomer Kelson Goldfine, Andy Arndt, Mark Lee, Jonathan Thurley, John Ake, Joel Niemann, Kevin Becker, Dave DeGroote, and Marty Mazur headed for the track under sunny skies. Our first 30-runner track day of the year!

It wasn't hot yet. That starts tomorrow. But Bwana decided to heat things up by giving out the "Most-Hated" workout: 200s on the minute. The back story on this is that many years ago, one of our regulars, a fast female (we've had a lot of them, haven't we?) suggested this workout and was reviled ever after. But back in those long-lost days, we literally would do them on the minute. 12 to 16 200s, boom-boom-boom, one right after the other. We'd actually do our 200s in about 40 seconds, so we'd have 20 seconds rest before the next one. It was a tough workout then. But now, most of us have a hard time even finishing the 200 in 60 seconds, let alone being ready for the next one. So we've let the standard slip a little. 200 every 65 or 70 seconds, and we break the workout into 2X6X200 with a nice nap between the sets.

But some Trackers have let their standards slip even farther. Nick Downs showed up at the gym and mumbled as many lame excuses as he could while he got changed to go down and stare at music videos while sitting on a bike. And he is going to teach your children. Tara Murray said something about a severe case of writer's cramp from penning her CDT column (not that that has anything to do with running - writer's cramp, I mean, not her column - and who gets "writer's cramp" anymore?) Amy Blake spewed out some gibberish about an "object-oriented programming seminar" as if saying nonsense counts as an excuse. And Lee Culver was busy putting a Globe and Anchor decal on the back of the side-view mirror of his walker!

Thursday Track Report: You Mythed A Good One

It was May in March, with temperatures in the 60s, blue skies, and light breezes as John Domico, Tom Cali, Judd Michael, Bob Cornwall, Costas Maranas, Jonathan Thurley, Dave Moore, Tim Aydin, Marty Klanchar, Tara Murray, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Meira Minard, Mike Weyandt, Martijn Westhoff, Dave DeGroote, Ron Cunfer, Mark Lee, John Wilcock, Jim Laudermilch, Jessica Wekke, Matt Soccio, and Marty Mazur headed for the track.

The Crew was waiting for Bwana to bare the meat-muffins to mark the official start of Spring. But Bwana did not get to work on his tan much during his Mediterranean vacation, seeing as how a significant portion of said trip was spent on a snowbound train. So, rather than startle the group with a vision of the Yeti, Bwana kept covered and gave out a downward ladder workout: 1000-800-600-400-200, with increasing pace each step down the ladder.

Speaking of mythical beasts, our pet Wookie has had a valid excuse of late to miss the track. But what about Mark Griffin? His eagle eye has obviously been on something other than the oval. Greg Luna must be doing his workouts at night under the light of La Luna. Maybe he's a werewolf. Lance Bland was auditioning for a part as Bigfoot. Tom Hilands was last seen in the lowlands, mudwrestling with the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Michael Goldfine was thumbing through Bullfinch's Mythology at Websters. And John Sheakoski, who is stalking the mythical Perfect Bracket, was watching round 1 at an undisclosed bar.