Thursday Track Report: I Can See Clearly

August 12, 2010

It was gray and murky as Jim Myers, John Domico, Tom Cali, Lance Bland, Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Jim Moore, Bob Cornwall, George Lesieutre, Marty Klanchar, Andrew Webb, Nick Downs, Tim Aydin, Mark Lee, Jonathan Thurley, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, Jon Oatley, newcomer Matt Degges, Martha Nelson, Ann Skulas-Ray, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Mark Traband, Michael Goldfine, Matt Soccio, Dana Todd, Dave DeGroote, Adam Smith, Joel Niemann, Lee Culver, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. But it was definitely better than running in the hazy heat of the last few days.

Bwana no doubt astounded newcomer Matt Degges (and will continue to do so, right people?). Matt was wearing an Arkansas Razorback shirt, for which he received muffled boos. But Bwana saved the day for him by noting to all that today is former Arkansas Governor Dale Bumpers birthday, and Matt was just trying to show his home-state respects. Is Bwana clairvoyant? Watch and learn, grasshoppers. It might have been the candles Bwana lit to St. Claire, patroness of clear sight (and of television). Her Feast was yesterday.

Bwana gave a crystal clear workout as the sky darkened more: 3X1000. Bwana, who biked to the track using still-healing hammies, watched in amazement as everyone turned in stellar workouts in a steady rain!

Butt (speaking of hamstrings), despite a big crowd running over hill and dale to get to the track, there was also a bumper crop of people sitting on theirs. Shall Bwana use his clairvoyant powers to see where they were? Ann Marie Oldani was lighting candles to St. Anthony, Patron of Lost Causes, as she tried to dream up believable excuses for both her and Janet Jonson. Ron Cunfer was sitting, staring at his terminal at work as if it were some kind of crystal ball. "Michele" Weyandt was wondering how s/he can get on Bwana's good side for missing track. S/he's relying on 3/4 of a hill workout and organizing a happy hour. Bwana will take a beer with that and call it even. Randy Jepson was observing Bwana's limits on the number of bald guys allowed on the track. The trouble is, those limits only apply on sunny days. And John Sheakoski was auditioning belly dancers at Zeno's!

Thursday Track Report: Hugs All Around

August 5, 2010

There was a stiff wind blowing through track hollow as John Domico, Tom Cali, Jim Myers, Bob Cornwall, Jim Moore, Judd Michael, Lance Bland, Randy Jepson, John Sheakoski, Dave Mengle, newcomer Alex Metcalf, Dave Moore, Martha Nelson, Meira Minard, Jon Thurley, Michael Goldfine, Rob Shaver, Rich Harter, Joel Niemann, Dana Todd, Kirk Rager, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. Marty was biking down again, but should be back to at least jogging down next week.

Coach Harry Groves was at the track and got to be part of the action. While everyone was still arriving, Harry gave Bwana the secret to Bwana's much desired recovery: Hills! Coach says runners tend to overstride and the upper leg does not relax enough before hitting the ground. The cure is a shorter stride, and the way to get that is on the hills. The gravity workout is a bonus. He also mentioned that on the track, the best workout for short striding is 4s and 2s. So that was Coach's blessing on Bwana's prescribed workout: the dreaded and hated Fortitude Workout. 4X(400-200) with the 400 hard, short rest, and the 200 harder.

Coach Groves tells some great stories, but he's also much more of a pussycat than he was back in the day. He said he was once asked what the difference was between coaching boys and coaching girls. The answer is that boys do not respnd well to hugs. Boys need a little fear of God to motivate them, from a hardass they respect. I'm not saying Harry was ready to start giving hugs around (though he was admiring today's gold star performer Meira, and not just her short stride). But Harry is smilier than I've ever known him.

But not Bwana. Bwana is cranky and can't wait to get back in the action. Biking against the wind sucks. So Bwana will take his mood out on those who need a little fear factor. No hugs for Cunfer, Culver, Jonson, Hilands, Traband, Oldani, Klanchar, Prins. In the words of the *old* Harry Groves, when asked by his runners if they could ever not show up to the track because of weather "If you see a mushroom cloud go up over State College, wait for the smoke to clear, then get your asses to the track!"

Thursday Track Report: Schwedding the Details

July 22, 2010

It was very moist and schweddy today as Jim Myers, John Domico, Tom Cali, Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, George Lesieutre, Jim Moore, Meira Minard, Martha Nelson, Libby Covelli, Jon Oatley, Joel Niemann, Dana Todd, Adam Smith, Matt Soccio, Kirk Rager, Jim Laudermilch, Rich Harter, Lee Culver, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, and Marty Mazur dripped all over Curtin Road on their way down to the track.

Bwana gimped down, deciding to do a few slow 10 minute miles up and back to the track and just be an observer while there. So he missed the usual warm-up conversation. Apparently, the topic was still Schweddy Balds, and other things he's been missing on the Tuesday runs. But Bwana caught Meira's new hairdo. No, she's not a Schweddy Bald, but no more Heidi locks! We're not running with a 15 year old anymore. Nicely highlighted coiffure of the mature woman who has donated her girlie-locks to Locks of Love. Bwana had the Crew schwed through the Fortitude workout, 4X(400-200) with pretty much no rest between the 400 and the 200. Bwana was glad he could stand and watch the whole workout. And listen. Meira kicked everyone's ass, and still had the energy to carry on with Calidonna and Domico. Every lap Bwana heard more about the mysteries of Schweddiness.

Libby, who's been with us all too short a time, had her last workout with us before she heads out to Montana. She's finally getting a (hopefully) more permanent job. We wish her well and hope she can stop by the next time she's East.

As the Crew left the track, the second shift, Nick Downs, came through the turnstiles. But there were quite a few out there who weren't breaking a schwed today. Oh, Tara doesn't count, being stuck out in Bellefonte. But I'm sure she's trying not to schwed all over the stamp glue and hinges at her new workplace. Sherry Tirko was parked under a tree pretending to stretch as Bwana headed by the athletic fields behind Shields Bldg. Greg Fredericks must be leading the life of retirement leisure. He's sure not breaking a schwed to get to the track. And where *are* all the 15 (and 14) year olds who graced our track last month? They're too young to be schwedding SAT prep courses, or anything else!

Thursday Track Report: The Dirty Low Down

July 29, 2010

It was partly cloudy and breezy after this morning's deluge as John Domico, Tom Cali, Bob Cornwall, Costas Maranas, Lance Bland, John Sheakoski, Martha Nelson, Meira Minard, John Schmidt, Dana Todd, Jim Laudermilch, Adam Smith, Jon Oatley, and Marty Mazur headed for bottom of Track Hollow.

Attendance was at midsummer's low. This always happens about now. Seems like everyone is at the beach. And Bwana's at a lowpoint, too. He's got a nagging injury and has been whining and moaning about it for weeks, he's missing all the fun runs and the low-down on all of Meira's Hill Report allusions. But he's gotta come and be Bwana, even if it pains him to see people running when he can't. Plus he's gotta give people their weekly workout! Those who came to this week's Hill Workout certainly didn't get one. A three mile warm-up of idle silliness followed by a Daisy Scout workout. Oh, how low things have sunk since Queen Tara departed the hive! Bwana gave out 6X400 relays. And that was all Queen Meira needed to fully redeem herself by opening up furlongs of space between her and second place every time she had the baton. And everyone seemed to strive through the whole workout. But that doesn't mean there weren't more lows to be had. Meira's speedy partner was Costas, who made a fashion statement. A new low. He wore sale rack, 70s style short 'n' tight running shorts that outdid anything Greg Fredericks ever wore. He's threatening to go Greek on us next week by wearing a Speedo!

Well, not everyone was at the beach. And some of the excuses Bwana has heard have reached the nadir of lameness, enough to make Bwana ralph. Janet Jonson has hit a new low by achieving the highest lame-excuse-to-attendance ratio ever recorded. Jon Thurley and Mikey Weyandt were doing arm curls, and it wasn't at the gym, getting ready for the next Martha Mile. Hey guys, Martha was at the track! Matt Soccio was on his knees inspecting his locally grown sustainable arugula crop. LDC was stealing picnic baskets from Ranger Smith. And Rob Peterson was enlisting Kevin Becker's help as the muscle in a real estate extortion racket! "Kevin says you want to sell me your house. I 'tink youse should do what Kevin says."

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.