Just Hang On!

The first track workout of the season brought treacherously icy conditions on the sidewalks of campus. Still, the intrepid trackers John Domico, Tom Cali, Judd Michael, Lance Bland, Mark Lee, Greg Dillon, Tom Hilands, Frank Zaffino, John Sheakoski, Ruth Mischler, Jamie Volkert, Cheryl Capone (who was there earlier), Tara Murray, Stephanie Serriere, Paul Lammert, John Wilcock, Andy Arndt, Michael Goldfine, Mark Traband, Jonathan Thurley, and Marty Mazur skidded down to the track.

A big part of the crew are going to do the first Indoor Mile on Saturday. Bwana decided to give them a "Hang On To The Upward Ladder" workout. You start out slow on a 2 lapper, then try to maintain the same pace on a 3, 4, and 5 lapper. The Indoor Milers will need that staying power on Saturday.

Several trackers had a different kind of staying power. Dana Todd was staying home trying to finish up the last of the New Years pickled herring. Sam and Ed Thompson were playing chicken to see which of the brothers would be the first to come to the track this year. Sherry Tirko was hanging on to the hope that she could still win the office College Bowl Pool if Oklahoma wins by a thousand points tonight. And John Pringle was standing fast in a purple plaid dress with matching sword and shoulder plate on the corner of College and McAllister.

Passing Muster

It was cold, with ice forming on surfaces. And it looks like Mother Nature will be opening the fridge tomorrow. Only runners who are a cut above the ordinary made it to the track today. Present were John Domico, Tom Cali, Judd Michael, Lance Bland, Costas Maranas, John Sheakoski, Ed, Sam and Tommy Thompson, Dana Todd, Jamie Volkert, Tara Murray, Greg Dillon, Stephanie Serriere, Michael and Kelson Goldfine, Mark Fedkin, and Marty Mazur.

Bwana wanted to see if the crew would pass muster. He gave the 3-4-4-3 lap pace workout. That's where you hold it in a little on the first 3 lapper, try to keep the same pace through the two 4 lappers, then go for the big blowout on the final 3 lapper. We had a newcomer Stephanie Serriere. Her name must mean "serrated" in French, because she cut right through the workout. The whole crew passed muster, including and in particular one lone runner who must have passed some mustard gas along the back stretch. Whoever it was, you've left your mark on the crew: the cloud is probably still hanging there.

Some of Bwana's crew who occasionally pass for runners had some pretty rank excuses today. John Pringle and Lee Culver were at an ARL Christmas Luncheon. Somebody should tell them you don't make egg nog with boiled eggs. Marty Klanchar, Jim Moore, George Lesieutre, and Mark Traband were probably cutting into a cheese ball at their office party. I'm sure Ruth Mick was letting loose with some of her grad school buddies. And Nick Downs was tooting his own horn at his department party.

Inside Out

It was blustery and cold today, so Bwana put out an email saying that today would be the first indoor track workout of the year. Still, a few of the crew didn't have it in them to go inside this early in the season. John Domico, Dave Moore, Judd Michael, Lance Bland, Mark Fedkin, George Lesieutre, Marty Klanchar, John Sheakoski, Jamie Volkert, Tim Aydin, Ann Skulas-Ray and her student Brian, Ruth Mick, Sherry Tirko, and Marty Mazur went inside and Tom Cali, John Wilcocks, Tara Murray, Mark Lee, Josh Cone, Tim Spigelmyer, and Jim Moore stayed out.

Inside the MSF, Bwana called out the traditional first indoor workout: NX3X300. It's a tough, low recovery workout: there's only a little over 100m rest between each 300 in a set. Most of the Crew did N=3, and some of them felt turned inside out afterward. Bwana doesn't know what the outdoor group did, but given who was there, it probably was no picnic.

Bwana has the inside scoop on a few of the Crew who were neither out nor in today. Marv Hall was foraging around in a silo trying to see if alcohol really does form at the bottom of several tons of grain when it gets damp. Tom Hilands was out in the woods listening to chickadees and squirrels. Greg Luna was still out of sorts after eating six leftover pizzas from his Beer 5K. And Esther Prins was still breathing in and out slowly, which is what got her through the birth of her brand new baby daughter Lily Paloma.

Descent Into Heck

The weather was pseudo-threatening: enough to rattle the windows of my office, and to have certain people timidly inquire as to whether we were in our out today, but actually not bad at all once you got out into it. It was dark, mild (40 degrees), and breezy as John Domico, Tom Cali, Marty Klanchar, Ken Davis, Greg Dillon, Randy Jepson, John Sheakoski, Lance Bland, Judd Michael, Ruth Mick, Mark Lee, Andy Arndt, Joel Niemann, Ron Cunfer, Dana Todd, Dave DeGroote, Tara Murray, John Wilcock, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. We all ran outside today.

Seeing as the weather was "heckish", we decided to recapitulate Dante's descent into Hell: proceeding in an ever tightening spiral, passing the suffering damned toward the frozen lake Cocytus, and the Devil himself - but "Lite". That old devil John Domico suggested a downward ladder of 1 Mile, 2X880, 4X400, where the mile and the two halves were done in the outer circle, the 4 quarters way inside on lane two. On the way toward the center, we had no guide but Bwana, who safely led us past demons and demi-urges, including the urge to quit.

Bwana is prescribing Purgatory Lite for a few of his wayward sinners. Lee Culver and Greg Luna are subject to the Sin of un-Sloth for allowing work to get in the way of track and sitting at their desks through lunch. Sherry Tirko is struggling to overcome the Sin of Buh-ull-Sh*t for making all kinds of noise like she was coming to track today and then not showing up. Mark Hilliard is a slave to the Sin of Gluttony for eating lunch downtown. And John Pringle has to go to confession for murdering Bambi's Mom earlier this week and hanging her up in his garage. Bwana's Penance: bring in some deer bologna next week!

Note: The Jingle Bell Track Workout / Look Back - Look Forward will be on Thursday, December 18.

Splash Party

The near drought conditions we've experienced the second half of this year abated a bit this morning. We had a good soaking rain, which let up just in time for Jim Myers, John Domico, Lance Bland, Ken Davis, Tom Cali, Jim Moore, John Sheakoski, Tim Spigelmyer, Sherry Tirko, Andy Arndt, John Wilcock, Mark Lee, Ed Thompson, Dana Todd, and Marty Mazur to head to the track.

It didn't let up in time for the drenched track to dry out. Bwana had the crew do a downward ladder: 1K-800-600-400-200. Everybody's running style is different. Some kick water back at the runner behind them. Runners with a long follow-through kick end up soaking their own backs, shoulders, and heads. And people with little smacky steps get the runners on either side. But everybody gets wet!

Track would only have dampened the high spirits of some of the track-irregulars. Greg Luna was drying out after doing his duties this past weekend mopping up spills after the Beer 5K. George Lesieutre was telling one of his students that he was all wet. Costas Maranas, Marv Hall, Judd Michael, and Greg Dillon were having a liquid lunch of their own at some downtown taproom. and Tara Murray and Marty Klanchar were getting in a pre-Richmond Marathon soak, sitting in a hot tub and taking "muscle relaxers". You know, the kind with the little paper umbrellas.