Tuesday Hill Workout: A Girly-Man, Some Schweddy Balds, and a Couple of Hill Cops....to Name a Few!

July 20, 2010

The skies cleared and the sun began beating down just in time for today's noon-time hill workout.  A nice surprise was waiting when I arrived at Rec Hall, Esther Prins with her daughter Lilly.  Lilly has beautiful golden curls, which several of our follically challenged regulars were eyeing wistfully, as well as our female runner, a dishwater blonde who now relies on "chemical" color enhancer.  Esther and Lilly (in the jogging stroller) joined Rob Bundro, Tom Cali, Randy Jepson, Adam Smith, John Domico, George Lesieutre, and Tom Hilands and me as we set out on our warm-up loop.  I was glad to be dressed in tropical garb as we were heading straight into the jungles of the PSU golf course.  Banter (and more than a little sweat from Jepson and Domico's heads) was flying, absolutely none of it relating whatsoever to the Mengel/Cali saga, because laughing at Cali's expense is not in the LEAST bit fun.   At all.  Instead, we talked about Cali's new nickname--Calidonna (loosely translated that means "girly-man").  The club has long felt that Cali's personality is big enough to support a single-name moniker, and we've finally found the perfect one!  Move over Madge!

Anyway, back to the very serious business of hills.  When we arrived at the bottom of the Park Ave Hill (after going the long way around, and hoping there would only be time for one hill at the most by the time we got there), we were greeted by all sorts of running buddies--Jim Myers (sporting a "Wild and Crazy" tie-dye, but no tight pants or medallions), Jon Oatley (who I didn't recognize without his sunglasses...silly American blonde!), and Mark Lee.   John Sheakoski and Bob Chandler were posted at the top of the hill to make sure that everyone knew exactly where to end their repeats--apparently the bike path sign is the designated marker--and they were kind enough to let a few of us off with just a warning--THIS time.    And Dana Todd, Kirk Rager, and Jim Laudermilch ran by--not sure if they put in some hills or not--but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt!   We did the requisite four--which is all we could muster without Tara of the Hill People there to inspire us.  Actually, I think some of the over-achieving satellite group did more than four, but I didn't get exact tallies.  
Anyway, as a bonus after the hills, we did an extended cool down to the Palmer Art Museum, where Calidonna showed us a magical and magnificent lighting effect cast by the Giant Paws out front, which has been handed down through the NVRC generations.  However, it did leave me feeling kind of flat.....

Tuesday Hill Workout: Excessive Celebration

July 13, 2010

A huge crowd converged on Rocky Top Lane yesterday. Whether it was to sneak in one last hill workout with outgoing Hill Queen Tara, to celebrate the beginning of the reign of Hill Queen Meira, or to give me a challenge in writing this report was not clear. I counted 21 runners, and most even did the whole hill workout. In fact, the group got so into it that when Tom decided four was in fact not enough and suggested running up the hill one more time to return to Rec Hall by the scenic route, we all followed him.

I'm sure that I won't remember everyone who was there today, but the group included Hill Queen Meira Minard, the ageless Tom Cali, Libby Covelli, John Domico, Randy Jeppson, Costas Maranas, Jonathan Thurley, Judd Michael, Joel Niemann, Rob Shaver, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, Bob Cornwall, Andy Arndt, Mark Lee, Dana Todd, ... and several people whose names are not coming to me at the moment. (Sorry! I blame the going-away party my office threw for me on Monday.)

Thank you everyone for all the company on the hill workouts for the last few years. While I love hills enough to run them on my own in Bellefonte, they won't be nearly as fun without you all. (But of course I will still see you all at races and on weekend runs.)

Tuesday Hill Workout: Hill Yeah!

I was quite impressed by the crowd that greeted me when I arrived at Rec Hall today---until  I realized that most of them had been lured in by the free wrestling camp Gatorade and then been unable to make their get-away when they got stuck to the Gatorade coated floor.  Once everyone was set free, we (which included Jim Moore, Bob Cornwall, Matt Soccio, Joel Niemann, Costas Maranas, Andrew Webb, Libby Covelli, Mark Traband, George Lesieutre, Tom Cali, Jonathan Thurley, and Rob Shaver) set out for Sparks Street--the L O N G way.  Several people (Costas) complained that they were already too tired for hills by the time we finally said hillo to our featured hill.  Several others said goodbye at that point--including Traband and Lesieutre.  Mark wanted to work on his farmer's tan some more--and Sparks St. was just too dang shady!  As for George, after doing 50 at fifty, I guess he just doesn't feel the need to prove himself anymore.   However, Jim Myers and Mark Lee met us at the hill to make up for our defectors.  Jim had already done two by the time we arrived, and couldn't wait to do more.  We did the "Four is More" workout today--since four was more than any of us really wanted to do (except Myers, who did six, and Webb, who did "five and a huff").   On the way back to Rec Hall, we ran into Ann Skulas-Ray, who has been missed since going on the DL.  Sounds like she got shafted when they were handing out sesamoid bones, which makes it difficult to run very far without getting injured.  Of course, if anyone can come up with a cure for sesamoid deficiency, it's Ann!

Anyway--nice work today guys.  I think you all earned a trip to Long John Silver's!  I hear it's the recovery food of choice for men of a certain age.....

Tuesday Hill Workout: It's Not The Heat, It's The Hills

July 6, 2010

It was hot, but I was determined to do a hill workout on Squirrel Hill Dr. before I start my new job in Bellefonte. I was joined by Tom Cali, John Domico, Rob Shaver, Libby Covelli, and Kevin Becker. Joel Niemann joined us as we headed into Walnut Springs, opting for the slightly longer but more shaded route to the hill. Mark Traband and Matt Soccio disappeared somewhere before the hill, even though I promised full workout credit for "one-bys" because of the heat.

Tom declared the first repeat "the worst hill ever," but he didn't stick around for the fourth hill, when we had to dodge a mobile home attempting to turn around on the hill. Really, the worst thing about that hill is the traffic. Fortunately for me we have several monster hills with very little vehicle traffic in Bellefonte!

For this very special hill workout, I went all out and brought along my Garmin:


I had it set on auto lap, which makes it a little confusing, but the hill repeats are laps 5, 7, 9, and 11. The hill is a little less than a quarter mile and climbs about 130 ft.