Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Six-Month Countdown to RBC50K

Yes, it's true. Just six months until we do it again. This year it's the Russell B. Cheney 50K. While some of you may not know Russell yet, you will; and believe me he's worth the wait. This 65 years (in the Fall) young Californian has it all; brains, talent, beauty, and a pair of sandals. Incredibly, he won the Crazy Horse Award in his very first TSI event, the John Clark 50K last October. The next several months I will share some of his "life history" with you all. This is Team Slug's Sixteen Year of the Fall Birthday Run. We have had starting fields ranging from four to fourteen. Though in 1997 when we had 14 finishers, one of the volunteers, The Fabulous Flatfoot Freddie (now retired from movement), jumped in the race and "officially" finished well after dark. In fact, he was finished well before he started :) This year we may have to let a few extra folks in. We'll see how it goes. Remember friends, as with all TSI runs, this is a non-event. I absolutely refuse to tell Ranger Rick. He's still upset about the Maple Syrup and Marshmallows, but that's another story. RBC50K's most recent entrant, Ms. Angela from Nashville writes, "Just wait until I tell my non-running friends that in order to run 31 miles, all I have to do is take an original Nashville, TN shotglass to Delaware and become the first-ever Nashville Slug. If they've ever thought I was crazy before, now they're going to help pad my room and starch my white shirt with the long sleeves that tie in the back." Oh, Angela you are going to make a Super-Slug. Another entrant, Charles from Glendale, CA adds, "I know I am out of my senses to be planning on traveling 3,000 miles to run a 50K non-event. I even went further out of my senses by informing the "50-States Club" & the "Marathon Maniacs" that I was planning on running it so they could link it to their site and inform any others who have lost their mind. " You know I've really come to love Californians over the years. There are a hardy bunch of folks out there. So that's the latest news from the mountains of Central Delaware. I hope each of you are enjoying a healthy and prosperous Spring running season. happy days, john.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Spring is on the Way!

I spent yesterday out running around the lake. This time of the year it's very beautiful in the woods. The buds are exploding out of their winter slumber; the squirrels, rabbits, and occasional deer are snooping around looking for breakfast, and the air is fresh. Now is when the runner/plodder/slugger reaps the benefit of healthy lungs and powerful legs. Even if you've added a few extra pounds over the winter, the body is still determined to move; and to breathe in the upcoming season. As the years have gone by, i've become less competitive and now find my pleasures in much simpler things. No longer do i need to "place" in my age group. It's nice and all to win -- or be noticed, but today real happiness is brought to me by those old/new friends that surround me. Especially seeing them discover the true joy of continual forward movement. So this is where we are. The perfect season. I hope each of you are thankful today and every day for each breath. I appreciate all the support for Team Slug over the years and the kindness and friendship that has been shared by thousands of like-minded souls. This week as you step out that door for your run, say a quick prayer to your Higher Being, and remember how fortunate we all are. happy days, john.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dirty Girl Gaitors Rock!!!

Hi Friends / Fellow Slugs-Sluggettes; just checking in for the weekend. Spring training continues here in the mid-Atlantic amid typical Spring weather. Day to day; 80 degrees to 40 degrees, with the only constant being dryness. Definitely the worst is behind us here---and the warmth is trying hard to seep in. Once the rains start it'll be yard mowing time. In slug-running news; I received my Dirty Girl Gaiters from another one of California's Hottest Slugs, Ms. Xy Weiss. They're awesome, hot pink and black; my two favorite colours :) Please check out the link on the TSI front page, and if you're in the market for gaiters these are the way to go. I'll be sporting them at a Trail Dawg event later this Spring. I hope each of you are enjoying peace and health. happy days, john.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Wide-Bottom Checks in!!!

Yesterday we had 77 degrees in Dover, Delaware. In early March. Absolutely incredible weather, and perfect for being outside and running. Early this morning I was back to Killen's for for some Slug-training; and enjoyed the company of Pokey. She's not an actual Slug yet; but well on her way. We had a good 2 1/2 hr workout and did some real sweating. Maybe a sign of things to come here in the mid-Atlantic. Also received a note from my favorite Connecticut Slug, Ole' Wide-Bottom himself, and he says, "It's me, ole wide bottom and proud new slug. I saw your name on the entry list for Seneca Creek so I signed up too. However I forgot that I should be sluggish DURING the run and not BEFORE the race. Consequently, having thought the run started at 8:30 instead of 8:00, I was late getting to the start area and almost missed the start. Is that a quality of a new slug or what? Anyway, I was too late to find you beforehand and didn't see you at the end. Did you run? Although not as nice as yours, it was a really nice run, until I sprained my ankle twice. But except for the last 11 miles with the sore ankle, I really enjoyed myself. There is something about thistrail stuff that's addicting. If I were smart, I'd take my weak ankles and sorry butt back to the pavement, where all I'd have to dodge were cars and 18 wheelers. But alas, no one ever accused me of being smart. So if my quads recover from Boston, I'm hoping to see you at Trail Dawgs." Sounds like he's doing great and we're surely looking for him at Russell B. Cheney 50K here in September. Well friends, as stated, Springs seem to have sprung. Hope you all are running good and enjoying your time here on Earth. happy days, john.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Chief Slug A-OK!!!

Friends!!!, a gracious thanx for all the kind mail wishing me and da' Slugs well. Life indeed does go on, and i know one day soon i'll be back out on that long, long road....errrrr, canal, as in jfk! I recently received a note from the Chief Slug himself. Mr. Bruce "The Running Man" Chituck; remaining on sabbatical somewhere in the hills of North Georgia. He is the primary force behind TSI, and got it started way back in 1990. Now i have a million great running stories about Chief Slug, but most of them are way too hard to believe. I only believe them because i was there and saw some of his running exploits first hand. He was not only a tough runner, but a gentle-man; and a good man. One of my favorite remembrances starts one cool, wet, spring weekend in 1993. Bruce and I were registered with this new club, The VHTRC --and its fanatical leader, Master Christopher Scott and decided to go up to Manasses and run his brand new 50-miler, The First Battle of Bull Run Run. I'd already completed jfk a couple of times, but was gearing up for my first 100 miler at Vermont in July. And, unfortunately(sic) I was on the Chief Slug's Ultra-training program. He was/and is an Old-Schooler. If you want to run better or faster, you go out and train harder and more often. Now, most fortunately, I was much younger and had a body that seemed to never get hurt. Anyway, his training plan included doing long-runs prior to the 50-miler. So the night before we were out running in the swamps of Southeast Virginia for five hours in the murky blackness before finally leaving around midnight for the road trip to Northern VA. We arrived around 3 A.M and crawled under Chief Slug's SUV wrapped in blankets to sleep until the race folks began to drift in. The run started and I still was wearing the same soggy wet shoes, and dirty clothes I'd been in the night before at Seashore State Park. I don't remember much else about the run, except Chris Scott treated us well, and we met a lot of good folks. Bruce finished in 9:45 and I was just over 10 hours. Did we go straight home? No, not hardly. Bruce decided we'd detour to an old favorite watering hole of his. At 2 A.M the next morning we stumbled back to the parking lot and passed out in his truck. I awoke to use the "facilities" around 5 AM and Bruce awoke. I could barely move, was sore, beat up, and throwing up chunks of something I didn't remember eating. Right then and there the Chief Slug announced we had time to get to Richmond for a 5K at 8AM. Back on the road we headed South down I-95. Bruce fell out of his truck, regained his footing and limped to the registration table. I couldn't even move. At 0800 the gun went off and the Chief Slug was runnin'. Somehow he ran a 17:03 and won his age group, less than 15 hours after finishing Bull Run Run. It was quite a feat; and one i'll never forget. Right then and there, I believed anything was possible if you set your mind to it. So Bruce checks in, and i'll copy/paste it word for word, "Had some heart problems, seems that a couple of years back that I had the left side of my chest crushed, the broken and shatter ribs, never healed right I have ribs that sitck into my chest cavity and from time to time have to have my chest drain from blood if I take a poke or fall the ribs poke in through cavity and near lund, seems that now I have had one that is laying near a artery which cut off the blood and oxygen supply to my heart and brain, which in turn cause me to have what was thought to be a stroke with heart complications, which in turn did some damage to artery near my heart and in left side of neck. 2 surgerys have fixed that, about 2 weeks ago I had operation in Atlanta which put a stent near my heart and in my neck. on Thursday I had that Main artery enlarged by a ballon implant device. Doctor said all other arteries are clear and working fine, said that my cholesterol was fine and no blockages. And I should be back to normal active self within a few weeks, gives me motivation to run again. Just wanted to clear this up with everyone after a number of e-mails. Thanks for the concern." Bruce. Friends, it has been a great ride; and i'm thankful for each and every one of you. My philosophical contention about (ultra)marathoning has always been that every runner/jogger/slogger is on the path to Slugdom, some just reach it sooner than others. For myself, and The Chief Slug; happy days, john