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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

MCP, M.I.A., and a Scratch

On Saturday, we met at Mercer County Park for the first time in a couple of weeks. The plan was to run with a guest from Boston that Bill S. was bringing along but with the days leading up to the group run having delivered a mix of sun and showers, the trails promised to be pretty muddy. Evidently, the folks from Boston, while famous for having one of the oldest and toughest road marathons are scared away by a little mud when they venture off-road. Our special guest was M.I.A.

With 7 runners ready to brave the trails despite the sloppy conditions we took off towards the dam. Just as we started we came upon two walkers out on the bike path and Nate tried every line in his book (ok, I'm sure it was every line but you know what I mean) to try to motivate them to join us. For a moment, I thought he had them but then they bailed and resumed their walking. It was all for the best though. Evidently, there was a race walk scheduled in the park to start at 8am which meant that we would have come across a lot more walkers and, of course, felt obligated to convert everyone of them to trail runners.

We carried on up to the tennis courts and headed into the trails behind the tennis center. From there it was out to the boat house, up through the twirly bird before swinging it wide around the outside before coming upon the path leading out to the dam. Upon reaching the path we ran two rounds of indian sprints and then almost everyone participated in the hill sprints next to the dam. On the way back we took pretty much the same trails, with the exception of the twirly bird, until reaching the hills between the boat house and the tennis center. There, Nate decided to lead everyone, or almost everyone, down the big hill and then turn it around and headed back up. From there it was eventually back out to the bike path and then someone, I forget who, decided to start sprinting early towards the foot bridge so, of course, we all fell in line and drafted behind them out to the parking lot.

While we didn't get to meet our guest from Beantown, we did have a new comer join us. Karen, who joined us a few weeks back for the first time, came back and brought her friend Lisa along. Karen actually ran to the meetup from her house which no matter who you are always seems like a better idea the night before for some reason, than it does by the end of the run. Still, it was great to have her back with the group and Lisa proved to be a very strong runner having stayed with the lead pack the whole way.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I intentionally held back and in some cases skipped the hills entirely this week. I did so with the intention of running the hills at the Hartshorne Woods Trail Run the next day but I decided on Saturday night to skip it, making me a scratch for the race. I spent the entire day Saturday feeling exhausted, having not gotten much sleep during the week due to the hours I keep dealing with work and family obligations. As much as I wanted to run the race I thought it best to give my body the rest it needed.

Roll call: Bill S., Bill Y., Butch, Charlie, Karen, Lisa, Nate

L to R: Butch, Karen, Lisa, Nate, Bill Y., Bill S.

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