Saturday, November 28, 2009

Maybe there is something about red shoes . . .

In Anthony Corriveau's blog, "Running-Down", he has been talking about the extra edge that his new red running shoes seem to give him. Quite frankly I was impressed. AC has really been posting some great results, race after race. All because of his new red shoes.

But when I tried some red shoes at the Bay's Mountain Trail 15-miler, the results were dismal. I didn't win. I didn't place. Heck . . . I was damn lucky to just finish! I pretty much told Anthony that his theory was crap! Being the diplomatic person he is, AC explained that the "Red Shoe Theory" had only been tested on 5k runs, so my 15-mile trail run meant nothing. And it's not about running fast . . . this running weapon simply makes you win!

I had pretty much written Anthony off as another running flake, with another "theory" for great performance that was bunk. But maybe I judged AC and his theory too quickly!

Today, we held the Medoc Trail Races Re-run . . . a special Medoc Trail Race for race volunteers and any other that missed the October race. We had a pretty good crowd out for the 8am start.

The day was perfect . . . mid 30s to start and never got out of the 50s all day! I have been nursing a bruise on the bottom of my foot and was not sure how the day would go . . . but I never felt any pain all day from my foot! I felt strong. I went out hard and took the lead right off! Very unusual for me!

I decided to pace myself, so I let two of the marathoners pass me about a mile or so into the race. But from that point on, I hung tough! A few of the 10-milers managed to pass me at about the 6 1/2 mile point but from that point on, no one passed me! So I hung on for a third place finish in the marathon. And I was the first place finisher for males 40 and above! And I'm 60! Here is a shot of me at the awards ceremony! Very impressive!

And the unusual thing is . . . I was wearing red shoes. That's me in front sporting the hot shoes! Okay, AC . . . maybe there is something to your theory!

Okay . . . so there were just three folks running the marathon today. And the 10-milers that passed me started late and had to run about 1 1/2 miles more. But I'm pretty sure if any other marathoners had dared to test me, I would have smoked them!! There just weren't any.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rocky Mount Endurance Kids (RMEK)

This morning, after a really nice 10-mile run, I attended the final chapter of this year's RMEK program - a 1-mile run and a 5k run. I think I learned something about running that is REALLY important! Plus, I had a great time!

Tracy, Elaine and Misty . . . you all deserve multiple gold stars for this. I'm so glad Tracy saw the possibilities and made it happen!

Several of these kids showed real running potential . . . really good endurance combined with efficient, fluid strides. One young girl really stood out as a potential future star. Very impressive!

But, as usual, I was drawn to the "back of the pack" runners! The ones running because it's just fun to run! They never expected to win . . . they were just out there to have fun! And they WERE having fun!

The 1-mile race started about 15 minutes after the 5k start and as the kids were walking out to the start with Tracy Proctor, the lead on the RMEK program, one kid was running. Running out ahead. Running back. Then, running out ahead again! He never walked! Just just ran . . . everywhere!

My favorite was a very young black kid, just plugging along all by himself! They had put some cones up to mark the course where I was and this guy used the cones as an obstacle course, winding in and out with his arms up like he was flying! Just having fun!

So the lesson here is to have fun. REALLY have fun! Don't just say, but really, really live it! Have fun running. Be a kid again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A bad day turned good

Sorry, but this is a serious blog entry . . . you may want to skip this one!

Last week I had my 60th birthday. Up to this point a birthday was really just another day. But for this one, things were different. 59 years old doesn't sound all that old to me . . . but 60 . . . well . . . that is old! I guess about three weeks before my birthday I really started thinking about this and all the implications!

So when my birthday arrived I was ready to play the game, "This birthday is nothing but another birthday." But it wasn't.

Things started out normally . . . a fairly significant problem at work to figure out. But mid-morning they got me out of my office . . . and surprised me with a special birthday celebration, complete will all the normal embarrassments associated with a birthday with a zero! Connie and the whole office crew were in on it! Since we normally celebrate birthdays as a group, I knew this was special for me. Really made me feel good inside!

Then, after a little while I headed to the Y for my normal noon run with my Y running buddies. When I got to my locker I realized this was NOT going to be a normal day at the Y! My locker had a big RIP marker hanging on it. I had brought all black running cloths for the day, figuring that no one would "get it" . . . but it was my attempt at a person slam!

But soon it was obviously . . . everyone was wearing black! All black!

Got outside and saw my best friend, Andy Barker, wearing a "Grim Reaper" outfit and they had a old runner / photographer (Allen Hinnant!) there to take pictures. Plus there were a bunch of my running buddies that normally don't run with us at lunch (Ron Fleming, Richard Wilson, Arthur Bennett, Ursula Forrester and Amber Poole), plus most of the "normal" Nooner (Brad Weisner, Joe Bunn, Carol Dickens, Kevin Boudreau, Michael Forrester, Scott Wingfield, Dave Lavely, Timmy Tucker, Eric Pate).

Everyone stayed behind me . . .especially the Grim Reaper!

We all laughed the whole run.

Those two things totally made my day. Turned a "tough" day into one of my best ever!

Thank you friends!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

OBX Marathon has my number!

Score is: OBX Marathon 2; Frank Lilley 0.

Two years in a row, for some reason this race has beaten me. Last year I had an excuse . . . I had been sick and my training had really suffered. Believe I finished in 5:50 or so.

This year my training has been much better . . . did MCM two weeks ago and finished in 5:28. So preparation was not my problem. But there was a problem! Think my time was somewhere around a 5:46 or so. Struggled from mile 18 to about 20, but pulled out of the funk around mile 21 and started running mostly. I actually ran up the bridge and down the other side. But when I got to the bottom of that bridge, I was DONE! Have no idea why but my legs just said NO! We Quit! But I didn't quit . . so they had to just tag along with me till the end fussing the rest of the way!

The first half of OBX is quite nice . . . lots of neighborhoods with lots of fun loving, supportive people! And very nice scenery. Pass the Wright Brothers Memorial. The nice section ended after a 3 mile section through Nags Head Woods!

Then, back to the main road . . . for another 13 miles of boring and ugly running (or in my case walking!). Virtually no redeeming qualities. Ton of cars driving right beside you and very little crowd support. Only nice part is the bridge and the views of Pirates Cove and surrounding marsh. (Really hate to call the climb up to the top of the bridge a "nice" section, but it was about as good as it gets. Really nothing nice about that bridge!)

At least this time the race didn't run out of gels OR beer at the end! I believe I'll just declare OBX the winner . . . and move on!


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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.