Slogged down to the Art Museum this morning on the off chance that someone would be around to run at 8:15. To my surprise, "Chemistry Steve" (about half of the guys that run w/ Philly Runners seem to be named Steve, so most of us have taken on some sort of nickname) was at the steps waiting. I haven't seen him since his 2:58 effort at the Philly Marathon last November, so it was good to run and catch up and, although he assured me that an 8:10 pace was fine, I felt a bit bad about keeping things slow as we did a loop of the Drives.
We got back to the Art Museum and 20+ people were milling around for the 9:30 run. Due to either the prospect of having good company or out of sluggishness I ran the next two miles with Scott
, who in turn felt bad that he was holding me up. For today, however, I followed the teachings of John Bingham and truly didn't have a need for speed. Scott and I had good conversation for the two miles we ran together, whereupon I turned left onto Montgomery Ave. to go home and Scott continued up MLK to do the whole Drives loop. Doing a full 8.5 mile loop is a solid accomplishment for Scott, and I'll check in on his blog later to see how things went.
I then reverted to low 8-minute pace for the last 4 miles through Fairmount Park and West Philly to complete my 18 mile loop. 2:32:39, a long time to be on my feet.
The whole family rented and watched the movie St. Ralph
last night, which is about a 14 year-old boy who trains to win the Boston Marathon in the 1940s to save his dying mother. Obviously fictional, but good enough of a movie to where, after my family made me stop guffawing over the unlikeliness of alot of the details, I suspended my disbelief and just enjoyed the movie.
There was one scene towards the end, however, that captured an essential part of marathon running very nicely. In this scene a nurse, who was taking care of Ralph's mother, explains to him how the people around him felt that, through him, they too were participating in training for and running the marathon. I've tapped into this feeling when, in the past, I've said it takes a village to run one of these things, a sentiment I again felt this morning in the good company I had, company that made what could have been a miserable run quite bearable.
"It takes a village" is nearly a cliche by now, and, as in all things associated with with Hilary Clinton, draws ire from the right. So to appease the right I will say it takes a family to run a 5k. This should be illustrated tomorrow, when at Cindy's prompting the whole family will trek down to Wilmington to run the Road to the Super Bowl 5k. I protested that, having logged 78 miles already this week, I am hardly in shape to put on a decent performance and she rightfully snapped back that this wasn't about me. So, humbled, I will try to beat my 16:57 time from last year's running of this race, though I'm from from making this a prediction.
And finally, I'm updating my Chautauqua. [wait a minute as I do this on gmap-pedometer
] There, all done and you can link to it here
. Since last time, when I was at Harpers Ferry, I went through Charles Town, West Virginia, where John Brown was tried and hang
ed, and next through Winchester, Virginia, hometown of country music great Patsy Cline, and, according to a Washington Post columnist
:"[I]f you're not really into Civil War history, and you don't golf, and you're not much in for kountry B&Bs or lazy Shenandoah drives, you won't find much reason to kill a weekend in Winchester.
But I run through Winchester anyway, mainly to pay homage to Patsy, who is buried there.
I then headed south to Front Royal and Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley. Front Royal's main claim to fame seems to be as the northern entrance to Skyline Drive, a scenic roadway through the Shenandoah Valley. I've actually been on Skyline Drive several times in my life, most recently in 1982 when, with my high school buddies John & Dennis, I went on an extended road trip after high school graduation. Aside from breath-taking scenery I also remember the Drive being full of curves, which failed to deter Dennis from, a la
Dean Moriarity in Kerouac's On the Road,
blindly passing RV after RV that kept popping up in from of us as they struggled to make it up the hills in low gear. I also remember camping out at a roadside parking lot (camping as in sleeping bag laid out on the grass by the car) and seeing a beautiful sunrise the next morning.
That's plenty for today. I'll say good-bye with Patsy on my mind. I know of her music mainly from covers other artists have done. I put "Wayward Wind", which Neil Young covered, as today's title, as is more appropriate for my purposes than Patsy's better known songs such as "Crazy" or "Sweet Dreams".
Oh, the wayward wind is a restless wind,
A restless wind, that yearns to wander.
And he was born the next of kin,
The next of kin, to the wayward wind.