Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pileated Woodpeckers, Banners, and LiveStrong

The last couple days have found me pretty sore and tired on my runs. This past weekend's run and work left me a little on the depleted side. Yesterday I ran with the boys (Ethan, Jim, and Tom) on the roads around South Freeport. The pace was moderate at 7:30s and the 6.1 mile run was pretty uneventful. That is with the exception of the weather. Unbelievable temps in the high 60s, low 70s and sunny. Not to mention the awesome fall foliage, all of which has now pretty much taken up residence on the Bradbury Bruiser course!

Today I was lucky enough to hit the L.L.Bean trails with Tom and Jim. Ethan is scared of trails. It seems he is too valuable of a commodity to risk an ankle twisting (defend yourself Ethan if you are reading). We all gave him a hard time and then headed out. The temps were again unseasonably warm with an overcast sky, hopefully which is the leading edge of a front that will bring our temperatures down for this weekend's race. As we were running on the trails we spotted a few unrecognizable guys walking off the trail in the woods. We all suspected foul play and sped up to get out of the imagined crime scene. (Later we would learn that it was a few of our coworkers who were attempting to run the trails but who had become hopelessly loss. To think we work for an outdoor specialty company...) The highlight of the run was the opportunity to observe a pileated woodpecker up close at work. This guy was pretty big and showed off his colors proudly. Quite a bird. I have been quite fortunate on the trails as far as bird watching goes. First an Osprey, and now Woody. Cool. This run was done at a very conversational and moderate pace at 8:40s for the just over 5 mile course.

Tonight Kelly worked hard on registration, start, and finish banners for the Bruiser this weekend. Given that Ian is an architect and a damn fine designer, this was bold of Kelly to undertake anything creative that would have to pass muster with Ian. I hope he likes them. Things are coming together for the race. The L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School (ODS) folks are on board big time for Sunday and are planning on bringing out some pretty cool stuff to the race. It's gonna be exciting!

And today something pretty special and symbolic happened to me. As I was sitting in a meeting, I noticed my LiveStrong wristband was beginning to tear. I was diagnosed with cancer on October 31, 2002. Next week marks the 5 year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. The 5 year anniversary is quite a milestone for cancer survivors. I donned my LiveStrong wristband immediately when they were released in May of 2004. Only once have I removed this particular wristband, which has been with me for three years and five months, and that was by accident. On a run one spring day I pulled my gloves off and the band came off with it. It wasn't until I jumped in the shower post run did I realize the band was gone. I retraced my run but could not find it. The next day a friend returned it to me. He knew I had lost it and stumbled upon it on his run. I call this divine intervention. Anyhow, I have debating for some time when and if I would ever remove the band. This afternoon answered that question. When I returned home I had my wife finish the tear for me and remove the band. The fact that I was forced to this decision on the eve of my 5 year anniversary speaks to me of some pretty deep symbolism and a message from above that a new chapter is about to begin for me. Wish me luck. Godspeed to you all.

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