Monday, August 17, 2009

Track Flats, Pink Hats, and Blueberry Pancakes

So, just exactly what do track flats, blueberry pancakes, and pink hats have in common? Well, they are all important pieces of a successful Breakfast on the Track in Tallahassee, Florida, in August.

Every August, just before school begins, the Gulf Winds Track Club hosts a unique event which is attended by all walks of life - literally. The Breakfast on the Track event is a one mile run. That's it. One mile. "Once" per person. For time and ranking. Last year Colin, Aidan, and I all ran this for the first time. This year Aidan passed the run up for the opportunity to go fishing with Mike while Colin and I sweat the morning away waiting for our respective heats. It was a great morning for everyone, runners and fishers alike.

The morning started out cool and a bit breezy, but not cold. Overcast skies made the humidity a bit more bearable than normal for mid-August. Colin and I arrived at Maclay School about 7:15 a.m. turned in our registration forms; received our embroidered aprons (in lieu of t-shirts); signed in for the appropriate heat (based on predicted finish time); and waited for our friends to arrive. Maggie and Savannah, her daughter, and Alex - a swim buddy of Colin's - arrived very soon after that. We all ran our warm-up laps and sat back to wait it out until our heat(s) were called. Colin was signed into Heat 4: predicted finish times of 6:05 - 6:35; I was signed into Heat 6: 7:00 - 7:25; while Maggie, Savannah, and Alex had all signed into Heat 8: 9 minute miles. These choices were very reasonable based on last year's times (Colin - 6:21, Me - 7:20) and with our training during the year we were curious to see where we would fall.

Colin ran a 5:50, placing 10th in his age group (10-14) for which he claims he has a "teeny tiny trophy" in his swim locker, and I turned in a 7:00 which was fast enough to put me 2nd in my age group (40-44) and earn a PINK running hat. Placing at this event is a big deal as it earns you Grand Prix points for the year, with 10th place and under earn the highest number overall. Yippee for us! Not to mention, those times were great improvements over the times run in 2008.

Below Left: Colin as he screams into the finish area.
Below Right: Me, as I huff and puff to pass the girls that Colin has "instructed" me from his position in the infield: "Pass them! Mom, pass them now!"

Maggie turned in a PR Mile time at 8:05 and Savannah finished her first timed mile in 9:17! Outstanding on all fronts. Alex won the "Chef of the Event" award for running his mile in his apron and long, long shorts. He cracks me up, that kid. Once we had all five run our heats it was time for watermelon and pancakes. After all, this was the Breakfast on the Track event - it includes home made pancakes: buttermilk and blueberry, and lots of Georgia watermelon. Yummmmmmmmy!

Below: Savannah Crutchfield (center) with her two "adopted big brothers" Alex Dehner and Colin Abbey as she comes into the finish area of her mile run.

Above: Me and Maggie Crutchfield (Savannah's mom) as we approach the finish of Maggie's mile run. She PR'd by the way.

After the run, we all came back to our house and the kids took off on their road bikes for a short neighborhood jaunt. Not really like a Triathlon transition, but still a brick work out for the day. It was fabulous without a doubt; hands down. Mike and Aidan did have a great time out on the water even though they caught nothing of note. It would not have mattered anyway if they did, they simply enjoy being out there on the balmy briny sea.

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Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation

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