Category Archives: Friends

McNaughton 10 II

Last April I told you about running the McNaughton 10 while my friend, Ryan Dexter, ran the 150-mile race. Once again this year, I went down to Pekin, Illinois, and ran 10 miles with Ryan.

I left at 6 AM and once again listen to for hours of podcasts from my iPod. However, this year I drove south with the aid of Bruce, the Garmen GPS that Josh and I bought ourselves for Christmas. last year I got a little lost and needed to call Josh to get assistance through Google maps so that I could find my way.

Bruce has been one of the best purchases I’ve ever been involved with. It made the drive very stress-free and really enjoyable. I rarely get or make the time to listen to podcasts, so four hours of Grammar Girl, the Get It Done Guy, and Modern Manners Guy was like a four-hour slice of heaven.A week before the race I was a bit concerned that the weather was going to be as bad as it was last year. I wasn’t looking forward to another day of running and standing around in cold, rain, and generally miserable conditions. I was quite happy that the forecast changed: when I arrived it was sunny and in the 50s. While there had been some serious rain at the beginning of the 150-mile race, the sun had dried up most of the mud, so that, for the most part, the run was on solid ground.

Last year I also made a promise to Ryan and that I would run with him anytime he ran 120 miles first. I made even better on that promise, as I ran with him after he ran only 110 miles. I ran the first half of the eleventh 10-mile lap. The terrain was just as I remembered it, complete with the creek and river crossings. At the halfway point, someone took my place and I took the truck back to the starting point.

Ryan’s wife, Christina, their boys, and Christina’s mother came during the afternoon, bringing hot chocolate with them. This was a big boost for Ryan&mdsash;he really enjoyed seeing them.

Later in the afternoon I ran the last half of the 14th lap. Randy ran in front, and I ran behind Ryan, being the voice and is ear. After the first couple of laps, Ryan always had someone running with him, to help motivate and keep him focused. We got back to the starting point not a moment too soon, as it was getting pretty dark by that time.

Dema ran the last lap with Ryan and, understandably, it was the slowest lap of the race for him. Even with this, however, Ryan set a record of having no lap of the race being more than 2 hours 45 minutes.

Christina arrived a while before the race ended, and Ryan finished his race in great style: through the dark we could see five bobbing lights heading toward the finish line—four of the guys finish the race with him. Andy, the organizer, announced Ryan’s finish and there was much applause and encouragement.

We took a few pictures, then I said my goodbyes and took off after 11 PM. Luckily, I had taken a short nap during the last half of the last lap, so I was awake enough for the ride home. And, while Bruce did an equally fantastic job on the ride down, I was a little tired and a bit absorbed with the New York Times fiction stories on my iPod, so that I missed the turn to 39 N. and instead headed toward Chicago. While I was frustrated with my mistake, I was very happy to have Bruce guiding my way. While he took me somewhere where I’ve never been before, and attempted to get me to do a U-turn where there was a median, he eventually got me back on the right road, adding only 15 minutes my trip. I was impressed.

I got home at about quarter after 3 AM on Sunday morning. My bed felt wonderful, and in the morning I discovered that even after not enough sleep my body felt okay, especially my left knee, which had hurt the most after running. I’ve been quite happy that I wasn’t in as rough shape as I was last year. I hadn’t been planning on running the Madison have marathon this year, but if my knee gets back to normal quickly I just may reconsider.

Ryan won the 150-mile race by more than six hours. Not only that, if he had stopped at 100 miles, he would have won that race by two hours. Big congratulations to Ryan!

Nice Weekend

I’m funny sometimes. Josh and I were hosting a friend couple for dinner and games at my house Friday night. I had it in my schedule on three separate days to clean the house. Too tired the first, and didn’t feel like it the second. I ended up doing it Saturday–the day of.

Anyway, I made a great stew with seitan (I had vegehoovians in the house) and cleaned like a crazy man. A little window into my psyche: I cleaned all of the obvious stuff, and ended up doing things like thoroughly cleaning my nightstand, etc.

I put the stew on too late, so I had to throw it into the pressure cooker in two batches to get it done. It turned out perfectly–even I was impressed. A recipe of my own making. I also made cornbread from the Moosewood book. Yum. I just had time to cut my hair and shower after Josh arrived and putting the cornbread in the oven before our friends arrived.

Great dinner, wonderful games. We played Hoopla, which my sister Jane just gave us. Very fun! We also played, of course, Settlers of Catan, which Josh and I both like. After our friends left, I threw stuff in the dishwasher and set it to go. I love having a clean kitchen – it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.

Josh and I both slept poorly last night. He left a bit after 7 am to get home to work on a cabinet with his brother, and I slept in, then went to church. People were surprised to see me there without Josh–I think it was the second time I’d gone there alone. Nice service and sermon on the bent reed and dim wick.

I came home, shoveled, and finished the kitchen. Lunch and a nap. Worked on the third bedroom–replacing the light switches with new white ones, and removing the casings from the doorway and closet.

Dinner and now futzing on the computer. With our first anniversary coming up, I went back and read the first couple weeks of Josh’s and my email correspondence (anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to know I save all email correspondence). So interesting to read. Even though a year isn’t a very long time, a lot has developed between Josh and me in that time. It’s nice to see where we started.

Off to do more work on the bedroom.