Thursday, September 25, 2008

Making Lemonade is Easy.

"When life throws you lemons make lemonade" someone once famously said.
Probably an entrepreneurial kid trying to make a buck, but whatever.

I try to follow this saying whenever the circumstances in my life dictate it may be an option.
My Mom just got 2 new knees.

She's 71 and pretty tough, but she need her kids help so my sister took the first shift of three weeks, and my brother and following up with an 8 day stint. Yes it takes two men to handle the work of one woman. Anyhow, my mother is doing ok, but more than a little ornery at the fact she can't do everything herself yet. She will be able to soon.
Between running errands to town, & helping Mom out where she needs it I have been able to get 3 runs in the first 3 days I have been in my hometown. Franklin Pennsylvania in western PA is similar in size to Easton and some other respects, however very different in that is definitely not growing or affluent. Instead of luxury cars Franklin inexplicably has the largest number of obese creatons I have ever seen assembled in one place cruising the streets. Take from that what you will.

Morning mist slides down the Allegehny River just south of Franklin PA a the Belmar Bridge.
One thing this area does have going for its natural beauty (when the sun is shining). And Mom's place is right along the Allegheny River, arguably one of the nation's most scenic rivers and adjacent to a number of trails both paved and natural. Rails to trails is prevalent in this area, as it used to be bustling with rail car activity in the form of petroleum transports from Oil City, now relegated to freakshow status, Titusville the birthplace of American oil production, and Franklin where some the Standard Oil Barrens chose to call home.
Now we kinda just have the river and hills around it as I see it. Which is fine with me. On Tuesday I may have sparked some running interest in my brother as he accompanied me for 5 of my 6.5 miles along an eastbound trail that included a nearly .25 mile tunnel
(in which my brother screamed "get back tot he choppa", just to hear it echo...yep he's my brother) and handful of bridges over the creeks that feed the Allegheny (pic of overpass at left).
Perfect temps(low 70s), and the accompaniment of my bro made this a most enjoyable way to start the week here.
I have been fueled by the fact that some of our crew is heading to Vermont to challenge the mountains. So I have challenged myself to run everyday I am here. So yesterday I ran the hill that leads up and off the river from my Mom's place. It is only 1.25 miles and 20% grade, but it might as well have been the White Mountains, as I am total flat lander these days, and every step was something very foreign to this runner at this time.
The downhill was enjoyable, though I was cautious not to "tweak" my own knees as I want to take advantage the elevation changes for the next few days.
Today yielded another 10k with a short sojourn on a longing trail that turned into an overgrown trail, which turned into a deet path, which turned into no path, which utltimately led to a dried up creek bed which I scrambled down after much cussing and back to unnatural comfort of the paved trail heading south along the river. Better luck tomorrow on that.
The run culminated with a good swim in the crystal clear, cool flow that is the Allegheny at this moment in time.

View from the Belmar bridge north aka a great place to swim.
Rain is the the forcast for the next few days, so that may mean some good mudding ahead!
At the expense of the rivers clarity. Wish you were all here to enjoy this.
Ahhh Country Time,
Best of luck to all racers this weekend!


Michael Valliant said...

A stellar write-up, Mr. Shilliday! Does my heart good to see something like that up here from you, sir. Diggin' the story and photos. Way to go on running every day. Top notch.

Runners on Trails said...

The wonderful thing about running is that we can take it anywhere. Joel, good for you to look at the home town with new eyes and legs as you go off and explore the wilds of Franklin. You are our "poster child" for the RUR's; you even got your brother to run. You are awesome!

The scary thing is that i remember the Country Time Lemonade commercial when it first came out. I think it played during the Waltons on Thursday nights. Most of you guys were all of 7 years old then.

landy said...

Great photos Joel. Hope your mom is doing well. Don't get too lost up there, now!