Wednesday, July 29, 2009

RUR Road Trips/A Rise Up Kick in the Pants

Andrew, Valliant, Katherine, Shaun, and Keene on San Domingo Creek after a Tuesday morning Bay Hundred jaunt. Where the hell is Joel?

Running seems to have attrition and burn-out built in to it. Attrition comes in the form of injuries (no one should play tennis and run ;) or a new goal, like say, swimming across the Bay. And burn-out hangs out in the same night club--you've set a target race, you've trained, you accomplish your goal, now what?

And let's face it, getting up in the 4:oo's to run around the same streets can become routine, monotonous. That's why I am glad that we've had a couple things happen of late that have allowed our weekday morning runs to break free of the commonplace.

The first involves welcoming a new Rise Up Runner. I've known Andrew Southworth for about 19 years now--since he was a freshman in high school. He's not someone I would have guessed would end up digging running. He's another "clydesdale" in the RUR ranks--former football and lacrosse rock star. Andrew and his wife Katie got serious about running around their neighborhood to get ready for a spring 5K in Denton, which they both did great in. I said something to Andrew about the Chestertown 10-miler in May, and Andrew trained and ran his first 10-miler. Awesome.

The newest RUR Andrew Southworth outruns a garbage truck to finish up a run around St. Michaels.

Funny thing about Andrew as a weekday morning runner. He lives in Cordova, not in Easton where most of our weekday runners stumble out of their doors into the dark. So meeting him takes some forethought. His first morning run with us, Joel, Shaun, Andrew, and Valliant went out to Tuckahoe State Park for a 5-mile loop and a dip in the lake. Andrew's next run, we cruised down to the Strand in Oxford and ran 6.5 miles in the rain. And yesterday, we chugged down to St. Michaels and connected different parts of the town and ran into Bay Hundred area RURs Keene and Katherine. Our normal weekday runs have turned into road trip adventures. A Tour de Shore.

"Paddle Boy," Joel Shilliday in action on San Domingo Creek.

And tied into that formula for adventure is Joel's new-found hobby: stand-up paddleboarding. Going to Oxford and to San Domingo Creek in St. Michaels, was also precipitated by the fact that Joel needed water access to drop his SUP board in the drink. So the rest of us run while Joel gets a paddle in. I look forward to seeing where we will go next!

So new faces, new energy, new terrain, new adventures. It's been just the Rise Up kick-in-the-pants that I've needed!