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Sparking The Binghamton Bridge Run: 5K #2 Nailed!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Everything pulled together for a picture-perfect day during yesterday's Binghamton Bridge Run!

I was still a little sore from that pull in my thigh from Friday's run, despite not running Saturday...but thankfully I had recovered well enough that it didn't feel like it held me back in the least! Got up, cycled 10 miles to Binghamton headed over to see if I could catch up with other local Sparkers, either to applaud the Half-Marathoners as they pulled in across the finish line or to chit-chat with others like myself who were waiting for the 5K. Found NIKANN7493 who had spotted FRECKS96 & LADYGWEN25 out on their HM. It was cool to see the different styles of "finishes" that the HMers had as they came down their home stretch. Unfortunately I didn't catch OUR HM superstars as it was time for us doing the 5K to queue up. I DID catch one of our local bike club members arrive, however, which was cool.

Another VERY cool thing was to have the mayor of Binghamton pull up beside me to applaud the runners. Was he in a limo or snazzy car? Heck no! He was riding his bike with helmet, shorts and t-shirt! Way to be a terrific role model Mayor Ryan!!

Here's some pics in our local newspaper's coverage of the event:


As I was waiting to get started in the 5K queue VARMINT3 found me and it was cool to finally meet each other as we previously only connected via SP.

I kept a nice, steady pace and found myself able to push a little here and there by siting someone ahead of me who was moving at a similar pace and thinking: okay, how about seeing if you can kick it up just enough to pass them by...? Some were alternating between jogging and walking and I smiled to myself as I passed them by as it seemed to spur them back into action and off they'd go jogging again! I was hoping to be able to pour on the steam near the end, but hadn't quite left enough gas in the tank to pull that off. But overall I was pleased with my run. What was my time? You'll have to stay tuned as I didn't notice...was too focused on crossing the finish line...!

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself passing by a few folks I knew as I'd always thought that they were better runners than yours truly. Yet another example of how overly critical of myself I can be...!

I am so proud of all us local members! Way to SPARK...ANGARONE, BAM-MA, FRECKS96, LADYGWEN25, NIKANN7493 and VARMINT3!!

If you can, swing by their SparkPages and give 'em a round of applause, high fives and WOO HOOs!

Cycled on home afterward and later spent a couple hours mowing the lawn.

Was I ever ready for a good night's sleep!

Have a terrific week everyone...! Off to Spinning class tonight!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIKANN7493 5/11/2012 11:12AM

    Awww... thanks for the shout out! It was alot of fun, and I'm going to run again next year. Haven't decided if it would be the half or the 5k...

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SHIROIHANA 5/9/2012 5:21PM

    A BIG emoticon to you for the 5K!!!
Thanks for sharing your report.

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CATS_MEOW_0911 5/8/2012 2:09PM

    Way to go, Don!

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KA_JUN 5/8/2012 1:16PM

    Great report! Sounds like a great day all around!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 5/8/2012 11:04AM

    This blog made my day emoticon Right now, I am in the process of going to the spark pages of your local members to offer up my congratulations emoticon

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JESPAH 5/8/2012 9:09AM

    How fab!

I do so love 5Ks. At this point in time, they are one of my main offline forms of entertainment, either to run them, recover from them or prepare for them. There's just something about pinning a number on.

Sounds to me like you were fantastic - I am guessing a 25 minute or so finish? Let me know at your leisure.

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DEBRA0818 5/7/2012 10:07PM

    Sounds like a lot of fun! Congratulations on a successful race!


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L*I*T*A* 5/7/2012 9:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRAVINGLIFE 5/7/2012 8:43PM

    What an exciting day for you! Congratulations!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/7/2012 8:17PM

    Is your next move a Sprint distance tri? Woo-hoo! emoticon on your fine outing!

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WATERMELLEN 5/7/2012 8:13PM

    So cool: to bike there and back too! Your mayor obviously gets it!!

And I know what you mean about "overly critical" of ourselves . . . yes we are!!

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TOOTHFUL99 5/7/2012 6:23PM

    Sounds like it was a great day, Don!

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MYLADY4 5/7/2012 4:36PM


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SKINNYPOWELL1 5/7/2012 3:59PM

    emoticon You are shining example of a true SPARKER.

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BLUE3505 5/7/2012 3:43PM

    Biking to and then home from a run? Dang. That's hardcore.

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Wonderful time had by all today!

Started off with a great breakfast at the Pickle Hill Bed & Breakfast with lots of home-prepared food, including freshly cut up fruit, mango smoothies, quiche, home-baked muffins, lots of strong black coffee with a big dose of friendly conversation and learning all about this historic building which had been restored and received guests from around the globe. Oh, and the price? $5 in the basket.

Off we went to burn up our breakfast on two wheels, enjoying conversation with each other...especially a new member who was just brimming over with enthusiasm and had fond memories as a teen-ager of riding up to the 1,000 Islands area.

After the River Road loop we noodled down through our local farmer's market where they were giving away seeds for vegetables. Someone remembered that today was the ribbon-cutting on a new park that was being celebrated today so on we went to check it out and I scored refills of spring water for my bottles and an apple & orange.

Bidding farewell to the club members I headed over to pick up my 5K race packet for tomorrow and bumped into a fellow local Sparker who is returning for the 5K tomorrow as well as another bike club member who hadn't been on the ride today but will be running tomorrow. Later I discovered ANOTHER SP member is returning TOO, so we'll have a bit of an entourage! Woo hoo!

All of this riding and noodling about town made me feel a bit like a kid when I was growing up on the south side of Chicago and rode my bike all over to do SO many different, fun and cool things.

Now I'm heading up to bed to get a good night's sleep so I'm ready to ride my bike back into town (10 miles) and hopefully catch the Half-Marathon-ers on their way into the finish line before us 5K-ers get on our marks and GO!

Still a bit sore, and realizing I may just have to walk some of my 5K...we'll see...ah well, I'll still be THERE and giving it my best shot!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 5/9/2012 5:23PM

    Mmm, that breakfast sounded delish! Glad you had a nice day Don. :)

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SKINNYPOWELL1 5/7/2012 2:30PM

    Biking and running - dude you rock. How'd the 5K go??? I was thinking of you while on my run Saturday.

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L*I*T*A* 5/6/2012 2:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GIANNA345 5/6/2012 11:00AM

    Sounds great! Where is this taking place? You make wish I was there too.

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FERRETLOVER1 5/6/2012 9:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TOOTHFUL99 5/6/2012 8:51AM

    Spending the day on my bike is one of my favorite things to do. You're right. It's like being a kid again. What a lovely day you had!

Good luck on your 5k! Keep us posted!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 5/6/2012 8:46AM

    It sounds like you had a great time! Once again the best of luck on the 5K emoticon

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BILL60 5/6/2012 7:24AM

    You're having way too much fun. The best on your 5K.

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DINGALLSTOO 5/5/2012 10:31PM

    I am signed up for the 5K but then DD #2 planned the baby's christening in New Rochelle.....have fun, I'll be thinking of all my spark buddies and especially Frecks.

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FRECKS96 5/5/2012 10:07PM

    What a wonderful day! So glad you enjoyed it so much. Good Luck tomorrow!

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TONYVAND1 5/5/2012 9:59PM

  Sounds like fun Thanks

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Well I went and probably overdid it...nailed a 5K each day this week and 3/4 of the way through tonight's jog a muscle along my inner thigh hurt in a way that it didn't seem wise to push it...so walked to the end...long strides to stretch that muscle. Lots of stretching afterward.

Have noticed a HUGE spike in runners around, imagine many are gearing up for Sunday.

No jog tomorrow, but around 40 miles of cycling. Will take it easy and not push myself. Can't miss breakfast out with the bike club! It's at a local B & B I hadn't heard of before and can't quite place where it might be. It's in a location where I know I've been by it only a zillion times, however not knowing it was a B & B:


I pick up the packet for the Binghamton Bridge Run tomorrow after the ride.

Depending on how I feel on Sunday I'm toying with the notion of riding my bike into town for the run. I've checked with the fitness center about leaving my pannier and helmet there and it's fine with them...so we'll see!

Early one tomorrow...heading out for the ride @ 7!

Night all, make it a weekend filled with SPARK!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBBYD31 5/5/2012 8:36PM

    have a good ride don, i hope to do the same tomorrow. hope the leg is ok just a few days rest will do wonders

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VEEJAY3 5/5/2012 3:20PM

    You're having so much fun!!
I rode to Denver's Wash Park this morning, and they were having the annual "Furry Scurry" ... an event for dogs and their humans. There was so much fun activity going on, and everything is so beautiful ... I've never been a runner (and now never will be: bad knee), but I'm so addicted to going everywhere on my bike. Can't remember when I bought a tank of gas.

Have a fantastic summer of running and riding.

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L*I*T*A* 5/5/2012 11:47AM

    enjoy your ride/run Saturday...
all the best...blessings and hugs...............lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 5/5/2012 4:46AM

    Hope you have a good ride today & fun on Sunday!

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APPYMORGAN 5/4/2012 10:58PM

    Wow! a runner now too. Sounds like a blast. I am just starting to look for a Bike now. I need to find a good multipurpose bike for trails and street.
Cool running, take care of your leg and have a great weekend!

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EAGLES_WINGS 5/4/2012 10:10PM

    Enjoy your weekend. Seems like you have awesome plans! Hope your breakfast is delightful and that the race goes well for you. Take care of your leg!

Best wishes, Karen

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Prepping for My Annual 5K!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

After a mighty fine weekend of cycling 'round some of my favorite hills & valleys in our beautiful Southern Tier of New York I decided that with less than a week to go before our Binghamton Bridge Run I'd better get going on some more trial 5Ks so I'm not a TOTAL wreck come Sunday...lol!

Switching it up to running (well, okay...jogging...well, okay...fast walking...! :-) ) has been wringing me out! I really don't take well to running, but I figure mixing it up does a body good, right? So once a year I get ready for a 5K.

Aiming to do another couple of 5K's before Sunday's Bridge Run. Although running in Otsiningo Park has been very nice it was a good change up to run through our downtown RiverWalk today and have the fitness center's hot shower waiting for me afterward! :-)

Up to 342 miles so far on the bike...hoping to go well past last years' 2,000 miles!

Enjoyed another dose of Peter Yarrow again, whom I discovered has a home in upstate New York! No wonder he was able to do another concert this past weekend in Walton, NY at an historic, restored-from-flooding Walton Theatre:


He spoke of his devotion to Operation Respect:


where his mission is "To assure each child and youth a respectful, safe and compassionate climate of learning where their academic, social and emotional development can take place free of bullying, ridicule and violence." The website offers a wealth of resources, especially for schools, to promote this mission.

I remember the pain of being bullied when I was a kid for my congenital hemiparesis and amblyopia and the struggles to try and "fit in" and be "normal." Peter and his Operation Respect speaks to my heart and to my idealistic yearning for a world free from such life-altering, life-hindering abuse:

Don't Laugh At Me, as sung by Peter, Paul & Mary as well as Mark Wills

I'm a little boy with glasses
The one they call the geek
A little girl who never smiles
'Cause I've got braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels
To cry myself to sleep

I'm that kid on every playground
Who's always chosen last
A single teenage mother
Tryin' to overcome my past
You don't have to be my friend
But is it too much to ask

Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me

I'm the cripple on the corner
You've passed me on the street
And I wouldn't be out here beggin'
If I had enough to eat
And don't think I don't notice
That our eyes never meet

I lost my wife and little boy when
Someone cross that yellow line
The day we laid them in the ground
Is the day I lost my mind
And right now I'm down to holdin'
This little cardboard sign...so

Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me

I'm fat, I'm thin, I'm short, I'm tall
I'm deaf, I'm blind, hey, aren't we all

Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me

Life is too short. There but for fortune go any of us. We all have hearts let's be sure to use them and to help others use theirs too.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 5/9/2012 5:26PM

    Awesome blog! Look at you, running (or jogging, I am a jogger myself), cycling, dancing, you do it all!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 5/4/2012 9:46PM

    All the best on your 5K! So Peter Yarrow has a home in upstate NY! How cool is that! Thank you for sharing, I always enjoy reading your blogs emoticon

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SKINNYPOWELL1 5/2/2012 4:33PM

    Great blog, best wishes on your 5K - you are probably one of the most active people I know: a biker, a hiker, a walker/jogger, a cross country skiier and a super dooper swing dancer. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 5/2/2012 11:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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    A beautiful message and an incredibly important one.

And look at you go! You are so incredibly active. It's definitely inspirational.

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2BMYOWN 5/2/2012 12:16AM

    I have a feeling you'll do great on your 5k, kudos for being so ambitious! And loved the share about the song and the project, I'm glad to see they're doing that. Ditto on the bullying, the ***hoody girls*** beat the crap outta me in sixth grade! LMAO I've always believed that comes right back to the parents, really, just my own opinion, and who knows, I might be way off base, I dunno. But it's good to see it finally being cracked down on and taken seriously. Keep on truckin', sparky bud!

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FRECKS96 5/1/2012 10:09PM

    Awesome Blog Don! Congrats on switching it up and powering through your runs. Sunday will be great!

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Trippy Tunes!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Okay so it was a dark, dreary, cold and drippy day filled with lots of big batch cooking, catching up on housework and of course noodling around on the pc and before you know it I oughta get the heck to bed...BUT!

I hadn't done any workout! I'd been "thinking about" the treadmill up in my SparkHaven workout room...but dragging my feet all day to take care of business. After all the Binghamton Bridge Run is only a couple weeks away and I have what I regard as my single obligatory 5K run of the year awaiting me!

Of course with all this procrastinating you can tell I REALLY wasn't in the mood for this. However I had a new weapon in my motivational arsenal:

Trippy Tunes!

This may be a little tricky to explain such a visual thing but I'll try. Some of you may already be familiar with this program for playing music on one's computer: Winamp...? www.winamp.com It's a freebie and works pretty well even for humongous music collections such as the hundreds of gigs on my external hard drive. One of the features of Winamp are the "visualizations" that others have created. Visualizations are animations which undulate, pulse, flash and MOVE to the music. Most are pretty abstract and kaleidoscopic and filled with colors, some are more descriptive such as a brilliant butterfly racing ahead of you across a field of grass or a neon roller coaster looping you through space. The cool thing about them is the sensation of MOVEMENT and my idea was to get these visualizations running with my tunes while *I* was running on my treadmill...and it WORKED! I turned all the lights off and had just my old 17" Dell laptop hooked up to my stereo and four speakers in each corner of the room and kicked out the jams! I've always enjoyed visualizations but who has the time to sit around stoner-like "oh wow man..." Guess I've still got lots of leftover 60's flower-power still kicking...lol! A house party of one!

My mind could roam with the animations while walking / jogging on the treadmill and sometimes I could associate the animation to the music, sometimes to the artist who was playing (a beautifully morphing flower for one of my favorite Santana tunes, for instance) and sometimes to the fact that I was picking up the pace to Polyethylene Pam by the Beatles, cranking up the speed as I knew it was a short song...lol!

Anyhow...some might not prescribe this as a tonic for sacking out for the night, but I'm betting I'll sleep just fine tonight...much better than I would if I was beating myself up for NOT hopping on the treadmill!

Have a great week ahead everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 4/28/2012 7:20AM

    Wow, I haven't changed my winamp skins in years! All I do now is listen to Pandora so I haven't used my own PC music player to see these visualizations. You are absolutely right tho... checking out these movements def amps you up.

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BERKCHIK 4/27/2012 4:11PM

    Did you write this AFTER your evening work out? I'm guessing you logged on to track your fitness afterwards and just HAD to write a blog about it while you were still inspired?

Very cool and inspiring and man I can picture myself there. Good description of a cool process.


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GIRANIMAL 4/26/2012 8:40PM

    "A house party of one!" emoticon

I long to have music to propel me on the bike, but alas, it's just not safe to have earbuds in riding in downtown Chicago traffic. I see lots of cyclists doing it, and I shake my head and wish them safety.

So sometimes I find myself singing to myself -- in my head or sometimes softly aloud. LOL The most recent tune stuck in my head lately while riding is Bob Seger's "Against the Wind." That should give you some idea of the weather conditions so far this spring!

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L*I*T*A* 4/24/2012 9:35AM

    thanks for the reminder and website too..
have a great week too....
blessings and hugs..............lita

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SASSYCHRIS1952 4/24/2012 7:25AM

    I go to the Winamp website every now and then, it's pretty good! May I recommend another good website to get music? It's called grooveshark (www.grooveshark.com).
We had the dark gloomy weather here last Sunday, this system should be moving out soon.

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WATERMELLEN 4/23/2012 8:20PM

Far out, man! Groovy!!

Oh, my goodness: we are the eternal boomers!! But: whatever works, and it sounds as if this does!

I really am cheering DH on in his weight loss . . . and hoping that maybe it's contagious too!!

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ZELLAZM 4/23/2012 9:58AM

    Great idea - I think I prefer the movies in my head, though. LOL Anyway, I was at a live concert recently where they had a "video artist" doing visuals on a screen behind the band. Really reminded me of the 60's and early 70's but looked great and underscored rather than distracted from the performance. I guess every trend comes around again if you wait long enough! Of course, the technology is more advanced.

Hope those dark, dreary days don't last long - they are definitely an invitation to procrastination! Thanks for the reminder to get moving - we're having one today but it's supposed to get better as the week progresses!

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