Running with Rage

Eric Rutin discusses running, life and other semi-important things

Archive for the tag “Thanksgiving”

Eric Rutin reflects on his Turkey Trot

November 13, 2013

First let me say, I have never been a gazelle but also I wouldn’t say I was a sloth either.  When I was in good shape I would say I was akin to a Australian shepherd, not going to win any speed records, but capable of a decent energetic pace.  Lately as I am working myself back into  shape I would say if you looked up Eric Rutin in the dictionary you would most likely see a picture of a basset hound.  More specifically probably a 14 year old basset hound.

running-Santa-cartoonIt was with this acceptance of my new canine classification that I lined up yesterday for one of my favorite races, the annual ARR Thanksgiving Day Classic.  This is a great race because it is a 10 mile race that after completing I could eat as much as I wanted with no regards.  Well yesterday I ran in the other race, the 5K, a race in my previous running snobbery days always considered good for grandmas and toddlers. In fact I didn’t just run in this race yesterday, I also lined up about halfway back in the corral with the rest of the causal runners.  This was an entirely new perspective for me.  To my left was an elderly gentleman that looked as if he needed to get to the mall for his shift as Santa.  However this Santa’s long white hair was pulled back in  pigtails and was doused in petrulli oil.  Behind me was a dad and his 10 year-old kid that was telling everyone he hoped to run the race in 45 hours.  Once was kinda cute but eleven or so times was just annoying.  Hummm, am I the Grinch?  Then to my right was an Indian family.  No I am not being politically incorrect and not using Native American, I am actually talking about a family from the India that Columbus was basically looking for on his misadventure. The mom and two kids looked ready to go in the CoolMax running gear, but the dad was in jeans and a polo shirt.  And lastly in front of me was a woman that was running her first race since having her shin replaced with a metal rod.   I have fallen so far out of shape that I was competing against middle age men in jeans and Santa Claus.

When the race started I had to walk for a minute before getting to the actual starting line to start running, a term a I use rather loosely in this case.  In the past in self delusion I would position myself as far forward as possible in a starting corral and would take off flying.  Now I had people that were walking from the get go that I had to negotiate around and in the spirit of the holidays, they were usually an extended family walking side by side making my task as difficult as possible.  I felt like  I was playing human Frogger.

The course is a simple out and back, nothing fancy.  The mind was willing but the legs were not.  I tried switching into that racing gear but I seemed to have left that somewhere in 2011.

Even once I was able to run consistently the course was narrow and packed with people.  I was in desperate need to launch a snot rocket but it was so crowded that it was impossible without a serious breach of social graces.  So off I ran unable to breath out of my nose.  I was being passed by people that I told myself were running the Galloway method as they would sprint by me then walk a while with their hands atop their heads trying to regain their breath.  Then they would zip by me again only to stop again a 100 yards later.  I passed a lady that was prepared  for the grizzling 3.1 miles with her fuel belt loaded with two water bottles and three gels.  By the time I clocked a mile I was regretting eating a hearty bowl of oatmeal earlier as visions of my Yoshi run started creeping into my mind. 12770613722xmPHnS

As I was approaching the turnaround point I discovered that my old basset hound assessment was probably accurate as I saw a woman with her antler-clad Pomeranian already on her way back.  I was clearly not faster than  dog with 3 inch legs.  However I was faster than Santa as I was finally able to shake him at the turn around.  On my way back I was passed by a guy pushing a baby jogger, one of the ultimate humiliations just behind losing to the costumed folks (I wont’t even bring up the indignation of losing to a costumed Pomeranian).  The kid in the jogger looked at me and said “bye bye” as they passed me, just in case the embarrassment wasn’t quite enough already. I was being trash talked to by a frickin 3 year-old.   But my ego wasn’t damaged enough yet because the next one to pass me was the kid with  his 45 hour 5K pace.  Had Mr. Blue Jeans passed me I was prepared to officially retire right then and there.

I finally finished unceremoniously at 26.55, neither tired nor spent, no matter how hard I tried, I never was able to shift it to that higher gear.  The time certainly wasn’t my worse.  Ironically the first race I ever ran was a  Turkey Trot in Marina Del Rey back in 1992.  I ran it after I graduated from college and put on 35 pounds. I was trying to get back into shape, of course my other exercise was a rowing machine with a pitcher of vodka tonics for hydration..  I think initial race took  around 45 minutes for me to finish and I didn’t lose a pound.  Fortunately that was pre-Internet so there is no record of this event that I am aware exists.  I wasn’t disappointed with my race yesterday, rather decided I needed some new realistic short term running goals:  my next race I will try and crack top five in the under 10 division and not lose to any dogs classified as toys or terriers.

But I got my ass out of bed and at least ran so how disappointed can I really be?  This allowed me to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner guilt free, though I did gain 4 pounds yesterday.  No problem, I will just throw on a pair of jeans and go for a run.

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10 things I am not thankful for this Thanksgiving

November 21, 2012

Most of us spend this long weekend thinking about all the things we are thankful about.  But Eric Rutin isn’t everyone.  I am usually a little askew in my thinking on such things.  I am thankful I have an awesome family.  Better than I could ever hoped for.  For that I am truly blessed.  But for the sake of this post, I am going to focus on all that I am NOT thankful for this November.

Eric Rutin DOB 10/17/196710. No Red Wings  Seriously?  What the hell? It isn’t as if the NHL is the NFL and can do whatever they want and fans will just take it.  This is hockey.  The greatest sport in my opinion, but still a game that 98% of the population could live without ever missing.  And to make it extra crappy, there is no Winter Classic for the Wings at the Big House.  I have had to deal with Lidstrom retiring, I shouldn’t have to deal with a lock-out as well.

9. Having to watch both the Cowboys and Jets on Thanksgiving.  I mean one is more than enough, but why does the NFL have to spread my agony over 6 hours? Have them play each other while I am eating then give me the Steelers in prime time.

8. People that say “I could care less”.  The proper phrase is “I couldn’t care less”.  If you could care less then it actually means whatever you are trying to diminish is actually somewhat important.  I hate it even more when reporters or other people that are trying to be credible say it.

7. The fiscal cliff It is depressing to know that party politics are more important than the good of the country even when it literally means people will be devastated just as we are climbing out of a huge hole.  We aren’t out of it yet, but we see the light and unless someone will compromise, we are just going to u-turn.

6. The Tigers’ offense during the World Series.  Or should I say the absence of their powerful bats.  The Tigers played like pussy cats and it wasn’t just bad but downright embarrassing.  All I can say is there is always next year and Martinez and Torii Hunter will be added to the line-up. We will surely score more than six runs on our way to win the 2013 World Series.

5. Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj Why do I have to hear them on EVERY channel? I tolerate Taylor Swift and One Direction out of love for my teenage daughter. But there is just so much horrible music I can handle.

4. Red Dawn remake. Stick with the classics.  The Wolverines were just fine without needing to be moved to Portland and fight North Koreans.  Why even try and remake a movie with Outsiders alumni Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Charlie Sheen and even the king Sosh, Darren Dalton?  What is next, 16 Candles? Ferris Bueller?

3. Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.  They shouldn’t be on this list as I lok forward to this game all year, but why does the NFL always reward the Lions with one of the best teams in the league for their Turkey Day tradition?  The 9-1 Texans?  Please give us Kansas City next year!

2. Adidas SuperNova Classics.  Why Adidas?  Why?  Why discontinue the best shoe out there that I wore faithfully for 10 years?

1. Green Bean Casserole.  Gross.  Enough said.

Eric Rutin hates green bean casserole

It is Turkey Day

November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving finally arrived , signally that 2011 is officially winding down.  Carolyn and I started our Thanksgiving as we usually do with the annual 10 mile Turkey Trot.  We were watching the weather report on the morning news and the forecast predicted a traditional Thanksgiving temperature of 80 degrees.  So we dressed accordingly.  We arrived at the race to a chilly 51.  I guess after the 29 last week in Pittsburgh I really don’t have room to complain. 

The race this year seemed much bigger than in past years.  We lined up together, and as usual by the 1/4 mile mark Carolyn left me in the dust.  The race is one of my favorites.  I am not sure if it is the course, which is actually a pretty boring out and back or if it is the notion I get to eat whatever I want guilt free knowing I already ran 10 miles.  You burn 3000 calories on a 10 miler don’t you?  I hit the 5 mile mark feeling strong and that I was having a good race so I decided to click on the watch to see what my split was.  I ran from mile 5-6 in a solid 8:59, then 6-7 in just under a 10 minute pace.  WTF?  I thought I was running well. I was passing way more people than were passing me, so what was with me being a tortoise on the watch?  I know I am not posting the times I was in a couple of years ago, but I didn’t think I was this slow.  I forgot about it and  settled into a hard pace with two girls; the three of us running stride for stride passing groups of people.  I would like to think I was pushing them to stay up as hard as they were pushing me.

We turned down the final stretch which looped the baseball field at Peoria Sports Complex.  We all turned our kick on.  Unfortunately I quickly discovered that Carolyn isn’t the only girl faster than me.  I ran the final half mile with all I had left in what felt like an all out sprint to finish at 1:22:43.  I was too tired to do math, but I was coherent enough to know I wasn’t running 10 minute miles.  It wasn’t my best time, but I was happy.  Carolyn met me after the finish and made a joke about how far off the mile markers were (I guess that is why she wears a Garmin).  That made me feel better about my splits and just reinforced why I try not to look at my times in a race.  She finished at 1:16:13, another solid race as she gets ready for PF Chang’s Rock and Roll Marathon in January.

We got home, took showers and got in our comfy clothes.  I started watching the Lions and she started cooking.  Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that I don’t do the cooking. Not complaining as I like doing the cooking, but this is Carolyn’s big day in the kitchen.  The bird is now officially in the oven.  Half of Detroit is injured, Suh has been tossed and the Lions are down 21-0.  Stafford has 8 interceptions in the past three games. Ugh.  Hmm, as I just typed this, he just threw his 3rd interception.  I guess at this point all I have to look forward to is Carolyn’s delicious candied yams.

Two great commercials during the first half. First was for Shark Attack Experiment on National Geo Channel. SCARY! The second was the NFL Play 60 spot that finally featured the Lions.  And did you see who was driving the bus?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Maybe next year the Lions will finally win a Thanksgiving Day game.  Spoken like a true lifelong Lions fan.

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