Sunday, December 13, 2015

NFL Teams as types of runners

Since football season is in full swing, I thought it would be fun to compare NFL teams, and their qualities, to types of runners you may come across. It's my first attempt at humor, so give me a break, please. 

New York Giants - Old guy who's faster than everyone.

Philadelphia Eagles - Looks like a hardcore runner; twists ankle on a curb every year. 

Dallas Cowboys- Leads a group of aerobics and stretching before the race; doesn't run.

Seattle Seahawks - Wears a perfectly coordinated outfit of a neon green tank top and cropped running tights. Can’t stop twitching with nervous energy.

San Francisco 49ers - Barefoot runner.

St. Louis Rams - Despite the race being in St. Louis, they show up in Los Angeles without telling anyone.  

Green Bay Packers - Wears a really sweet pair of old school Nikes and is fast and smooth.

New Orleans Saints - The life of the race. They have a three-deep fan section with a band and full bar. 

Cleveland Browns - Misses the race because they were out partying.

New York Jets - New York Giants younger brother. Less old and less fast. 

New England Patriots - Wins the race, a feel good story, but later a video shows he blatantly cut off part of the course and is disqualified. Then the runner complains to the race director, and they are given the title back. Sound familiar?

Miami Dolphins - Bullies other runners and gets themselves into the elite corral. Then throughout the race, they are a pushy, tailgating runner. 

Buffalo Bills - Always in the lead for the final stretch but misses the finish line (wide right). 

Washington Redskins - Guy in a Trump t shirt.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

In(to) the buff

It’s the holiday season, and you know what that means. Every running publication seems to have some kind of list of gifts a runner needs. These are filled with mostly things runners don’t need, many of which are expensive. Some brief background on me is that I have a decent amount of running gear, acquired in a variety of ways, that sits in a basket in my room and never gets used. I have a few shirts, shorts and sweatshirts that I wear regularly, and it is tough to make that starting line up. If I find a product I like, I develop a strong allegiance to it. Despite attempts to switch things up, I’ve been wearing the same shoe model for at least five years.

The one item that I am intrigued by is a Buff. A buff is basically a tubular piece of fabric that can be worn any number of ways. I am attracted to them because, as happened this morning, I went running with a winter hat on, and after a few miles, it became too hot for the hat. My choices were to wear a hat that made me uncomfortably hot, or carry it. The buff could have helped here, because it can do all these things:

I can wear a buff year round, and it even provides some UV protection, which I need on the dome. If anyone reading this has any experience with the buff, please comment with your thoughts and any insight you may have.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Look to my left and I see the Hollywood sign

Running in Griffith Park

Party in the USA was on a loop through my mind as I ran up to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles over the Thanksgiving Break. This is my favorite run in the world. My sister and her family live about a mile from Griffith Park, so the run began on relatively flat city streets. I played a game of counting the priuses that I saw parked on these streets. Not surprisingly, the count was much higher than what we see on the east coast. 

The view from the base of the east trail.
Every morning that we were in LA, we woke up early and ran over to Griffith Park. There are two trails that go to the top, both about the same length and difficulty. At the trailhead, there is a wonderful little coffee shop/wagon that provided caffeine after each of these runs. I could go on about how good the coffee and pastries were, but just trust me - they were awesome. The west (left) trail presented a couple challenging switchbacks early on, but then flattens out briefly before meeting up with the east trail for the final climb to the observatory. The east (right) trail challenges a runner with non-stop elevation. Both surfaces are packed dirt, easy on the legs but not the dusty kind that gets kicked up into your lungs. 

View of LA from the observatory

The views from both trails (especially the west) were fantastic. Looking out, was the skyline of downtown LA, followed by the ocean out in the distance. Looking west, the Hollywood sign was right there. The elevation did not let up, providing a solid challenge for legs and lungs. There was even a water fountain at the top. Every time I visit LA, I will take advantage of this great run. There is nothing quite like it around here.
View of the mountains from the observatory