Storming the Beach

John "The Penguin" Bingham

This is the big transition weekend. The summer officially ends this weekend which can only mean one thing. The event season is here. My bags are packed and will stay packed for the next 10 months. I’ll be at the Rock ‘n’ Roll races in VA Beach, Philly, San Jose, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Arizona, New Orleans, Dallas, and Nashville. WHEW. There’s more, but I’m tired just thinking about the schedule.

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This weekend I’ll be at one of my favorite events, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. I wrote a column about it a few years ago. It’s got, I think, the greatest finish of any race anywhere. That last mile or so is along the beach, you cross the finish line, get your medal and a cool towel, turn left, and soak your feet in the ocean. Oh yeah! Plus, the music festival is the same weekend so there are bands playing up and down the beach.

I spent the weekend in a very un-running environment at the Red Bull Indy MotoGP race. Most people know that I am a big motorcycle enthusiast, having owned over 50 bikes, so it’s not out of character to be at the races. I’ve also agreed to be a “Scooter Guru” for the Vespa company and rode the fanstastic Piaggio MP3 400 to the race. I’ve written all about the trip at: The Penguin Times. The short story is that I had a wonderful time with my son and an old riding buddy.

ORN: Unfortunately, my running has really suffered this week. In part because of the schedule and in part because I’ve managed to come down with an intestinal funk. Several years ago, at the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, I encountered something that just tore up my system. Best diagnosis was that it was some kind of parasite that I got from a food source. This has the same feel, and I’m not happy.

I was able to get out and walk for nearly an hour yesterday in my beloved 100-acre wood, my tribute to Winnie the Pooh and friends. I’m hoping to get out and run later today. What’s really annoying about this is that I was just coming back from having to take 4 weeks off after the hernia surgery. My running was better than ever since I was running pain free for the first time in years. It’s a setback.

My hope is to train for, and run, a half marathon at some point this fall or early winter. Because of the hernia I haven’t been doing anything longer than 4 miles for a couple of years. I’ve enjoyed the shorter distances because I could run more often, but it’s time to get back in a long-distance training program. As soon as I can this intestinal business settled, I’ll grab a copy of Marathoning for Mortals and start training.

If you’re headed to VA Beach, come look me up. I’ll be at the expo and helping out at the Run to Victory booth.

Waddle on.

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