Thursday, October 15, 2009

PSU, Cold Weather, and Half Marathon

That's what's going on right now....

Last weekend, I went up with my college buddy (and fellow IE graduate) B as he had tickets to the BIG Penn State-Eastern Illinois matchup........okay, not too big. Eastern Illinois is a 1-AA team and people outside were trying to give away tickets. And, as evidenced by the picture below when JoePa led the team onto the field, the student section wasn't all that enthused about arriving punctually to a noon start against an inferior opponent. PSU won 52-3 and it was about that close. PSU did pretty much whatever they wanted. Right before halftime, EIU was actually driving down to about the 10, but Navarro Bowman picked up a fumble and ran it back in a James Harrison-like play for 90 yards an a touchdown. Game over even though it wasn't even halftime.

Nevertheless, it was a great experience being back up in Happy Valley. I sent a message to Beth at one point after I did a short run on the PSU golf course (site of the XC Big Ten Championships in a few weeks) and past my old apartment that I was just going to stay up there and that I'd see her at the end of October when she came up for the XC meet.

One of the neat things about my friend B is he's involved in different things. First of all, he's one smart dude as he got his PhD in IE from PSU. Secondly, he tries new things. He told me a few years back that he signed up for a standup comedy class. I thought he was kidding, but he actually did a few local shows.

He also told me he was experimenting with growing square watermelons. SQUARE watermelons? That's what he said. He told me over the weekend that this past summer he experimented with seedless, HUGE barrel, and other types of watermelons. He brought a few with him that Beth and I had (they were great!) and of course Roxy was very intrigued by the whole watermelon thing.

On Tuesday, I helped out with my second college fair of the fall. This was up in the North Hills at LaRoche College. There was some registration snafu's so we weren't in the E's by Edinboro, but rather way in the back. We're in the back row kind of in the middle of the picture with the blue tablecloth. Still a good time, but people are much more in a hurry to get out of there by the time they get to the last few tables.

I say 'we' because I found a fellow Etown-er in the Pittsburgh area willing to give up a night and share about Etown. Beth and I met TF back in March at the Spring Thaw. That was my DNS race due to the ankle injury playing basketball. Since I wasn't racing, I was hanging around the finish line while Beth was out there and these two parent-age people came up to me and commented about the Etown Hoodie I was wearing. They said that their daughter went to Etown and ran there. Small world! So, long story short, I recruited a new alumni to come to the college fair and hopefully this will DOUBLE the coverage of the Pittsburgh area for college fairs by Etown alumni (since 2 is twice as big as 1) in the future.

This weekend is the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon. I'm going to have to get my game face on as I haven't raced since Memorial Day. Last year's race went really well for me (at least for the first 9 or 10 miles) and I somehow maintained 6:00 pace. I'm shooting to go slightly below that considering I actually have a distance base underneath me with the marathon training. The hindering factor may be the weather--mid 30's with a chance of snow or rain. Ugh! But, that may be what it's like next month in Philly so I better get ready for it.

Beth's running this year as a tuneup for the Half IM World Championships in Clearwater and my cousin K's coming back again this year (won her age group) and her dad (who I ran the Pittsburgh half with last spring) are coming to run, too.

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