I dominate running group photo

Last week the Flying Irish did its annual group photo portrait in Riverfront Park. Even though a lot of people were going to be in the photo, I wanted to make myself stand out with a perfect pose in the perfect spot. So, a few days beforehand, I went to the site of the photo shoot and scoped things out.

The Flying Irish group photo site at Riverfront Park.

The Flying Irish group photo site at Riverfront Park.

Since being in the right spot is paramount, I analyzed the scene and divided it into quadrants to evaluate for optimal positioning.SONY DSC

Distance from camera is also a crucial factor. Most people may think being in the front row is the best place. Not necessarily so! I used a tape measure to arrive at the ideal camera-to-subject distance. I found out the best place to stand would be toward the back of the group.SONY DSC

Afterward, I spent a few hours practicing a variety of poses, each conveying one of my many different moods and attributes. Below are the ones that made the final cut. I spent the evening before the shoot evaluating them before making my final choice.

Happy and friendly Jim.

Happy, friendly and jolly – that’s me.

I'm one tough running hombre.

I’m one tough running hombre.

I'm having a great time.

I’m having a great time.

I salute you, Mr Photographer

I salute runners everywhere.

Hi! How are you? Let's play.

Hi! How are you? Let’s play.

I'm a proud soldier of the Flying Irish Army.

I’m a proud soldier of the Flying Irish Army.

Below is the 2015 official Flying Irish group portrait. It turned out great, and I think I look just dandy.flying irish group portrait

I’m in the middle back. Email this to a movie theatre and have them project it onto the screen to see me.

Running for pleasure

A fellow member of the Flying Irish, Speed Fitzhugh, recently described the long run he did. He’s not training for a marathon or any race in particular, and he’s not a high-mileage runner during the week, but he enjoys a long, easy run on the weekend that’s 20-30 miles long.

He once invited me to join him on a 30-miler. Unfortunately, I don’t have the stamina and durability to run that far, even at a slow pace without feeling wiped out for a couple days, or getting injured, or both.

But I like the concept of running purely for pleasure with no thought of maintaining a sustained brisk pace or preparing for a race.

I used to live in Ventura, California, and on Saturday mornings I’d run down to the pier near my apartment and get on a trail that ran north along the shore. It was only two miles out and two miles back, but the turnaround point overlooked a popular surfing area, and I sat on a rock and watched the surfers. Sometimes I spent more time sitting on the rock than I did running.surfing

(source: kidcyber.com.au)

In Spokane, there was a basalt outcropping that used to overlook downtown until it was developed into an office building. It was the turnaround point for a five-miler that also involved sitting on a rock. The tall buildings, with windows lit in the early evening, the passenger jets flying over on their final approach to the airport, and the dull roar from the bustle of an urban environment made a great scene depicting the excitement of city living.

Many times while traveling or visiting out-of-town friends or relatives, I’ve enjoyed running just to explore. Sometimes these turn into long runs because I’ll come to a neat area or road, and I want to explore more instead of turning back.

Maybe, my fellow runners, it’s the same for you – sometimes the highlight of my day is the run I did.

Lantern Tap House heads-up

Earlier this month I went to the Lantern Tap House where a running group meets every Tuesday. I had no plans to write about it, but my buddy, Kevin, took a bunch of photos with his phone, giving me an opportunity. But the biggest benefit is that should you attend, you’ll be aware of the obnoxious and inappropriate amorous advances of one guy in this group.Outside Lantern Tap House

Though I’ve never run with this group before, I knew most of the members because there’s lots of intermingling among the Spokane running clubs. To call it a group or club isn’t entirely accurate. Like the other Spokane running clubs, it’s more of a gathering. Anyone can join just by showing up at 6:00 pm on Tuesday.

About sixty runners attended which is a nice change from the few hundred that typically join Flying Irish runs on Thursdays.

The Lantern Tap House is in the Perry district, a somewhat trendy area where a lot of new, locally-owned, retail businesses have opened in the last several years. It’s surrounded by an older neighborhood with lots of trees and many homes that have been renovated and updated. It makes for pretty running routes.

There’s no charge to participate, however, a post-run microbrew is a $2.50 adjustment to your financial situation. This pricing causes me to wonder about the Lantern’s owner’s business acumen.

One of the group’s organizers passed out treats. Not often do I combine beer and Snickers, but it worked out okay.Beer and  SnickersI also had a few pieces of licorice, another great pairing with beer.jim eating twizzler

After several beers, I tried to initiate romantic encounters by suggesting the eating of a stick of licorice from opposite ends. My request was turned down by many.

I decided to disguise my intentions by framing it as a cutesy photo opportunity. As multiple shots are taken, I would quickly eat the licorice and attain the romantic moment I wanted.

My buddy, Kevin, agreed to be in a photo, but only if we had our own piece of licorice.jim and kevinI was able to convince Tina, a regular at the Manito Runners Club and the Flying Irish, to do it, however, she stipulated absolutely no licorice sticks be present.Jim and TinaSo I went home thwarted and unfulfilled, but I plan to join this group again soon. Hopefully, I can come up with a better strategy to lure someone into a drunken, sloppy, face-against-face romantic moment in front of dozens of Lantern customers.

 

Ohh, I want to get my hands on Clif

When you go to the nutrition/energy bar section at the store, which brand and flavor do you reach for?energy  bar set

I’ve tried many brands, but I buy Clif bars most often. I support the company’s ethos as well. Chocolate brownie is my favorite flavor. No surprise for someone who likes chocolate.clif bar

I know you’re supposed to use energy bars in conjunction with a workout or training, but I most often buy them for a snack or treat. They’ve become a substitute for candy bars.

I used to eat Luna bars a lot, and I was very worried as I left the store that I’d be stopped and interrogated by store personnel or told to take my business elsewhere.

However, not once was I caught, and I often gave myself a fist pump after walking out because I’d gotten away with something. As you can see in the below photo, the phrase under LemonZest tells you what I got away with.image

On a few occasions when I know I’m going to be in the company of someone I don’t care for, like, say, Sprint McDowell, I choose the berry-flavored Power Bar, which can be shaped to look amazingly similar to a tongue. It makes it easy to show my displeasure.Energy bar tongue

Turning to another topic, after today, my post schedule will change. I’ve been doing a new post once a week, published on Sunday evening. From now on, I’m going to do them intermittently, without a sticking to a schedule. I Must Run Everywhere has been on-line for over two years now, and though I like writing posts, I’m getting a little tired.

As I’ve done before, I will offer refunds if you feel you’re being short-changed. Mail your request to me, and if you act now, I will double your refund. This is a limited time offer, so hurry, hurry, hurry.

 

Running Partner Wanted

So…okay…here’s the deal; I’m looking for someone to run with. It’s not race related or intense training. Just everyday running for exercise. You, my fine reader, might be just the person.

However, there’s one big issue I must raise first off. If we’re about to head out on a run and you say, “I think I”d rather walk today,” we’re gonna have problems. When it’s time to run, we must run.

There are other requirements, but first, let me make clear that I’ve got an equal opportunity running partner policy. I will not discriminate against any applicant based on gender, race, religion and all those other things except one. If you happen to look like Petra, or are Petra, you’re hired on the spot.

My running partner must be able to run three to eight miles a few times per week. You should run at the same pace as me, but if you pull ahead for a short time, that’s okay. If you get way ahead of me, I get really mad, and I won’t talk to you the rest of the day.

Now, about myself: I’m an excellent running partner. I’ve won many awards for being a nice guy and an unbelievably thoughtful individual. I’m very good at staying on the right side of the street, and I have an uncanny ability to see cars coming.

Also, I’m really friendly. Just look at me smiling. It’s not a fake smile either.Mr smiles

Please take a moment to fill out the below four-question application. Perhaps soon, you and I will be running together through the streets of Spokane.

1)  Do you like running?     A___     B___     C___     D___

2)  Are you a girl or a boy?     Yes___     No___

3)  Do you conversationalize well?     None___     All of the above___

4)  I’m scared of dogs. If one chases us, will you take care of the situation and comfort me afterward?

Distance running camaraderie

A fellow member of the Spokane running club scene told me recently that distance running has a unique camaraderie compared to other sports.

Rich Goggin ran track years ago as a high school student, but he also played football well enough to receive college scholarship offers.

Rich Goggin, a member of several Spokane running clubs.

Rich Goggin, a member of several Spokane running clubs.

He says there isn’t the level of camaraderie among football players like there is among distance runners.

I never played high school football, so I can’t confirm this, but I feel distance runners do have a unique camaraderie. Maybe it’s just the nature of running to feel a comradeship with other runners. Also, perhaps since distance running is less popular and visible compared to the major sports, coaches have less pressure to produce. Could be this lower intensity, combined with the downtime at practices and meets, allows quirkiness and off-beat humor to be expressed more easily.

Though I could give a bunch of examples of camaraderie-building goofiness, I’ll detail just one.

cigsIn high school, the track and field distance team was on a run, and we came across a pack of cigarettes laying in the street. I suggested we pick them up and smoke them in the locker room, because I thought it’d be so funny if coach discovered the distance runners had taken up smoking.

The rest of the track team had finished their workouts and gone home. We knew coach had a meeting and would come back later to lock up, so we lit up and filled the locker room with a thick haze of blue smoke. We dropped the butts on the floor, grinded them out and left them there.

Our coach had a sense of humor, and we had a great rapport with him. However, he didn’t say anything to us the next day. It had me thinking it was such a minor thing, he’d already forgotten about it, so I inquired what he thought about the distance runners’ new habit.

Of course, he didn’t believe we’d taken up smoking, but he complained about having to clean up the locker room.

Redneck running

If you had enough money to get by without working, what lifestyle would you choose? For me, I’d be a redneck and live in the country.Redneck relaxation

Below is an example of my dream home. I’ve discovered such homes are constructed in a way that if I need a refreshing breeze, I don’t have to go outside. As well, the walls are thin enough that I can always hear the chirping songbirds in the nearby woods. I can’t wait to live in such a place.Redn trailer

Another big advantage is parking. I anticipate no problem squeezing in my many rigs.Redn parking

Running along a quiet country road is what runners dream about. I’d get to do it every single day.SONY DSC

A big plus about the redneck lifestyle is the sense of community. Whenever I organize a barbecue, I’m sure I could count on my pal Bubba down the road to bring some extra seating.redneck couch delivery

Drinking beer around a bonfire with my fellow redneck runners would be so fun. Nearly every redneck home comes with plenty of bonfire fuel just outside the door, by the shop.redneck tire stash

Trash cans are an unneeded accessory at get-togethers. When you’re done with your beer, just toss and open another.red neck beer cans

The next morning, cleanup is so easy. Just rake into a pile, and eventually it’ll become a shiny mountain of landscape art.red neck beer can clean up

A really great thing about redneck country living is nature is just outside the door. They have trees and animals, and any time I want, I can go down to the river and appreciate the beauty of nature as I polish off a couple beers.redneck fishing hole

And when I’m not running, I can scout the woods behind my house for varmints to shoot and cook up for mighty fine redneck eating. Oh, do I look forward to my dream lifestyle.Redn walking