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Phil In The Blank

Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio

Yay spring!

March 19, 2014 - The first day of spring is Thursday and I can hardly wait.

This winter has been tough on one who recently acquired a taste for running outdoors on sidewalks not covered in banks of snow several feet deep.

I remember last year, heading out in the middle of February with no problem besides my spectacularly poor physical condition. The track at Clarkston High School was cold and windy, but free of the white stuff. I've forgotten what that thing looks like, it's been covered in snow for so long.

Snowy sidewalks and tracks are less of an excuse than I thought, though. I happened to mention it to Kathy Noble at the school board meeting and she was unimpressed. That doesn't wash, she in essence said, giving me a face her students are probably familiar with when they try something similar in her classroom at Bailey Lake.

I could have run at Indian Springs park, apparently. I'll keep that in mind for later in the year, when the snow returns.

Anyway, my running career has recommenced after a two-and-a-half month break. Lots of backtracking, with snow blocking Waldon Road from Main Street, White Lake Road in front of the Cemetery, Miller Road, Clarkston Road, and many other places.

My pace isn't too bad, despite the occasional snowshoeing.

There shouldn't be anymore of that starting this week, with temperatures warming into the 40s and 50s lately. The snowbanks and piles seemed so permanent, but I will be happy to see them gone.

So training can begin for this year's races. I'm still in decent shape, working out with weights and stuff at home almost every day.

I'm looking at the Angel Place Race in Clarkston later this spring, the Crim 10-miler in Flint in August. I'm looking forward to that one. If all goes well, it would be the first time I would complete it at a running pace the whole way through.

Then it's back to Clarkston for the second annual Back Roads Half Marathon. I checked, they already have it scheduled. It's set for Nov. 9.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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