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Phil In The Blank

Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio

April 09, 2014 - With warmer weather finally here, I decided it was time to shed the liner in my coat.

I bought my new-for-me jacket during the dead of winter at Clarkston's Salvation Army on Sashabaw Road.

Over the past year, I've gone to that store many, many times to replace every article of clothing I have, as I've lost weight – minus the undergarments. Those I bought new.

When I unzipped and unbuttoned the liner out of the coat, I found the liner was actually also a coat. A light jacket, perfect for spring weather.

Bonus! I love the Clarkston Salvation Army! Folks here get rid of some really nice stuff. I've picked up designer clothes, a blazer, jeans, slacks, shorts for a fraction of what it would have cost new.

Even with the warmer weather, I've found snow and ice stubbornly sticking to the sidewalk in a few spots on Clarkston Road. It should all be gone by now, though, a thought that fills this would-be runner with joy. Those crusty piles of dirt and melting snow and ice smell pretty bad. Hopefully, the rain we've received and will get through this spring will wash that away quickly.

I'm all registered for the Angel's Place Race in May, which will be here really soon. I signed up for the 10K run. After a couple weeks back on the road, I'm comfortable with my four-mile route from downtown around Clarkston High School, with some slipping and sliding on the Clarkston Road sidewalk ice.

I count that as cross training.

The Back Roads Half Marathon this November has a new location this year, moving out of downtown to Independence Oaks County Park, up on Sashabaw Road.

So that probably means no running up and down the hills in the neighborhood up around Deer Lake.

It's still plenty hilly up around Sashabaw north of Clarkston Road, though, something organizers are probably happy with. Don't want to make it any easier!

I ran up there a couple times last year as part of my half-marathon training – downtown up to the park and back is about 10 miles. Actually, those hills make the hills around Deer Lake look like speedbumps.

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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