Source: Sherman Publications

Phil In The Blank
Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio

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 Clarkstonís Salvation Army on Sashabaw Road.

Over the past year, Iíve gone to that store many, many times to replace every article of clothing I have, as Iíve lost weight Ė 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. Iíve picked up designer clothes, a blazer, jeans, slacks, shorts for a fraction of what it would have cost new.

Even with the warmer weather, Iíve 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 weíve received and will get through this spring will wash that away quickly.

Iím all registered for the Angelís 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, Iím 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.

Itís still plenty hilly up around Sashabaw north of Clarkston Road, though, something organizers are probably happy with. Donít want to make it any easier!

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