Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giving Thanks, 5k record, and carolighting challenge

Thanksgiving Week Reflections:

There's no time for (much) turkey . . . I have to RUN! Thanksgiving Day started off with a blast . . . literally. I joined a pair of friends in Gran Amistad, Caroline Lewis-Jones (the dancer I mentioned in regards to injuries a while back), and Stephanie Nye (my partner from the 2008 Starpower Nationals-qualifying “Hand Jive”), along with Stephanie's boyfriend John, Mrs. Spurrier and daughter, and over 600 others started off Thanksgiving literally with a blast at the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands Turkey Day Run VI at the Colonial Life Arena. This year's race was five thousand meters (unlike the 8,000 meters we ran the first five years; the other two cities didn't want police to work much on Thanksgiving, which is a shame because last year's 8k was capped at 500 on race morning; organisers extended registration to ensure this wouldn't happen this year, and 673 runners made the 5k run this year. But I did miss the three-city, two-bridge Thanksgiving 8k that made it unique. Now Ray Tanner's 12k was a three-city, two-bridge race but that's a longer distance.

By the time I challenged myself to racing my friends (they ran quickly that I was four and a half minutes behind by the time they crossed the line, I was about a half mile behind them), I knew something was going to happen, and the clock reported the truth. I had turned a time of 27:26 for the 5,000 metres, easily beating the 28:58 I had set on Memorial Day weekend in Jailbreak IV (a 5k organised by the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, start and finish in the county jail) for my fastest 5k ever. Ate little to celebrate, and worked out with Stephanie the next morning with 2 ½ hours of cardio (she did 2 ½ hours too that Friday). How did our friendship start with being paired for a Grease-inspired dance?

Governor's Carolighting. An e-mail came from the choral director from college that he wanted to hastily organise a choir because the traditional Governor's Carolighting ceremony's fate was not decided until the late minute. With no choral gigs taking place this fall I decided to take a shot at this event.

We had to practice at 2 for 90 minutes before one final practice at 5:20 before we went on at 5:45. Talk about pressure with songs most of us didn't know! Enjoyed the experience, with Händel, Mendelssohn, Leontovich, Wilhousky, and even some “African carols”. However, I was not pleased with the Gospel Choir at a college for performing to karaoke when we had two accompanists ready for the Children's Choir and the Community Choir, respectively. Why does that college choir leader think their group is better with karaoke? And don't get me started on winter songs being used instead of Christmas songs as we saw with four selections on this night. I have a friend in Australia and it's summer and people spend Christmas on the beach, and it's warmer than 90 degrees.

I have plenty of people to thank here but especially Larry and Susan Wyatt, who directed the choirs, and Camille Jones and Nathan Doman, our accompanists. Cannot say enough how this challenge was tough to do on short notice, but Raycom's Dawndy Mercer Plank (Mistress of Ceremonies) could not even hear that we were just organised in hours.
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