Tag Archives: dexter

Going Green?

For someone from the center of all things maize-and-blue, green was quite a part of my life yesterday.

At the starting line, sporting the latest in upscale race fashion.

At the starting line, sporting the latest in upscale race fashion.

There was the holiday red and green of the Holiday Hustle 5K in Dexter. This run holds a special place in my heart, being my first race, the first race in which I won an age group award, and the first time I broke 20:00 in a 5K. Last year I served as a volunteer, and for some reason found setting up for a winter race to be fun, so I did it again this year.

I helped put up tents, string Christmas lights in the registration area, haul water to the finish area, and set up the finish chute – in between leaning over the heater in the warming tent. With the temperature unbudging from the low 20s and a steady wind, keeping warm was a real challenge. But the cold didn’t appear to hurt the spirits of the crowd of runners (nearly 1,100 finishers) and spectators.

The Grinch is smiling? Gotta be cold out.

The Grinch is smiling? Gotta be cold out.

Then there was the environmental “green” which already has a prominent place in our house, and in Ann Arbor in general. The plastic water bottles we handed out were prominently marked, “Made from Recycled Bottles” so at least some reuse of waste is going on, and we put out recycling containers, so many bottles will avoid the landfill a second time. Then there was this sign in the Joe and Rosie coffee shop, where I had lunch and my post-race peppermint mocha.

I understand the sentiment and support it...but really, can't we find a better way to phrase it?

I understand the sentiment and support it…but really, can’t we find a better way to phrase it in the A2 area? But see below…

Enjoy it, Tori and Sis....you're not likely to see this ever again.

Enjoy it, Tori and Sis….you’re not likely to see this ever again.

And how can I overlook a certain football game last night, as the Spartans knocked off the Buckeyes to win the Big Ten title. It was bittersweet for this house full of Wolverines, but heaven for my sister and my older daughter (the green sheep in the family). Congratulations, little brother! You done good.

Hey, what about my favorite type of green?

Hey, what about my favorite type of green?
(from wikia.com)

Well, the stock markets were closed yesterday, but here is a recent article from Marketwatch (an investment website) that suggests that we use our cash this season for other purposes than giving stuff to each other. And putting his money where his pen is, the author of the MW article is giving away everything he earns this month. “Every nickel. Every dime.”

Wow. How many of us are willing to do that? Sure puts a few chilly hours helping with a race into perspective. I’m not saying I’m going to follow suit, nor would I suggest that anyone else do so. But I will consider doing something more than we’d planned for. Go green!

Getting Loaded

It’s actually a good thing to GAIN a little weight before the race.

Last time I wrote about how my plan for Saturday’s 50-mile race is different from running shorter races (up to and including standard marathons). But what about the week before – the final taper, rest, and fueling for the race?

My training this week has been light – only six miles running and ten miles on the bike. As a result I’ve been feeling restless, compounded by the incredibly beautiful weather I’ve had to look at out my office window. How restless? Bad enough that I’ve given up caffeine until Sunday, which means none of my favorite coffee, and those who know me well appreciate what kind of sacrifice that is. Friday night’s fun 5K will likely save me from bouncing off the walls. That, and the 4 a.m. wakeup call Saturday morning.

My diet is also very different this week. Normally, I eat lots of leafy stuff, whole-grain bread, and lean protein, balanced out with healthy doses of dark chocolate and ice cream. But pre-race is all about loading up the muscles and liver with glycogen, the main fuel used in running – and that requires carbs. Lots of carbs.

I had the feeling that gaining a little weight just before the race would be helpful, and this article here bears that out. In fact, proper carbo-loading also results in more water stored in the body, another helpful thing for a long distance run. And fiber is out, since it can lead to certain biological issues during the race.

So how do I get there? Bagels with marmalade, bananas, cookies, and juice are on the menu – even white bread (gasp!) is okay. Too easy, right? Actually, no. I’m trying my best, but this extra eating to gain weight isn’t easy for me. I feel a bit bloated rather than satiated, and don’t really enjoy the food. (When I get this distilled into a pill, I will be happy to share it with the world for a reasonable price.)

I’m also trying to get in more rest to soften the blow of having to get up before any civilized creature should have to, especially on a Saturday. This means getting to bed earlier than usual – which is, actually, about now. Gotta go.

P.S. I know this post didn’t include any photos – really couldn’t think of any relevant subjects. So here’s a few from tonight’s bike ride, where I checked out the latest with the Border-to-Border trail running through Dexter.

New extension heading north out of Dexter. Hope it opens soon!

New extension heading north out of Dexter. Looks great. Hope it opens soon!

Wildflowers along the existing portion of the trail.

Wildflowers along the existing portion of the trail.

Beautiful terrain south of Dexter. Hoping the trail goes here next.

Beautiful terrain south of Dexter. Hoping the trail goes here next.

Giving Back: Dexter Couple Organizes “Tornado Run” to Benefit Nonprofits

Note: I also published this article in AnnArbor.com. See the article for a photo of Bob and Katie standing next to their destroyed house last year.

In the late afternoon of March 15, 2012, while hail pummeled my car and winds rattled the windows in my Saline office,  a Category F3 tornado ripped through Dexter. It destroyed or damaged more than 200 homes, ripped massive trees out of the ground, and caused more than $9 million in damage. Dexter residents Bob and Katie Jazwinski were among the hardest hit, their home almost completely leveled.

The family was unhurt, but they were emotionally shaken and needed help with housing and supplies. To their relief and gratitude, volunteers from the community and local nonprofit groups quickly showed up. The organization Poured-Out, which assists at disaster sites worldwide, helped clean up the Jazwinskis’ property, and local fundraisers provided much-needed financial assistance.

Photo courtesy of State Farm via Creative Commons (Flickr)

Some of the damage wreaked by the 2012 tornado. Photo courtesy of State Farm via Creative Commons (Flickr)

One year later, their house and their lives rebuilt, the Jazwinskis want to show their appreciation for all the help they and so many others received. And as runners, track coaches, and hosts of Jazz Running Camps, they came up with a fitting way to do it. The result is the “Dexter F3.1 Tornado Run/Walk” at Hudson Mills Metropark on Friday, March 15.

The 5K run/walk is sponsored by Hudson Mills, Women In Motion and Jazz Running, with the goal, as the race brochure says, “of encouraging healthy lifestyles along with promoting fun & fitness through the enjoyment of running & walking.” All proceeds will go to nonprofit organizations such as Poured-Out.

“They helped us so much after the tornado,” Bob explained. “We wanted to provide a way for Dexter to give back.”

The event begins at 7:00 p.m., with free park admission after 5:00 p.m. for participants. Everyone gets glow sticks, tornado t-shirts, and a coffee mug or beer glass just for taking part. Awards will be presented to the top finishers overall and in age groups. There will also be chances to win a free registration to the Jazz Running Camp, HuronPark annual stickers, Running Fit gift cards, and Women in Motion gear.

Bob reported that as of March 1 they had registered nearly 300 people, including “many people that are not what you would call runners,” but who had signed up anyway. They expect total attendance to be in the neighborhood of 500. I’ve signed up. How about joining us and making it 501 or more?

Dexter F3.1 Tornado Run logoJoin me at the Tornado Run! Register online at this link.

The Jazwinskis moved back into their rebuilt house on February 7, after eleven months of living in a rental. “It was nice,” Bob said of their temporary house, “but it wasn’t a place we could call home. Now it’s a mess back at the house, but it’s an awesome mess to have.” He is happy to report that the family is all healthy and doing well, including their latest addition, Sammi, born on October 4.

Bonus: Click here for some video footage of the tornado from spectators at Hudson Mills that day. And hey, why let something like a little tornado interfere with a game of disc golf?