Friday Post, August 10th, 2012

London Olympics

Here we are, down to the last two full days of the London 2012 Olympics. It has been great watching the world’s best athletes compete in the highest spirit of sportsmanship. I saw a little pushing during some of the races but saw more high-fives and hugs than elbows and fists.

It has been great to see, or know about, women from every country competing this year. It’s the first time women from every country have participated and hopefully not the last time. In my mind this indicates progress for women’s rights around the world. We can only hope that this progress continues after the Olympics.

Oscar Pistorius was another first this year. A para-Olympian competing with able-bodied runners and qualifying into the semi finals. He came in 2nd in his Round 1 heat with a time of 45:44. This time was better than the three guys he beat in his heat, and also faster than 28 other runners who had heats that day. Fifteen other runners did finish faster than he did, thirty-one did not. Four guys did not finish their heats.

In the semi-finals Oscar finished 23 out of 24 runners. Next to last, but a triumph none the less; he accomplished what he set out to do and that was to make it to the semi-finals. You can imagine how his efforts and achievement will Inspire a Generation.

While we always see the fastest, strongest and highest on the podium, the achievements of all Olympians is amazing. Here are a few examples from running:

Women’s Marathon: Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia finished first at 2:23:07, an Olympic Record

Caitriona Jennings of Ireland finished in 107th place at 3:22.11. This is a 7:42 mile pace, which is something most people I run with would be thrilled to achieve.

Women’s 10K: Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia finished first at 30:20.75

Eloise Wellings of Australia finished 21st at 32:25.43 or a 5:13 mile pace.

Men’s 10K: Mo Farah of the UK finished first at 27:30.42

Mykola Labovskyy of Ukraine finished 26th at 29:32.12, or a 4:45 mile pace.

Even the people who finished last in these races put up remarkable times. The reality is that only three people can Medal and only one is Gold. Hopefully everyone else goes home with some great memories and satisfied with the knowledge that on their day, they gave it their all, they did their best and that they will always be Olympians, for the rest of their lives.

Enjoy the rest of The Olympics, and thanks for stopping by.

©2012 anagelin

London Olympics Day 13

London  Olympics Day 13

It’s now getting to the point where I need two cups of coffee just to clear my head in the morning. I was up to almost mid-night last night.

I watched part of the Woman’s Beach Volleyball game with Brazil vs Germany. The Brazilians had a little conflict when things were going poorly but pulled together to progress to the Gold Round vs the USA. I think the Brazilians are fun to watch play but I think Misty and Kerri are going to win Gold again.

I also watched the Men’s Decathlon. Those guys are just all around great athletes. They throw the javelin, discus and hammer throw. They run hurdles, sprint and the 5K, or 5000M as they call it. 10 events in all and they have to be at least pretty good in all of them and the best in a few to make it to the top of the list. One of the Americans said he was injured and had one injury or another since 2003. It’s the nature of their sport. These guys are truly inspiring! No hyperbole needed here.

I’m recording on NBC, NBCSports Channel, MSNBC and I think one other (Maybe Bravo?). As a result I think I have seen most of the Woman’s Gymnastics events at least twice. They are great to watch and here in Massachusetts we are all proud of Aly Raisman. She was perfect and her performance was exciting to watch. Her parents were exciting to watch. I’m just glad gymnastics is over.

The Modern Pentathlon should be interesting. They Fence, Swim, ride horses and do a combined run/shoot event. What a mix of skills!

I did manage to record some Handball, but have not had a chance to watch it yet. I have heard that it is a great game and that it is very popular in Poland. Field Hockey turned out to be a fun game to watch, unexpectedly, so I’m hoping handball lives up to its reputation.

Here is the link to NBS Olympic website.

Have a great day; enjoy the rest of The Olympics and thank you for reading my blog. I really do appreciate it.

©2012 anagelin

London Olympics, August 8th, 2012

London Olympics

Last night I surfed through hours of sports on my DVR. We’re not into water polo or volley ball so there was a lot to skip. We have made a point of spending some time watching sports we never get to see.

Last night I watched Woman’s Shot Put.I don’t know how much that ball weighs but those ladies could really throw that thing. Now the track girls looked pretty sweet for the most part. But the shot put ladies were rugged and powerful.

I also watched the Men’s Hammer Throw and Discus. The little circle of cement that they launch from is surrounded on 3 sides by netting like they use on construction sites. I’m sure it’s very strong and would probably stop a car. As I watched one guy wind up with the hammer, I noticed a camera man standing just a few feet away from the netting. I couldn’t help but think what would happen if the athlete let go at the wrong time? It must happen sometimes. Would the net stop a hammer with that much velocity? It does go something like 70 feet when they do launch it.

In all fairness to the ladies, those guys looked like cavemen also. Just big hulking guys.

I’m looking forward to watching the BMX Cycling and the Women’s Gymnastics

American John Flanagan in the hammer throw com...
American John Flanagan in the hammer throw competition at the Summer Olympics 1908 in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The American girls seemed to be doing great. I’ve managed to avoid seeing results, so I’m usually on the edge of my seat while watching these events.

Have a great day, enjoy the rest of The Olympics, and thanks for reading my blog. I do appreciate it.

©2012 Andrew nagelin

London Olympics, August 7th, 2012

London Olympics 2012

I have been watching events out of sequence on my DVR and staying up too late.

I watched Oscar PistoriusBlade Runner” last night in the 400M semi-finals.It was really quite remarkable. I wondered if he had some sort of advantage because he could use different “blades” for different conditions, or might not fatigue as quickly. I wondered if it was impossible for someone without feet to really be able to run this type of race.

He ran 46:54, which is remarkable, but he finished in last place. He said his goal was to make the semi-finals and he did. Just as it is historic that every country sent women athletes this year, I think Oscar’s running is also historic. A man moved from para-athlete to Olympian and competed with the best able-bodied runners in the world. I bet no one reading this could come close to matching his run.

When they interviewed him after the race he was the epitome of a gentleman and Olympian. He was gracious, humble and showed a great deal of respect and admiration for his fellow runners whom he called “gentlemen”. There is nothing quite as dignified as humility.

I watched the other Men’s and Woman’s races also. Usain Bolt continues to amaze the world. I watched Tyson Gay come in 4th in the 100M final, after having hip surgery about a year ago! And my legs are sore!? Tyson is an inspiration for me. If he can run at that level of competition, than I can surely get through some tight hamstrings. When I feel like holding back or cutting short, I’ll think of him.

Watching the women run I could not help admiring their bodies. Hey, I’m a guy what do you want? Some of them looked bulimic, but some of them had the sexiest little torsos a man could ever hope to see on a woman. A six-pack looks pretty sweet on these super fit ladies.

As they were warming up they just looked awesome. God, I wish I was a sprinter! After the heat they would show the race in slow motion. I began to notice that those sweet and sexy torsos don’t look so hot when all of that sweet belly is bouncing around. It kinda looked gross. It was hard to believe the difference in appearance of those super fit and trim bodies in motion versus standing around smiling at the camera.

I then had a sudden realization. If they looked like that when they ran, what the hell do I look like? My BMI is about 22 and my six-pack is under a pizza layer of blubber. It’s must be truly frightening when I come down the street in all my glory. like I had just done in Rockland and during parts of the BAA Boston Marathon. Yikes! Hide the children! Sorry folks.

On race day we all do things we might not normally do, like strip down naked behind bushes that don’t have any leaves. Or contort our bodies into odd positions in public to get just the right stretch. Or wear very revealing clothing.

I hope you are enjoying the Olympics as much as I am, and still finding time to get in a run. I’m going to try for 5K at lunch today.

Thank you for reading my blog!

©2012 anagelin

Lobster Weekend

This weekend was the family reunion in Maine . We do this every summer but this year was my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary and their great-grand daughter’s 1st birthday.

Lobster Feast

We spent Saturday enjoying each others company and feasting all day. We started with steamed clams and mussels and then went to the freshest Alaska Salmon we’ve ever had. Caught and flash frozen within hours and then carried from Alaska by my Niece. My brother-in-law and my Niece’s boyfriend expertly prepared, grilled and poached the salmon.

My mother made her white sauce which she loves on poached salmon. I had a piece of grilled and poached without the sauce. While the grilled was tasty, poached had the full unadulterated salmon flavor.

Shortly after the salmon feast the lobsters started going into the pot. My brother-in-law had perhaps the largest pot I’ve seen in a non-commercial kitchen. It must have held 20 lobsters at a time, easily. As the lobsters came out of the pot, we all settled in at the table on the deck or the huge kitchen table. As everyone tucked into their first lobsters, the second wave of steaming crustaceans landed on our tables. The butter was hot and the lobster was sweet.

The lobster feast continued for over  an hour with a seemingly endless supply of lobster. By the time we were all done everyone had had their fill. And there were still lobsters on the table and in the pot.

We had some great New Zealand wines including Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc, a very nice Riesling and a local Sauvignon Blanc. Throughout the weekend we enjoyed a variety of Sam Adam’s Ales and an IPA and “Levitation” Ale from Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, CA. My sister-in-law gave me some Stone Mountain IPA at Christmas and I’ve added it to my rotation of beverages ever since. Great flavor in these ales.

This past week was the 65th Annual Maine Lobster Fest in Rockland, Maine. The event opened on August 1st at 7AM with tours of the US Coast Guard Station Rockland and an Art Show on Maine Street. Rockland and the area have a vibrant art scene. The final event of the day was the 2012 Sea Goddess Coronation. A few years ago my niece Kim won. Members of the US Coast Guard and US Navy escorted the Sea Goddess and her court for the evening.

Throughout the week there is Lobster, Blueberry pancake breakfasts, Art shows and things for the kids to do. They have fun (crazy) events like a blind fold row-boat race and “The Great International Lobster Crate Race” . People pay $3 to see how many floating lobster crates they can run across before they fall into the harbor. I’ve seen it on TV before and none of those “Reality” shows have any thing quite like it. I saw some pretty big boys in line to sign up for it. The Crate Race went from 7AM to 4PM Sunday. I didn’t get to see their race because I was there for my own race.

Maine Lobster Festival 10K

At 7AM I headed for Rockland to pick up my number for the Maine Lobster Festival 10K Road Race. It is a small town race with about 250 to 300 runners each year. Before the start I spoke with local people and tourists from all over the country. It wasn’t as well-organized as some races I’ve been to but the over all experience was very good. I’d give the race organizers a “B”. They had plenty of people on the course to guide us and plenty of cold water at the finish. But, people were a little confused about where the start was and no one was there to tell us.

The course passed The Samoset Resort and that was where our first water stop was. They had one of those McDonald’s coolers that’s about 2 feet deep. The stop was well manned but they were using those little cups that you get tartar or cocktail sauce in. Each cup held about one gulp of water. As the group I was running with converged on the bucket we all dipped our little cups into the water several times to get the ice-cold water that we needed. No one seemed the least bit concerned with anyone else’s germs. It never crossed my mind until later in the day. It was hot and humid and we were thirsty!

They had two other water stops with regular sized cups and plenty of water. Thank God! When the sun shone through the clouds the heat and humidity baked out of the tar roads and roasted us. I guess we got a feel for what a lobster goes through!

The USS San Antonio was in port for The Festival and a group of US Marines ran with us. There were about 12 of them, they started the race in formation, and I think marching. As the race progressed they broke ranks and it was every man for himself. They did start behind me and probably marched a mile or so. Even with their slower start, I am still proud to say that only two of those fine young men finished in front of me. I dueled it out with the two of them for a mile or so, but I’m injured and they are twenty-something. Ego had to give in to reality!

My BAA 5K shirt had been damp the entire race. At the last water stop most of the water landed on my shirt and not in my mouth. Now my shirt was drenched and major chaffing ensued. After a half-mile or so I looked down and saw blood.

I knew at this distance (10K) with this shirt that chaffing was a possibility but I was hoping. So reluctantly, as we turned off of Maverick Street onto Birch Street in Rockland, I took off my hat and peeled off my drenched shirt. My apologies to the good people of Rockland and assembled tourists for the show I then provided for the rest of the run. My big white belly full of lobster and white wine bouncing down the street. I still think it was less horrifying than seeing blood on a bright yellow shirt.

As I came into the finish area I held my balled up shirt against my chest so the photographer and time-keeper and could see my number. The race director still had to ask me what my number was. I managed to get through the short finishing area and grabbed a bottle of ice-cold water. As I drove home that night I realized the tub they used for the water was one of those huge containers they use to ship iced seafood in. The thing probably held a ton of cod at a time. The water was ice-cold and the tub must have been new and unused.

I managed to come in at 55:00 and at an 8:53 pace. Not to bad for an injured guy who had not run at all in five days!

I wondered around the finish area for 10 minutes or so and clapped as runners came in. I grabbed another bottle of water and a banana and moved towards the street. All this time I had been walking around with my shirt stuffed into the side of my shorts. I must have been a spectacle as I’m no Olympic athlete. For what ever reason it didn’t bother me one bit. It was after a race after all.

I drove back to my Sister’s home, took a shower and grabbed a Stone Mountain “Levitation” Ale at about 10:30 in the morning. It was a race day after all. My brother-in-law made a salmon and corn chowder and a lobster and corn chowder. I had a bowl of each and another ale. We finished the meal off with more chocolate and white cake from The Brown Bag bakery.

With full bellies and heavy hearts, we left the clan and headed home.

©2012 anagelin

Friday Post, August 3rd, 2012

I hope everyone has been enjoying the London Olympics. I’ve been having a great time watching but have stayed up way too late every night and my brain is paying the price.

Seeing Michael Phelps win Silver in the 4×100 Freestyle was awesome. After seeing him come up short in his first three races I was beginning to get a little nervous. I began to wonder if all of his time off from training and the occasional bong hit had done him in. I would hate to see a champion like him go out with a whimper. Now he has 2 Gold and 2 Silver and is the most decorated Summer Olympian. I am so happy for him and proud that he is one of our guys.

The Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay is today. In Beijing, this was my favorite event. Seeing Phelps’s team mates going out of their minds as he was coming in for the final touch was something I’ll never forget. I’m looking forward to watching that race when I get home today. Hopefully it wont get spoiled by an errant Yahoo or flash.

How about Gabby Douglas with two Golds? What a fantastic athlete. I watched the individual competition this morning before work and left the house a little later than usual. Poor Aly Raisman did make some crucial mistakes, but to lose in a tie for Bronze? When she grabbed the balance beam we knew she was in trouble. But what a fighter! I’m sure her hometown will give her a hero’s welcome and parade. I hope to see both girls back in 4 years.

Men’s gymnastics was just as exciting. Danell Leyva did an outstanding job getting the Bronze medal. I felt bad for John Orozco. I knew how badly he wanted to medal and what it meant to his family.

I’ve found over the years that I end up rooting for all of the competitors, regardless of their country. I want them all to do well and they all have compelling stories of hard work and sacrifice. Only a few can medal and it’s hard to see strong competitors fall short. It’s worse when this happens due to a questionable call by an official.

I’ve spent some time watching sports I never watch like Field Hockey, Judo, Fencing and Cycling. Seeing Bradley Wiggins win the cycling time trial was awesome. What a quintessentially English character he is. He’s not pretty or fashionable, but I love those sideburns! He seems like a great guy.

We have thirteen more days of excitement to go.  I’m off to Maine for  a family reunion, the Maine Lobster Fest and their 10K on Sunday in Rockland. Should be a great weekend.

©2012 anagelin