race In response to an internet post by Leo Amari about the clinic


I Don't know how I'll ever dig myself out of this one, but I'll try. From Leo's posts it sounds like he and Corrinne were in Foglesville (Pop. 27) with me, but his Evil Twin went to some wild Frat party or something then came home and wrote about it on the racewalk list. I can assure you NOBODY was force-fed funnel cakes, and the chicken walk was only doled out to those who truly deserved it.

Yes, it's true that (unnamed airline that rhymes with Melta—as in "We gonna melta your dreams of ever getting your luggage back in one piece...") decided that they wouldn't have enough time to have the gorrilla bounce up and down on my luggage if they gave it to me when I got off in Philadelphia, so they figure'd they'd keep it for a while—like they do +/- 80% of the time I fly them. Usually I take advantage of the situation by immediately going out and buying a pair of racing flats then sticking them with the bill, but Friday I was just tired and wanted to get to F'ville. Which I did, with Eileen, our fearless hostess, AFTER fueling up the tanks with—what else?—Gorditas at Taco Hell.

The Friday evening pizza fest went off without a hitch. I know to carry my racewalking videos in my carry-on luggage, so we had those to, the pizza was great, there was STILL hot water to be had at the Comfort Inn, and Leo didn't tell us his life story until AFTER everyone else, so the others were able to nod off or leave without being passed over.

Knowing I had an early day on Saturday I hit the sack at 11:00. The first fire alarm didn't come until almost 11:30, so I did get a good 10-15 minutes of sleep that night. Then the front desk called at 11:45 to let me know the luggage had been located and was on its way; the Lost Strangers knocked on my door looking for whomever it was they thought was supposed to be in room 211 at 12:00; then the second fire alarm hit at 12:30; the front desk called again at 12:45; and then finally my wet, mis-shaped luggage appeared at 1:15. By then I couldn't sleep, so I spent the next 45 minutes watching bimbos showing off their tatoos on the Howard Stern Show. So I was all fired up and ready to go for my 7:00am wake-up call.

Saturday's technique sessions went off without a hitch. Many made dramatic improvements, but sadly, Leo has been retired from the US Sprint Walking circuit. To set the record straight, I DID say that Leo's lovely wife, Corinne, wasn't being held back by her efficient technique. Some people can make dramatic improvements by tweaking their form, others are already very efficient and need to work on ratcheting up their training. Corinne's technique is as good as I've seen on people walking 5-6 minutes faster than she is for 5K, so the only thing for her to do now is to train more, and more intensely. If it was somehow construed that I was saying that Corinne should dump that Leo character and start making advances towards Robert Korzienowski, that was not my intent. For the record, Leo and Corinne make a lovely couple and I want them to do everything they can to make it work—separate vacations might be a good start...

Saturday night was filled with opportunities: The National Track Cycling Championships at the Velodrome; The Meteor Hike to watch the Perseids; the Wine Tasting at the Vinyards; MusikFest. No consensus was reached, so groups separated off to partake in each of these activities—although I don't know how you can watch meteors or bike races in the pouring rain, but at least it was a good subsitute for the water that should have been coming out of the Comfort Inn's shower heads, but wasn't, due to an Act of Clod—the knucklehead who broke through the water main with the backhoe...

Anyway, I set out to see Tony Bennet at MusikFest, but apparently the weather caused his toupee to shrink so he was off stage before we even got there. So it was a choice between Polka and Scottish Folk Music. We went with the Haggis. The main entertainment was watching the Artists Formerly Known As Deadheads trying to modify their Grateful Dead dancing to Celtic rhythms (or lack thereof?) I'm finally at the age where I can fear for our future as a nation, like everybody else. Kids these days are screwed up, huh?

The weather cooperated well enough Sunday morning so I went with a lecture on racewalk physiology. Although I may have hinted that funnel cakes were THE perfect source of nutrition for racewalkers that was not my intent. You can definitely get all the fat, carbs and protein you need from Taco Bell, cheeseburgers, Pop Tarts and Cap'n Crunch, so DON'T necessarily change your diet based on what you may have read in Leo's posts!

After the lecture came the threshold workout/test. The goals were: 1. To walk with very good technique for 24 minutes. 2. To walk fast enough, if technique allows, to get your heart rate up to +/- 90% of max so that you could learn how to do a threshold workout. 3. To do so wearing a heart rate monitor so that I could plot out a heart rate curve to determine threshold and maximum heart rates. (Max heart rate formulas are WAY off for most people, so I like to let people know what their true max HRs are.)

There was one minor problem for the men when one participant practically pulled her top (sans jog bra) over her head to to let us all know that her monitor strap was on correctly, but after that everybody--and I'm proud to say Even Leo--looked great, and most were able to walk well enough to get in a good workout.

After the workout I foolishly agreed to lead a group of 15 women to a shoe store. It was my understanding that it would be an instructive shoe lecture, but the store agreed to give us 50% off on apparel so it was exactly the feeding frenzy that Leo described. (Note to self: NEVER AGAIN!) The afternoon lecture began with the much misunderstood discussion of the test data. After giving out true max heart rate values I thought I'd show how wrong the max heart rate formulas were by having a few people "calculate" their ages based on the max heart rates numbers I gave them. When it turned out that Corrine was, in fact, Leo's mother, the final seeds were sown to the demise of their marriage. By now I'm sure Leo has purchased that red convertible and is busy cruising Kingston High School for chicks, and Corinne is settling in happily with Mr. Korzienowski. But that was never my intent, and I'm truly sorry.

In the end, I'm sure it will all work out. Leo will find that coed, Corinne and Bob will make it to Sydney, Eileen will get her sanity back, and I'll live down this past weekend.

On to Boulder...