Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Now Where Was I?

The Viper has returned. You all can exhale now.

I said I was leaving, but not for good. Just a little vacation away. And unlike you nerds, apparently, I can vacation without jumping on the innernetz every five seconds. (Though, admittedly, I used a computer once to send a belated birthday someecard.)

However, I knew how empty you would feel without a post from me for five days, so I gave you something to sip on while I was gone. And thanks to Tom and Amy at Runners' Lounge, you got a double dose of the Viper. I hope you cellared my bottled wit properly.

But well before I gave you the slip, I was trying to figure out what my goals will be for the remainder of the year. Should I run more races? Should I start streaking? Should I get faster?

While I was running alongside Lake Otsego toward my five-mile turnaround at what appropriately turned out to be the tavern building at the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, New York, I decided it just didn't matter what I did with my running the rest of the year. Just that I did it.

I have 791 miles logged so far this year. If I average 20.9 miles per week for the next 10 weeks, I'll hit my 1,000-mile goal. I have one more 5-K planned to complete the Shave Your 5-K Challenge. But I have no more race goals. The 50-minute 10-K and the four-hour marathon will have to wait until next year.

It's already been a good year. Why burden it with more goals?

G'Morning Gorgeous
My 10-mile run this weekend in Cooperstown was amazing. The leaves were in full color-change mode, and out across Lake Otsego there was smoke on the water. Believe it or not, the Viper was actually up before sunrise for a run. And it wasn't even for a race. Vacation will do strange things to you.

Taste Test
What vacation would be complete without some boozing with the locals?

First, there was the Brewery Ommegang, which let me peruse their facilities and try their beer for free. I promise I didn't not taint one of the batches of beer with anything too toxic.

I've been a fan of the Ommegang beers for a couple years, and I have celebrated both of my Akron Marathon finishes with an Ommegang variety, the Hennepin in 2008 and Abbey Ale in 2007.

However, the Rare Vos is quickly becoming one of my favorites, if only my local pub would get it on draft.

Ommegang's winter beer, a stout called Chocolate Indulgence, was actually released the week I was there. It's not my favorite of the chocolate stouts, but it's pretty good.

Second was the Bear Pond Winery, which had a pretty sweet deal for its tasting. For $5, you got six tastes and a $5 credit toward a bottle of wine. So, in essence, it was try before you buy, which is a practice I need to get my local spirits vendor to adopt.

The wine was suitable, but nothing knocked my socks off. The Holiday Bear was the most interesting and therefore the one purchased.

A Few Words on Our National Pastime
Yes, I did some drinking and running in Cooperstown, but as some of you have guessed my main attraction was the Baseball Hall of Fame. This has been on my list of things to do for years. If baseball is your favorite sport, you should go.

I was lost in baseball memorabilia for about four hours and enjoyed every minute of it -- except for when they'd repeatedly remind me of Cleveland's 60 years of futility in the World Series. Like all the images of Willie Mays' phenomenal, over-the-shoulder catch of Vic Wertz's deep fly ball at the Polo Grounds during the 1954 World Series, which led the New York Giants' four-game sweep of Cleveland. Or seeing the exceptionally gaudy Florida Marlins 1997 World Series ring. Or just any time I saw any mention of the Boston Red Sox.

That being said, you Red Sox and Dodgers fans can consider this year the Curse of the Viper. I was rooting for a No Sox World Series from the start of the playoffs. (Go Rays!) And I couldn't bear to see Joe Torre and Manny Ramirez make it again. (Go Phillies!) Baseball has smiled on me. Just remember, there's always next year!


Razz said...

Glad to see that you're back. So much has changed. And when I say "so much", I mean "nothing at all". Glad to hear Cooperstown was enjoyable. I could probably get lost in there as well. Especially the Pete Rose exhibit....oh wait.

Sun Runner said...

Or seeing the exceptionally gaudy Florida Marlins 1997 World Series ring.

That loss broke my heart. I'll never forget being crouched on the floor of my college dorm room, in front of my TV, screaming and crying as Jose Mesa gave up the ghost. 11 years later and it still stings.

Jess said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed your vacation! Good to have you back!

Ian said...

I'm glad you enjoyed a beautiful run in Cooperstown. Of course, hailing from Akron I'm sure that anywhere would look beautiful by comparison.

I've never actually been to Akron I'm just basing my judgements on it's proximity to Cleveland. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree and all that jazz.

the erratic epicurean said...

"I promise I didn't not taint one of the batches of beer with anything too toxic."

so you DID add something toxic then? or has being away affected your grammar?

Marcy said...


Welcome back! Spring Marathon, perhaps? Come on you've gotta at least start thinking about it.

Vava said...

I caught the same double negative: "I didn't not taint...". What did not "not taint" it with?

Ms. V. said...

Cooperstown. A stop for Ms. V. at some point.

OHHHHHHHHH, so it wasn't the DODGERS, it was Joe & Manny? You could have cursed them, and left the rest of us alone...

I say 1000 miles is a good goal, and the whole drinky thing, I have no help there.

Glad you're back.

raulgonemobile said...

I'm planning to hit Cooperstown in a few weeks.. never been to Bear Pond, I'll have to check them out.

Glad you had a good vacay.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

In your next post, you need to say something along the lines of "I didn't not untaint the not already not untainted by me taintless (or wasn't not it?) de-tainted taint-free-less untainted trippelbock by not undipping my untainted taint in it. Not."

Then, while the grammar cops are doing the math ("wait, wait! ... carry the 'not', divided by the cubed root of 'un-' multiplied by Pi ... IS THIS WHOLE FREAKIN POST IN BASE 8?!?! Start Over!!") you could have another post ready explaining that grammar's one thing and math is something entirely else.


Show of hands - whose mind is TOTALLY blown?

Please confirm that you did NOT dip your taint in any beer. I'm like Homer Simpson when I hear of a wasted beer: "SOB!! It never had a chance to become my urine!"

Anonymous said...

Yum, Ommegang. Sounds like a lovely vacation. Oh, and the running and the Baseball Hall of fame sound good too LOL.

S said...

Welcome back! Glad you enjoyed your trip. And just keep cheering for the phillies and I'll be happy. We really need to get rid of our LAME "curse" of William Penn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Billy_Penn

Seriously...who gets a curse from a city founder???

C said...

Nice to see you're still full of sunshine and rainbows.

Sun Runner said...


No. Clearly we're dealing with Riemannian sums here, and the next thing you know we're going to have Calabi-Yau manifolds all over the place because that's how convoluted Viper's getting...

akRunner said...

Vanilla-- We're going to have to get some photos of the towpath and other running routes to prove that Akron is pretty.

Aileen said...

*Sigh* Next year...poor Cubbies

chia said...

eh. ehehehe.

He said "taint"

Anonymous said...

Lake Otsego. The resort hotel is The Otesaga.

B. Kramer said...

Thank you anonymous Cooperstown expert. I should have checked my facts.

Laura said...

I really like Ommegang - glad you got to enjoy it! And welcome back :)