Monthly Archives: September 2012

Montreal Protocol 25th Anniversary 5k

On Saturday 15 September 2012 the FSM Office of Emergency management in collaboration with the FSM National Olympic Committee organized a five kilometer fun run. The Montreal protocol became the first treaty in history to achieve universal ratification by the parties to ban identified ozone depleting substances. 

The day was rainy and cool, as good as the weather gets for a 5k fun run.
I came in at 27:55 after my lap of the Palm Terrace parking lot, 27:02 on the first pass of the timer. My son attained a personal best of 33:10.  I would note that Wone took first place in the masters division between Elena and I.
There were no prizes on the line, no awards. I heard a couple runners note this as they trimmed back their pace. Some runners, however, dug just as deep and ran just as hard. Those are the runners I admire. 
Runners who push the pace when nothing is on the line. Who run because they can. Who run in the spirit of seeing “…who is fastest.” Who “…run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.” (Steve Prefontaine). 
I run because I still can run. I pushed my own pace today, which means keeping my juggling balls low, elbows in, arcs short and tight. The balls force the pace of my leg turn-over. Keeping my three tennis balls below the comfort zone – higher is slower, lower is faster – the balls pull me forward at a specific pace. All I do is hang on for the ride. 

Pohnpei Liberation Day 2012 half-marathon

This year Rendy Geminaro, race coordinator for the Pohnpei Liberation Day half-marathon encouraged an open registration. At his suggestion, I signed on with Kolonia Town.

The half-marathon ended with a lap on the state track
The half-marathon ended with a lap on the state track

On race day I discovered I was the only runner representing Kolonia town – I was their last best hope, their only shot at half-marathon glory. Fortunately the mayor was not there as I was three times the age of the rest of the field. Combined.

The track has had the rubber removed
The track has had the rubber removed

The day was sunny, hot, and humid. With a 4:00 P.M. start, the heat was going to be a factor in the run. The weather, however, brought everyone out along the road. Nett and U had the deepest fields of runners. With the race headed out into Nett and on into U, the spectators had a strong interest in the race.

Hamster wheeling towards the finish line
Hamster wheeling towards the finish line

Madolehnihmw fielded three runners, Sokehs and Kitti did not field any runners. I had thought I had heard that a local fleet footed Japanese runner was also running for Kolonia. I had seen him doing some workouts on the causeway, but he was not there.

Nuhk. Tari.
Nuk. Tari. Balls down.

The runners were cautioned to run the official route and to be visible at all times along the route. Any disqualification due to attempting to gain an unfair advantage would disqualify not only the runner, but the whole municipality from the Monday and Tuesday track and field events.

The route started with a lap on the track and then headed down to the intersection of Kaselehlie and Elenieng. A right turn down past Pohnpei campus, and then another right out of Kolonia and into Nett. The turn-around was just shy of The Village in U. The return was along the same route, and again included a lap of the track. Factoring the start and finish line points, my calculations put the route at just a hair over 21 kilometers, or 13.1 miles. I would like to get out with a GPS and confirm this as I do not have a solid measurement on the turn-around point.

I started off a tad dehydrated in part from walking around the Spanish wall ball field where the Kosraean community celebrated their Liberation day. I opted to double cup water on the water stops and by U I was well hydrated. At the turn-around I tossed down half a Gatorade, adjusted my right shoe, and headed back to town. Having run the route a number of times before and what with all of the people out along the road, the run was definitely simply a whole lot of fun. I know, the run is supposed to be a race for bragging rights for the rest of the year. For the young men this is do or feel shamed stuff. A race to bonk for.

The lead runner, however, was a second generation half-marathoner whose father knows how to run and win half marathons. He ran a strong race finishing in 1:29:51, six minutes ahead of the second place finisher. On this route a six minute lead means you cannot see the runner in second, my guess is that he was running inside his comfort zone. Images of him crossing the finish line suggest a runner with fuel still in the tank. My son said the same, noting that the lead runner did not appear tired.

Along the route in U former students called out my name, families invited me to join them at sakau. Kids called out asking for one ball. There was a festive feeling in the air.

Coming into Nett I felt something, a mental sensation. A sense of a bow shock wave of power and energy pushing past me. And for some reason I thought of former president Leo Falcam. I was puzzled but I went with the flow. The energy kick felt good. Thirty seconds later Andrew came up from behind me in his venerable old pick-up truck and headed on into town driving President Falcam towards town. That was eerie.

Being in last place, the cone retrieval crew pick-up truck followed me into town, catching up with me near the state hospital. The crew included an Olympian who ran the 100 meter in the London Olympics. They shouted encouragement. I realized that not many older, slower half-marathoners get to have Olympians and their running partners shouting encouragement. I felt honored.

Trundling in past Ace Hardware I could not help thinking, why would I want to run anywhere else?

When I reached the track I could see my son at the finish line equipped with a digital camera, taking after his father and getting the photo first, watching second.

Finishing list
Finishing list

In twelfth place I came across the line in 2:13:10, a good time for me at the distance. Too much fun on a Saturday afternoon.

The story of Lee Ling and other tales

The ides of August saw school restart. Pants are the new requirement. Even the public schools on Pohnpei have stepped up. At first any green shirt was sufficient at Ohmine, any purple one at Nett. Now the students all have matching shirts, the same hue, with the school crest on the left front side. The students all look very sharp.

Dressed for day one
Dressed for day one

Waiting for his bank loan to come up, not sure what he has in mind buying with the money.

Waiting for his loan to come through
Waiting for his loan to come through

My Gel Evo’s died this past summer, and the 3010s are two years old. I dislike being down to a single pair of running shoes, but deciding which direction to go with running shoes is less clear post-Born to Run. As a statistician, however, I have a hard time arguing with 34 years of essentially injury free running in motion control and stability shoes. Past is prelude, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So the ASICS 3030 seemed like a prudent choice. Thus far the shoe has proven as worthy, but then for a runner who pushes shoes for up to two years in a torrid tropical climate, this is early days.

ASICS 3030 size 11 arrive
ASICS 3030 size 11 arrive

Chasing after an ant nest somewhere in the northeast corner of the living room led to a complete overhaul of the living room, rearrangement of furniture, and the moving of the black television shelving unit to a bedroom. Chaos rules part way through the process.

Autumnal clean-out and rearrangement of the living room
Autumnal clean-out and rearrangement of the living room

I took my daughter on a kayak into a small mangrove channel. The channel was a such a new environment to her that she was scared. Birds were chattering and the mangrove is full of the noises of natural life.

Mangrove channel in Kolonia
Mangrove channel in Kolonia

She does, however, enjoy kayaking in the lagoon.

Water girl kayaking
Water girl kayaking

Especially with friends.

Four women kayak event
Four women kayak event

Boys on bikes, riding up and down the extended driveway. There simply is no going back to a tricycle after one has tasted the freedom and speed of a bicycle.

Easy riders
Easy riders

In 1940 Eleanor Frances Lattimore wrote The Story of Lee Ling. The book has was retired out of a library in Ohio many long years ago, and found it way in retirement to the elementary school library the kids attend.

The Story of Lee Ling
The Story of Lee Ling
Written and illustrated by Eleanor Frances Lattimore
Written and illustrated by Eleanor Frances Lattimore. Copyright 1940 by Harcourt, Brace and Company.
Lee Ling was a little Chinese girl, ten years old
Lee Ling was a little Chinese girl, ten years old

With eight sections, twenty-four contact hours per week, and five preps, staying organized is critical. My syllabi hang from the shelves in the bedroom and are the last thing I review before going to bed at night, the first thing I check when I rise in the morning. From left to right are statistics, ethnobotany, and physical science. Health science is on the right side around the corner.

Keeping organized
Keeping organized

The youngest member of the household was amazed by his visit to a boat a good deal larger than the Toppers he is accustomed to seeing. For days he has talked about getting to “g’rive” the big boat he saw.

Puzzled as to how to "g'rive" the boat
Puzzled as to how to “g’rive” the boat

Twins for a day.

Twins for a day
Twins for a day

This water baby can put in a solid four hours in the water under the tropical sun, no problem. And no sun burn. Just hungry and, after eating, sleepy.

Water baby
Water baby

Did I mention he likes boats?

At a dock
At a dock

A Tuesday lunch at Kaselehlie diner featured a favorite food: hot dog spaghetti.

Tuesday lunch at Kaselehlie Diner in Nett
Tuesday lunch at Kaselehlie Diner in Nett

Sunset over Sokehs ridge can be absolutely stunning here in the tropics. The catch is that there are stunning sunsets most non-rainy evenings. One eventually fails to stop and notice the glorious show going off in the evening sky. This night I stopped to reflect.

Sunset
Sunset