Monday, June 01, 2009

Race results, more birds, and why I now like softball

The results were posted from Saturday's Northern Lakes Run. I finished in 1:19:46 (apparently I was was either slow to start my watch, or too quick to stop it!), so my new 10 mile PR was 9 seconds faster than my previous best that I posted at Stillwater last year. A fun race! I am still very excited.

On Sunday, I took the day off from running. I went for a hike in the morning up at Elm Creek Park Reserve. It was fantastic. There was hardly a soul there, and the morning was sunny, cool, and a little crisp before eventually heating up later in the day. The park felt like my own personal playground.

Lots of birds; two new ones that I had not seen yet this season included the least flycatcher and the bright blue indigo bunting (he has terrible camouflage). Other sightings included the American goldfinch, Cooper's hawk, American redstart, yellow warbler, brown-headed cowbird, trumpeter swans, bald eagle, sedge wrens (they have them out here too!), downy woodpecker, Eastern kingbird, song sparrow, and tons of red-winged blackbirds. A good day in the wilderness.

A couple of trumpeter swans taking flight in the park on Sunday; what a wingspan!

On a sports-related note, had you told me that I would enjoy watching the NCAA College Softball World Series, I might have laughed at you. However, I watched some over the weekend. And it was great!

I was particularly impressed with the Georgia squad. Whether they were ahead or behind, the players always had the same demeanor; smiling, constantly encouraging one another, seemed to be genuinely having a good time, and were absolutely relishing the experience. Even following their eventual elimination, they still looked as if they had won. There were smiles, hugs, and cheers all around. That was pretty cool and refreshing to see.

Having fun playing sports; what a novel concept! This was in stark contrast to one of the well-publicized sports moments from the weekend where LeBron left the court without shaking anyone's hand after Orlando stomped them (He later clarified that he refused to congratulate anyone because he is a "winner" and a "competitor." Whatever.).

I never thought I would say this, but give me college softball over the NBA any day. Those kids know how to keep a proper perspective and seem to understand what it means to play for the love of the game. Good stuff!

Until next time,
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