**So the NBA playoffs started Saturday; yours truly was at the Orlando Magic-Atlanta Hawks game at the brand-new Amway Center, which is pretty and everything but there was really nothing wrong with the old arena so I’m not sure why it was built.
Anyway, the above pic was in the Chicago Sun-Times Friday. I think it looks awesome. Really cool and would get me fired up if I was a Bulls fan.
**So I am now officially a runner.
At least, that’s what I told myself as I huffed and puffed through my first “serious” 5K race Saturday morning in Port Orange, Fla.
I’d run a couple of 5K’s before, but only for fun and I was never really serious about it. This time, I’d been running for a few months and was finally ready to take the first steps toward eventually running a marathon, which right now seems as unlikely as five minutes of silence from Donald Trump.
Despite running on four hours sleep (yeah, getting up at 6:15 a.m. on a Saturday not exactly my cup of cappuccino), I did pretty well I thought. Finished the race in 33:57, with me sprinting the last 20 yards to get in under that hard-to-reach 34 minute barrier (ha).
I did finish 3rd in the 35-39 male age group, which sounds impressive except there were only about 150 people in the whole race.
Still, I learned a lot about racing, including…
— I felt happiest when I spotted, at the 1 mile and 2 mile marks, little kids holding little water cups for us. Loved doing what I always saw runners on TV do: grab a cup, douse myself, then throw the cup on the ground.
— Decided to run without musical accompaniment, and I liked it. Hearing other people breathing heavy made me feel better about my own exhaustion.
— Thinking you’ve run two miles, then being told that you’re actually only halfway through the 3.1 mile race? Not fun.
Gotta say, I have a ton of respect for distance runners the more I try my meager distances. Next up? I’d like to do 1-2 more 5Ks, and then move up to a 10K sometime in the fall.
Little by little, the marathon dream gets closer.
**Some of the most powerful scenes of the 1960s civil rights movement have unfortunately been lost in memory and forgotten. Which is why I so love stumbling onto stories like this one, from a writer named Rick Cleveland of the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger.
Cleveland writes about the unlikely convergence in the 1963 NCAA men’s basketball tournament of Joe Dan Gold, a white player from Mississippi State, and Jerry Harkness, an African-American star from Loyola of Chicago.
Gold and his MSU teammates had to sneak out of the state, against the governor’s orders, to play Loyola and strike a blow for equality (Still blows me away that in 1963 the governor of Mississippi tried to take away the rights of his players to play in the tournament, just because they’d have to play against black players.).
With no one knowing how the MSU players would react, a simple handshake before the game between Gold and Harkness was a small but powerful gesture for equality.
It’s truly a great story; if Cleveland’s story piques your interest, Sports Illustrated did a fantastic story on the courage of that ’63 MSU team in 2003. Check it out here.