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Posts Tagged ‘Track and Field’

Michelle Holland, Hilary Lorenz and JJoseph Martinez, Rio Arriba County Recreation Director

Runners Michelle Holland and Hilary Lorenz with Joseph Martinez, Rio Arriba County Recreation Director photo by Ginger Legato

March 21st and 22nd was the qualifying games for Rio Arriba County, New Mexico Senior Olympics and wow was it fun. Normally I am excited to age into a new  racing category, but I was not so fond of 50 until I joined the games. You can see  my last post on how it  transpired.

The above photo is of Michelle Holland who won the 10K at the local, state, and national games, setting a record in that placed her in the top 10 best times in the nation. Local qualifying is easy because there are few people in the 50-60 AG,  fewer runners overall and most of them are men. We ran, but there was no need to kill ourselves racing it out. Many of our distances were combined. We ran a 400 (1:24) but they also clocked us at 200 meters to get a qualify time, if we want to race it at state. We ran the mile, pretty easy pace, 7:00, and they clocked our 800. Next weekend we will run the 5k. After that we have 11 weeks to get in shape for state. With 11 weeks of training and dropping almost 4,000 feet of elevation, I plan to breeze in on a 6:00 mile or better.

Hilary Lorenz during 400m

Hilary Lorenz during 400m photo by Ginger Legato

The best part of the day was cheering for and timing the other athletes. A total of 82  participated, and most will go to state. I would guess the majority of people I met were between 75 and 87, with the oldest athlete  97, and they are kicked ass. Let’s face it, aging is scary because the majority of people don’t give a shit, are lazy and they let themselves fall apart. Most people around us, and many of our family members, do not exercise, have heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, and are obese. What a terrible role model for aging, of course it looks scary, and it is completely unnecessary! Yes, some of these athletes are over weight and have heart conditions but it does not stop them. I watched an 80-year-old man kick ass, and I do mean kick ass, on the 100 meter run. He  won state previously and is going to nationals. After I congratulated him, while admiring his perfect posture and quick cadence, he puts on a big grin and says, “and I have a pacemaker.” He was not about to let his pacemaker get in the way of being super fit and compete hard. Another athlete running the 800 has a leaky mitral valve and atrial fibrillation, but so what? Is he suppose to sit on the sofa and “take it easy” until he dies? How horrible! No, he ran and then he biked 40K. People do not need to be  agile to compete, there are tons of sports to choose from. There is  an estimated pace 400 and 800. In this race, you estimate how long it will take you to walk the 400 or 800. You then walk it and whoever is closest to their estimated time without going over wins. So the woman who walked the distance a cane,and got teased for having a performance aid, may be a slower than a sure-footed walker but could win the race.

I am so proud to represent Rio Arriba County in the State Games at Roswell in June. I plan to run the 400, 800, 1500 and 5k. I am also very proud to be on the  Dashing Whippets Racing Team and of course I had to wear that shirt for inspiration, I am guessing it was the first of the Whippets runners to go in the Senior Olympics,  and my Front Runners New York sports bra underneath for that support. (no pun intended).  And as I said in my last post, my goal is to represent Rio Arriba in the Senior Olympics for the next 50 years and win several  national level races.  I have come of a new age and I am excited! Fifty is going to be all right.

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If you think I am sitting at outdoor cafes along the Canal Grande seeping wine or drinking espresso you are dearly mistaken. In the last 6 nights I have not eaten at a restaurant, only once had espresso, and have only had one glass of wine at a cake party last night.

You must think I am crazy to not partake in all kinds of extravagance in Italy, but Venice does not seem extravagant in behavior, in art and history yes.
Last night the party, made by Tuey, one of the Guggenheim interns who works at the American Pavilion, started at 6:30pm near a church. The entire square was completely empty. Tuey made a cake, named “Patrick” and we all sang Happy Birthday. The party was very well represented with friends from Norway, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Australia, Japan, the US and my personal favorite Canada. I am sure I am leaving someone out.  At 9:00pm we went to a bar to listen to a band. The bar was filled with the young fun people of Venice. Because I live in Lido, kind of like Brooklyn to Manhattan, I went home at 11:00. (Or maybe because I am old and I hate being tired in the morning) The boat I came on had stopped running so I had to walk to the other side of Venice. There was no one on the streets as I navigated the narrow passageways. I got to the vaporetto and waited 17 minutes to get my boat to Lido, another 15-20 minute ride. I realized today that it already seems normal to take a boat to work. I had not even noticed that there are no cars or bikes in Venice, but clearly one sees the canals filled with boats moving people, fruit, furniture, everything that the island needs.

On a typical day I am up at 7:30 and out the door at 8:30 to be walk around to see anything that is open. Today I saw an amazing video exhibition by Lech Majewski called the Bruegel suite at Chiesa di San Lio, the Church of San Lio. The video used paintings of Bruegel with real like actors in period dress performing events up to and including Christ’s crucifixion. Just thinking about Bruegel and crucifixion you can you imagine how intense this is. And being shown in a church in an alter piece format it is pretty hard to top.

I also visited the first market, the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frai, one of the largest churches in Venice, completed in 1440. It has a treasure trove of art from Titian including his tomb, Bellini and Donatello. Next door is the Scoula Grande di San Rocco completely decorated by Tintoretto who spent 23 years filling the interior with depictions of the saint and his heavenly consorts. This is the most spectacular thing I have seen.

Lech Majewski

San Roco

The other excitement, a man asked me for my autograph today. It told him I am not the artist and he said, “I know but YOU are the runner on the tank.” Yes, I really like giving my autograph.

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Venice Biennale

Running in the Venice Biennale. The biggest and most illusive artist dream is to be in the biennale, and one never knows how they might get here. Never in a million years would I think running would get me here.

I arrived on Sunday and look the waterbus to Lido. Lido is kind of like Brooklyn to Manhattan. The biennale is just two waterbus, vaporetti, stops from the apartment. It was cool and rainy so I was not sure if I could run on the tank. Fortunately it cleared up and I did two “performances.” It was really cool. I wanted to start laughing but I had to stay serious and keep my head up looking at the lamppost. Seeing the tank tracks moving under me incited a bit of vertigo.

I watched Sadie and Dave’s performances after mine, they are really cool. The pavilion rooms are small and you are very close up to the performers. There is huge tension in the room. You can hear and see them breathing, feel the pressure when they are balancing on the airline seat sculptures. We each perform for 15 minutes, first me, then Sadie, then Dave, then me again. Clearly I have it easy and don’t need much skill to run. The treadmill is very slow only on 5 mph because the tank shakes. This lets me practice quick turnover to make it look like I am running faster, with 180 steps per minute. Clearly Said and Dave have the real skill.
They have been performing all summer and previous to the exhibition were choreographing.

Got to run, it is time for me to go again. More later

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