Thursday, April 26, 2007

Boston Weather

Just so no one out there thinks that last week's Boston Marathon weather might be typical (in the end, conditions were really not too bad for running)...

In the week before the marathon, it was cold and there was a mixture of snow, sleet and rain.

One week after the marathon -- 7 days to be exact -- the temperature hit a sunny (Phoenix-like) 90 degrees.

90 degrees.

That is one of the many factors that makes the Boston marathon unique. You really have no idea what the weather will be like until the race starts.

Back to the heat... Monday was a day off (so I missed the hot day). I ran about 6 1/2 miles on Tuesday. It was well into the 70's. I was dying out there, but happy to be running on mostly dry trails again.

Today was almost perfect. Low 60's. I ran almost 6 miles at lunchtime (trails again).

Not much else to report.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Kevin Spacey Made Me Run 2 Extra Miles

The weather in Boston was absolutely spectacular this weekend. Everybody was outside -- especially on Sunday.

Sunday was also supposed to be my first run over 8 miles in about a month. [I did a couple 9 milers as I was recovering from the marathon, but then cut way back to help the hamstring injury heal.] The plan was 9 miles -- down to the Charles River, across the Harvard Bridge (Mass. Ave. -- that's the one in the picture at the top of my blog), and back along the other side. But Kevin Spacey thwarted my plans.

Turns out he's filming his new movie 21 in and around Boston. On Sunday they completely closed the Mass. Ave. bridge. Couldn't even run across the bridge (through their set, of course). If I had just turned around and gone back home, I would have been about a half mile short on my run. So instead I kept running and crossed over on the Longfellow Bridge. That added about 2 miles to my run.

So I did 11 miles instead of 9. That's the furthest I've run since the marathon -- and it felt long. My legs are stiff today.

It's all Kevin Spacey's fault.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Evening Run (and a haiku)

twilight's last glow
reflecting across the lake
-- tomorrow's hope

Yesterday I grabbed my gym bag as usual when I went out the door in the morning. Unfortunately, I forgot to put my running shoes into the bag. I had taken them out to dry after my previous run in the rain. So I worked straight through lunch and figured I'd leave work at a decent time and run from home. But of course I ended up working until 7:00. By the time I got home, it was getting dim. Not to be deterred, I laced up and headed out for 5 miles (twice around Fresh Pond). When I started running, and looked west across the pond at the last light of evening reflected in the still water, I was just stunned. It was so beautiful. The haiku was complete before I finished the first loop.

The hamstring has definitely improved. I can still feel it after a run, but it is much better. I'm looking forward to a short run tomorrow, and then 9 miles Sunday morning along the Charles River.

And so the mileage starts to increase. If all goes well, I'll be running the Boston Run to Remember on Memorial Day weekend.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Boston 2007 Pictures

Just a couple pics from today's race...

I was standing at mile 20, right in the middle of Heartbreak Hill. We have friends who live right there on Commonwealth Ave. (VERY convenient). They had a brunch/party today and I just sort of crashed it for a bit.

The weather was not great, but it could have been a lot worse. Deena was with the lead pack right into Wellesley (where she had to heed the call of nature). By the time the women reached this point (mile 20), it was down to these three. Lidiya (number 6) would eventually outpace the others in the last couple miles.

Deena still looked awesome. At mile 20 she was in 5th place, but had someone right behind her. I'm not sure when she pulled away, but at least she got a top 5 place (I think it was worth 1 point in the marathon series).

At mile 20, the lead pack for the men was still huge. There were probably two dozen running right together. By the top of the hill, the front 7 (I think) pulled away. If you watched it on TV, you know that Robert Cheruiyot very impressively pulled away not long after that. He's the one on the right wearing number 1.

After watching and cheering for some of the masses, and warming up at our friends' house, I had to head into work (yuk!). [And these uploads were delayed because when I got to work I discovered we were under an internet attack and our networks were on their knees.]

Lastly, prayers go out for the victims and families of all those involved in the terrible shooting incident this morning at Virginia Tech.

Hyannis Pics -- As Promised

Hyannis Marathon - February 2007

Prior to the race:

The starting line (obviously). I'm way back.

Anja enjoying the beach and scenery while waiting for me at the 5 mile mark. (Yes, it was very beautiful -- even for the runners.)

The infamous shirt change at 18 miles. (Somehow I knew Anja would be here with her camera.)

Just after finishing (ready to hurl).

Me and my bud -- Bill Rogers (really nice guy).

That's all.


Saturday, April 14, 2007


Yes, the other reason I've been a bit quiet on my blog is because I have also been recovering from a minor, but chronic hamstring injury.

The hamstring has been bothering me for about 6 months. I trained through it for my last marathon, but I suspect it was one reason I did not race at my potential. It never got really bad, but after every long run, and every hard speed or hill workout, it was there. Just lingering in my butt.

So I decided that I wanted to really give it a chance to heal before I take my training up another notch in my quest for a BQ. As I was doing my recovery runs after the Hyannis Marathon, I was keeping track of exactly how the hamstring was doing. As soon as my mileage got back up into the 20's (for the week), the tweak in my hamstring came back. So I cut back, and then cut back some more. For the last two weeks, I have only run twice per week (and only about 4 to 6 miles each time). This last week things were feeling much better, so I plan to start increasing the mileage again.

As you can see from my updated schedule, I'd like to do a half marathon on Memorial Day weekend. As long as I can start increasing my mileage in the next week or so, I should be able to pull that one off. The serious training starts in late June and I'd like to get back up into the 40's by then. I'll have to see how the next couple weeks go.

Meanwhile, good luck to anyone running Boston on Monday. It's going to be miserable weather, but I sure plan to be out on the course to watch Deena kick some ass. I tentatively plan to be on Heartbreak Hill (we have friends who live there). Since they moved the race time up, I'll be able to watch the competitive runners on the hill and then at least the front part of the masses. I'll have to head back into work in the afternoon.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Two Haiku

sweeping swirling
snow gently drifts down
-- a soft white blanket

snow melt mud
clinging to shoes,
running free

These were the last haiku of the Winter and the first haiku of Spring. Both were written in my head during runs. The first one was about a month ago. I thought it might be the last snow of the Winter. Yeah, right. It snowed yesterday -- April 12 -- then turned to sleet and then rain, and then rained out the Red Sox game I had tickets to. [At least the game was rescheduled.] The second one was written when I did my first run back on the trails after the snow and all the ice had melted and the rain finally let up enough to get out onto the trails. It was muddy.

Yes, I know, I haven't posted in a very long time. My post-race recovery turned into a bit more of a break from running. Not a complete break, but a more complete rest period. So I took a break from blogging as well. At least the writing part. I have still been reading all of your blogs out there (and commenting occasionally).

So, I still owe everyone at least a couple pictures from the last marathon, and an explanation for the prolonged absence. Look for my next post. Soon.