Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boston Marathon 2009

So, once again I find myself on the sidelines watching the Boston Marathon. But this year, there is a difference. The knees are healing. I am beginning to re-introduce running into my workouts. I've got a long way to go, but things are looking good. I'm looking forward to posting the account of my "return to running"!

Sunday, April 19th

Had lunch with Elizabeth and two of her friends from Cleveland, Amie and Barb. It was a nice lunch at Bertucci's (especially nice for the extraordinarily short 5-minute wait) in Harvard Square. Nice to talk running for a change. I'm really missing it and am more motivated than ever to get the strength back in my knees and hit the roads and trails again.

After lunch I drove them over to Marathon Sports -- Amie was in need of a few more energy gels, and then dropped them off at Copley near their hotel -- after wishing them a good run for the marathon.

Monday, April 20th - 113th running of the Boston Marathon

Anita and I found a nice spot just before the beginning of Heartbreak Hill, right around mile 20. Seemed to be almost perfect running conditions early in the race. I'm guessing mid to high 40's with just a light breeze. As the day wore on, however, the temperature seemed to drop and the wind picked up (headwind for the runners).

The first of the wheelchair athletes had already passed when we got there, but soon after the elite women came by. At that point in the race Kara Goucher was right in the front of the lead pack. Kara finished third, only 9 seconds behind the winner, Salina Kosgei. Second place Dire Tune was only 1 second behind Salina.

The elite men came quite soon after. Ryan Hall was already in third place, though still within sight of the two leaders. He would finish third, 58 seconds behind Deriba Merga. Ryan finished 8 seconds behind the second place finisher, Daniel Rono.

Now came the most difficult task of all...

Spotting Elizabeth! ('cause she's so fast, right?)

Twice over the last three years I've looked for her without success. This year was going to be different. She gave me her predicted pace. I calculated when she would pass mile 20. And then I almost missed her. Almost...

So there she is, running in top form, looking great at 20 miles! [Yeah, crappy video from my cell phone.]

Unfortunately, I missed Barb and Amie (though I'll have to check my cell phone videos against their times -- maybe they're in one of them). [You'll just have to come back and do Boston again! If I'm on the sidelines, I'll find you next time.]

So now...

Congratulations Elizabeth (3:16:30) -- great run! Think you were close to your goal, right? [I see a sub-3 in your future.]

Great run, Amie (4:11:09) -- pretty damn good for your third marathon!

And Barbara (3:28:25) -- WOW! You won your division at Boston! That was well ahead of your prediction.

And congratulations to all the other runners who made it through the 113th running here in Boston.

So that's all for now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Runner's Blessing

For all you runners, this is for you. My new song, "Runner's Blessing".

Copyright 2009, Winikka Music (BMI)

A high quality digital download is available at my website, kurt.winikka.com.

Run in harmony!

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's April Already

And still no regular running.


Apparently, two miles in one week was just a bit too much for my right knee. So here I am a couple weeks later getting ready to test it again. Persistent, aren't I?

I think I need to change the name of my blog to "(Running seems to be receding) fast and far".

So -- on another note...

I wrote a song about running. I was taking a song-writing class from Bob Franke and I was having problems coming up with my songwriting assignment. He asked about hobbies. I mentioned running. "Write a song about the meaning of running!"

Thanks a lot, Bob.

At that point, I think that was the last thing I wanted to do. Running means so much to me, and not running has been really pretty depressing. It's something that has been at the core of me for quite some time. I mean, I know a lot of these running blogs are all about trying to find the meaning in our running, but to try and explain it in a song just didn't seem right. Can art explain music? Can music explain art? Aren't they all about trying to understand the human condition? Finding truth and beauty in the world and our lives? How can a song explain the meaning of running?

Not to mention that I CAN'T RUN RIGHT NOW! So why don't I just give myself a paper cut and drip lemon juice over it?

I was wrong.

Maybe a song about running can say something about life itself.

I'm actually quite happy with how the song came out. Kind of inspired, actually. I'm looking forward to putting it out there for the running community. I've got a basic demo recorded and I'm just putting the final touches on that mix. [It's not a full blown arrangement or anything -- just guitar and voice -- but I think it's worth putting out there.]

I'll put a link up this weekend.