Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cup-o-Hell: Mayor's Cup (10/27/13)

SRR after the Mayor's Cup
All photos courtesy of Anthony White

Race: Mayor's Cup Franklin Park 5k
Location: Franklin Park, Boston
Goal Time: 20:00
Actual Time: 21:02

At Doyle's, Sara Saba sat down with us: "How was the race?"

- Jesse: "Terrible"
- Urvi: "Awful"
- Tim: "Horrible"
- Deb: "I missed the start"

Saba paused, "Well, I guess I'm glad I didn't run it."


Indeed, the night before was my 40th birthday.  Many of us were not really in shape to take on the challenge of a cross country 5k.

Urvi left the house around 10:00 or 10:15 to jog down to Franklin Park.  I laid on the couch as long as humanly possible.  So, at 11:15 I got dressed and out of the house.  I rode pretty hard down the Orange Line all the way to Franklin Park (About 6 miles).  Sweaty and groggy (and refusing to take off my sunglasses), I found my way to the registration desk; got my shirt and number and spoke with Deb - who needed to get back to her car. (turned out that was a mistake)

I made my way back across Playstead Park to the starting line.  By now most of the race was lined up along the edge of the field.  I made the SRR group - which was next to Greater Lowell also - high fives (better achieved than this one..) and "happy birthday"s and "I can't believe you're here"s were the order of the minute.

As the air horn went off to start the race, I dropped into the back of the pack to not get caught up in a 4:30 mile or anything.  (Deb heard the air horn go off but was not near the starting line).  As we ran over the bump of the cricket pitch and across my High School football practice field, I was happy I wasn't with the front runners jockeying for position.

Deb Running across Playstead Park - Three Minutes after the start

Loop 1 - Overlook and White Stadium

In the first loop I was trying to gain my traction.  I found what appeared to be a good pace. As we lapped the outside of White Stadium, I started gaining on people who had gotten themselves into the mayhem of the 4:30 mile to start.

Loop 2 - White Stadium and The Bear Cage Hill

The start of the second loop is right at Mile 1.  I passed that at 6:12, which would be great for a 5k under normal conditions.  I wasn't under normal conditions and knew that would be my fastest of the day.

The second lap around White Stadium leads to the left turn up the Bear Cage Hill.  This is the hardest part of the course.  A brief steep climb up to the old bear cage and then a bit steeper past it.  However, in a 5k it's only at mile 1.5 and any lost ground (such as the 6 people who passed me going up) can quickly be recovered.  (The 8k and the 6k go up it twice and the second time is with about a third of a mile left - so that's where you make your move).

Loop 3 - The Wilderness

Despite my ability to gain back the time lost on the Bear Cage Hill, I was unable to gain back the time lost from Saturday Night.  I hit the second mile and the clock read 13:08 - 6:56 for mile two - umph....

Off we went with the left turn into "The Wilderness" -about as "wild" as you can get two miles from Forest Hills and JP Center.  Soon I completely ran out of energy.  Just all of it sapped from me like some sort of Sci-Fi movie sucking it out.  The winding kilometer through "The Wilderness" felt like 10 kilometers.  Several people passed me here; I passed one injured person.

We came out of the winding trails and atop the chill overlooking Playstead Park.  Under normal circumstances, this is where I start to pick up speed.  My high school days of track, football, cross-country and softball all coming together as the heart to drive me to finish strong.

I merely ran the same speed.

I did manage to sprint the last hundred or so yards - the stretch Jason Manhart and I used to race each other at the end of football practice.  I wanted to break 20 minutes; I tried to break 21 minutes; I finished with a "Masters PR..."

Finishing - Masters' PR


Larissa ran a 18:31 in the Women's 5k
Jenn was the third woman in the Open 5k

Teams -
me, Joe and Scot Dedeoe[sic] were the 7th place men's team
Jenn, Florentien and Urvi were the 6th place women's team

Monday, October 28, 2013

Keeping the Pace: Bay State Marathon (10/20/13)

Pace Team 3:15 - Deb and I

Race: Bay State Marathon
Location: Lowell, MA
Team Goal Time: 3:15:00
Team Actual Time: 3:14:56

Tim, Keagen and I cheered as the race started.  Then I ran into two separate people I knew from Greater Lowell Road Runners (the group that puts on the Bay State Marathon).  Each of them were confused; both Frank and Matt informed me: "The race started."

Tim pointed out: "You're really confusing people wearing your bib number."



Deb was doing the first half of the 3:15 pace group.  So, Tim, Keagen, Jon Silver and I went to see the half marathon race at the 6.5 mile mark.  At some point Jon and I realized we still had to run 3 miles to meet up with the pace group (he was pacing 3:35).

We had a good warm-up jog; cheered the leaders; and, had to convince the timing crew that we didn't need to run over the mat at mile 13 (the whole wearing a number thing again).

At the 13.1 point we cheered the leaders and Andy and Joe came and stood with us.  Right like clockwork, Deb came with 20 people in tow at the 1:37 point and I hopped in and took the sign that read: "3:15 Finish."

Mile 25.5

Now Deb had made friends and talked with people.  Unfortunately, I was running the second half.  This meant:

a) The faster people in the group took off for the negative split;
b) Others slowly fell off the pace as we got to miles 17 and beyond; and,
c) the one guy who was with me was running a marathon so talking 22-26 miles in was impossible.

So I just ran with this big ass sign trying to stay between 7:22 and 7:26 every mile.  (only mile 25 did I slip, but here there was only one guy and I was trying to lead him.)

I came across the finish line 4 seconds under our goal and still carrying the giant sign...

According to the unofficial times I qualified for Boston, that's one of the reasons they are "unofficial."

Tino Pai,

Kate (who paced 3:05), Deb and I after our pacing duties.
It looks like Kate and I got issued the same size shirt.

Harvestfest: Somerville Local First (10/19/13)

Tommy and I missed the "serious face" memo

Saturday was Harvestfest with local restaraunts, beers and two bands - a bluegrassy one and Hornography.

Pretty Things' Spread

Bluegrass Band

Karen and Sara enjoying some Cisco Brewery, Nantucket

Mayflower Brewery, Plymouth

mmmmm... Pumpkin Cheese Cake, the Pub

Amie, Sarah, Sara, Karen and Urvi


Ryan and I getting in some Cornhole

Urvi and I

British Tom (I have no idea...), me, Urvi and Sarah
me and Urvi

That's a big pumpkin you have there

Knights without armor in a savage land
Have Pumpkin, Will Travel

Friday, October 11, 2013

SCIENCE!!: Fractals, Pterodactyls and Texts Monumental (10/6/13)

Activity: Walk and Museum
Distance: 3 miles
Sights: Charles River, Kendall Square, SCIENCE!!
Pivo Index: 2

Urvi and I had planned a weekend together.  Sunday, we were going to go out to Harvard for bike riding and apple picking.

Then, it turned out it was raining.  So, instead we went to the Museum of Science where she could blind me with Science. SCIENCE!!

I don't know when I first learned of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Perhaps they have always existed in my reality; perhaps it stems directly from reading Karen Armstrong's History of God fifteen or so years ago. Either way, I have owned a hard cover translation of them for nearly 15 years.  And, in that time I've probably read 10% of it.

Vases, figurines etc.  

This mysterious sect - the Essenes - lived in the area around Qumran at the edge of the Dead Sea.  And it appears that after the destruction of the Second Temple in the Jewish Revolt, the Essenes hid their texts in cliffs near the Sea.  They stayed hidden until the year before Israel was created a Jordanian-Palestinian shepherd boy found the first scrolls while looking for a goat... (I guess he was a goatherd.)

These texts have led researchers to connect the Essenes with the Zealots at Masada and the small movement of Galileans near Capernaum who followed a teacher from Nazareth.  What they probably show is a general theological and philosophical belief system upon which both the Zealots and Jesus also built their own teachings.

But I digress.  These 972 texts found throughout the area around Qumran have become a rich treasure trove of documentation on first century Middle East.  There were people there interested in the Ancient Near East (discussions of Linear B swirled around me while we waiting in line); there were people taking their kids to see biblical history; and, even a Rabbi showing young Hebrew students the changes in letters from the first century until today.

There were probably only 12 fragments on tour, but it was amazing to see not only the texts but also some of the archaeology to put it into context.

It's Electric!

Urvi - Normal Distribution



The Sun...

Afterwards we wandered through bits of the Museum en route to seeing Rocky Mountain Express at the IMAX, and Explore: The Universe at the Planetarium.

Thomas Dolby-She Blinded Me With Science by adiis

We finished off with a light dinner and beers at Meadhall.  I had the Westmalle Tripel, maybe the best Trappest Tripel I've had.

#deckaday update:

Tue 10/1 - 208 Push-ups/208 Sit-ups; 26:05
Wed 10/2 - 208 Pus-ups/208 4-count leg lifts; 26:49
Thu 10/3 - 208 Push-ups/208 ab wheel crunches; 28:24
Fri 10/4 - 208 Push-ups/208 Cross over crunches; 20:51
Sat 10/5 - 208 Push-ups/208 "Spiderman" planks; 26:21
Sun 10/6 - 208 Push-ups/208 4-count crunches; 25:15

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Challenge: #deckaday

I only wish this was the deck I was using

It's October that can only mean two things:
1) Malty or pumpkiny beer and,
2) Random physical challenge.

Last year it was Halftoberfest - four half marathons and a full marathon in one month.  This year, I'm engaged in a new challenge #deckaday.

The basics are one deck of cards: shuffled.  As you turn over a card, if its black do that many push-ups (2-10, J=11, Q=12, K=13, A=14); if it's red do that many sit-ups.  Time it and post it to "social media." In my case twitter.

O' zapft is! (It's tapped) Day one is done in: 26:05.

To be honest, my back hurts from the sit-ups, so I'll probably not do those any more, but mix in four count leg raises, cross over crunches and other countable ab work instead.

Also, I had Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale - not impressed.

Blood on the Street: Revolutionary Nahant (9/29/13)

Race: Nahant 30k
Location: Nahant, MA
Goal Time: 2:15:00
Actual Time: 2:18:54

I didn't really prepare properly.  When we got to Nahant, I realized I didn't have either my Gu or my nip guards.

Bleeding throughout and then finally the hills at the end, I was just destroyed.  Yet another terrible race in a year of terrible races.