Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Remember Remember the 25th of May: Run to Remember (5/25/14)

In front of 60 State Street - still hanging with John Chesto (and Aharon hiding behind me)
Photo by Tofu Pup

Race: Run to Remember 5 miler
Location: Seaport, Boston
Goal Time: 32:30
Actual Time: 32:23 (2nd, Age Group; 15th, overall)

At 5:45, I was definitely dreading this race.  I had planned to run down to the Seaport as a warm up for the race.  I didn't get out of bed until the last possible second and put on my bib number (I could only find 3 safety pins from the bag).  Finally by 6:10 or so I made my way out the door and on toward Kendall Square and the City beyond.

By the time I got to the Seaport, I felt much better and was almost ready to race.  I started out a little slowly. I realized that John Chesto from Greater Boston was right in front of me.  Based on his speed, I figured he was probably doing the Half Marathon.  Also, his half marathon pace is probably close to (if not a little faster than) my five mile pace.  So I figured I'd grab onto his back and follow.

Run to Remember runs right through downtown.  (It's the only race I know of that does this.)  So we ran from the Seaport onto Atlantic and then took the left onto State Street and into the Financial District. It being a three day weekend Sunday - it was EMPTY. Anthony and Amy were stationed in front of my old office building (from now 18 years ago), 60 State Street as we took the right onto Congress.

Apparently Chesto and his buddy realized they had put in a slow first mile and dropped the speed a little. Going into the West End and taking the right onto Cambridge street, I noticed I was having a bit of trouble hanging with them but did my best as we went onto Charles Street in Beacon Hill.  I was, a little spent at this point.  Aharon, who was running the half marathon, had quickly caught back up with me as I slowed at mile two and let the Greater Boston guys go off.  

On Beacon the Half and the 5-Mile split.  I wished Aharon good luck and about 5% of the people in the pack took the left with me onto Arlington and around the Public Garden.  I saw a small group about two blocks ahead of me.  I determined my goal was to catch them.  Little by Little, as we circled the Public Garden and went into Chinatown and Downtown Crossing, I was bringing them back.  Mile 4 was in Post Office Square.  We hit a left onto High and a quick Right onto congress before heading back to the Waterfront.

By the time we reached the new Moakley Bridge back into the Seaport, I realized I couldn't catch that group, despite making up a city block in a mile and a half.  I think this ended my desire.  I looked back atop the Moakley Bridge and there was nobody behind me.  So I just eased my way down Northern Ave. Seaport Blvd. to a dance version of "Sweet Caroline".

I had enough to sprint from Whiskey Priest to the World Trade Center and finish with a 32:23.  This got me 15th overall and 2nd in my age group.  Got to watch other SRR's finish and ran into people - including Kathy DeAmeral who (formally one of my cigarette buddies back in the day) also ran the 5 miler.

Shout outs -
Aharon ran his first long race in a year really well
Kimi had a 5 mile PR!

Aharon and I (with my first coffee of the day)
Photo by Tofu Pup

Friday, May 23, 2014

World Turtle Day 2014: The Turtles of Argostoli (5/23/14)

Last year for World Turtle Day, I told you the story of when Ian and I had to flip a turtle. This year, on the same theme, I present the Turtles of Argostoli.  In Argostoli Harbor there are male turtles that live year round and follow the fishing boats around.  Here are the pictures of them.

Happy World Turtle Day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

100 miles in 20 lines: CRW Spring Century in 4 tankas (5/18/14)

Photo from CRW's album
Event: CRW Spring Century: North to New Hampshire
Ride: Northeastern MA and Southern NH.  Harold Parker Forest and beautiful stretches through Newburyport, Topsfield etc.
Mileage: 104.52 (129.41 for the day)
Actual Time: 7:01:32 - PR! (6:14:18 moving)

miles 1-27
spinning way too fast
charging hills, gunning flats, speed
without that concern
for 75 more miles 
to come. and yet, I ride ride.

miles 28-47
after miles i deflate
sipping silently upon
dark black coffee hot
rest and repose ready me
for the miles left ahead.

miles 47-78
rolling away now
slowed by oversteamed spinning
enjoying chirping
birds and vernal smells of the
merrimac and maudslay spring

miles 78-104
second wind blows on
me like snow eating chinooks.
miles thru exurbs
sail quickly underwheel.
gliding in - hot dog finish.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bling!: Favorite Medals

A while ago someone asked to write a post on my favorite medals from races.  So below is my Top 10 list (in no particular order):

Boston 13.1 - 2010

The 2010 Boston 13.1 was a disaster for many people.  It was the day of a couple big World Cup games.  It started at 7:30 in Milton with very little parking.  It was 80 degrees by the time the race ended.  It was in the Blue Hills so it was ... hilly.   The water stop run by SRR (Aaron, Gwen, SoRad and Adina) ran out of cups - apparently Aaron Beer had to just pour water into Seth's mouth from the jug.

On the plus side; it was the first time I broke 1:40 and there was this cool medal where the inside "13.1" part spun around.

Providence Marathon - 2012

The 2012 Providence Marathon was a great race.  I managed to put in a 30 minute Personal Record and come close to qualifying for the Boston Marathon.   Korynn and I had a great trip with the team, staying at Kate D's cousin's house, cupcakes at Nancy's Fancies, dinner at Sienna, the boys came down to cheer and then the free Gansett followed by lunch at Trinity Brewing.  The medal itself is a nice size and throws in the official symbol and motto of Rhode Island (the anchor and "Hope") with a relief of the state capital building.

Mount Desert Island Marathon Relay- 2011

I did the 2011 MDI Relay with Kelsea.  We took fourth in the 2 person relay and got to cheer on about a bunch of other club members - including Ruthanne and Kate's first marathons.  The weekend got even more activity in when we hiked the Precipice Trail on Wednesday and Scott and I went to Alagash Brewery on Tuesday.  The medal is very large and the 0 in the 10 has the map of Mount Desert on it.

Reykjavik Marathon - 2012

In 2012, I ran a marathon in Iceland.  Iceland was a life long dream of mine to visit.  And I did.  We spent an awesome week traveling the island and took the best hike ever in Skaftafell National Park.  The medal itself is very Nordic.  Sleek with a primary red ribbon.  The design of the medal is clean and is written in Icelandic - which is cool.

Miamiman Half Iron Duathlon - 2011
The Miamiman was a my goal race of the year.  I managed to win the clydesdales and exceed even my wildest dreams in time.   The medal itself was really cool too.  As the run was through the zoo, all the medals were cartoon animals.  The cartoon elephant went well with the division trophy - which was a stuffed alligator.  Thinking maybe going back in 2015 to try again.

Detroit International Half Marathon - 2012
The Detroit International Half ran over the bridge into Canada, back under a mile long tunnel, through downtown and into the finish with a large crowd.  I did reasonable well.  The medal itself was really awesome.  The ribbon has US and Canadian flags.  The medal has the Rennaisance Center, the Ambassador Bridge and Motown references.  Every year the car on the front changes.  2012 it was a 53 Corvette.

National Marathon - 2011
My 2011 National Marathon was easily the worst race of my entire life.  I had quit smoking six months before; I weighed 250 lbs and I had not trained for any sense of speed.  Top that off with my late start because of the stupid Washington Metro and I had a horrid day until Jason and I went to get empanadas. However, the medal is awesome! It is what a medal should be. It's the perfect size (about the whole palm of my hand).  It's stamped with the White House in Medium relief and it's got the bronze/copper tinge to it that make it look like a Victorian medal.  Perfect.

Martha's Vineyard 20 Miler Division Award - 2013&2014
I love the Martha's Vineyard race.  It's on my Top 5 favorite New England races. It's a fun weekend in February to take the ferry across choppy seas.  The Offshore Brewery is a great most-race meet up.  And the Chowder at the end of the race - makes those last 4 or 5 miles worth it.  The Division award medal is really nice.  Stamped in a heavy medal with the logo and the distinct Oak Bluffs lighthouse.  (plus, like the MDI medal the 0 has the map of Martha's Vineyard in it).  In 2013, I took 2nd and got a silver colored one; in 2014 I got the gold.

Pittsburgh (Half) Marathon - 2013
Another cool medal for another crappy race by me.  I blew out my ankle at mile 7 and walked the rest of the half marathon route for my slowest half marathon and yet another failure to BQ.  But the medal is great.  Heavy (but Seth doesn't think it's steel), made to look like rivets hold it together and with one of the Three Sisters Bridges in the background - pretty cool.  

Spartan Race - 2011
To date, the 2010 Spartan Race is my only obstacle race.  The fact that I haven't tried another one in 4 years probably shows how unamazed I was with the race and whole concept.  The medal itself is a great design. Obviously influenced by (ripped off from?) 300, it has the basic black and red.  On the reverse has a little info about the year, etc.   This is Sparta!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rocking the Ride: White Rock Lake (5/5/14)

Trailhead of the White Rock Creek Trail

Ride: White Rock Lake and White Rock Creek Trails
Location: Dallas, TX
Distance: 25.75 miles

Urvi's Monday meeting was cut short, so we headed out to White Rock Lake to rent bikes and maybe see the Arboretum.  The folks at Richardson Bike Mart were fantastic with directions and all the help to rent the same FX 7.2 Urvi and I use as our city bikes at home.

Urvi at Richardson Bike Mart

Heron and Ducks
Creek Bend
Don't Mess With Texas waterbottle



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After returning the bikes, we headed into Deep Ellum to get real BBQ.  At Mama Faye's Urvi had the pulled pork; I had the brisket.

Before our flight (which would later be cancelled) we headed to Dealey Plaza and the 6th Floor Museum.
Book Depository Building, JFK quote, Urvi on the Grassy Knoll and Dealey Plaza

On the Trinity: Texan Urban Adventure (5/4/14)

Urban Adventure begins!
Trip: Trinity River - Elm Branch
Location: Denton - Coppell, TX
Distance: 5.69 miles

The day after Glenn's wedding we headed over to Coppell, near Irving.  Trinity River Kayak has four different trips along the Elm Branch of the Trinity River.  Urvi and I went with the McInnish Run, where they drive you up to Denton and put in.  Then you end up back in Coppell right by where you parked.
Putting in

The Trinity River is fully in the North Texas (Dallas-Ft Worth) sprawl.  Yet, the river itself is hidden from the sprawl and what at times felt like the set to Office Space.  (Turns out Office Space was shot in the area.)  It was a beautiful trip paddling through a bit of nature on the edge of 21st Century American sprawl.
Turtles, Heron, etc.
Urvi, logs, bridges, me
Father and Son on the river

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Loading up at the end

If you are in the Irving/Arlington area, I would definitely spend 2 or 3 hours with Trinity River Kayak.

Riding like a Champion: Campión Trail (5/3/14)

Urvi in Irving

Ride: Campión Trails
Location: Irving, TX
Distance: 15.6 miles

The Trinity River runs by Urvi's cousin's house.  Along the river is the Campión Trails that are pleasant cycling/jogging trails through subdivisions and city parks.  It was a great way to spend the early afternoon.

Fearsome Foursome

George Bush Turnpike
Urvi on the Trail

We found a roller treadmill en route

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After the ride we got ready and headed into Dallas proper for Glenn and Jennifer's wedding.

Clockwise: Urvi&I, that Green building in Dallas, Jason and the Groom, the DART