Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Tale of One City: Boston Marathon (4/18/16)

@ 30 Km mark.  Pretty much sums up my race
photo by Urvi
Race: Boston Marathon
Goal Time: 3:00:00
Actual Time: 4:11:57
Pivo Index: 3

It was the:

Best of Times
Last year, at the Boston Marathon, I ran my fastest marathon ever - 3:12:00.

Worst of Times - This year, at the Boston Marathon, I ran my slowest marathon ever - 4:11:57

Age of Foolishness - Despite it being 67 degrees, I tried to run my race plan... That went over poorly.

Age of Wisdom - By mile 14, I figured out that I shouldn't keep trying to run fast

Epoch of Belief - Even at 15k, I thought I'd still be able to break 3 hours

Epoch of Incredulity - At mile 15, I wasn't certain I'd finish

Season of Light - There was not a cloud in the sky

Season of Darkness - Nope, there was not a cloud in the sky

Spring of Hope - I really thought I was ready for a large jump

Winter of Despair - At mile 16, I realized it was still 2.7 miles to get to the 30k mark. Umph!

Nichole, Brian and I before boarding the bus for Hopkinton
Three months and 1000 miles of training led to the moment in Hopkinton when it was time to go.  I had spent the morning with Nichole, Brian and Dave.  At the start line Megan and I started on pace and within our plan.  But it was just too hot...

I lost Megan around Mile 6.  Then around mile 12, I realized this was probably not going to happen. And then at mile 13.95, I officially called my race.  And then things got slightly better.

I fought to run the nearly 5 miles from that point to the SRR tent.  All I could think was I can stop there for a minute.  Maybe sit in the shade and hangout with Urvi. And fight I did.  Every step was a battle against myself.  I vacillated between trying to run fast enough to have a good race and walking.

By the time I turned the corner at the Firehouse, I knew I just had to make it to the SRR tent.  It was so hard and so brutal.  I tried to stay out of the way of people.  I saw Neil Cronin pass me.  For a moment, I thought about catching him and trying to feed off his energy; but, I didn't have it and I didn't want to affect anyone else's mojo.

Right at the top of the turn, I saw Aaron Beer, Jon Bean and a dog - who were the forward spotters for the SRR water stop.  It was so great, it was the best of times.

I made it to the tent.  My fast marathon was long over, but my day had just started...

By Newton City Hall - mile 19
photo by Paul Hammond

Stop 1
I sat in the shade for a moment and hung out with Urvi for a minute.  Keefe came over and gave me a Founder's All Day IPA.  Victor convinced me to eat a turkey sandwich.  After about 20 minutes of rest with the beer, the sandwich and a coke (and cheering on club members who had been behind me), I decided to continue my journey to Copley Square.  I ran along the line high-fiving my club members.

Stop 2
My next stop was with Brendan Kearney at about 19.5.  I talked to him for a while, had a sip of his beer, before moving on.

Stop 3
I stopped off with the Hashers at mile 20.5 and talked to Brendan Caffery and Declan while I drank some Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Stop 4
I ran over Heartbreak Hill and stopped off with Matt Story around 21.5.  I high-fived the whole line of Boston College kids as I went past the Heights.

Stop 5
As I left Cleveland Circle, I made my way done on the right side, since I knew the Chaviers were watching along this stretch.  I heard their yells and come into stop; Amie immediately handed me a beer: "Urvi said you'd probably want this."  So I stopped and talked with Amie and Ryan while I drank a Harpoon IPA out of a red solo cup as I leaned on the baracade.

Stop 6
Officer McGinty was on detail on the stretch between Washington Square and Coolidge Corner.  I pulled over to the side and talked to him for a bit.  He didn't want to hold me up, so with 2 miles and a bit left, I determined to run to the finish.

Collage I made from Saturday's shake-out run and volunteering.
From Coolidge Corner on, I was just soaking in the sights.  Last year, I hadn't been able to enjoy the "experience" that much, since I had been too busy "racing" the race.  I high fived as many children as I could.  I waved to people on passing trolleys.  I made my way into Kenmore and started raising the roof to the spectators.  What was bad weather for runners was great weather for spectators.  Full experience.

I came through the finish and was directed to my tent.  I sat in the back and had a Grey Lady.  Race-wise, it was the worst of times; but event-wise, it was the best of times.

Eating said sandwich at 30K w/ Marc and Brodie Mac
photo by Toledo Steve

Megan and Nichole both ran fabulous races for the heat
Paul Nelson, Florentien, Megan Prokop, Tom Bok and Aharon Wright had PRs
Robert Cipriano WON HIS AGE GROUP!!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Laissez Le Bon Temps Roulez: NOLA and the Swamp (3/31 - 4/3/16)

Urvi and I under the Manchuch Swamp Bridge

Trip: Manchac Swamp Tour
Mode: Kayaking
Distance: 3.86 miles
Sights: cypress swamp, gators, Manchuc Swamp Bridge

The real reason we were all down in NOLA was for Amie and Ryan's wedding.  But Urvi, SoRad, Dean and I took advantage of our free time to go yaking in the swamps.  We got a tour out of LePlace, LA into the Maurpas Swamp Wildlife Area.  Our guide was a crunchy transplant from Wisconsin.



Sara and Dean


Other Scenes from the Weekend:

Canal Street Trolley

Urvi and a Gator

Crescent City Brew Pub


French Market

St Louis Cathederal - BLav, SoRad, Victor, Shark Tank and KarenBWarrior

St. Charles Trolley

Band at the Chaviers

Amie and Ryan
Meet the Chaviers

BLav and Victor

Evangeline Snausages