Thursday, August 29, 2013

What I Listen to When I Run

Jim over at 50 after 40 posted part his playlist today. It got me to think of mine...

yeah.... I guess we are all a bit confused.....

I love my playlist though... the variety of music keeps it all interesting. 500 songs... Some Dubstep, Rap, Country, R&B and some Rock..... My runs never get dull. 

 Don't judge me... It works for me!

What do you listen to?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Training Week 13 Recap

This week's run consisted of a 10k on Wednesday night. The Running of the Wolves 10k is one I have done the past three years. This year being #4. I love this race. It was the first 10k I ever ran. So it holds a special place in my running career.

This race is held on the Assabet River Rail Trail (a bike trail) so they limit the race to only 350 people. It's an out and back race. 5k mostly down hill to start then you turn around and run the second 5k up hill. Its a very challenging race. This year, for the first time the awarded medals to the finishers.

This is a nice heady duty medal. Not a cheapy one :)

14th place, 9th in my age group (18-39  - Boo!) with a 11 second PR!!

It was a photo finish with this guy which I ran with the last mile.
They gave him 13th place :( ... he looks way too happy!

It was a good race. Lots of club members were there which is always cool. Never a dull moment.

My Instagram Pic (follow me if you can find me... I'm not hard to find ;)  )

Thursday - I followed it up with a 5 miler
Friday was a rest day.
Saturday - A 5 miler in the morning followed by a long day of walking in NYC with the family.
Sunday -  A tough 20 miles. Got home late, Woke up late, so I started the run late. The sun was a killer today and I felt like I didn't have enough water. But I got them done!


Clarence DelMar - Marathon #5 - is 5 weeks away. This week coming up's long run is a cut back week. Scheduled is a 12 miler. Which I am looking forward to! The week after that is the Jimmy Fund Walk. The fundraiser walk follows the Boston Marathon course from Hopkinton to Boston. I have another 20 miler scheduled that week. Since the course will be police monitored, a couple of club members, also running Clarence DelMar, have decided to get together and run the course from Hopkinton to Boston College (21 miles). Same as we did back in March during the Boston Rehearsal run. It's perfect! I'm in but I felt bad just running the course, so I found a couple people walking it and I donated to the cause. It's only right.  

So week 14 and 15 are up ahead. After that, it's basically taper time. Thank goodness!!! I am looking forward to it!. If all goes as planned, marathon #6 will be just 3 weeks after marathon #5. Crazy!!

That's it for now....
Have a great week everyone!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Running Something New

As I prepare for Marathon #5

I find myself not wanting to run the same ol' roads I ran for the last marathons. I'm speaking of the long runs when I say this. I hate that I pretty much know the mile markers to every run without looking at my Garmin. Mentally, it kills me. So for the past 3 Sundays, I've been running roads I have never run or even driven down before. Webster, Ma. (where I live) boarders Thompson, CT. I have run into CT before, but usually for 3-4 miles before it loops back.

The first run I did, instead of looping back into Ma., I just kept going straight. I just kept going and going and let my mind wander. Next thing I know I come up onto a 4 way intersection. I look down at my Garmin and I'm 10 miles into this run.

Yikes! I had planned 17 miles. I stop and look at Google maps on my iPhone to see if I could loop around. Eh, not really, so back I head in the same direction I came. I figured I would do my 17 and walk the rest if I had to. But I ended up pulling the complete 20. I felt great!

The week after was my scheduled 20 miler, but since I did 20 the week before, I figured I do the 17 instead. This was also the day after the Spartan Race, so it kinda worked out well. In this run I headed down to CT again, but this time I took a right on a road called Buck Hill Rd. You would think that with a name like Buck Hill, I would have a some kind of clue of what was ahead of me. Nope. It didn't even register until I came up on the steepest hill I have EVER run .... but I chugged along.

I had been keeping an eye on my miles during this run. So on the other side of this mountain I came upon the halfway mark. So again I pulled out my Google maps to see where I was and to see if I could make a loop back into MA somewhere close to home..... NOPE. And why? Because I was in Rhode Island.... Yikes, once again!! I knew we were not too far from RI, but I never realized how close.

So with a heavy heart, and a two heavy feet, I turned around to face that mountain once again. I made it home and was pretty much useless the rest of the day. Ran in 3 states in one run - now that was a first!!

Today, I ran 16 miles and once again I headed out towards CT, but this time towards streets that I recognized but haven't down in about a year. And also in the other direction of RI!! I only ran about 3 miles in CT and the rest were through, Dudley & Oxford, Ma. I just ran knowing that I wanted to loop back this time instead of doing an out and back. By the time I came close to my house, I was still half mile short. I was going to call it quits right there, but ended up pulling the extra to complete the 16 miles.

So these runs were quite the adventure! I'm not too crazy about out and back runs, but being that these roads were new to me, they weren't that bad. These were all solid, quality runs and that's all I can ask for. Next week calls for a another 20 miler. Can't wait to see what adventures I "run" in to then!


Do you runners out there do randoms run like these or do you plan your all you runs?

Marathon day is only 6 weeks away!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I am a Spartan!!!

First, I want to thank Michael from Slowly Tri-ing for the free entry to this race. A couple of weeks back she did a giveaway and I was randomly picked as the winner. Woot!!

This event was held Saturday in Amesbury, Ma. It's about an hour drive from where I live. My wave wasn't 'til 3:45 but I headed out around 10:30am to check out the place and also to meet up with a few friends that were also running it but at earlier times. It's a good thing I left early because the drive there was horrific. It took me almost 3hrs to get there! At times I thought about turning around and going home. But I kept telling myself that this was a small price to pay for a free entry. By the time I got there, my friends had already run their wave and were most likely on their way out. I never got to meet up with them. I did unexpectedly run into a guy that works at my office... Last person to expect there! Ha!

So I hung around and checked out what I could see of the course and the "competition". 

I noticed on the course that people where doing burpees. I was like WTH? Thats dumb. I dont want to do burpees! So I asked someone if it was mandatory and they said you have to do 30 burpees if cannot complete obstacles. Right then and there I told myself, there is NO WAY I was doing burpees!!

3:45 came quick. Before you know I was lined up and ready to go. I made sure to line up at the front only because the first thing we were doing was running up hill and I didn't want to get stuck behind someone. So off we went up the hill, then through the muddy woods for about an 1/8 of a mile, there we find the first obstacle which was 3 walls. Jump over the first one, under the second and through an opening on the last one. Easy enough. Then some more running.

Here is where it gets blurry for me.... I know the obstacles I did, but don't know in what order they were, so I'll just tell you what obstacles they had. 

 - 15 - 20 ft Rope Climb - I was winded when I got there, but climbed up and run the bell with mo problem. But then slipped off it on to the mud puddle below.

 - 30 pound bag carry up a hill for maybe 30 yards the back down.

 - Inverted wall climb

 - Flat wall climb

 - Lifting a 140 pound cement block with a rope up to the top a structure then gently putting it down. (This one was tough!!)

 - 10 rows of monkey bars

 - 3 big puddles of waist deep mud you had to cross

 - Vertical wall climb

 - Truck tire pull - You drag the tire out 10 ft then pull it back with a rope.

 - Drag a 50 pound cement block tied to a chain 10 out then back

 - Thrown a spear into a haystack shaped like a man (made a lucky shot!!)

 - A mud crawl under barbwire that I swear was 50ft long!! This one was tough and my knees took a beating. Rocks can be so unforgiving! Towards the end, you slide into a shoulder deep mud puddle with a wall at the middle of it. To get to the other side, you have to submerge yourself into the mud! That was actually kinda cool!

Towards the end they have the fire you you jump over and right before the finish line the have 3 guys with big Q-tip looking things attacking you as you go by them.

I completed ALL obstacles!!! I did NO burpees!!!

Muddy, bruised, bleeding and tired, but finished!

Top 1%!!!!

This was a cool event. It was well organized and had plenty of entertainment and many volunteers. Though some of the obstacles are tough, they are doable. The Sprint is geared for the masses. What I mean by this, is that everyone and their grampa was running this! Literally!! I saw a guy running with his grand kids! 
I heard some people say that they were training for months for that day. In my opinion, if you are in good of shape, you can do this easily without training. I'm glad that I was able to complete this though. I am in better shape than what I thought!

So that was that. My ride home was the hour it was expected to be. I took my daughter out for some ice cream and called it a night.


I woke up today and I felt like someone beat me with a baseball bat! My shoulders were achy, my arms were sore, my neck was stiff and even my butt cheeks hurt! Maybe I'm not in good shape as I thought I was!! LOL .... The kicker was that today was my scheduled long run for the week. I had to do 17 miles.

But I am a Spartan right?....
I took 3 ibuprofen with my coffee, laced my shoes and out I went.... 17 miles done! I was pretty much useless the rest of the day... :)


Have a great week everyone!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

For Once.... Some Good News

Last week I received an email from the Boston Athletic Association informing me of the date of registration for those who did not get to finish Boston this past April. The dates are August 19th through August 29th. It also informs me of the registration cost - $325!! Ouch!

I was a bit upset about this cost at first. How can they make up pay so much? WTF? Why do pay (again) to finish what I could not on April 15th? I mentioned this to a couple of coworkers and most of them did not understand the fee associated with the marathon. "You mean you have to pay to run?", they would ask. "That's crazy!"

Then I mentioned my dissatisfaction to other runners and the reaction was mixed. Those who have this opportunity to run it again are like me, upset about the cost as well. Others, who do not have this opportunity, this chance to run Boston, would tell me that they would gladly pay more to have this chance at a lifetime. That right there, put it into a whole new perspective for me. What was I complaining about? They were right! I have second chance to be part of one the biggest events in running. Not only is it THE Boston Marathon, but after this past years events, it will be the most sought after marathons in history. There will be those that will want to run it, but can't, and here I am I got a ticket in and all I have to do is pay a fee.

I remember talking to my wife about it after reading the email and expecting her to agree with me about the cost. Surprisingly, the first words out of her mouth were "The checks are in my purse"..... now if were only that easy to purchase other things I want.... LOL!!

So after a couple days, I was pretty much OK with paying this fee. Only a small price to pay to be part of an historic event.

Then today at work I get a call from our HR department. Nothing out of the ordinary. Being in IT, I work closely with the HR department, so calls from them are common. But this call was nothing but ordinary. The HR lady proceeds to tell me that they heard about my entry fee for the Boston Marathon and then told me that my company will cover any cost associated with me running Boston. For me not to worry about it. Just run it!

I think I stood there, quiet, with the phone in my hand for about 2 mins. I was like "wuuut?..... why?.... I don't know wha..."..... Just say "Thank you", she said. A almost started to tear up. I was blown away by this!!!

I just wonder how and who made this decision? I mean, someone cared enough to bring this up to management and then they agreed on it. Truly mind blowing!

With all the bad that goes on in this world, with all the crap that the news puts out there,...  the BS magazine covers I will never mention by name, with everything soo negative that goes on...... 
.... it's good to at least once, just catch a break and get some good news. 

I truly feel blessed today.

We are Boston Strong!