Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Training for my first Ultra

So now I've finally done it.  I've really screwed myself.  I registered for an Ultra: the Vermont 50K.  Can't friggin wait!  Oh, but first I must get in shape for this 31 miler.  Luckily, I live right across the street from Franklin Park's "Wilderness", where I've found an awesome 1-mile loop for early morning and late evening training runs.  It pretty much has it all.


A hellish climb (151 steps)

Fire road

Exposed rock
Looking forward to logging many miles on these trails this summer!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Boston Marathon 2013

To put closure on this, I finished the race.  I was happy with my time.  It doesn't really mean anything though, with what happened and all.  It's been almost 2 months since the bombs, and I'm still not sure what to say.  I suppose what would be easiest is to copy and paste what I emailed to a friend after he called me from his boat in the Atlantic Ocean, Bahamas.

Chef Chris,

Got your voicemail, thanks for checking in on me.  Crazy and sad day in Boston on Monday, I can't believe this has happened.  Thankfully though my family is all fine and so am I, except for broken hearts, sadness and disbelief.

It was a beautiful and perfect day for running a marathon, partly sunny and cold (50s), and I had a decent race, finishing in 3 hours 18 minutes.  A little off my goal (3:14) but I was happy nonetheless.  And I felt really good after the race, much better than normal, and I even got an appetite pretty quickly after finishing.  After getting my space blanket and bag from the bus I made my way back to Kenmore Square (Mile 25) where my wife Emily, daughter Parker, sister-in-law Adrienne and her 1 year old son Cal as well as some other friends were located and cheering on the runners.  I felt so good that I was telling Emily that I was thinking of going across the street to the frat party to bum a beer and a grilled burger, and I was dancing in the grass with Parker while looking for some of our NEAq team runners.

Then the booms happened.  We thought it maybe was fireworks, but not sure, it was much louder than fireworks would have been.  Within minutes, word got to us via our and others' smartphones (twitter, facebook, other media) that there were explosions at the finish line, and unmarked cop cars were zooming past us at what seemed like 100mph.  Not only was I worried about my family, but I also had to think about our team runners.  There were 19 of us, including me.  John and Deb (I think you know both of them) were in Newton, at Heartbreak Hill (Mile 21) cheering on the last of our runners and I called them to see if they knew what was going on.  They didn't of course, so we hung up and tried to learn what had happened while at the same time trying to account for our team, all the while fielding dozens of phone calls and text messages flooding in on our phones.  Eventually we (me, Emily, Parker) made our way home on foot (the subway was shut down for a bit) to get somewhere safe and also watch the news.

In the end, 12 of our runners were not able to finish the race.  10,000 total runners were not able to finish the race.  3 people are dead.  150+ were injured.  2 brothers each had a leg amputated from the shrapnel.  There is still no suspect.  Who did this and why?

It's been 3 days and we are doing much better.  We are Boston and we are resilient and we are strong.  Life goes on, but with a lot more police on the street corners and in the T stations.  How will next year's Boston Marathon be?  If I am able to get in with my qualifying time, you better damn believe I'll be out there running the race for the 10th consecutive year.

Hope all is well.  Say hi to the captains for me.

Chris B