Thursday, September 02, 2010

My Tomatoes Are Coming In

Stoked about the big heirloom! Can't wait to try that. I picked it because it was on the ground -- my vines busted down their supports and my garden is insane. Nothing beats a homegrown tomato.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Throwback Logo & Ingredients

Pepsi relaunches its classic logo, and a classic sweetner -- good old fashioned sugar...

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scenic Hartford CT

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Crow Murder, Robbin Death: Call of the Wild

I was outside after dinner tonight. I was helping my wife pack the car before returning to the job that never ends despite the fact that it's deadline is fast approaching.
I was putting some things in the car when the noise of birds squawking, trilling, crying and cawing really caught my attention. I looked up at the neighbor's roof and saw a murder
of about 5 crows along the ridge line pulling something apart (I finally figured out why a crow flock is called a murder...).

I realized quite quickly that it was a small bird. It was gory even from my vantage point and the downy feathers of the fledgling were blowing down the roof onto the grass.
I let out an "oh wow!" as my daughter came out of the house and she of course looked up and I tried to block her eyes as I told her that the crows had raided a Robbin's nest -- the parents were flying all over and goign crazy, screaming, as a Robbin does, at the crows -- as a parent I can empathize with their reaction. As I came around the front of our car, I almost stepped on another fledgling, sitting in the grass. It must have been grabbed and dropped in the raid. The neighbors came out and my sons and wife came out and we all saw varying amounts of the scene.

My daughter got upset, she's my animal lover, and said "we need to save the baby bird," which stymied me for a minute. I took a large empty flower pot, filled it with some pine needles and put the bird in there. I told her that this may not work and that the baby bird's chances were "not so good." I put the pot up in a tree, wedged in some branches, close to the original nest, and hoped the parents would return. The parents were flying all over and calling out and basically going crazy, but I figured they'd calm down and realize where baby 2 was. I've been watching the adults for the past several days hunting down the worms in our yard like crazy and flying into this tree stand. The chicken may be the closes living relative to the T. Rex, but it's got nothing on the Robbin which is really an exceptional hunter.

The Robbins calmed down, we moved away from the pot and the baby bird started to call. Before we knew it it was struggling out of its pot to sit on a branch, and the parents brought it some food -- I saw one sitting on a phone wire with a worm, as my family pulled away. I don't know what will happen to the fledgling. My daughter is very concerned, and I promised to check on the Robbin family in the morning. My eldest boy, and second oldest summed it up best, as I comforted my daughter, saying, at one point, "nature is nature." I thought, yes it is, and it isn't it amazing to see it in all its sublime splendor in the suburbs of Boston as a murder of crows raided a Robbin's nest.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010


Camels hump from I89. Good morning VT!
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The home of american macro brew

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

20 in the rain pick up spot nice coda

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Long Run, 4/24

Before you read what follows: I'm toying with the idea of doing the same run that I'm about to describe below, again, in two weeks time -- on 5/8 or 5/9. Anybody interested? Run part or run all -- I would *love* the company. I also love the shared experience of running -- the blog is cool, but it needs to start to expand and we need to build up the culture of running even more, and bring the social into it (something I've loved stemming from the Cherry Blossom 10 blog and race). Let me know about 5/8-9. I published this on my other blog first but wanted to keep the CB10 blog moderately alive....

On reflection, my planned 20 miler was pretty darn tricky given that I'd run 5 miles in the previous 2 weeks. Never one to be deterred by such trifles, I proceeded as planned. David C. came down from Maine, I put on a nice spread Friday night, we carbo loaded, chatted for a bit and hit the sack.

We were on the road by 7:50 only 30 minutes late. We strolled to the jump off point and headed out. I started this long run like I do most of them: through the center of town, into Wellesley. Rather than turn around at the bridge or head into Weston, we turned right on Rt. 16 and picked up the Boston Marathon Course. We followed that for the next 7+ miles, through Wellesley Hills, Newton, to Comm Ave and BC.

Let me tell you, the Newton hills are no joke. I've driven Comm Ave dozens of time. I never realized though how high those hills are. Starting at about mile 9 on our run, and 17 on the marathon course, there are three, long hills in a row, culminating at Heartbreak Hill at mile 12/20. Everything was going swimmingly the first 8 miles. I took on the first hill with no problem. My legs swelled on the second and I actually walked a bunch of it, running more as I neared the top -- my first sign that yesterday was going to be tough.

We met our families at mile 10, dropped a layer, chugged some Gatorade and headed off. I ran Heartbreak Hill with little issue, but all respect to the Boston Marathoners who hit that beast at 20... After HBH we turned left at BC and headed down Lake St. and made our way to the Charles River. The long down was nice for the cardio, but murder, I think, for my legs. We wound our way through Brighton a bit to make it to Soldier's Field Road, dodged some traffic, jumped a guard rail and hit the Charles River Trail.

After a hippy, Earth Day, Charles River Cleanup chick nearly took David's eye out with her idiot stick (don't wave around a long wooden pole with a giant spike in it while talking to your helpmates, without paying attention to your surroundings, chuckle-head), we chugged along and met the families at mile 15. By this point, I was done, but I'd committed to the full magilla.

I dropped my water pack and on we went. My left leg -- just my left leg -- went into spasm essentially, it wasn't working like I wanted it to nor needed it to. My right leg felt fine. Well, as fine as screaming shins and calves can actually feel, but my left quad was completely shot. I had some stretches where I was trying to stretch, trying to give it a rest by walking, but I was walking, running walking running (and the left leg is far more sore today than the right). David rolled with me, and was an awesome partner. We chugged along, both of us hurting, but me hurting worse, and finished at the Esplanade, right in front of the Hatch Shell.

The weather was amazing. The familial support astounding. The running buddy fantastic. The muscle fitness not so great. Could the left leg issue be because I push off on it more since it is my dominant leg? I don't know. Anyway, glad I did it, hoping to glean some lessons from it, and use it to my advantage in a few weeks. Consider 5/8 people, consider it....

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Cherry Blossom Race

Ironically, the cherry blossoms were gone. So it was a great race, along a great course. I'm really psyched how well everybody did how much fun we all had working together towards this goal, and have seen, once again the transformative power of running.
Once upon a time we used to gather 'round a keg and get bombed. Now we gather around a race and run hard. So cool, so great. Speaking of transformative, David ran the race of a lifetime yesterday and I've never seen anything like that.
Way to go David, you rocked it, you rolled it, and I'm stoked for you (you also smoked me, and have given me something to shoot for). Nancy, you killed it despite illness and stress, and you did great. I'm really proud of you. Abby you powered through rickety legs, nicely done, and Cheryl you ran despite an injury and a wicked schedule. Lilly, you did great and it was fun to see you -- next time, don't eat the tamale for breakfast on race day. Carolyn, way to go, you got out there and ran despite one of the major, wonderful upheavals of life -- Baby A is adorable -- and you and Dan were awesome hosts. Thank you so much!

Well done, I hope you all still use this blog, it'll stay open and you always have a place to congregate and talk running. See you all in a couple of weeks for the "Boston Running Jamboree."

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

National building museum

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National building museum

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logan airport pretty morning

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Not The Week I'd Hoped

Tough week, another one.

Ran 5+with Child 2 on Saturday. Nice day for a run and was surprised to work in a run on Easter Weekend -- which is really busy since we host. It was fun and he and I chatted the whole way.
I banged out another 5+ today with Child 2. It was fun, but not a great run. It's all about consistency. On it again tomorrow. Mileage is suffering this week. Oh well, there ups and there are downs.

Saw a great article come across Twitter, it's ultramarathon man in condensed form:

See you all Saturday.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Charles River in Needham near Dover

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Thursday, April 01, 2010


Got out for a mellow 10K today before running off to a meeting. It felt pretty good, not great, but not bad. It was mild and not raining today, so that was good. The sun came out after the run, but what can you do?
I'll try for another 10K tomorrow as well to get in the mileage. I noticed that my left leg was a bit sore today in the quad -- I think it has something to do with the fact that for much of the ES20 it was the leg on the high side of the road and it felt more tired during the run than the right leg (could be total poppycock, I don't know, but it seems like a plausible theory).

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Race Report: Eastern States 20

I went out up to Kittery to run the Eastern States 20 this weekend. I went and stayed with David & Cheryl C. and their kids at their place, had dinner with them but had to run back to Winchester because N brought the kids there after her dad broke his hip Saturday afternoon. So, she headed to Cape Cod to see him Sunday prior to surgery, our kids hung out with my folks, and I headed back to Maine to run. Nothing like a bit of extra excitement before a big run. Luckily, N's dad is doing well, but it was a tense afternoon and Sunday morning.

The run was great in that painful way that long runs are. Temps were mid forties, but there was a relentless, biblically spiteful headwind for probably 12 of the 20 miles.
We ran hard along the Atlantic for much of the race and I was glad to have a companion in David. When the wind got really stiff I lowered my head a bit and repeated to myself "You are small and slight and the wind doesn't know you're here." We set out at a comfortable 9 minute/mile pace and I have to say, that through much of the run I was thinking that I could run forever at 9 minutes/mile.

Then, for some reason, between 10 & 13 I picked up my pace and went harder. I might have unconsciously been trying to expiate last week's bonk, I don't know, but I ratcheted it back a bit and ran with David. Around 14 it started to hurt a bit (paying for my quickened pace) and by about 15.5 I knew it was time to dig down deep. I kept repeating the following things: "Be open to the experience, take what the road gives you, listen to your body." I also kept repeating: "Smooth. Easy. Rhythm." I was misquoting a line from "Born to Run" which goes "Smooth, easy, light, fast." It worked pretty well until I came to the last water stop and as I'd done on others got my Gatorade and walked while I drank. I lost my rhythm and got in a bit of trouble.

My stride was breaking down, my legs weren't moving so well, and the headwind along the beach in Hampton Beach was vicious. The sea was lovely, and the fresh salt air was amazing, and I tried to focus on that and dissociate from the pain in my gams. I was working hard those last 2 miles, but David was hugely helpful to me -- and he helped me tough it out. I misjudged the finish line. I saw knot of people and didn't see runners proceeding up the sidewalk, in the distance so I thought that was the end, and started my final grind about a mile too early. When I had to make an unexpected right-hand turn and didn't see finish line, I stumbled a bit around 19+. However, when I saw the actual finish I picked it up and hit it. A kid in his 20s came in right behind me and he said "I was trying to catch you but you were too fast in that last stretch." I smiled and said "thanks, I didn't feel fast." There was a little post race thing and I got a cup of greasy beef barley, and it was delicious.

It was great to run with David, it was fun to have someone to talk to, especially near the end. When I was in a world of hurt at 18 he quoted Dean Karnaze to me and that helped a lot. So did his carbonara from the night before. What was also hugely helpful was that Cheryl and the kids were all over the race course cheering for us and it was awesome and fun to see them and gave a reason to put on a good show -- though I have to say, I wasn't acting. I was running with smile the whole way, pretty much, and it was genuine.

The race was well run, water stops were well spaced, and we went off on time. The scenery was great and the course was mainly flat -- a few rollers early, a small up around 12 and then a few rollers in 14-16 but nothing major. The Hoyts were there, again (love running with them and really admire them -- it was hellacious running into the headwind, just me, I can't imagine pushing the cart that Rick rides in). I had one more Gu left on me and should have eaten it, I think it would have helped, but I was well hydrated, and today feel less sore than I did last week (though I am sore, this is my longest run this year and I went from 13.1 to 20...). It was a fun run. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and learned that if you run with a smile, it's true.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday Five

Messed up week, lots of work, Nancy was sick all week and had tons of meetings, I had a ton of meetings. Didn't get as many runs in as I'd have liked, but that's life. I did get in a nice fiver Friday afternoon and felt really good. I'm reading Born to Run" and it's great. I was reading about a woman who was a dominant ultra-runner in the mid-90s, and her description of the sensuality and romance of running really made an impact. It's all about listening to your body every second and dialing it back when necessary, and turning it up when able. It's how you find your rhythm and I have to say that the run started great, it got a bit choppy, and then I found my flow and felt great for the last half. It was fun, and I'm looking to take this attitude into tomorrow's 20. Listen to my body, dial it back, ramp it up, find my flow. I've been espousing the semi-spiritual side of running for a while, and I know inherently to dial it back, but some sort of competitive beast gets going and I want to push it -- I didn't listen so well last week, and got burned. I dialed it up from 4-8 and when things got funky around 9 I didn't listen and blew up because I kept pushing it and didn't listen and ruined my flow. It's not that I dislike competition -- I'm competitive -- but I compete in some other areas of my life and don't necessarily feel the need right now to compete in running. Running is an outlet, a mode of expression, a way of life. I was projecting into the future on my run and thinking how cool it would be to some day run with my kids -- 5Ks, halfs, whatever. I hope I'm setting a good example, I hope I can run well and strong for a long time and imbue my kids with a love of running. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and, as is mentioned often in "Born To Run," I'm going to approach it with an open heart, and run for the love of it, and see where it all goes. I think my goals tomorrow are to 1) have fun and run with an open heart, 2) run healthy, 3) finish strong.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Guess I should have kept a better eye on the baby

Or not left out the eggs
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Always Learning

One thing I really enjoy about running is that nearly every run teaches me something. It may as simple as teaching me that I'm feeling good, or maybe feeling a little out of sorts, or maybe that certain things are not great running fuel. Today taught me that running with both boys in the stroller, on a windy day, while still feeling the effects of my run in New Bedford was not a great decision. Tough run, pretty much unmitigated misery all the way through, with some brief respites as Child 2 chatted with me about this and that. Mark it in the books, but it was a grind, and my hammy is not feeling great right now.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Race Report: New Bedford Half

Last year I wrote a ton about this race. This year I'm writing a bit less but this was an interesting race.

Place   Time       Pace  Gun Time
991     1:48:10.4  8:16  1:49:17.6

I saw the Hoyts again, really cool to run with them, they are such legends, and Dick Hoyt is a majorly driven athlete. This year's race was well run, like last year's, but this year they had start and finish times which was really nice (see above). The race did go off a bit late, but that wasn't a big deal and the day was pleasant.

There are three good hills between miles 2 & 3 and they get progressively longer. I weathered those well, and carried some good speed into the long flat portion of the course -- from about mile 4-6 it's flat, on top of a plateau, then the course drops back to sea level for 7-12 and then climbs brutally from 12-13. I was feeling good through 8, came across ten about 2 minutes ahead of last year's pace started struggling after that as I began to think about time etc, and then the wheels fell of my wagon at 11.5. I bonked despite eating some Gu along the way and hydrating.

My legs felt like they filled with blood and I just couldn't make them move. I walked for about a minute or so, got my legs back and then ran up the last brutal hill -- I broke down at the crest, took ten paces to compose myself, saw the second to last turn up ahead and found my well of strength to finish with a kick. I'd like to tap into that well more often -- I need to find it when I hit trouble spots like I did at 11.5. I'm not sure what it is -- but why I could barely move my legs 1.5 miles earlier and then I'm sprinting I don't know. I really want to find that adrenaline trigger and not require the homestretch. I'm not sure if it's just a commitment to finish strong, put on a good show in front of a big crowd (because I broke down in front of a big crowd) I don't know what it is. If I reflect on it my mind is fairly blank in those final moments, there are no mantras, no exhortations -- just a focus on the finish line and desire to.... I don't know what, be strong, finish strong, be true to myself, honor the race....

I approached today as a total trainer. If I'd trained for this in particular and bonked I'd be irate, but it was a good lesson, a good workout and a decent time. I learned that I'm not ready to run 8 sub-8 miles for 13.1 miles (11.5, yes; 13.1, no). I had one mile on the big hills early that was 9:09, but I had a few between then and 10 that were 7:30-40s.... Looking forward to 20 next week -- paying the price now for good runs in the future. Oops, wrote a bunch.

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Way before the start

Sea gulls cry overhead and the starting area gets put in place.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Turkey Trot

I got out for one more run this work week. It was a gorgeous day, just begging for a trot through town. My legs were tired today after yesterday's run, so it was a bit of  a grind and my CV was less than I'd hoped for -- though it may be connected to really working the breathing muscles yesterday, perhaps they needed some recovery too. Sometimes, when I run at noon, I find it harder because I'm hungry so my energy level is less. I don't know, I'm an advertising guy, not an exercise physiologist!

Anyway, I went double layer technical tees up top and shorts on the bottom -- the first shorts-run of the year. It's really a glorious day today, despite the fairly stiff breeze that seemed to be in my face at every turn. A very large red tail flashed it's tail and belly above me within the first mile, and that was cool -- there are some very large Red Tails that live at a pond not far from our house and it's always fun to see them. There is also a Goshawk that lives on the next street over from us -- it was in the town paper last week -- and I've seen him around, but I'm not sure that he's the other hawk that I see frequently (it's a wild kingdom out there!). About a mile-and-a-half from the finish of today's run I saw two large turkey running onto the grounds of the middle school -- in the midst of a bustling residential neighborhood. I, of course, gobbled at them and they bolted. Cool run on a great day.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ten On A Wednesday

Well, when the alarm went off at 5:45 I hit snooze once. I turned it off when it went off 7 minutes later, composed my thoughts and hopped out of bed.
I gathered gear which was easier this AM because it was laying around from yesterday. Made, and wolfed, a half a chicken sandwich and headed out the door at approximately I don't know what time.
I trotted out through town, on my way to the bridge in the neighboring town. I passed the 2+ mile mark around 6:43 which means I probably left the casa at about 6:25 ( I really need to get my watch operational).

It was a clear chilly morning and everything was covered in frost. There were many runners out, so I was not alone and I just kept pounding out the miles. I had a couple of epiphanies on this run.

1) There is always someone faster, stronger and better than you unless you are the undisputed best at what you do -- and for those of us who populate the vast middle of Life's Bell Curve, there are plenty better.
The reason for this epiphany was that a totally fit, high-knee-lifting, high-heel-kicking dude powered by me at about the 3+ mile mark. He was fast, and his stride was effortless. It was impressive.

2) Derives from #1: we are all running our own race (and this is a mantra I repeat when running "run your race" "run your run"). What that guy does, what I do, what any of us do doesn't matter.
We run our race, run it as best we can and finish where we finish. The only one I compete with is me. I am, and can be, inspired by others -- the stud who blazed by this morning, David and his quest, Nancy and her enthusiasm, the woman we know who ran all through Chemo. We carry our life with us when we run -- past, present and future, and all of those things add up to what, and how, and who we are when we run.

I reached my destination, the little bridge feeling good. I stopped briefly to chug some Gatorade and eat a Vanilla Bean GU (if you're looking for something easy to handle, and not messy, GU is pretty good -- though they can be so sweet that they are oppressive, this was my first in 6 years!) which I liked, though Fruit Punch and Vanilla Bean aren't really a winning combo. I looked at a flood swollen stream, mesmerized by the swirling water and headed back. I felt better on this run than yesterday's -- it's all about the rhythm. When threes and fives are hard that's a good sign to me.

Keep running.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is That The Sun?

Finally got back out today for a decent five miler though it was sort of arrhythmic and choppy. Unlike David  did not pull a massive catch-up, I just kep on running. tomorrow though I'm aiming for ten if I can overcome the time change ennui that crushes me every year -- my clock is so screwed up it's not even funny. But, I do need to grind out some miles so, tomorrow is a catch-up day. Sunday is the New Bedford Half Marathon, which this year is a total training run as I'm not where I want to be though I think that I can get there. Nice weather helps and seeing the sun this AM was wonderful. This week is all about reclaiming last weeks lost week. Back up the hill we go, just call me the Grand Old Duke of York.... except I've only got one guy, but man do I keep marching him up the hill and down the hill again -- though often it feels we're only half way up so we're neither up nor down. Keep running!

Hey Carolyn, was wondering if we could add one more to dinner on Saturday night: Johnny C. He lives in the DC/VA vicinity and I thought it might be fun to see him and combine a visit with the race. Please let me know if that's doable, it would be a hoot, and mark a different reason for all of us to gather -- it used to be to get loaded, now it's to go running. How the times do change!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not Really A Morning Runner

I've had another insane week but did manage to get out at 6:30 this morning. I got in a solid 5+ and it wasn't too bad in terms of the weather -- fairly mild, some sun. It wasn't a bad run but it wasn't a great run either. I'm just not that into the early morning runs. My mind is pretty much good to go but my body is not so willing, thus disproving the old 60s trope, "free your mind and your butt will follow..." Be that as it may, it's at least good to get out and get running and get it done since the days have been hectic and filled with craziness. My goal really is 4 days each week so, including today's run, I'm running Friday through Sunday with a big run planned on Sunday.

I slowed down along one section to listen to a couple of dueling woodpeckers. One would rat-a-tat-tat and the other would answer from another tree -- it was some sort of territorial thing, and it was very cool. I couldn't see them though which was disappointing.

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

52,800, At Least

I headed out this morning for my first official long run of this training session. I had in mind to do 10-11 miles, and had no real time in mind, except to keep it around 90 minutes.
It was a beautiful day under crystal clear bluebird skies and the temp was a very comfortable 38 F. I carried 20 ozs of G2, a cliff bar (peanut butter choco-chip), my mobile and wore a hat gloves, shell polypro shirt, tights and base layer briefs -- much stripped down from earlier in the week. I headed out through the center of town and into the next town over. The wind was a mellow breeze out of the S/SW. The streets of our town were quiet with only some dog walkers, a few runners and a few motorists (one of whom did manage to cut me off as she pulled into the lot of the YMCA....awesome).

I have a 5 mile out route to a distinct landmark -- a bridge -- in the next town. It's part of a longer continuum of out and backs that if I ever geared up for it (mentally and physically) would net a 22 mile long run through three towns and some very scenic neighborhoods. Today's out and back though was just to the bridge. As I neared the bridge I felt good. I decided to go closer to 11. So, rather than stopping at the bridge to eat the Cliff and drink some Gatorade I took a left and ran down a path. The town next to us has a great system of walking trails across the town. I sort of power walked, slow jogged while I wolfed the Cliff and chugged some fluid and then picked it up again. I ran next to a nice little brook, crossed some streets, and followed the path which eventually had me running on top of the Lake Cochichuate Aqueduct for a little trail running. I came back to the main drag that I followed out, and then headed for home. I felt good throughout though my quads were a bit sore -- I went from being "kind-of-running" to at least 28 miles this week, with a  stroller run on Saturday.

At about the 40 minute mark I found my rhythm and just kept on rolling. I love it when that happens. I heard loads of Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Crows, saw several Mourning Doves, a huge Red Tail and, what I think, though can't be sure because I couldn't see its rump, which is always white, a Northern Harrier. I enjoyed today, but am glad that it's over, though. This was a good week of running accomplishment and I feel very much back in the saddle. I covered the ground in about 90 minutes, maybe a bit more, but I'm not sure how far I actually went, though it was 52,800 feet, at least.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Running Buddies

I took full advantage of the gorgeous day and headed out in the late morning with two of my favorite running buddies: Child 2 & Child 3. We headed out on our usual stroller run route and I felt pretty good at the usual turn around that I pushed it out to the turn around that makes it a 5.4 mile run (depends on the mapping tool I use). Rather than turn right around Child 2 inquired about where the turnaround road went. So, after a brief pause to drink some water we headed down the turnaround road on a little running adventure. We crossed a couple of small streams and paused to look at them -- Child 2 loves "bubbling brooks."

The loop eventually brought us back to the center of town and we headed home on the road we went out on. Total distance was just shy of 6 (5.88) which may be my longest stroller run. I felt good throughout, though I was sucking wind at the end -- i was coming back harder than I went out. We sprinted downtown to see the train come through, and generally had a fine time. Child 2 chatted with me throughout and Child 3 was chattering and making noises and pointing at everything he saw. It was a fun run. Getting ready for 10 - 11 tomorrow.

I posted this on my other blog as well -- I don't have enough posts in me to write something different everyplace I go...

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Pushing the Stone Uphill, Again

I got in two decent length runs this week -- Wednesday and Thursday mornings. I felt better yesterday than I did today and actually cut a bit off today's run. I've determined that the only time that I can reliably find the time to run is in the early morning and so I've been rising right around 6 AM and hitting the road by 6:10 AM or so. MY body and my mind are not psyched. I need to do this to get out there and get in the distance so I've got a good couple handfuls under my belt, will go Satureday and do 10-11 on Sunday.
Last year I trained up to about 16 miles for the Vermont City and flamed out -- I started well and ended poorly, removing myself from the race and deferring until this year. SO, this year, I'm hoping that my poor training start ends well and brings me in relatviely strong to VT City. With New Bedford half in two weeks, Eastern States 20 in 3, Cherry Blossom in 5 I should be pretty good to get in at least one more 20 before Memorial day, and am shooting for three. Loved that Karno quote in David's last post. IF you put in the training you've got nothing to fear -- it's just necessary to make time for training. I'm feeling confident and seeing the path ahead. Time to execute.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010


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Ski day

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Hiatus Ends

Eleven days. Eleven days. I finally got back on the road today, emerging from two weeks of crazy work, and a great weekend of skiing.
The weather was nasty, but the runner was nastier. At least I got out again, and feel great. Even a lousy run is great, sometimes. I needed to get out as I had
reached the end of my ability to not run and still maintain sanity -- I can get really grumpy when I don't run.
Back at it. Finally.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Couple

I got in a good run on Friday at my parents' house. It's a route I haven't run in a while and it felt good. Just a smidge over 4, and I did it quickly.
I'd intended a bigger weekend, but sort of vegged on Saturday which spilled into Sunday. I didn't get out Saturday -- the Olympics and some beer and popcorn side-tracked me.
I did get out today, but went shorter that I'd planned. I did get to run with Red C. and it was great. We went out late and did 4.55 (I need to add in a bit more on that route to get it up to where I thought it was, which was 5. Having a buddy to run with was huge -- it wasn't too cold but it was windy and gray and it was sort of blah. Running with someone was great. I'm not too stressed out about the miles -- I'll get them in. Just running, that's all.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Finding The Stroke

As we all know sometimes ballplayers get in a slump. They lose their stroke. The only thing to do is to keep on swinging, keep on taking your cuts. Well, today I came out of my slump.
I found my stroke again. I also achieved a really nice level of flow that I've not reached in months -- surprisingly so. I headed out today in a poor mood -- angry, mainly. Sometimes anger is good for a run, sometimes it blows it up. You go out too hard to burn off the aggression and whatever hormones, and amino acids and residue of your fit are coursing through your veins amps you up early and leaves you flat later and it ends up being a lousy run. Today, I went out just to burn off the substances and see what would happen.I settled into a comfortable rhythm early and just ran -- it was a lope, really. Everything came together, and nothing bothered me. Stop for a light, or to wait for traffic while crossing a street? No worries. Run along some icy stuff -- why not slide it, it's fun. Shoe untied -- tie it. I'd pick right up where I left off. Right into my lope, right into my zone. It was fluid. I found my stroke and reached that state of comfort and exertion that is very rare. It felt great. I came back in a good mood, with my anger dissipated. With sadness (which I think is the flip-side of anger) abated. I fed off the energy of my emotion and burned it steadily along the course. Ah yes, running as therapy. I found my stroke. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Up & Down

Not sure what it is, but my training runs have been very up and down these past few weeks. I think I need the adrenaline of races to help me -- but no adrenaline is to be found as I grind it out solos through the streets of suburban Boston. Oh well. Spring is on the way -- today was mid-30s, bluebird and lovely. Tomorrow forecasts to be a bear. Winter returns. Pitchers and catchers report soon, this weekend maybe. Almost there. I think I can I think I can I think I can.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Race Report: Super Sunday 10K

I headed out on a beautiful bluebird of a day to run the Marathon Sports Super Sunday 5k/10K race. Held along the Boston waterfront this race is only in it's third year and it is well attended, and, like Marathon Sports other races, very well run. This years course was very similar to last year's except that we started at 390 Congress St which was much more roomy and comfortable for the large field. Last year we started from in front of the Harpoon Brewery and it was a little crowded -- so that was a good move. This year's race also went off on time which was appreciated because it was only about 20F with a stiff breeze.

The course wound its way through the rapidly changing Boston waterfront, down Congress St and back, around the new courthouse, by ICA etc. The course was pancake flat as is to be expected on harbor roads and quite fast. The field was quick -- lots of Boston trainers I think -- and trending young. One of my favorite sites on the course is the tiny Our Lady of Safe Passage Chapel -- located between two huge parking lots and across from some very new, sleek glass office buildings (the thought of the value of that property is astounding -- it's diagonally across the street from 56).

<br /><small>View Larger Map</small>

I ran a nice first half, 23:43 or something and felt pretty good coming into the second half (the race was a couple of loops of the same course). Out to mile four was a nice tail wind, but mile 4-5 was right back into a stiff headwind, and I sort of flagged on this leg and recorded what was probably my slowest mile ~7:55 (39:35). The buildings broke the wind around this point and I dug down and worked a bit harder. I crossed 6 miles at just about 46 even and finished around 46:43, I think, it was definitely below 47 which was cool but the official results will be posted and I'll know for sure tonight. I had a nice kick through the last .2 and was working hard down the home stretch and trying to catch a guy who was in front of me. He picked it up too and held me off by a step. After we crossed the finish line he turned to me with a huge grin and said "thanks for pushing me!" and shook my hand -- that was cool. I had a huge rush at the end of this and totally felt that ever elusive runner's high, It was fun. I remembered why I love to run.

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Race tent super Sunday 5/10k

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I went out just before dinner yesterday. I ran 4.2 miles or so. I felt pretty good. I'm having trouble with pace right now, but it was the best run I've had in a while.
Will try and get out today, too.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

February Begins

So, February begins with a run, about 4 miles at 3:30 PM. I had a morning-mid-afternoon meeting north of boston, came home and hit it after a PBJ and some pretzels. It felt OK, not great, still shaking off January.
Big headwind on the way out, and a nice tali wind on the way home (I'm big on out and backs). The weekend was tough between frigid temps and zero routine. I'll catch up to it this week and we'll get rolling.
Inspiration is at an ebb, but it's coming back, I'll work into it just through repetition -- I'm finding myself jonesing for the run if I don't get it in and that's a good sign. today's run while not great left me energized and focused and amped up (though my goal of getting work done this evening is not panning out... I don't feel like working tonight).

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Grinding it Out

When the alarm went off at 6:15 today, I was already sort of awake. The howling wind outside our window had woken me up. It was freezing. The streets were covered in ice and windblown snow, it was black out.
I turned off the alarm and went back to bed. I headed out just before noon. I vaVelined the face to protect it. I had my base layer on my legs (huge difference) and a couple of technical tees over a polypro shirt, hat, gloves, shades.The first half mile wasn't bad around .6 miles I make a right hand turn and ran right into the teeth of the wind. Now this stretch of the run is a false flat, so you always work a bit more than you think you should, but today was like a mile long steep uphill climb. I was laboring and at times barely moving forward. Headwinds are devastating and today's was fierce. My eyes were watering, parts of the face without Vaseline were stinging and the lungs were laboring (dry frigid air is not my friend). I'd considered 5 today, ratcheted it back to 4.2 and when I came to a turn that would make it 3.3, I took it. I got out. I got the heart pounding and lungs working. I built character... tomorrow is another day. Hopefully it's one with less wind.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010


What a week it's been. I ended last week on a poor run on Friday. Then got buried by familial obligations etc. over the weekend that essentially killed my weekend.
I got back on it today (yesterday I set the alarm, but our clock was 12 hours fast so it never went off). I headed out this AM and it was cold. The bank thermometer downtown said
31F but it was wrong. The cold-ache on top of my thumbs and the sting on my face let me know it was colder than that. I again did not have the right base layer and my legs
froze up and got very hard to move. I'm tired of the winter right now. I got in a solid five, and I've got plans to hit the road the next few days. It's time to get serious
about this and start buckling down. I think the days of Zen running are over, it's time to get a little type-A.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Frozen Charles #wcbos

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Western sky

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Cold & Un-fun

I've said for years that "some days you eat the miles and some days the miles eat you." Today I was chewed up and spit out. Nancy dropped me off about 4.5-4.75 miles from home while we dropped child Two off at school and I ran back. I fought for every step. I needed one more layer on the legs but didn't have it, so the legs sort of froze up and didn't fire like I'd expected them to. My lungs weren't functioning great in the cold, dry air. Footing was pretty poor with long stretches of ice as well as dozens of stealth-patches all along the course. Some days you have runs like this one. The effort to get out and strive and the repetition (one more run for this week's total) are what I take away from runs like today's. I embrace the Dean Karnazes* mantra that we are overly-comfortable and that running breaks us out of our overly-comfortable existence. Today was assuredly uncomfortable and definitely a character builder. Now it's out of the way and it's on with my day.

If you want to read a great book to get you fired up about running pick up <em>Ultramarathon Man</em> by Dean Karnazes. In fact I might read it again myself.... it's a fun, easy, and most importantly, inspiring read.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Handful

I logged another solid handful today. Footing was poor, and it was raw and damp, but I enjoyed it and am glad that I got out in the middle of the day. It was a refreshing change to run in daylight.
Not much to report really, just a solid run, I'm getting in a groove and it feels good. I signed up for the Timberman Tri in August in New Hampshire, so that should shake up training this summer.
Add another challenge to the list.

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Monday, January 18, 2010


I finally got back out yesterday. AS I think you can tell from Nancy's post last week was a nightmare of scheculing and overbooking, sick children and just general "stuff."
It was highly frustrating. Yesterday's run was good. It was dark and not too cold which was a nice change. Today is a miserable day, but I'm trying this week to get on the marathon training cycle: S, T, W, T, S.
Training for Vermont City starts in earnest next week.

I modulated my pace yesterday speeding up and slowing down and spent much of the run thinking about other things (dissociation). The time went by and the miles fell away. A pretty good start to the week.

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Monday, January 11, 2010


Got in a sluggish five today. Not a great run, but I got it in and that's all one can ask. Sometimes the hard ones are more beneficial. I had trouble with pace and footing.
My calves really tightened up afterward which is most likely related to the slippery crummy conditions. Puddles are slushy to slick, snowy stretches of sidewalk aren't melting and if they do, they refreeze and get worse with each day. I'm sort of done with January to be honest.... Well, I'm feeling more consistent at least, and getting one in early in the week is good. I should have gone yesterday, but bailed, bad on me.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thanks Teich

Our friend gave us this a couple of years ago. It is what a pinot is supposed to be: refined, light but strong. Thanks Jeff. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Running Haiku

Running in the dark
Snow falls upon the pathway
A Fire burns inside

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Cool Fitness Related Link

Hey Blossoms, just found this via Seth Simonds (an excellent follow on Twitter, FYI: @sethsimonds):

Full URL:

Since some of us are running for fitness, some for time, some to change our lives I thought that this might be of interest. Tons of support and tons of folks just like us on the web.

Keep running, and having fun.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Handful in The Dark

I got in a handful today, in the dark. The stars were out and Mars and Jupiter were with them.
I worked hard on finding my rhythm and just letting it flow. Darkness and ice and snow make for some tricky conditions but it also forces you to
focus. It felt good. This was my longest in a while as I've been dinking and dunking around with my running. It's time to get down to it. This was a good

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Welcome, Cherry Blossom Ten Milers et al

This is the first post on the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Posterous site. We're a bunch of folks in our thrities, of varying running abilities who've all signed up for the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler in Washington DC in april, 2010. This site will hopefuly be a useful tool for folks to stay motivated and share their training experiences. Wish us luck.

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