Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The Marathon Sports 5 Miler last Thursday went pretty well. It was an interesting race, starting and stopping on the grass. It began on the field, went for about 100 yards before taking a 90 degree turn to the left, down a short but steep hill, and then funneled everyone through a gate before hitting the pavement. It had been raining all day so the threat of falling on the grass was definitely in the back of my mind as we pushed and bumped our way during the start. I should also mention that the lawn had been recently mowed so before the race even began my shoes were completely covered in grass.

The clock at the first mile read 5:56 as I passed it. That was 5K pace, way too fast. The next four miles were all about toughing it out. Right around mile 4 I have never wanted to throw up during a race more than I did at that moment. I couldn't wait to get to the end at that point. With about a half mile left the race moved onto the grass for the final push to the track where it ends. I could have done without that, the uneven ground was just what I didn't want as I struggled through the end of the race. I did manage to pass a few people during this stretch so I guess it was ok. Crossed the finish strong and saw that I had managed a 31:40. Very happy about that.

Took a couple of days off and then hit the roads again on Sunday for a lazy 8 miles before heading off to a pool party for my niece's first birthday party. That pool was freakin' cold! I have no idea how kids could stay in it for so long.

Monday I held off on my tempo run until the evening hoping that the temperature would ease up a bit. It did, about 4 degrees, but the humidity rose about 10% so nothing really changed. Yesterday I decided to cut the mileage to 4 miles because of the humidity and ran around the Charles. That was actually kind of nice and I clocked a pretty fast time without even worrying about my pace the whole run. I love when that happens. Off to do some more mileage tonight as soon as Jen gets home. Again, I was hoping the humidity would drop but that isn't going to happen. That isn't too bad, it's just the uncontrollable dripping after I stop that gets to me. Eew.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Waiting for the rain

Sitting here in the parking lot of Weston Middle School watching the rain. The Marathon Sports 5 Miler doesn't begin for another 90 minutes. There is a roped off section on the field which looks like part of the route so this should be interesting.

So far luck is with me. Got a parking spot in the first lot, first row, on the end facing the exit. It pays to be two hours early. Should be over a thousand runners so this is no small event.

Unfortunately I have to head back to work after this to do a bunch of changes tonight. As if I wasn't tired enough.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

G2 is the new crack

I love G2. It tastes good, it keeps me loaded up on electrolytes or whatever, and it makes me perform 2000 times better than normal (results may vary). I like it better than Gatorade on most occasions because it isn't as sweet or heavy and when I mix it with some water for the long runs the splash of taste is nice and refreshing, even when mildly warm.

But I have come to realize that G2 has a nefarious side to it so dark that you can not find any information about it anywhere. I believe that the makers are adding an addictive chemical to it that makes you crave it; not fortnightly but you get the point. My findings are based on my own personal experiences and the observations of two test subjects who will be referred to from herein as JP and CP. The images have been doctored to hide their identities.

JP is a male, aged approximately 4 years old, weighing 35 pounds. Upon first introduction to G2 the subject enjoyed the "purple juice" and was observed to have a positive reaction while drinking it. After allowing the subject to consume several sips of the G2 it was taken away and kept out of reach. JP became increasingly frustrated with the lack of access to the drink and eventually began to yell at the observer in an effort to get the G2 back. The subject displayed all of the classic signs of addiction withdrawal after only a brief time consuming the beverage.

The second subject, CP, is a diminutive female weighing approximately 26 pounds and standing less than 3 feet high. Her reactions upon having the G2 removed from her were considerably more pronounced and violent in a shorter period of time. Any attempts to aid the subject while drinking were quickly met with yells of "no" and a marked physical recoiling. She would repeatedly attempt to gain access to the beverage no matter what obstacle stood in her way. No attempts to placate her with juice or milk would dissuade her from her attempts at obtaining the G2.

But can you blame them? It's pretty good stuff and it's nice to be able to rehydrate after a run and not put back in half of the calories you just spent an hour burning off. That's what beer is for.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dehydration and the great shake

Party weekend coming up. Lots of friends coming in to town so I decided to move my long run to Thursday night to keep my weekend free for debauchery. Naturally the weather decided to be warm and humid but at least the rain was nowhere to be found.

At this point I have to give some mad props to my sister for the (interesting) birthday card I received when I got home. Inside there was an iTunes gift card which I quickly converted into a Doctor Who audiook and downloaded to my ipod. Sweet, a two hour book to keep me amused.
With my audio needs met I set out into the early evening sun for the long run ahead. I spent the first mile screwing around with my water bottle pack but eventually got it sorted out. The rest of the run was uneventfull if not long, hot, and tiresome.

Finally made it home, although the route ended up only being 17.8 miles. I hate that. Hobbled my way up to the tub for a cold bath. Aah, nice. Icing up and watching Hot Fuzz, brilliant.

Problem is I failed to eat anything. I kept drinking to rehydrate but within a couple hours I began to get the chills. Sat down to eat dinner and as soon as I had the first bite (which was really good by the way) I knew there was no way I could stomach any more. Damn, no food for me. So I packed it in and went to bed where I proceeded to alterantely shiver from being cold and sweat through the sheets. Ah running, is there nothing you can't do?

On the plus side I lost three pounds.
Ok, back to my cocktail. We are currently passing under the Jamestown Bridge while cruising down the Narragansett Bay. Good things.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I am developing the knees of a 60-year old arthritic woman

Someone, make the pain stop. I am so looking forward to an easy week next week and this whole weekend off. Aah, heaven.

See what happens when you turn 36, everything just falls apart. I would take up cycling but seriously, way too much spandex going on in that world. Throw some leg warmers on those guys and we have ourselves a retro-80's party going on.

Oh yeah, today's run: 7-mile tempo at marathon pace blah blah blah. Nice and sunny though.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Birthday Run


Been chained to my desk all day. And it is so nice out. Grrr. We redesigned a large portion of our network this weekend and there have been some flaky issues that I have been working on since. That kept me indoors hacking away on my computer instead of pounding the pavement on this the day of my birth. Alas alack. I suppose it will give my knees a rest for a day.

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet my French compatriots!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Race day

North Attleboro Kids Day 5K today. The kids ran the quarter mile; Jackson ran well and had fun. Catie required a bit more, um, support, shall we say. Horn went off, she took one step, and began to cry. So I carried her the whole way. Victoria ran the whole thing and was last by a long way, but since she was alone the whole crowd was cheering her on. She soaked it all in and was clapping the whole way to the finish. Silly stuff.

On to the serious stuff. 5K went well. I got a good jump and settled into a low 6 minute pace. A group jumped out ahead and I quickly was able to break them out into those that I would be passing and those whose backs I would be seeing the whole race.

First mile ended up around 6:09 which is a bit slower than I hoped. Kept up that pace for the next mile and a half and continued to pass people. Around 2.5 I passed the last person I thought I would catch. But he didn't fade away like the rest. My psychological-fu was not working on him.

Stubbornly he then passed me on a downhill. Hmm, interesting. Ok, keep pace and drive through it. Next uphill I was back in front. Last turn and a quarter mile left with him right on my tail. In a blaze of red he suddenly came flying by me and pushed it all the way to the end. He had way more reserve than I had thought. Oh well.

But wait, does the clock say 18:35? Time to give it all I have left. Across the line at 18:46, a new PR by 2 seconds! Alright!

For the second time in two weeks I placed ninth, how does that happen? Very happy with tbeing in the top ten. Unfortunately I did not place in my age group, I was fourth. The youngsters in the 19-29 group captuerd the top 3 spots with the first three 30-39 year olds taking the next three spots. That's a shame, they give out nice awards.

Ok, training round-up. Long 16 miler on Friday was not easy. I was tired and the sun was hot. Foolishly I left at noon so I got the brunt of it. Had to stop a couple times but I managed to tough it out to the end. The schedule has been tough and has made my more tired than usual, to say nothing of the perpetual aches and pains, but it should pay off in the end. Clearly my race times have shown significant improvement so it is all worth it.

Happy running.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One fish, big fish

I continue to slog out the miles. Easy four on Monday and then some speed work on Tuesday. I figured I would head over to the MIT track, since it is the only one remotely close to me, to make the mile repeats easier to pace and control. Of course there was a nice cloud cover and some rain, why change that? The track is about two miles away so I ran over and then began the workout. All in all pretty good but unfortunately I had wildly underestimated the total distance I would cover and my 6 mile workout ended up at over 7 miles. Yikes, not sure I will be doing that again.

Today I managed to mangle another workout. It was scheduled as an easy four but I decided to run over to a part of the Charles that has exercise stations so I could so some pull-ups and stuff instead of trying to cram them in tonight. Turns out it was a little over 2 miles just to get there but no big deal. Worked out a bit and then took off back to work. But now I was tired (being out late last night to see the Sox win didn't help. Nor did the several beers consumed at said game) so I figured I would mix it up, go over the Fiedler Footbridge and up Beacon street. Somehow that turned into me choosing a route through Beacon Hill that hit the steepest grade of every street I chose. So my easy 4 miler turned into almost 5 miles with a workout in the middle, an initial two miles that were more tempo pace than laid back, and some hills. A mash-up workout.

As I ran along one of the pools that line the Charles I caught a glimpse of some ripples and thought it was odd, no dicks or geese anywhere. Then I saw it again so I stopped. As I was watching a gigantic fish, trout I believe, started jumping out of the water. This thing was huge! It did that a few times and then was gone. It must have become stuck in the pool because there is only one way in and out. Totally random but very cool. The funny part is that I had just passed a guy sitting by the river with his fishing line in the water hoping to catch something. He chose his spot poorly.

Yesterday I went on a race frenzy and signed up for the Attleboro 5K this Sunday, the CVS Downtown 5k, and wait for it....the Bay State Marathon! I made it official and am locked in. Of course I managed to screw up the registration but what else is new? So I will be joining the five other members of the club who have registered thus far. Let's hope I can actually stay healthy enough to make it to this one.

What the fish may have looked like.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fun-filled Fourth

What a great weekend. Started it by heading down to the Cape on Thursday night to visit Nana and just kick back for a couple of days. After the obligatory delay at the bridge (see my last post which should be renamed "Morons On High") we made it to Harwich for some relaxation.

Woke up Friday morning, managing to get a few more hours of sleep after a 4AM wake up call from the kids, and kitted up for a long run. With everything in place I waved by to the family and headed out for a couple hours of alone time. Just me and my podcast soaking in the beauty of the Cape. And the tourists.

A fog blanketed the peninsula that morning, keeping things cool but limiting the panoramas. I ran down to Chatham in hopes of some nice stretches along the water but the weather just wasn't ready to give up its grip so the best I could get was some glimpses of the waves. Beyond that was all grey. Anyways, to make a long run short I put in a great 14 miles and spent the rest of the day with the family having some fun. The weather turned great and a trip to the beach ensued.

Saturday, it was time to get serious. Pack up the car and head for home because it is race time. Made it to Norwood in plenty of time and got ready for the big Firecracker 5K.

Everyone got lined up at the start and soon enough the gun went off! Well, it was actually a bullhorn and it kind of whimpered a bit at the beginning instead of a really loud siren, but you get the point, it was go time! I settled into a nice brisk pace for the long stretch down the main street and was feeling great until we started to head into South Norwood. Suddenly before me there was a platoon of WWI soldiers, or so I thought. As I got a little closer I realized that they were actually German WWII soldiers. Oh no! The Germans are back! I thought. But then I ran by them and got back to thinking about the race.

Made it to the halfway point and on the turn back passed the guy pushing the baby stroller. Ha ha! Take that! As I turned around there was Maria right on my heels. Yipes, she was flying! Back through South Norwood, back up the hill, past the Germans who were not as amusing to me this time by, and heading towards the center of town. Just after mile 2 I got passed by the lead female. This spurred me along to pick up my pace a bit and try to keep her close or even pass her. I had been getting progressively closer to Keith but he was way too far out for me to catch so I focused on staying with the lead female. We blazed through the town down the final stretch and she had enough to fend me off and finish a few seconds ahead. I looked down at my watch and saw 18:48, that tied my PR! Unfortunately the official time came out as 18:49 so a new PR was not to be but nonetheless, I was very happy with that time. If I hadn't slacked off during the second mile I could have broken my record. Next time.

What a showing the club had. The highlights include:
Don, Keith, and myself all finished in the top ten as well as capturing first in our age groups.
Maria was the third female overall! (and I would like to point out that the two girls in front of her were both in their twenties. Go Maria!)
Maureen and Tracey were second and third in their age group.
Michael was third in his age group.
10 club members finished in the top 35!
Great job everyone. What a great Fourth.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How bad could it be?

We decide to head down to the Cape to visit Nana for a couple of days. How bad could traffic be on a Thursday afternoon? It's not like it is the day before the 4th or Saturday.

Oh, it's this bad. Dang. But I still remember when a 6 mile backup was considered a good day. Ah nostalgia.

Happy 4th.

Update: it was all because of a minor fender bender. Two cars stopped in the right lane of the bridge. No visible damage. Thanks for wasting an hour of my life. Idiots; move off the bridge.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Away we go

Week one of the four month schedule is barely half over and already I'm looking to cut out workouts. I switched up today's scheduled 4 miles for 6 miles instead and may take off tomorrow to let the legs settle before the 14 miler I have planned for Friday. That got moved up because of the 5K in Norwood on Saturday. Gotta make sure I rest up for that so I can put in a good showing for the club!

Tempo run on Tuesday went well, nothing too crazy just 7:35 pace over four miles. Problem is I went out and did 6 miles today that averaged out to a 7:46 pace. I either have to slow it down on the easy runs or pick it up on the tempo runs. What to do...

At least I managed to get in a good run before this hit!!!

It was only a mild sprinkle while I was out, not this end-of-the-world hail and brimstone storm.

Got to see the fireworks barge put into place on the Charles yesterday. Not very exciting but that whole area is already turning into a mob scene. I swear I ran by cameras set up already for the news channel. Not the ones that will be filming the concert or fireworks, the mobile ones used for on the scene reporting. What the hell are they reporting on already?

"This is Chucklehead Ramsey on the banks of the Charles. Behind me you can see the workers putting up scaffolding and running wires for the concert in three days from now. Out on the water you can see the fireworks barge has been put in place. Nobody is on it at the moment and won't be until at least Friday. So here is some footage of the geese found here by the water. Ned, Julia, back to you."

"Thanks Chucklehead for that riveting report. We will keep you up to date on all the latest news coming from the Hatch Shell as they get ready for the pops concert, three days from now."

God I hate the local news.