Friday, September 21, 2012

CVS Caremark Downtown 5K

Take eight!

This was my eighth year in a row running this race. The only streak I have going as it concerns my running. I always make a point to run this race, not because it's a flat course, that hill at the end is a killer, but because the weather is always awesome. I'm not kidding, eight straight years of absolutely gorgeous, if not hot, weather. Now that's a streak!

Unlike previous years I decided that I only needed a week to get ready for this one. So with a total of about 6.8 miles of training I set out to conquer the all-new 5K course. I'm kidding of course, I planned on just finishing and not looking like a fool. The closer the day got though the more I began to have an idea. As I had previously mentioned I needed to bring some fun back to running. Enough with the doom and gloom of ten months of no running (oh the shame!) I needed an attitude adjustment. So I started to look forward to the race more and more. At least it was something to do! And though even all my friends abandoned me and I had to do it alone, I was determined to have a good time.

And I did. As I said, the weather was gorgeous, everyone was in high spirits and I was just happy to be out running. I'm so used to running this race that everything was on autopilot so I could just take it all in and have some fun.

I also ran pretty well. I purposely kept it slow, except for the start where I went out at a 6:30 pace until I finally realized that my GPS watch was not playing tricks on me. I kept a steady pace and took in the new course. When it was all over I had run my second slowest time of that race but I didn't care at all because it may have been one of my slowest 5K times ever, but it was my fastest time ever having run a 5K:

as the Freakin' Batman!

na na na na na na, me

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Well That Was Quick

Oh yeah.

Going to the big show.

Fingers crossed, let's hope everything holds together. I'm looking at you Achilles.

Yes, you

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And now...

We wait...

Boston Marathon Registration

Then comes the fun parts.

Monday, August 20, 2012

No Wonder Why

I was perusing some blogs today when I came upon one particular one. It was all about getting out and doing a race for no reason other than to just get out there; no agenda, no expectations, just go have some fun. And like the proverbial ton of bricks it hit me, no wonder why I've been so depressed about my lack of running, it 's not just that I haven't been running, I haven't raced since October 30th of last year.

One of the first things I tell new runners is to go out and pick a race that they want to run. The reason is that this gives them a goal, something they can remember when they are sweating their asses off at 4:30 in the morning. It's the reward for all of the time and effort that you have put in to getting there. Basically, it's the fun part. Now I know some people are saying, "Racing, fun? What the..?" But it really is. You get to throw caution to the wind and just run run run as fast as you can while chasing down and fending off opponents. And some times they have prizes too!

So yes, I like to race. It is the only part of my life that I get competitive about and I can be super-serious when it comes to race time. At the end of the day though, whether it is a marathon I've trained months for, a fun local 5K, a run up a mountain, or an Ultra relay across New England, the one thing I have always tried to find in every race is the fun. Racing has always made me happy because of the challenge it brings; what else in our lives gives us the opportunity to see how far we can push our limits?

With that part of my life gone for so long now it is no wonder that I've been feeling so low. There are studies out there that have shown that running can be a form of addiction which could explain my attitude the last few months. Race time was always something that I could look forward to and get excited about but this morning I suddenly realized that not only have I lost anything to look forward to I've actually come to be depressed about the races I do have on the calendar. My last post is a shining example of this!

It's time for an attitude change. I am signed up for the Providence 5K in September and up until now my attitude towards it has been, meh. It shouldn't be like that, I need to remember the fun and excitement. Now I know I'm not going to PR it, at this rate I just hope to be able to run the whole thing, but I can use that knowledge. Since a PR is out of the question, and in fact I can't even run fast, there is no pressure at all for this race. Maybe I can do something that I haven't actually done in years; take some time during a race to enjoy the course, the other runners, the spectators. In short, to go out and have some fun.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm giving up

This is not the post I wanted to be writing. Even though I've put it off for a while now, it's time to face facts.

About a month ago I was feeling pretty good, good enough that I decided to start running again and see how things went. So I started running, slow, short runs to test the water; think one mile runs. It definitely proved that I wasn't yet 100% but it was encouraging. Then came that run one Monday; it was about 2.5 miles and the pace was faster but not crazy. I could tell during that the Achilles wasn't good, and it wasn't, and it continued to not be for days afterwards. Not painful per se, but worse than it had been. All of which just proved to me that I still wasn't ready to run. And I have no idea when I will be.

So what, right? I've gone this long, what's another month or two? What changed is that I happened to look at my calendar the other day.  This is what I saw:

I put those entries into my calendar within days of running my qualify time back in October. With ten separate alerts tied to the appointments to remind me to register I would say that I was a bit excited. Now, reality is crashing down on me.

At this point I am all but out of time to start any sort of training regime. I kept telling myself as one month of not running turned to three which turned to nine which now has no end in site that there was time. Always more time. Maybe I wouldn't be shooting for a 2:55 but I'd be ready to run a nice solid marathon. Now I need to realize that those dreams are rapidly fading away. If I was 100% ready to run right now I could still be ready, but I'm far from that point.

So I'm left with only a couple of options. Register as planned, hope for the best, and maybe put in a weak showing during the marathon. All the while hoping that I've healed enough to not make things worse during training and the race. Or, scrap all plans on running Boston. This second option really pisses me off though. Not running means that all that work and training was ultimately for nothing. Yes I will always be thrilled with my last marathon time and I'm happy I ran it, but the intent was to qualify for Boston. Not being able to run is, in my mind, a failure. Whenever I think about the situation all I can hear in my mind is this clip from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory:

Except, unlike Charlie, I did nothing wrong. In fact, I did everything right and yet I still lose. So when I said that it was time to face facts at the beginning of this post what I meant was that it is a growing fact that no good will come of this situation. The silver lining I tried so desperately to cling to is slipping away and I can see that at best I may be at the starting line this April. Or not. Either way it's a shitty situation I find myself in right now and I'm really tired of it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Adventures in Acupuncture

For the past couple of months I have been seeing an acupuncturist to try and speed along the healing with my Achilles. It's been pretty nice I guess. Basically he sticks me with a bunch of needles and then I fall asleep on the table for 40 minutes. Not a bad break from the day I will admit.

It has actually been more than that. He has been working my ankle and leg joints, giving me advice on stretches, and throws in the occasional cracking of the back for good measure. So does this mean that it has helped? I have no idea. Some days my heel feels great, others it can be annoying. At the end of the day though, he is actually trying to help. Not just by telling me to wait and let it heal, but by trying to get to the root of the problem and fixing it. I feel like I have spent the last nine months just waiting around for it to get better on its own so it is a nice change to feel like I am actively participating in my recovery.

I am still hyper-sensitive to every single little twinge and pain that emanates from my heel but there is no doubt that it is getting better. So much so that I have started to think about, wait for it...going for a run. Whoa! I know, a crazy thought but I think I may be at the point where I need to test it out and see how everything reacts. We shall see, soon.

I only wish I looked this good with needles all over me

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Good News Everyone

Podiatrist not drawn to scale (or ethnicity, or gender)
The podiatrist says my heel is looking much better! Not running better, but better. I haven't had a bad flare up at all in the past month or so and it only occasionally aches. She gave me the go ahead to resume my life, no more heel lifts or restrictions. To the sandals!

The bad news is that I will probably be susceptible to this kind of injury from now on but there's not much I can do about that.  I'll just have to keep stretching and be mindful.

Soon, I hope to be running. Soon.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

How I will be celebrating National Running Day

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Great Loss

Today we woke to news of a great loss in the entertainment world. A man universally recognized as one of the greats of our time. He rose to fame and critical claim during the 60's and 70's even though there were those that believed he would have a difficult time being a foreigner. The internet recently brought his work to a new generation and spread his charm to the four corners of the global. Sadly, he succumbed after a long fight for health and died today.  I am speaking, of course, of the great Eduard Khil, aka "Mr. Trololo". He will be missed by all.

Truly enchanting

Apparently Richard Dawson died too! But what has he ever accomplished, really?
Actor (28 titles)
Episode dated 7 January 1980 (1980) … Guest Host
Episode dated 7 December 1979 (1979) … Guest Host
1978 The Love Boat (TV series)
Bert Buchanan

1978 How to Pick Up Girls! (TV movie)
Chandler Corey

1978 Fantasy Island (TV series)
Harry Beamus

Call Me Lucky/Torch Singer (1978) … Harry Beamus
1975 McMillan & Wife (TV series)
Roger Stambler

Aftershock (1975) … Roger Stambler
1975 The Odd Couple (TV series)
Richard Dawson

1974 Hong Kong Phooey (TV series)
1973-1974 The New Dick Van Dyke Show (TV series)
Richard Richardson

1973 Keep an Eye on Denise (TV movie)
1970-1973 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (TV series)
Regular Performer

1972 The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie (TV series)
Furniture Man / Sam Sniperley

Oliver and the Artful Dodger: Part 2 (1972) … Sam Sniperley/Furniture Man (voice)
Oliver and the Artful Dodger: Part 1 (1972) … Sam Sniperley/Furniture Man (voice)
1972 Wait Till Your Father Gets Home (TV series)
The Hippie (1972) (voice)
1971-1972 Love, American Style (TV series)
Danny (segment "Love and the Hiccups") / Melvin Danger (segment "Love and the Private Eye") / Rick Jagmund (segment "Love and the Groupie")

Love and the Anxious Mama/Love and the Boomerang/Love and the Private Eye (1972) … Melvin Danger (segment "Love and the Private Eye") (voice)
Love and the Fuzz/Love and the Groupie/Love and the Housekeeper/Love and Women's Lib (1971) … Rick Jagmund (segment "Love and the Groupie")
1965-1971 Hogan's Heroes (TV series)
Cpl. Peter Newkirk

During the run of Hogan's Heroes, Dawson introduced sitcom costar Bob Crane (a long-time photography enthusiast) to John Henry Carpenter, who worked with the video department at Sony Electronics and had access to early video tape recorders. In later years, Carpenter, who photographed some of Crane's sexual escapades with various women, would be implicated in but acquitted of Crane's murder.
1970 McCloud (TV series)
Ted Callender

The Stage Is All the World (1970) … Ted Callender
1967 Mr. Terrific (TV series)

The Formula Is Stolen (1967) … Max
1966 Munster, Go Home!

1966 Out of Sight
Agent (uncredited)

1965 King Rat

1964 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (TV series)
Robert Johnson

Anyone for Murder? (1964) … Robert Johnson (as Dick Dawson)
1964 The Outer Limits (TV series)
Oliver Fair

The Invisibles (1964) … Oliver Fair (as Dick Dawson)
1963 The Dick Van Dyke Show (TV series)
Tracy Rattigan

Racy Tracy Rattigan (1963) … Tracy Rattigan (as Dick Dawson)
1963 The Jack Benny Program (TV series)
Audience Member sitting next to Jack

Jack Meets Max Bygraves (1963) … Audience Member sitting next to Jack
1962 The Longest Day
British Soldier (uncredited)

2009 2009 Game Show Awards (TV movie)
Himself - Interviewee (also archive footage)

1994-1995 Family Feud (TV series)

1994 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (TV series)

Episode dated 8 September 1994 (1994) … Himself
1988 Richard Dawson and You Bet Your Life (TV movie)
Himself - Host

1985 Dorothy Stratten: The Untold Story (video documentary)

1976-1985 Family Feud (TV series)
Himself - Host
won a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Game Show Host for his work on Family Feud 
1984 TV's Funniest Game Show Moments (TV special)

1983 Mama's Family (TV series)

Family Feud (1983) … Himself
1981 The 8th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (TV movie)
Himself - Nominee

1980 Bizarre (TV series)
Himself - Host

1979 Angie (TV series)

Family Feud (1979) … Himself
1979 Good Morning America (TV series)

Episode dated 20 March 1979 (1979) … Himself
1973-1978 Match Game 73 (TV series)
Himself / Himself - Panelist / Panelist / …

1977 US Against the World (TV movie)

1976-1977 Tattletales (TV series)

Episode dated 5 September 1977 (1977) … Himself
1977 All-Star Family Feud Special (TV series)

1976 I've Got a Secret (TV series)

1976 The Gong Show (TV series)

Episode #1.1 (1976) … Panelist
1975 Showoffs (TV series)

Episode dated 8 September 1975 (1975) … Himself
Episode dated 28 July 1975 (1975) … Himself
1975-1978 Match Game PM (TV series)

Episode #1.1 (1975) … Panelist
1975 Celebrity Bowling (TV series)

Episode dated 24 June 1975 (1975) … Himself
1975 Rhyme and Reason (TV series)

Pilot (1975) … Himself
1974 Masquerade Party (TV series)

1974 The Dean Martin Comedy Hour (TV series)

1973 Password All-Stars (TV series)

Episode dated 5 November 1973 (1973) … Himself
1969-1973 The Merv Griffin Show (TV series)

Episode dated 12 September 1973 (1973) … Himself
Episode dated 1 September 1972 (1972) … Himself
Episode dated 6 November 1969 (1969) … Himself
1973 The Vin Scully Show (TV series)

Episode dated 19 February 1973 (1973) … Himself
1973 ABC Late Night (TV series)
Host / Narrator

1972 I've Got a Secret (TV series)
Himself / panelist

1972 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (TV series)

Episode dated 1 September 1972 (1972) … Himself
1972 Cop Out! (TV movie)

1971 The Virginia Graham Show (TV series)

Episode dated 13 October 1971 (1971) … Himself
1971 Mantrap (TV series)

Episode dated 31 August 1971 (1971) … Himself
1970 The Game Game (TV series)

Episode dated 13 July 1970 (1970) … Himself
1970 Can You Top This (TV series)
Himself / joke teller

1969 Allen Ludden's Gallery (TV series)

Episode #1.5 (1969) … Himself
1968 Operation: Entertainment (TV series)

Episode #2.12 (1968) … Himself
1968 The Donald O'Connor Show (TV series)

Episode dated 20 November 1968 (1968) … Himself
1968 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (TV series)
Himself - Guest Performer

Episode #1.5 (1968) … Himself - Guest Performer
1968 How's Your Mother-in-Law? (TV series)

Episode dated 12 February 1968 (1968) … Himself
1965 The Hollywood Palace (TV series)
Himself - Sketch Actor

Episode #3.13 (1965) … Himself - Sketch Actor
1960 The Royal Variety Show (TV movie)

1959 The Diana Dors Show (TV series)

1959 The Steve Allen Plymouth Show (TV series)
Episode #4.29 (1959) … Himself

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week six?

We're already half done! The P90X train keeps rolling and I will admit that I am seeing improvements in my arms. Getting those nice short-sleeve muscles ready for the summer! I can always tell that my strength is improving when I get to a point that my girlish forearms start to become a limiting factor. They are just too week and tiny to support any significant increase in weight. Sigh.

I feel your pain

It's been a crappy week mentally though. Although I am enjoying not feeling like a total sloth anymore my achilles started to bother me again this week and so I was reminded anew that I was still not running. It's May and I am still not running. Seven months later. I've done everything right and yet I am still not running.

We are heading to a wedding at the end of July in San Francisco and I was really looking forward to being able to run through the city. There is no better way to see a new city than to run through it; that way you get the whole experience. And I was psyched to tackle some killer hills. There are two types of runners, those that love hills and those that will go out of their way to avoid them.

Adidas gets it

But now, who the hell knows. I am continuing in running limbo. I've been getting mad about it, not just frustrated or annoyed, straight up angry. I'm tired of being told to just wait, to have patience. Screw your waiting, I want to run!

334 days until the 117th Boston Marathon

Monday, April 23, 2012

P90X Week Three

Week three of P90X has begun and boy have I already seen some dramatic changes!
Alright, that's totally not me. But one can dream!

Definitely feeling stronger and better than I have in a while though. It sucks getting up before the birds to work out but it will all be worth it in the end. Right? Gotta keep repeating that to myself.

As far as losing weight I can confidently say that I have lost a grand total of

Well, maybe not that bad, but I have not been great with my diet, as if that is something new. So onwards and upwards! I'll just keep plugging away until I can get back running. I got out with Melissa and Rose this weekend for a 90 minute bike ride. I am enjoying the bike rides, it's nice to be outside exercising again on a good day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Marathon Pics

Here are some pictures from the 114th Boston Marathon. I claimed a patch of asphalt in Wellesley where 135 meets 16, just past the halfway point of the race. I think the heat kept most of the more "interesting" runners out this year so there really wasn't much in the way of characters.

  The calm before the storm
Here come the women

Followed by the men

The infamous Don Burke!

The entertainment

Tom Rooney giving Michael Gilio terrible directions (hint: follow the other runners)

 Kim and Vin "Team" Greene stop off for some oranges

Taking a break to borrow my cell phone for a quick call

Taking in the sun, cheering on the runners

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

P90X Day 3

I can no longer move my arms. They are frozen in a permanent position and will violently scream in pain at any attempt to move them. This must mean that the program is working. As a matter of fact, I am actually writing this with my nose because I can't raise my arms.  awfhnafasnifqpwoie4gnfpoweaingf'[adsfmk'

Excuse me, I sneezed.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Now that Easter is over and I have consumed a good amount of sugar I figured that it was time to try and reclaim a semblance of fitness again. The fact that I have a checkup today and my doctor is probably going to laugh at my jiggly mid-section had nothing to do with this decision at all.

Vile Sugary Temptress!
Since I am still not running (insert appropriate grumbling sounds here) I thought about my best options for getting back in shape. Swimming? No pool. Biking? Still too cold for my taste. Modern pentathlon training? Tempting, but my horse is in the shop. What can I do at home, with minimal equipment? Hmm; I got it! P90X! I've done it before so I should easily be able to do it again.

Seriously, he will
Seems I forgot about that part. This post alone has taken me three hours to write due to the fact that I can only move my arms in a 12 degree arc. P90X doesn't have an adjustment period at the beginning. You just get out there and start banging out as many reps as you can. It would be like training for a marathon by running twenty miles every day without ever building up to it and occasionally doing it backwards just so you don't get burnt out. Oh, and yoga. Goddamn that yoga.

But I will persevere! Summer is coming and the current state of my body is scary. I'll keep working out and getting stronger. For now though, most workouts will probably end up like this:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Same sh...stuff

Different day.

Yesterday was the highly anticipated appointment with the podiatrist to come up with a plan on how to fix this nagging Achilles issue. Two months of waiting just to get to see her and I was confident and ready that we could begin to put this long ordeal behind me. Huzzah! progress!

Yeah, not so much. She looked at it, confirmed that yes, there was still some inflammation and that the x-rays definitely showed a slight bone spur. But it's a mild case so let's just go ahead and give it another six months. Umm, excuse me? Your advice is to do more of nothing? Exactly what I have been doing for the past 5 months and haven't seen any improvement in the past 3? Sorry but that is just unacceptable. So I pushed back a bit and  we talked about the surgery option, which while minor definitely is a huge step to take. But at least I wanted to get it out that I wasn't too happy about sitting around waiting.

Finally I just straight up said that I have Boston to run in 2013, I don't have time to sit around not running. I explained that not running it was not an option since it was the first time I have qualified. That made her feel a bit bad so she knocked the waiting period down to three moths. Still, that sucks. I'd hoped to be back on the roads by now to give my self a full year of training. Each month that goes by puts me further from where I hope to be come April 2013. Luckily the days are getting longer, the weather warmer and biking has no ill-effect on the foot so I can get out riding. A poor substitute for a good run, I know, but I've been lucky enough to get out and do some riding this past week and it has been great to be out exercising again.

So the frustration with this situation continues unabated and I am continuing to look for ways to speed up the recovery. Mostly though it is a struggle to come to terms that no matter what happens my 2012 running season is effectively cancelled and at best I will be fit enough to start training again sometime in the second half of the year.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Obligatory Whiny Post

Last month my PT and I came to the same conclusion, there was nothing more she could do for me. I was better than when I started but progress on the Achilles had all but stopped. So we bid each other a fond farewell and I went off to revisit the Ortho to see what could be done. Several X-rays (now in digital!) later she pretty much said that I was a good case for some minor surgery. Ok, not pretty much, she flat out said that it was the best idea at this point. So I walked five feet over and made my appointment with the podiatrist happy that I could finally move forward and fix this. Except that her first appointment wasn't for another two months. God dammit.

Two freaking months. Which of course means that I would get to see her in two months, then there would be another huge delay to schedule surgery, if she even recommends it, then the time to recovery. Which means I'm looking at some huge amount of time still not running.

Well screw that, I'm going to start call around to other doctors. So I did. And every single one was a longer wait than the last. WTF. You gotta be kidding me here. Seven months after I began treating this thing and I still have to wait at least another two months for a chance to fix it. I hate doctors with the passion of a burning star.

Well, not these Doctors of course

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 Blog Stats

Just for fun, here are the stats for my blog for 2011.

First thing, the amount of people following me has swelled from 7 to 7. So at least I'm consistent. My Feedburner feed though has 19 subscribers. Interesting.

There were 2849 pageviews. One notable mention, my race report for Baystate garnered over 900 views by itself. Ah, the power of Reddit.

66.14% of visitors were new. 1,311 total unique visitors.

The Greater Norwood Running Club website is the biggest referrer to my site. (excepting the Reddit bump). Keep up the good work!

But the single most interesting stat is that apparently you can reach my site by Googling this:  بريثي زينثا
Seriously, someone reached my site that way.

2011 Year In Review

Alright, I've put this off long enough. Here is my Year In Review for 2011.
Queue fanfare:

That was pretty much the highlight of this post so feel free to stop reading now.

I've covered most of this before so it will be brief.

As 2010 ended and 2011 began I found myself steadily recovering from a really ouch-tastic injury.  The Old Fashioned Ten Miler was another great race for me.

Then I set my sights on the Hyannis Marathon and cruised my way to a respectable 3:19. This wsa a pivotal race because I began to think bigger and to realize that a BQ was definitely in my grasp.

Now it was time to get serious. I enlisted the help of Mary to apply all of her knowledge as the founder of TriMoxie Multisport Coaching to make me a serious running machine.

Unfettered by a weird leg pain I flew down the streets of Boston during the Corporate Challenge to run my first ever sub-6 race (5K or longer).

Then came the New England Relay. But to make it interesting and to give the other teams a chance we ran it as an Ultra. And we still beat everyone but two teams (two full, 12 person squads. Not 2 other Ultra teams)

Time for a break so I ran up a mountain and through a bunch of mud.

Back to serious training. The Providence Half Marathon at which I alternately screwed myself and dominated at the same time. Now I knew that a 3 hour marathon was completely in my sights.

CVS Downtown 5K; my yearly tradition. Yes, I crushed it. And I would have done a sub-18 if it wasn't for that dang hill!

Finally, the Baystate Marathon. The one that I had been training for all year. Could I grab a BQ? Could I run it in under 3 hours. Yes, yes I could. Yeah me!

And to round it all out I threw in a duathlon just for fun. And got 3rd AG.

So all in all I would say this was a pretty successful year. Unfortunately I injured my achilles way back in March. Although I was still able to run with it I have been completely run-free since the duathlon in October. No running for a long time is starting to make me a very angry (non)runner. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.