I made it back to Boston, with Wellesley-level 100 Decibel cheering in many places (not just from the "kiss me" coeds). I saw Dick Hoyt pushing his son to the finish for the 40th and last time, his shoulder patted by about every other passing runner. Talked to a woman who lost a leg last year. The remembrance of 2013 was in every poster and in all the everyman runners. Hopeful daffodils lined the course next to a million cheerfully defiant, high-spirited Bostonians. Most waited until after the elites had gone by to cheer the rest of us.
But my favorite moment was in the athletes village before the race. A little Japanese man in stocking feet asked me about my Hokas. Hot new shoe, particularly in trail running. I told him I liked the ultra cushioning...makes me two inches taller. Not sure he got the joke. He was even shorter than me. I asked him what he ran in. Didn't catch his answer until his second try at the word barefoot. I asked him if he'd ever read Born to Run. He seemed to have read it, but all I could understand was the phrase "Barefoot Ted lies," which he repeated several times.
My Japanese friend seemed to have ignored the hundred pages in the book about the running people, the Tarahumara tribe. Maybe because they run in sandals and never lie except as part of the cultural pressure release of their all-night drinking parties before two-day running games that helps make them a nearly perfect, healthy culture.
Maybe the minimalist barefooters lie, and yet my new Japanese friend ran Boston barefoot. But not before checking out my new maximalist shoes.
I actually had a print out of those races from the site, but I had not taken the time to register and claim my races, and I'm glad Steve's comment prompted me to do it.
Athlinks.com was missing a few of my races, including my NY, Paris and Boston Marathons and many fundraiser 5K/10K races. But when I claimed the race results it had as mine, the site offered my out-of-state Boston 2003 and NYC 2008 Marathon as possible matches and allowed me to claim them. I guess out-of-country is a little much to ask.
I also had credit for an 8k timed at 1:26 or a blistering 17:18 per mile, but I only ran the 5k that day. The site made it easy to delete that bogus result.
Another great feature is listing runners who live near you who've claimed their results. What better way to find a running partner and connect with the local running scene?
Other services also have race results, but none that I know of do the hard work for you and make it easy to claim additional results. I've paid for a number of races through Active.com, for example, and all of those times are available through Active. But Active makes you search one at a time by race to claim your results. WAY too much trouble.
If you're a race organizer, do all of your runners a favor by sharing your results with athlinks.com.
AND ... if you're from the athlinks organization, accept my kudos but get in touch by dropping me a comment. I'd love to get some of my best races in there (a 5 mile 32:03 in a Palo Alto Run Club race that Active still has on the books and the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women 5K in which I broke 20 minutes).
I can't explain exactly how, but the day got away from me and I didn't run until 11 p.m. Down in the basement on the treadmill again.
I've a long way to go before I'm back in Marathon shape again, and doing 3 miles late at night is not particularly good progress, although I recall late night runs at 24-hour-Fitness when I was training for my first marathon. So maybe it's not so bad.
On the other hand, it's easy to get a bit discouraged. I finished my short run tonight by upping the speed to 8 mph for the last half mile, which equates to 7:03 pace. It felt pretty good, but not sustainable for long, not even on a treadmill. And 7:03 on a treadmill at 1 percent slope is still a heck of a lot easier than 7:03 on flat ground.
My best marathon was 7:06 pace. On flat ground. For 26.2 miles. Faster, actually, because I spent several minutes in a Porta Potty.
But I can't think that way. Instead, it's hey, I just pulled half a mile at 7:03 pace. I'm getting there. Just need to keep at it until I can do it 52 times as long. No problem. That's the runner I'm going to be.
I always wanted to be better than run of the mill at everything. As I get older I ruminate a bit more about not pulling that much away from the pack, if at all.
Best thing to do when that happens is to go for a run. Even if it's just on the dreadmill down in the basement. It's cool down there even when it's hot as hell in Woodland Hills. Even when you're dreading being run of the mill.
Not that I minded running in 100 degrees when I was 20 pounds lighter and a few years younger. Ah, there I go again. Only this time it's more about being pulled back to the pack when I had actually separated from it as a runner.
I left behind the crazy day with the steady rhythm of the whirling belt carrying me away even as I stood still.
Forgot about not getting started on a new project because I didn't get contacts from my customer. Forgot the crash of the scout training for dealing with weather that threw me back into the tornado section. Forgot the racket as the handy man fixed the leaky shower by grinding the gears that were chewing up the washer.
Cooled down slowly in the shower but still sweated like a stuffed pig all the way to Dodger Stadium. Made it to the stadium on surface streets without GPS, almost like I was a Dodgers and not a Giants fan. Split Gordon Biersch garlic fries with Theo. Stuffed pig feeling returned even though it was cooler by then. Don't know if Theo was more impressed with the fries or when I called the home run Ethier hit on a 3-0 pitch and also the 2 out, 3-2 count steal of third by Kemp. Probably by the fries. All on the day that Frank McCourt probably gave up owning the Dodgers. Getting pulled back into the pack.
Tomorrow will be better. Run early, before it gets hot, and long, before my will weakens. Before my resolve gives way and I fail to really get out and only slouch back down to the dreadmill for a few more miles in the cool and dark.
I usually get out for a long run on Father's Day, but not this year. Theo had a birthday party to go to about 50 miles away, so I only had time for a quick run up to the fire road at the local park. But everyone went: the boys, Sylvia, and our dog Tyler.
Sylvia urged me to get a real workout and go off ahead, so I did. Unbeknownst to me, Theo and Zane tried to follow me up the hill. They couldn't keep up, but they tried.
I was surprised to find them so close to the top when I had started back down. High fives, and then they joined me on the way down.
It was steep and rocky. I urged them to be careful. Skinny Zane shot out ahead, but I caught him on the one long uphill on the way back and blew by, just to show him that he was fast, but not the leader of the pack. Not yet.
I let Zane go on ahead on the downhill and waited a few seconds for Theo. He worked hard to stay with me. Like me, he's put on a few pounds.
"Dad, I think I'm going to start running," Theo said. "Maybe we can do the half mile loop we did on my science experiment to start. And work up to something longer."
Working up to something longer with your sons. Seems like a fine idea. Sometimes quick runs are just the beginning.
After the run we convinced Zane to come along with us to Theo's party. It was at one of those places with gocarts, video games, lazer tag, and sundaes for 10. They're still too short to drive the gocart by themselves, but when we can race is when it will be REALLY fun.
We decided to make it an annual Father's Day Tradition. I didn't mention it, but the tradition will include the run. Here's to it being a race we run for many years to come.
Furman "Less is More" 3 Days of Running a Week There are two days of cross training as well, but I can vouch for Furman. I ran a 3:21 on only 30 miles or so a week at the peak of my training schedule. But don't think it's easy: no junk miles, and weekly speed work and tempo runs.