The problem with not blogging on a regular basis and making little notes on my Treo and telling myself that I'll get some time to put it all together and post it is that it just doesn't happen. The notes just pile up and… when I do find some time to do it the notes are all in reverse order so what you're getting is April 5th onwards….. so this might take some time. Make yourself comfy go get a cold one out of the fridge… or come back when you have more time.
07-04-06… or there abouts
So again I get a few minutes to write a few lines to the blog, seems like flights are the only time where my mood coincides with down time. However there are a least a dozen things directly related to the job that I should be doing instead of practicing my thumb-typing. On the subject of thumb-typing I am totally amazed at what a phenomenal source of time wasting my new Treo can be. The urge to try every single feature of this thing is hard to resist and my ability to find new ways to crash & bugger up this wonderful device are almost as limitless. But all in all it's a pretty good tool(toy).
Where are we on the Boston prep? well up until yesterday I wasn't feeling that confident. My last few runs have been subpar in so much as I felt I was having to force too much to get the required result and the recovery has been generally harder. I've felt more tired and achey for a longer time, sort of felt like the beginning of the training when in fact the schedule is almost done. The old legs were complaining after runs that wouldn't normally get a mention. And then I met Ann. Ann is one of the masseuse at the new MAA club downtown, she dwarfs me by about 6" and also offers massages to horses in the Eastern Townships…. she very gently, or at least it seemed gently worked my calves, quads, ankles and lower back. This was exactly what I needed and slipped a couple of ibuprofen when I got home just to make sure the dull ache moved on quickly.
My schedule called for 8 miles with 3 x 1600 @ 5K pace… yeah right! No way I was going to chance it, so I settled for a steady pace workout tweeking what I think I might be able to hold as pace for the 17th. I came up with 7:45/mile this seemed to be the comfort zone and will be my target. As usual I indulged in a half hour of steambath and then headed home to bed. This morning my lower body felt fresher than it has for a long time, no aches, no pains nada! This was exatly the boost I needed and the timing could not have been better.
So what else is new? Jr. finally got his acceptance to College Beaubois which is brilliant news as it will eliminate the 2 plus hours of daily commute that we've been doing every day for the last five years and will save a heavy discussion with his mum, hooray! an extra 15 minutes of sleep per day.
The Haliburton 100 is becoming larger on the horizon, I guess I'm going to have to start planning a strategy but let's get the Patriot's Day Run behind us.
So fast forward to Monday in Halifax NS. One week to go and all seems well. On saturday I took the legs for a gentle three laps of Centenial Park, grey and damp. Nothing really to report other than a lot of questioning how ready I am for next Monday. Sunday, yesterday I set the alarm and got out of bed at 5:30am to get in my last run of any distance(10-12miles) only to realise that I hadn't budgeted for the one hour time difference. I went back to bed and repeated the exercise this morning, Monday using local time. There is a really beautiful park, Mount Pleasent Park about 15 minutes run from the hotel, so as the sun came up I headed off. For some reason my left calf/shin started to ache a bit for the first 20-30 mins of my runs. I don't like this.Maybe I'm just being neurotic but it felt a bit like the stress fractures that tooks so long to heal….. Anyway I ran for about 80 mins and finished feeling fairly strong and fresh. Back to the hotel, hot shower, breakfast and then off to work. Ho Humm.
A long day on my feet, dinner with clients and then I graciously declined to go on into the wee hours as everybody else gets plastered. Really not my bag and the reports of the really dumb behaviour the next morning do nothing for the idiots who get shitfaced pretty much every time they are away from home.
I got a great nights sleep last night but that groaning noise was there in my left leg at the front just below the knee. I am noting all this as I tend to forget the aches and pains that have preceeded injury … that's not what it is this time but just in case I'l have the details for future reference.
I miss home. I miss my kids & K too. There really ain't anything exotic about hotels, breakfast buffets and the copious amount or protien that comes at every dinner. I must confess to enjoying the desserts and there are a few restaurants that do it for me, one of these is Fid. A fid is the spike used by fishermen and sailors to undo knots Dennis & Monica have small collection in thier restaurant which seats about 20 or 30 and is hidden away behind an expensive lingerie shop off Dresden place in Halifax. Everything is organically grown locally and is prepared with an attention to textures, colours and flavours that blow me away, I love this restaurant and when the owner called at the end of the meal(the waitress brought over phone) to ask for my opinion I was stuck for an adjective… superb and perfect just didn't seen to cut it.
I'll be back in YUL in hour apparantly the sun is shining..
Work work work…..
Fast forward to the saturday am before race day monday. Did you ever notice that the "v" is beside the "c" on your keyboard, and as I sit here on my host's loo writing this blog update that never gets posted, my "race" became a "rave" for a moment. I'm taking that as a sign, a good sign. So I've run my last run before Boston 2006 and it didn't feel that bad really. Forty minutes out and back. Both ankles are a little stiff, my left calf and shin are less than perfect but the discomfort fades after about half an hour. It felt easier this morning than the past few workouts, which is encouraging. My heartrate seemed just a little higher than normal but I thinks it's for want of a new battery in the strap more than a lack of something on my part. So what's been happening since Nova Scotia. Not much really. Tried to get on top of the work thing, ran a little on Thursday night, felt more tired than anything else and spent way too little time with the family. I'll be glad when this month is finished, I miss my family, home and the routine of my littlle world. On the bus down I wrote a couple of hundred words but I started buggering around with my preferences and lost the document. You didn't miss much it was a very uninspiring eight hours of public transport. However, I should give a "shoutout" for the arsehole driving the bus. Mid-fifties, khaki-coloured uniform two sizes too small, glasses like Bubbles from the "Trailer Park Boys" and to top it all a little Adolf H. mustache (I wished I'd taken a photo). He did nothing to me personally, but he left a couple of kids behind at the White River stopover because he wanted to get going 10 minutes early. Nothing wrong with that except the kids stuff/laptop was on already on the bus. When a few of us brought this to his attention he laughed and said they could get the next bus. May he karma bless him with huge hemoroids!
So what now? I think I'll shower, dress and head on down to the expo and buy some socks, grab some "Gu's" and see if I can get into the spirit of things.
Well I finally got my ankle looked at by a PT, on the T train to Boston. I just happened to ask Hilda some directions to the Seaworld Trade Centre and wouldn't you know it that's where she was headed too. We chatted, she remarked on my ankle still being swollen and frowned sternly when I confessed to not having seen a physio for my injury. She wished me luck. What are the chances of bumping into someone you know at the expo? a non-runner? slim eh? so I met a business aquaintance from Toronto. It felt weird, like I got caught playing truant or something … bizarre. So I picked up mine & Mercury's bib numbers, went and got our shirts and then turned in Mercury's bib & chip .. the rule is: if you are unable to run due to injury they will give you a one year deferral (the catch is you have to pick up your number or have somebody else do it) I rang merc to give him the news, he seemed happy. There are no freebies at the BM, in fact you're hard pushed to get a discount. I bought some sox, some Gu's and a new fuel belt as mine has pretty much due for retirement. I resisted the flash BM jackets…. just a bit to show off but I did get me new Adidas sleeveless T. Grabbed a 3 posters, spoke to people who make the yellow sneakers, fondled a pair of the new red ones… very cool. After a couple of hours of the expo I hopped on one of the shuttle buses and went back towards downtown, then took the metro to Boston Common. The sun was shining and the trees are full of blossom, everyone was smiling and the whole place felt very alive. I meandered slowly over towards Boylston and stood and watched for a while as the construction workers worked on the grandstand and the finish line stucture. I think it was at that point in time that I came to and realised why I was in Boston and what I have to do.
Winging it is not in my nature, I'll go for it on Monday, the way I always do. I am certain it's gonna be toughie this time, maybe even a tad painful but I know I'll get my moneys worth for certain. I should also mention the wonderful Irish guy I met in the Adidas queue who said he was running for liver research…. he then introduced me to his nine year old daughter. A beautiful little thing who had had a transplant at te age age of three, she is now nine. I felt very humble next to gentleman who had raised 10$k this year and god knows how much in the 3 previous BM's he had run. I miss my kids.
Anyway I'm back at the house now, I'm starving and I'm icing my ankle which is aching a little after this morning's run followed by 5 hours of wandering around Boston. On the menu tonight we have BBQ from the Blue Ribbon take out. Awesome nosh which I probably avoid two days before the big race but what the hell.
Sunday was another beautiful day in Boston. I got up late, lingered over breakfast and then got a lift from my wonderful host down to Henruns apartment which is literally 1 block away from the course…. I thought it looked familiar. Henrun and his wife are just about the coolest people. We chatted for an hour or so and then I left with a newfound friend Siobhan (aka silenceisgolden), new to Boston and fairly new to the Coolrunning community. We chatted on the T, then went and had lunch, admired the finish line and then went and layed on Boston Common for a while and chatted some more. Another really nice person, if nothing else I've met some great people this weekend.
Dinner tonight was just little too much but the lamb was delicious… pinned my number on my shirt, layed out my stuff and now we're off to sleep. Feeling suprisingly calm about this race, it's only a marathon right?
I'm not sure I'm am all in the mood to regurgatate the entire day's events as I sit in the South Station bus Terminal listening to Fauré's requiem & Albinoni's adagio for strings… very post partum… very moody. I'm tired and the thought of a nights sleep on the bus isn't exaxtly thrilling but seeing as the "beam me up scotty" function isnt working on my pda…. I guess the bus'll have to do.
Again I made the aquaintance of another runner on the bus out to Hopkinton. Christine and I sat in the atheletes village a whiled away the time talking about pretty much everything. A wonderful warm charater with a very very bright career ahead of her in the senate …. or wherever she chooses I would guess. I lost her at the start and I'm guessing she finished ahead of me so we never hooked up at the end or got a chance to say goodbye (3:23 something).
I'm not sure I want to road race anymore. Today was a truely special experience as only The Boston Marathon can be but something has changed and the sparkle just wasn't there this time. I ran well, felt good and was exactly where I wanted to be but the course beat me. If I'm puting that much effort/sweat into an event I think I want to come away with a bigger buzz than this. You know where this is going. I think I want a little more knowledge on cramp, I am sure my pain today at mile twenty could've been avoided. I'm having a real hard time concentrating on this so I'm going close here and see how things feel in the morning.
Fast forward two days…. I am now in Toronto… propping up my laptop on my knees and wondering if that really was my last BM…. can't just toss it out like old socks…. who knows. Anyway the recovery process seems to be a little faster than some of the previous races….. and I'm jonesing for a run already. Should be OK by the weekend… There's no hope for the boy!
PS the photos were taken with my phone as I forgot the Kodak…. sorry