Friday, April 9, 2010

B-Minus 10 Days

In one week I will be on my way to Boston.

Am I ready for this race? I suppose. I will be able to run the distance, but I suspect this one is going to hurt more than the previous ones. I did two 20-mile runs, but the last one was almost 3 weeks ago. My experiment with self-guided training was largely a failure. I now know without a doubt I need the structure of a regimented training program. For my next marathon I am going back to my trusted friend Hal Higdon, whose Intermediate II program was the one I used for the Cleveland Marathon last year (the race at which I qualified for Boston). It worked.

I am well aware I am not in the same physical condition I was a year ago pre-Cleveland (amazing) or even six months ago pre-New York (still pretty good). I have felt sluggish for quite some time and I'm in a running mojo-less funk, which is not a great place to be when one is about to run the Boston Marathon. I know this race is going to be a slow one, possibly even slower than NYC (4:16). Having come to terms with this, I am going to bring my camera and my love of running to the starting line and just go out there and have fun. This is Boston, for crying out loud. BOSTON! I'm going to soak up every sound and sight available, and I can't do that if I'm obsessing about my pace and time like I was in Cleveland.

In other news:

Did anyone else see this story? OUCH!

The World's Most Annoying Dog problem I ranted about has abated this week because the weather took a sudden detour back into Winter. After Monday and Tuesday pushed into the high 70s, Wednesday kicked off a downward spiral which included the appearance of snow flurries this morning. Yes, that's right, SNOW FLURRIES. Welcome to Michigan!

A couple of days ago I got together with Spike for a pre-Boston strategy session, which consisted of eating candy while wearing our Boston Marathon jackets. We both ordered an obscene amount of official race gear (OK, mine was only mildly offensive, but his was truly obscene) and even though it's a huge Race Faux Pas to wear the gear before the race, I insisted we get a tiny bit of our dork on and wear the jackets inside, away from accusing eyes. After all, we both worked our butts off last year to BQ, so I felt we had earned it. Then, what did I do but WEAR THE JACKET OUT TO DINNER. (It was cold and rainy!)


Running gods, strike me down now1.

Proof of massive breach of race etiquette.

Last weekend the hashers invaded the Waterloo Rec Area for some trail running and cheap beer-drinking. This edition of hashing was co-hared by myself and two other brave souls. Afterward everyone came to my house for a homemade feast I spent several days preparing: two kinds of chili (black bean and and beef), an 8-lb baked ham (from my half hog), eggplant hummus, and two pounds of bacon. There was nothing left but a few scraps of ham after everyone left.

In my house it is a well-known rule that any open container will spontaneously generate a cat. Here Darwin has teleported into one of the coolers we used for the beer checks at the hash last weekend.

Earlier this week I attended an extremely good concert by a band I first discovered last summer, the xx. This show capped a period of concert-going which spanned almost a month and included some great (and, unfortunately, not-so-great) music. I have a break of a few weeks before the next wave of shows begins on May 10 with Local Natives in Ann Arbor.

The xx live: restrained majesty.

During the mini-trip I took for the xx concert, I went to a bar which had Founders' Kentucky Breakfast Stout ON TAP. This is one of the best beers in the world according to Beer Advocate. I had it for the first time only a couple of weeks ago, and because it is highly seasonal and enjoys limited release I wondered if I would be lucky enough to taste it again this year. I was.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

The xx: "Islands"; "Basic Space"

1: Not only did I wear the jacket out to dinner on Wednesday, three weeks ago I wore it ON A RUN while I was visiting my parents. Clearly, I'm just thumbing my nose at the Running Gods.


Emily said...

I violated the rule even more than you did! I wore it across the street from my hotel the other night and I got some shit from my non-running friends. You know what? We qualified for this race! We earned the right to sport that beautiful, blue jacket!

Melissa said...

Man-or is Girl more PC?

You get to see some great shows where you live! I wish Pittsburgh had that type of talent willing to stop in town!

gmontalvo13 said...

i say, if you know the rules- you can break them!

Nitmos said...

I was going to chastise you for the faux pas but you did it yourself. As long as you realize that the running gods may decide to sever your Achilles in the starting chute - and are comfortable with that - there's nothing I can do about it.

I hope they look kindly on you.

Viper said...

Superstitions are bogus. Wear the jacket proudly. You've earned the right. As for the Breakfast Stout, my comrade in alcohol, the Martini, swears by that stuff. Haven't had myself. Wonder if Acme still has it ... ?

Run Jess Run said...

I love how your cat is looking at you like, "Seriously! How is this not normal?"

I have a friend up in Marquette who has 7 inches of snow. We just got a dusting this morning.

Running Diva Mom said...

Too funny! Good luck to you!!!

candlerun (htabby) said...

I agree you earned it so have the right to wear it. I would if I ever qualify in this life. lol ;0)

dirtdawg50k said...

You worked your ass off to get there, wear the jacket..

jen said...

I'm glad you've decided to embrace the experience of Boston with a camera in hand and pace be damned. You're going to have the experience of a lifetime..

LOVE the jacket. Go you.

Robert James Reese said...

Good luck in Boston. I hope it goes better for you than you're expecting it to.