Tagged: L St Running Club

Running Down Hill Was My First Mistake

Hi Brendan,

I’m sorry to hear you have been having a tough time being able to have your chemo treatments.  I talked to your mom on Friday and she said hopefully you will be able to start up again this week.   I planned on coming with you to the JFC on Wednesday, so I’ll call tomorrow to confirm it with her.

I got to run part of the marathon course yesterday.   The met the LSRC for our 20 mile run.  Buses took us to mile 11 in Natick and where we ran back to South Boston.    Even though it’s just another training run, this one is a little more exciting.  The distance is longer and I’m on the course for most of the run which definitely builds anticipation for Marathon Monday.  It also allows me to start figuring out a game plan for the marathon.

Most of the Boston Marathon is running downhill.  It sounds like a good thing but if you don’t pace yourself it can ruin you by the time you get to heart break hill.  I learned that my first year running it.  I ran the first half of the marathon too fast.  I started to tire at the Newton Fire Station and by the time I hit the hills I didn’t have much left in the tank.  Just before mile 25 I stopped running.  My leg muscles started to seize up.  I stood on the side of the road which felt like an eternity as I stared at the Citgo sign.  I thought there was no way I would be able to finish, and just wanted to quit.  I’m not sure how but I started moving, slowly, toward Kenmore Square.  The next mile was the longest mile I have ever run. My legs hurt with every step.  My body kept begging me to stop.  When I got to Hereford St for the final turn on to Boylston St, my calf muscles contracted in to a tight ball and I had to stop yet again.   I stretched the muscle by using the sidewalk curb with only 600 yards to the finish line.  Then with one more mental push I was able to complete the 26.2 miles.

Every marathon isn’t a tragedy like my first Boston.  I’ve learned my best lessons by making mistakes. Two years later I am a smarter runner.   I start slow, watch my pace, drink and fuel along the way, and save myself for Heartbreak Hill.  If I feel good when get to Boston College I know I’ve done a good job managing my run.

I know I owe you some pictures from the cruise (which was a lot of fun!).   After I get them off the camera I’ll email you a few.  Take care and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.


RM: 20.15 (Natick to South Boston)
WM: 20.15
TM:  283.75


Meet Your Match Party

Hi Brendan,

I had so much fun at the party with you!  I was glad you made it and was able to stay the whole time.   I hope you didn’t wear yourself out too much.  It was nice to finally meet you and your family in person.  Nikki and Isabella had a great time too.  Thank you for getting Isabella the Strawberry Shortcake doll.  She loved it!

Knowing that your appetite has not been there lately I was glad to see you ate a sundae.  It looked really good.  I realized in all of the excitement that I never had one.  I guess I’ll have to treat myself to one later this week.

Which of the 3 group exercises did you like best?  The one where we had to seek out a person in the room and ask as many questions about the person within 1 minute and try to remember, the cup pyramid building or the puzzle making?  I think I liked the puzzle making the best.  It was funny trying to get our “resources” to bring the correct pieces.

I enjoyed the partners who gave their inspiring talk.  Listening to both the young girl and her partner seemed to accentuate the great work Dana-Farber does and how the DFMC and Claudia Adams Barr program helps Dana-Farber continue their pursuit.

After the party, Isabella wanted to ride a train.  So we walked to Kenmore square.  I forget how far it is when you have a little one, but she walked the whole way.  I was very impressed.  Then we aimlessly rode the Green Line to Government Center where we had to get off because the streetcar was going out of service.  We jumped on the E line back to Prudential and grabbed dinner at Legal Sea Foods.  After we got a taxi back to the car and headed home.

Yesterday was a fun day!  I’m looking forward to Wednesday for the big celebration.  I’m keeping my fingers cross that we can skip the reoccurring mid-week storm.

Enjoy Sunday and I’ll talk to you soon.


RM: 15.8 (Chestnut Hill Reservoir Run)
WM: 15.8
TM:  107.75  

Adams Street Run

Hi Brendan,

Yesterday your mom told me about the Kiku Yama trip to celebrate 1 year of being cancer free.  I’m in!  It sounds like a lot of fun.  I’ll be counting the days.

Today is Sunday so it’s another long run with L St.  I got in the car this morning and the thermometer read -4 F.  By the time I got to Carson beach I was pretty excited to see that it warmed up to 12 F.  I guess that would be the only way someone could get excited about a number like that?!?

I was all set for the cold today.  Preparing for the worst, I took a trip to Dick’s yesterday to get thicker running pants and my first balaclava.   I had the Vampire Weekend song, Horchata in my head all morning. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkUQ-OBazbc).   As I started to warm up during the run, I was starting to second guess my wardrobe.    The mask was starting to itch my neck and I was beginning to overheat.  By the first water, I had to remove my new balaclava purchase along with my hat and gloves.  With my half unzipped jacket a ran the next 5 minutes trying to cool off.  I forgot just how quickly you warm up.

I can’t picture training without this group.   This morning the brave water stop volunteers were out in the cold with smiles on their faces, freezing their tails off just so we don’t dehydrate ourselves.  They also have some fun treats to help fuel us in the later miles like candy and fig newtons. 

Training for a marathon seems like an individual sport, but it isn’t.  You need the support of a lot of people.  Your family, friends, other runners and volunteers are very much a part of it.  Sure, I guess you can do it on own but that sounds like a lot of work.

I know you have been running your own marathon for over a year now, one that nobody chooses to run.   As hard as it is for you, I’m sure having your family, friends, doctors and other patients support you, gets you through the tough hills. 

As we say out on the course, “Keep it up, you look strong!”


RM: 15.0 (Adams Street Run)
WM: 15.0
TM:  74.6

Packard’s Corner Run

Hi Brendan,

I had a good run today.  It was the Packard’s Corner Run.  We didn’t start from our normal location, the Curley Community Center in South Boston but at the Boston Athletic Club.   It was a little confusing for us because in the past the BAC would be open early but this year it didn’t open until 8 a.m., which is when the run starts.  We were scrambling around last minute.    It was kind of funny.

The run is listed at 13.2 miles but my watch said 13.6.  I have a Garmin 405 watch that tracks me by GPS.  It lets me know real-time my pace, distance and time.  It can give me my heart rate if I wear the monitor.  I only use the monitor when I want to control my zones, like interval training or a controlled pace.   You can see a map and the stats from my run here, http://connect.garmin.com/activity/63760937

RM: 13.6 (Packard’s Corner Run)
WM: 13.6
TM:  43.85

Sunday in January

I always look forward to this Sunday in January.   It marks the beginning of marathon season, well at least in Boston.    At times, I wonder why I actually get excited for it?  It means my week days that are already packed full with work deadlines, commuting gridlock, desperately finding quality family time, and those pesky home owner responsibilities will need to make room for my training.  Hmmm,  I guess the alarm will just get set a couple of hours earlier.  But the truth is, I do love it.   To many of you, it may seem insane, but for those of you that have your running gear at the foot of your bed  you get what I mean.

Today was officially my first day of training for the 2011 Boston Marathon.  I am running with the L St running club again this year.   They have a great group of people running they club who are committed to making me and the other members succeed and I thank them for it.   They provide a lot of self confidence to novice and veteran runners alike.

Week 1 Long Run

RM: 11.5 (Hilltop Street / Adams Street)
WM: 11.5
TM:  11.5