Monday, April 15, 2013

A tragic day in Boston

Monday - I woke up this morning and flipped on the live Boston Marathon TV coverage.  I marveled at the performance of the elite runners and imagined what it must be like to win the Boston Marathon, before making my short drive to work.  As I walked into the office, I checked facebook and the BAA live runner tracking site to see how everyone's big day was going.  I decided to get some strength training in during lunch and headed to the gym at work.  Shortly thereafter, I received a text that there were two explosions at the Boston Marathon finish.  I couldn't believe what I was reading and I hoped it was an exaggeration or a mistake, that it didn't mean what I interpreted it to mean.  I checked twitter and various news sites and watched the horrible reports come in.

The finisher's area of a marathon is truly a magical place.  It is filled with emotions, with hopes and dreams come true, tears of joy and laughter, with triumph, and with love.  The pain, discomfort, and suffering brought on by hours of running is, in an instant, erased by all of these things.  Whether one has run to the finish line from the start, arrived there to cheer in family and friends, or to volunteer, the magic is tangibly in the air.  Among others, I have run the New York City, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco marathons.  The energy, the vibe that comes with the large crowds of like-minded individuals, all who have trained long and hard, all who have a single focus and a single goal of reaching the finish line, 26.2 miles away, is unforgettable.

Had I qualified for Boston this year, I would have stood proudly in the starting corral at Hopkinton, MA today.  I would have been realizing a life long dream.  I would have been absorbing the sights and sounds of the course.  I would have laughed and smiled and waved while running past Wellesley College.  I would have charged as hard as I could up Heartbreak Hill, making it hurt, running harder in spite of the pain and discomfort.  I would have shed tears while turning onto Boylston Street and I would have been filled with pure elation as I sprinted the last 400 meters and across the finish line.  And based on my recent marathon times (in the 3:50's), as I crossed, or very shortly thereafter, two deafening explosions would have ravaged the scene.  That this happened today at such an innocent place, where people are simply striving to prove to themselves that they can endure, that they can succeed, and to support their loved ones as they have done it, is unimaginable.  It is hard for me to wrap my head around this tragedy.

So many people have contacted me today, in some form or another, checking to see if I was there and telling me that they thought of me and that they're glad I'm OK.  That was so nice to hear, thank you everybody!  That was such a bag of mixed emotions.  It feels good to be thought of and cared for, but is also a stark reminder of all of those who started today with great aspirations and are now gone or are suffering.  RIP to those who were lost and may those who are suffering recover well.

Tuesday - Met up with some Folsom Trail Runners for an easy 4 mile run at 6 am.  Enjoyed breakfast, coffee, and chat at Karen's Bakery after.

Wednesday - I haven't been doing any kind of speed work for the last few months.  I went out for a 10 mile run this AM and decided to mix in a 4 mile tempo.  10.12 miles @ 8:39/mile.  Miles 4-7 were progressive, averaging 7:40/mile.  I'm happy with how good my legs are feeling, given that AR 50 was only 11 days ago.  I listened to "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell during my run.

Thursday - Took a 6 am flight to Santa Clara for a work-related conference, wasn't able to squeeze a run in today.

Friday - Flew home from Santa Clara, ran 8.5 miles with Lucy.  It was a nice, warm day.  I made sure to seek out all of the remaining mud puddles/streams so Lucy could stay cool.  Saw a large king snake and an average sized garter snake today.  As always in the spring and summer, one must stay on high alert for rattlesnakes around here.

Saturday - Ran 16.0 miles from Stinson Beach, 3,500 ft. of climbing.  Beautiful, warm day.  We had a really good time.  Had lunch at the Dipsea Cafe after.

Sunday - Ran from Hotel Vitale, where we stayed, along the Embarcadero.  I made a left at Aquatic Park and ran up Hyde Street to Lombard (tough climb), then ran down the curvy stretch of Lombard, up to Hyde again, and back.  5.5 miles.

Weekly Totals: 44.1 miles; 5,446 ft.

Early morning flight to Santa Clara. I wish they had dropped me in the Sierra instead.

My fears are being realized, construction crews are showing up at some of my most accessible local running spots.
Nice sized California King Snake

Lucy, keeping the mud on, staying cool.
Bill, Joe, Si, and I getting started from Stinson Beach.

Scott, Coastal Trail.

Great view of Stinson Beach in the background (our start/finish point is at the far left of the beach).

A stick managed to plug itself through my shoe.

Cruising on an invisible trail.

There was some "half-track" there.

Sea Lions at Pier 39.

Hyde St (Russian Hill) is a tough climb.  Ran the whole thing.

My inner outlaw won and I ran down The Crookedest Street in the World (Lombard).

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