drun4fun

Ideas, photos, routes, and how I fare doing all sorts of workouts. Riding, swimming, biking, etc. Dave Masterson's workout blog.

Be Boston – Marathon 2017

Welcome Runners!

This was my first visit to the Boston Marathon as a spectator! I’ve been wanting to do this for several years. I know the weekend schedule, I know the town, and I know the course. I can put myself where I want to be, without any of the concerns that I’d have if I was racing. The advice is stamped into every runner’s head – “Don’t stay on your feet at the Expo too long, don’t eat experimental things, don’t have too many beers…” NONSENSE! I’m doing this one right.

I came on the same flight as Julie, together we have over 25 people we know running and that we will track on Monday. We landed at 9 am and were left on the runway for half an hour. I’ll go on record as saying this flight lands every day at the same time, it cannot be a surprise the ground crew – WHERE’S OUR GATE? More importantly, this chews into the time I’d rather be spending trying to get to the 5k to see the elites finish. Although we are close to Boston Commons, we are goofed up by the airline so we missed it. Molly Huddle misses her 4th consecutive win by only 2 seconds, and Ben True sets a new American outdoor 5k record with a 13:18. Wow!

First things first

We went to our AirBnB which is on Beacon Street in Brookline. Our host is Jennifer, a very nice girl. We are staying ON THE COURSE at mile 24.5 – This is exciting! We dropped our stuff off and walked to the Expo. Past Fenway Park, the Citgo sign, Kenmore Square, up Hereford Street to the convention center. It is crazy crowded with a HUGE line winding around the building. Confession: I walked around not really knowing where I was supposed to go and when I saw people heading inside I went right with them. We did a nominal security check and we were in! We went towards the Adidas section to see all of the official race merchandise. So many neat things to buy if you were doing this year’s event! We found the Samuel Adams sample booth – that was worth a few trips back on the line to get 26.2 Brew. There is plenty to see and play with and… we have all day to do so!

We find the lululemon “Sweatbox” at the other side of the show. We’ve seen this before and know it means try a garment on the treadmill and keep it! We each wait about 45 minutes and get to come out with something new. Most people hear about this and don’t want to wait. They have to get “done with the expo” and back to a hotel to relax. Understandable. While there, I catch up with Lilia and Chris – they are excited and enjoying the show also. We get texts from Sandra and Pete Holahan that they are going to the Runner’s World Speaker Series to hear Kathrine Switzer’s story. I know of her, I figure we can do that for an hour.

KV Switzer is Amazing

So glad I did that! She is so energetic and youthful. She ran up to the stage, told her story and really explained her efforts since the original 1967 Boston Marathon experience to get more women involved in running. I didn’t know the amazing level of her involvement in the first female Olympic marathon and her “261 Fearless” organization. I really enjoyed her talk. Julie had a lady translate for her so she caught the whole thing, too. Very impressive. I waited until she was done talking to speak with her. I told her they would have a statue of her somewhere on the Boston Marathon course. She chuckled and replied with, “I don’t know about that.” I am very glad I got to tell her that in person. It will happen! [Update: Her bib number 261 was forever retired for use in the Boston Marathon when she finished on Monday]

Once out of the meeting room, I am spotted and greeted by Cami and Jeff. We always, even in a crowd of thousands, find each other! They have to zip through the expo, but we agree to meet at Capital Grille for drinks and appetizers. How fun to catch up with them and get Cami’s take on the race and the local happenings.

After meeting with them, we walked to Boston Commons and found our dinner restaurant. We stopped and took some pictures at the finish line area, there’s always so much good energy and excitement there. The crew was clearing off the 5k and One Mile awards podium and getting things ready for Monday. Our restaurant, the Artisan, was in the Ritz Carlton. We met Steve and Mary Monks, Ricky and Nina Montez and Steve Chefan and his wife. We were all confused as this was not the restaurant or atmosphere Steve explained to us. It was a good meal and great laughs with a great group!  Steve later reported finding the original place he intended on us visiting a day afterward. He sneakily paid the check for dinner for all of us – a nice but way unnecessary gesture. We took the T train back after dinner. Tine to sift through our Expo goodies and get to sleep.

Running with elites

Sunday morning we went to the Runner’s World pop-up store to do a shakeout run with the staff and Molly Huddle. That was a good event starting at 8 am, the Hotshot girls was there, KT Tape was sampling their goods, and the store was crowded with runners one day before the race. Molly ran and chatted with plenty of us. Her next big event after yesterday’s 2nd place in the 5k will be the Prefontaine Classic in May. She is a personable elite runner that could be anyone’s friend. Our run went to the Charles River and around a familiar loop east to the bridge by Harvard and the band shell. Once we arrived at the store after the run, I won a drawing for a sample pack of KT Tape and a body “cool and heat” pad. It holds the heat pack or ice in place when applied to a part of your body. Glad I’m not injured, I really don’t know when I will use such a prize! Runner’s World also had an offer whereby if you prove you are a subscriber, they give you these neat Boston Marathon-themed gloves. Each finger has one of the towns the race passes through. I like them!

I did the same run again an hour later, this time with Sandra and the Oiselle girls that were in town for the race. We met at a nice coffee shop, the Thinking Cup, and ran on the Charles River trail again. Once we returned, Julie had found her way back to the coffee spot and we had drinks and light breakfast with Pete and Sandra and Steve and Maria. With all of the people we knew collectively, it would be difficult to plan to meet them all. It seemed to all work well with minimal planning that we saw most of our friends doing things like this.

After that, we walked back up Boylston Street to see the rest of the Expo, the Adidas Run Base store, the finish line area in the daytime. There are always people taking photos, Marathon Sports is full, and the street is blocked off with no cars. The large area after the finish line is busy, too, setting up for the next day. There weren’t many flowers at the sites of the two bombings, but today there are more. An area in front of Marathon Sports has been fenced off, that is collecting some flowers and a few pairs of running shoes. I didn’t feel like taking a photo of either site, it’s a choke-up in the throat reminder to me of what occurred and how fortunate I was not to be injured in 2013.

The Expo was easy to get into today, plenty of buzz happening. Most folks had already claimed their bib numbers, so I took Julie up the extra escalator to see how and where that is done. It was mostly empty by the time we got up there. The fast runners of tomorrow’s race have picked up their stuff already!

Athlete Dinner – The event so few attend (but should!)

We went back to the apartment and dropped our bags – it was time to change into warmer clothes for the night time. The temperature was 82 today so I wore shorts. Jeans and a long sleeve shirt were on tap for the night. We took the Green line train to Government Center, that’s right where the Athlete Dinner was. We had a wait of about 45 minutes, and the weather cooled significantly as we were in the line

The dinner was a great time, chicken meatballs, pasta, salad and as much beer as you’d like. We stayed at a table and enjoyed the videos playing, the mayor’s announcements and most of all, meeting other runners and their families. We had a group from London, from Texas, from Milan, Italy and another that I don’t remember from where. We laughed and enjoyed being with all these people who were so excited about the race. A few first timers asked about the hills and the expected warm weather. I was light in my mood to hopefully help them relax. We stayed until they closed the venue, then went back towards the Back Bay area.

 

We went to Pizzeria Uno on Boylston Street to watch the hockey game and have more beer. They served the 26.2 brew and in large glasses! It was good to stop walking, to talk and laugh. No other runners were in the bar. Race morning would come fast with an early rise for buses to the start.

We took the train home from the Copley Station. It’s not a far walk home but having been on foot all day and now being full of pasta and beer, yeah, we are on the train! We got home and went to the rooftop of our apartment. The wind was picking up from the east and that made it cold. Here’s a photo from that vantage point…

The winds would shift while we slept to come from the Northwest, a perfect tailwind for the runners.

Race Day!

Waking up Monday we had no rush – we went to Dunkin Donuts on Beacon Street. We saw the New Balance banners set up alongside the T stop and roadway. Barricades that weren’t there last night were all in place. The whole city comes together for this big show! We took the train from nearby Yawkey Station to Wellesley to position ourselves well to see the pros. We arrived too early for the train and had a 50-minute wait. Seems like even with the annual throng of people following the route and runners, the train schedule is light on the Patriot’s Day holiday. It was a short train ride and we met and spoke with nice people in town to cheer for family members. In Wellesley, we had plenty of room to pick a great spot on the road. We went to a bakery for a snack, and then put ourselves in a good position. Figuring it might be most crowded nearest the train station, we went east and found a great place to stand and wait. Right past the half way point we would watch for the wheelchair athletes, pro women, then the pro men. First, we saw a few of the military walking the course. Then two F-15 jets flew over, signaling the start of the race. It was about 35 minutes before the first wheelchair came down the hill – very fast and NOT Marcel Hug! He was second but already behind several minutes at the 13.1 mark. Next came the women elites. Jordan Hasay and Desi Linden right with the leaders. Julie took phone videos while I snapped iPhone 7 pictures. The next few elite women came through at less than 6 min pace, Liz Costello is shown here. They really look as if they are slower because their pace doesn’t cost them much energy. They are smooth and almost running step-for-step with each other. It’s very impressive to see up close!

The elite men came next – Galen Rupp in a white hat, white singlet and pale skin just nestled in with the Africans! The unheralded Maiya from the Army was up with him. Luke Puskedra and Jeff Ward followed, then Meb. They all looked great at the halfway point!

We boarded the very crowded train and after having delays to start and delays at almost all of the 7 stations back to Fenway/Yawkey, we made it onto the streets to get a good spot. The sun was warm and we didn’t have sunscreen – noticeable when I was in Wellesley. We went through Kenmore Square which was very crowded. The first wave of runners (red bibs) was coming through. We found a great spot on the shady side of the street. It was next to a mailbox and garbage can that was barricaded around. This meant that we had a very clear view up Commonwealth Avenue. We stayed here for over two hours, looking for our friends and trying to track them via the BAA app. The app wasn’t reliable, most of our runners seemed to “stop” at the 30k mark. We saw Julie and Spencer West, Lilia, Ricky and some more of Julie’s friends. We met Jeff here and waited for Cami, but by the Jeff moved to Hereford St and Boylston where she would usually expect to see him.

Trackhouse & Tracksmith  

Julie and I had invites to the new Trackhouse – Tracksmith’s new permanent store on Newbury Street. It’s a retail run store on the first level and a recreation of the “Eliot Lounge” runner’s hangout on the second floor. Free beer and fresh fruit and food. What an interesting concept. We stayed there and relaxed after many hours on our feet walking and standing. I met Eric Ashe, men’s finisher #25 with a time of 2:23. He was rolling out his legs on the couch as if he’d just run a 5k. We met Pete and Sandra here and she got a poster made with her number stamped on the bottom. A nice touch! I hope this company catches on. Their products are very nice with a “retro” runner look. I bought a pair of shorts and two singlet tops. No one has these back at home!

After that, we met Jeff and Cami at their usual post-race spot – Anchovies. A good dinner and recap of the day. Julie and I walked to Fenway Park for the Athlete Celebration, which was a chance to get out on the field and go behind the scenes at Fenway. Terrific cooperation between Fenway, the BAA, Samuel Adams, and Adidas. They really made it a special day for the runners and their families.

I know I’ll be back to run here again and to enjoy a weekend as a cheering spectator again. It is a very special event done so well!

Thank you, Boston!

-dm

A fair chance

5 mi. I’m running our second “Rogue Run” tonight, but this is more important. Today was breeze-less and I had a big red meat dinner last night. I felt good, wearing the well-worn Skechers Go Run Ride 4 shoes, primarily because they are easy to slip on/slip off.

1 mi warmup jog

300m w/100m recovery (1:09)
300m w/100m recovery (1:07)
300m w/200m recovery (1:04)
300m w/100m recovery (1:03)
1000m w/200m recovery (3:40)
400m w/100m recovery (1:27)
400m w/100m recovery (1:23)
400m w/100m recovery (1:21)
400m w/100m recovery (1:19)
1000m (3:43)

1 mi cooldown jog

DTR Oleta 10 mile Full Moon Trail Race

oleta110 mi. I know Oleta River State Park trails, even if I haven’t ridden here in two years or more. There were good people doing this race – Ken Baxter and his 2 sons were running, Romo Melendez, Hamed, and Jodi and her new boyfriend, Randy. Julie and Frans were working at a water stop on the course, so this was made to enjoy.

I decided to wear my Saucony Grid Peregrine shoes from a few years ago, They have more grippers on the bottoms and should work better than road shoes.

I arrived early, did the easy packet pickup and took a small warmup lap on the trails near the parking lot. I had two lights, one belt mounted and a head lamp. I discovered the belt mounted light wasn’t bright enough for this use, it works ok for running on the road early mornings. The headlamp is probably best suited for camping, not the super bright trail setup I would need. My eyes aren’t as good in the dark, so if I continue doing these it will be with a MUCH better light.

The race started and I went with the first of two waves. My first mile was done in 7:10 – I only had one girl (Alice Henley) in front of me. Once we entered the single track, that’s when my lights and vision proved to be dim. I saw how easy it was to skip or trip and fall. I didn’t fall, thankfully. I caught myself tripping twice and I recovered in time. I did get momentary cramping in my calve muscles as I went through the “save” process. Both of these happened in the later half of the race.

At the end of the Half Pipe section, we run along the road by the cabins and then into section #3. I saw a girl wearing the iRun kit cheat – she came right across the road and tucked in behind me, even though I loudly spoke to her twice and said, “NOT COOL!” She never passed me but I hoped to see her try that during the remainder of the race.

I had a few younger guys pass me on course, maybe 4 or 5. I was focused on not allowing anyone that could be in my ten-year span age group to pass me. I counted off the miles in my head – saying “3 miles clear” meaning no falls. I was careful in that respect, knowing a bad ankle pull or roll would cause me to have to walk back.

Just after mile 6, I didn’t see any markers or reflective arrows. I tried to back up on the trail, then I couldn’t find the original trail! I waiting in one place for the next runner to come down the trail. A guy came down, I asked if he had passed mile 6 yet, and he thankfully answered, “Yes.” I ran with him, he went ahead a bit,  then slowed to walk. We passed each other a few times – finally, he fell back and I didn’t see him again.

oleta2

I ran up the only real hill on the course, I saw a photographer and heard people cheering ahead. When I ran up the hill, a guy yelled at me to not run towards the photographer, he questioned if I was looking for “more gains.” I really couldn’t see a difference, so I kept going until I almost ran into the photographer! They said my lights were low and asked if I wanted to borrow a candle or iPhone. Yeah, hint taken.

The final trail section was on a trail called Rocky Mile. It was tough, the limestone rocks and roots made for tough foot placement. I saw the “verification” timing mat hidden in the woods, right at mile #8. It took my best concentration in the final miles to run clean and not fall.

Once out of the woods, it was approx 1.5 miles to go. But I wasn’t going to do another 7 min mile. My legs felt heavy from the different type of running I had done. Up on my toes and plenty of side-to-side action had different muscles feeling it. Especially my feet! I saw the light of the guy behind me as I went around the “Caribbean” style beach, but he wasn’t going to catch me. I came in solo in 1:43:xx. This was best in the 50-59 age group, but there were no AG awards at this race.oleta3

I stayed after for about an hour. Hamed won 3rd place overall, I never saw Ken or his family, Frans and Julie came back just before I left. While waiting for the awards presentation, I took off my shoes and went in the water. There were “No Swimming” signs due to bacteria in the water, but I had to cool off and clean off. My feet and toes were cramping! The shell rocks and bumpy beach added to the discomfort.

A new headlamp and some off road practice before the next one, I promise!

On the Grid Again

5mi. No rain! First workout in 5 days outdoors as what is being described as “once in a century” rains and floods hit South Florida. I believe the rain has brought some cooler temps, that’s good.

I am entered in the Full Moon 10 mile race on Saturday night. Previously held at JD State Park, the DTR group has this year’s event at Oleta River State Park. My best run shoes for that type of sand, hard pack and “obstacles” are Saucony Grid Peregrine. I’ve used them for some of the North Face 50 milers, they will be better than a flat bottomed shoe. These have some gripper treads on the bottom that will help with the terrain. I wanted to drop a recent set of inserts in there and try them at track.

1 mi warmup

300m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
400m no recovery
800m

1 mile cool down jog

I did well in the shoes, purposely taking a “notch” off the speed of today’s intervals with the race Saturday ahead. We had a small group this morning, maybe they are used to the rain and the sleeping late! Brian brought Dale’s hat from last week, and finishing up I chose to cool down barefoot on the inside nice grass of the track. That felt good!

 

Calm riding

30 mi. I woke up early enough to make a ride before the predicted rain arrived. There was such a small wind it was negligible. I had a bottle of Accelerade mixed in cold water from the fridge dispenser. That didn’t last, it was warm before the half way point.

The roads were very empty and going up to Indiantown Rd I had good luck with the traffic signals – most were green or turning green as I arrived. I made it over the US-1 bridge and clear through to the Inlet. I had a Garden of Life Protein bar which I like, chocolate flavored something. Coming south, I felt some wind but nothing major. Still, my average speed coming up was 18-19 mph, what a slow session! The bike needs a cleaning and redo of the chain lube. I removed the aero bar pads to put them in the dishwasher. It will be good to shine it up and get everything running smoothly and silently again.

Summer Strong

hose kink5mi. Our warm summer weather allows for local runners to branch out into triathlons, spending some of our training time with a 20+mph bike breeze or swimming. It’s also a great time to “gut” through workouts that build a really strong runner. That describes today’s effort.

We had a good series of 300, 400 and 500m sprints, and a 1200m at the end. What a still and humid day for this. Not even the trees in the far corner of the field gave cooler air. It was hot and dead calm

1mi warmup jog

300m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
300m w/200m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
500m w/no recovery
1200m

1 mi cooldown jog

It’s back to me bringing shampoo and a towel to hose off and go home “wet but not smelly wet.” I didn’t have the stuff with me today, so I rinsed off and used my car seat cover to make it home without soaking my driver’s seat. This is the first time in months I’ve used the outdoor hose at Benjamin Track. When I turned it on – nothing happened. I quickly figured out it was just a kink in the length of the hose. I’ll be ready for a summer full of warm workouts now.

 

Hot Gas

It wasn’t too many years ago that a 3-day weekend meant MORE time for runs, rides or an extreme showing of fitness.

I don’t think I’ve had that feeling in several years, however. I went with John to the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa on Saturday and Sunday. That was fun, but no workouts. There were no clouds in the sky any of the three days of the weekend, we were sun baked. I didn’t overdue eating or drinking, but Monday had my stomach and energy level way off the norm.

I came to the bridge glad this was not a week to run fast with sprints. This morning had high 70s temps, humidity, and barely any wind. I was noticeably slow on all 6 of the mile repeats. I ran with Jen, Maureen, Missy and their friend Juan. He is going for his first half marathon at A1A in February. I kept burping warm air while running, making my throat and chest feel “warm.” It’s a lousy feeling, coupled with trying to run up and down the hill. I’ll eat less than usual today and look to drink considerably more water this whole week. I don’t want to feel bloated and slow like that again.

-dm

Point of reference

5mi. All the social posts from good and great runners that have track intervals in their weekly schedule include times. I haven’t done much to stay on top of how much time each interval takes, showing up and chasing the group is good for me. Or was.

Now with an awareness of what’s fast, I see that these folks are training primarily for track events. I watch some post that their 300m are done in 45 secs, mine weigh in at 1:02 today, and we did two, so I know it’s accurate. My six tries at 500m were between 1:43-1:45. I kept those descending as the 500s popped up in the set. Some only had 100m recovery, I do prefer the full 200m to catch up on the breathing. I ran behind Steve until he left, chased Janet on the first one and had her right with me until she had to leave.

1 mi warmup jog

600m w/200m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
600m

1mi cool down jog

A lone thunderstorm was working its way across the state with a planned arrival at 6am. It never got far enough north to affect us, it rained at my house instead.

Eat Big, Run Slow

Of course my birthday this year fell on a Monday. And I went to a restaurant and ate a nice meal and sat there for 35 minutes waiting for the check. This is not going to help the Tuesday bridge workout. And… it’s a day for hill sprints!

There were a bunch of people on the bridge this morning, I was the first one to arrive and get out of my car. Janet was already there, her husband was off so she could stay for a proper warmup and cooldown. Walter and Kathy came, only after they were stopped on Blue Heron Blvd and given a warning for speeding. Maureen and Mary arrived at the same time, we did the warm up together.

Three regular laps were ok, I felt heavy. I didn’t stay up late, but eating late will have an effect on how this run goes. I did the six hill sprints in 1:23, 1:25, 1:25, 1:27, 1:25, 1:24.

We enjoyed a great sunrise I wouldn’t have skipped this workout, even though I can feel it as Tuesday gets closer each week. It’s work!

Think about that!

5mi. Of all the social media posts you see from runners, often there are photos of workouts and track sessions. Of course there are, there should be! It’s an essential part of any serious runner’s regimen, speed and intervals. Form and function.

Most folks don’t have an opportunity to attend a coached track session. Or they don’t have a track that open to them, schools being more security minded. I am fortunate. I see it very clearly. I have a great place to train and wonderful coaching with Paul providing weekly workouts, mixed with his own brand of humor. I very much appreciate this chance to run with a group, chase faster guys and keep improving. I don’t take it lightly, it’s special to me.

1 mi warmup

100m w/100m recovery
100m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
1600m w/200m recovery (6:00 est)
600m w/200m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
100m w/100m recovery
100m

1 mi cool down jog

Spongey track again

5mi. After parking at the Alton street location, Paul rounded the corner in his now-repaired Jeep. He said, “C’mon, we are running on the track today, the gates are open.”

It was a noticeable difference, the track is softer and springs back with each step. I couldn’t see the small repair marks until it was light out – they looked great and didn’t have any lumps or depressions. The repairs to all of the facilities are going well. They need to get the Reback Track & Field sign back up!

Paul was happy to abandon the preset workout and pull us through these intervals…

1mi warmup jog

300m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
700m w/200m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
400m

1 mile cooldown

I walked a lap with Paul and Perry, then went to the car. The trees from the parking lot were all uprooted, so it looks different. When I walked back to my car, I saw this… rabbit

 

So I know my workout was legit.

-dm

 

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