Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Road to Boston-Boston 2000

     I was going back to Boston and things would be different this time. No intimidation for me, I had done this before and I was ready to run. Of course things never seem to work out as planned so naturally we had several bumps in the road along the way. The first problem was finding a place to stay-I waited to late to try to get reservations and it seemed like every place I wanted to stay was booked up. We ended up getting a room in Cambridge so we were a taxi-cab ride away from everything.
    One of my very good friends was also going to Boston. Jerry Russell of Longview(by way of Dangerfield) was also running Boston. Jerry and I have been friends since Jr. High so this was an extra bonus for me. Another bonus, the Gazette did an article on me running Boston and it ended providing me with my own personal cheering section from Boston. Becky Lawler Montgomery of Pittsburg was living with her family in Boston while her husband Mark was doing his residency there. Becky grew up down the street from Mary and I in our first home. Her dad Arnie was one of my Dad's best friends and a wonderful person.
    Becky still got the Gazette and called me at home one night and the rest as they say is history. Mary and I had our own personel tour guide for the weekend and it was great. Becky met us at the airport and took us to our hotel. The first thing I did after settling in was to take Mary to "Cheers". We had lunch there and just walked around the Boston Common. Later Becky, Mark and the kids took us to eat at "Legal Seafood". We had a blast and I was actually getting to really enjoy the "Boston" atmosphere.
     The next day Mary and I met Jerry and Linda at there hotel and then "EXPOOOOOO! I was ready this year-if there was a shirt for sale-I bought it. I actualy still have all the stuff I bought that year. Later we all went and did the tourist thing. Rode the trolley and all that jazz. Between where we went that day and where we went with Becky and Mark, I should have picked up something. Harvard and MIT-I should have learned something.
     One good thing about our hotel, every morning I would go out and run along the Charles River and everystep the same song kept playing in my head-"Dirty Water". "Well I love that dirty water, Boston your my home"-a classic garage band hit!!! Running and watching all the college scullers(sp.) rowing up and down the Charles was very neat.
     Race day finally got here and of course I had to call a taxi to take me to the bus pick-up. I left and Mary had a long wait to call her taxi so she would be at the finish line waiting on me as usual. No cell phones to keep in touch or to check my progress as I ran. Just a lot of sitting, waitng, and worrying. To be honest she probably had it worse than I did. I rode the bus to the Athletes village and as soon as the race started I was thru waiting. Once I left the hotel she still had 6 or 7 hrs. to wait and worry.
    Next week the race itself!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Road to Boston-10 Years After-Boston 2000 Qualfying

    I decided 10 years had been long enough and besides if I ran Boston at age 40 it would be neat to run it at age 50. The first thing I had to do was get into marathon shape again. It had been almost 2 full years since my last marathon(my longest time ever between marathons) so I had some work to do. 1st item on the list was to pick a qualifying mararthon to run. I chose White Rock besause I was familiar with the course and it was in Dec. which would give me added recovery time before Boston. I felt like I could run good enough to qualify at White Rock.
    An added bonus was that Jeff and Jessica had moved to Dallas earlier in October of that year and that gave added support at the race. Not much use in me trying to go into detail about the race because I just don't remember that much about it. I know it was cold(I cheated by looking at old photos). It's amazing to me that I can remember so much about other races but not anything about this one.
    The one thing that stands out in this race is an episode I or we had with gloves. As I wrote earlier my my son-in-law Jeff and daughter Jessica had just recently moved to Dallas so they were at the race. This was Jeff's 1st marathon and 1st time to see me run so that was a another reason for me to run well. As always Mary was following me around the course, meeting me with water, gel, and at mile 20 flat coke or anything else I wood need. Somewhere between mi. 7(1st meeting) and mile 13(2nd meeting) my gloves had gotten soaking wet and I had thrown them away. As I approached Mary I was pointing at my hands like a dummy but not really telling them I wanted another pair of gloves. By the time they realized what I wanted I was past them and wasn't going to stop and go back even though I knew my hands were going to be freezing around the lake.
    A few seconds after I passed them I heard  someone running very fast coming up behind me. My 1st thought was that someone had forgotten how far this race was or that it was a relay runner trying to make up some time in a hurry. I then heard my name being yelled very loud and turned and looked behind me. Here comes Jeff in all out sprint bring me my extra pair of gloves. Everyone got a kick out of it because my 1st words were to Jeff to be careful and not hurt himself. What I remember ids Jeff giving it everything he had just to make sure my hands did not get too cold. You just don't forget gestures like that!!!!!
     Needless to say I did finish the race and qualified for the 2000 Boston. It was one of my better finishes ever in White Rock. Also back in those days of downtown finishes your family pretty much got to you as soon as you croosed the finish line. This made for one my all time favorite race photos of Mary, Jessica, Jeff, and I in the sportphoto pose-very neat! My clock time was 2:58:54 which probably back then was my official time. I think Boston 2000 was my 1st chip race(still have the chip).
   I had done the hard part so all that was left was ntering Boston , training, and getting there. Nothing to it, right! That winter and spring was probably some of the best racing and training I have ever done. I also had another reason to look forward to Boston. I was a veteran of the race-I had done this before-no more intimidation for me-yea right. Next week: The Race!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Little Rock Recap(or Sometimes it Just Ain't Your Day)!

    This should be short and sweet(or unsweet). Let's just say I did not run the race I thought I was going to or run the race I wanted to. I realize that I was not a full strength for various reasons but I still thought going in I would run better than I did. The weather was great for the 1/2-the race well organized-the course tough but managable(Austin was tougher). As they say-It just wasn't my day.
   Race morning was here-the sun was shining and the temps were just right. Walking from the hotel to the starting corral I truly felt like I could shake all the bad stuff off and run a good race-maybe not a great race but at least a good one. I was close to the front corral so I knew I would have a good start plus I saw the my grandkids Grant and Maggie so that had to be a good omen. It was just all up to me to run!
   And were off! I got a good start-no real hold-ups-just smooth running and having to break stride only a few times. I hit the 1st mi. at 7:28, mi. 2 at 7:31 and then I hit a wall! I'm serious-I never really hit a wall in a half but today I hit a wall-not with 2 mi. to go but at mi. 2. My legs-my arms-my entire body-just no energy. I tried to mentally push it but nothing seem to respond to what I wanted it to do.
     This is where everything starts to bother you. I threw my gloves away( i took my arm sleeves off before the race even started). I came so close to throwing my fuel belt and bottles away but that would have been hard to explain to Mary. I was going to throw it to her when I saw her at mi. 6 but of course I didn't see them to to late. As a matter of fact it was my son-in-law Jeff who saw me. Thank goodness he yelled at me and I saw him. It reminded me then that no matter how bad I felt I had to finish. My brother Stan and sister-in-law Tanya had driven down from Fayetteville to see Jessica(who was running the full) and I run. They were meeting me at the finish line so that gave me another reason to keep going.
    The rest of the race went pretty much the same-I would try to pick up the pace for as long as I could and then I would just keep putting one foot in front of the other one. Finally the finish line got here and Stan, Tanya, and Grant were there waiting on me. Once I actually looked at my watch and saw my finish time of 1:47:30 I thought as bad as I felt that was a good time. I've run long enough to realize that you aren't going to pr every race. I was disappointed that I didn't run the time I wanted to but I really believe I ran as good as I could this day.
     One really positive thing for me was I did see Jessica finish the full and she really ran a great race on a very difficult and warm day. The weather was good for the 1/2 but for the full it warmed up quick. She really ran good and I am so very proud of her( I hope this doesn't embarrass her)! I am running the full here next year-Yes I do have medal envy-Jessica's medal was bigger than her head!!!!
     Even though the race did not go as I planned it was a great race weekend for us. Running and Family-for me it doesn't get any better than that!