Monday, October 29, 2012

Cape Cod Marathon

Marathon #2 is in the books. 

It was hard to get a solo shot with so many people around... I have about 8 of these and this was the best one.

I'm having a tough time starting this recap. I have so much on my mind. I wanted to take a couple of days to think about what to write, but being that this is my only day off from work, I probably wouldn't get around to it until the weekend. So here goes the mess that's on my mind:

This is the first time that a weekend getaway revolved around a race. Took off to the Cape on Thursday night with my brother-in-law and the wives met us on Friday night. Spent the day Saturday bike riding with the family and just relaxing at night.

The day started at 4:30 for me on Sunday morning. Actually, it was tough getting any kind of sleep. I was not in my own comfy bed and I kept getting up to check the time like every half hour. By 5:30 we (brother-in-law and myself) were out the door headed towards Falmouth. Packet pick up was from 6 to 7:30, so we needed to get there early, plus we got prime parking not to far from race start.

Race start was at 8:30.... at 8:25 I'm trying to calm my nerves. I felt my heart pounding against my chest as I'm lined up at the start. America the Beautiful was sung, a canon went off and so were we! At mile 2 my brother-in-law, on his bike, met up with me. He was with me on and off through out the whole race.

At mile about mile 4, a friend of mine Jenn caught up with me. I was wicked surprised to see her! I knew she was running the race, but I didn't think we would meet up on the course. We ran and chatted for about 5 miles until she decided to back off a bit and slow down. It made those couple of miles fly by!

The next couple of miles where a blur. I was just chugging along at a 8:45 pace The scenery was great. My brother-in-law kept riding back and forth, we'd chat for a bit. It really helped pass the time.
I felt good all the way through until I hit mile 22. I started to feel cramps on my calves and thighs. It was weird, It honestly felt like hands where squeezing them and I would yell every time the grip got tighter. They came and went until the end of the race. My brother-in-law kept trying to motivate me, but at that point I just wanted to say "Shut the F up!!"... it wasn't helping. I didn't though....  but a lady running near me did... LOL. Made me giggle for a sec.

At mile 24.5 I had enough. The urge to stop running and start walking won. A runner going by said "It's Ok. Walk a little, run a little. You got this!!" That made me feel better. The walking lasted for about 30 seconds. Picked it up again and walked some more at about 25.5. Picked it up again. I can see the mile 26 marker up ahead. I saw my sister-in-law right next to it cheering me on. She ran with me 'til we took the corner towards the finish line.

There was my wife, my daughter and my nephew up ahead snapping pictures.

Yay... almost done!!

Heel Striker!!!

 As I got closer the kids ran out and started to run with me. I grabbed my daughter's hand and made my way to the finish line. It was hard to hold back the tears. I did it. .... I did it!!!

Unofficial time - 3:54.... still waiting on them to post official results. If good, this will be a 2 min PR!!

I'm pretty happy with my pace over all. 

This is the first time I had this much support from my family. As those of you that follow now, I usually run my races alone. Which honestly I'm OK with. But this being one of the bigger races I've done, I'm glad they were all there. That made this race that much more special!!!


Believe it or not, I had to go to work for a bit after the marathon. Long story short, I needed to get something done because I was out on Monday.  It sucked. But dinner and a 120min IPA (aged for almost 2yrs!!) made it all worth it!!

Soo tasty!!


Congrats also to my friend Jenn that came in at 4hrs 04mins. This a huge PR for her!!!


Thank you all for reading. Have a great week!!!

**** UPDATE**** PR confirmed!!
Official time posted:

382  1015 Jose Rivera 38 M   144/288   M1439 Webster MA  3:54:50 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

So here I am.....

The night before my second marathon. What am I doing here? How did I get here? This has been a weird journey. A journey that I could have never imagined just a couple years ago. My second marathon in less than a year.

I'm beat up. Physically and mentally. I'm looking forward to getting this done. I don't have a goal time finish...... well.... actually I do. I want to finish strong. Stronger than my last.. 3:56. Even if by a minute. If I come in at 3:55 I will be happy. Anything less than that will just fill me with joy.

I have been at the Cape since Thursday. The waiting around is doing me in. I ran and easy mile and a half this morning and I could have easily done 15. I just felt good all the way through.

It's do or die time. 4 months of training, I am ready as  I could be.

Let's do this.....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Patiently Waiting.....

I can't wait for marathon day. I'm nervous about it, but excited at the same time.... after reading all the recent marathon recaps from other fellow bloggers (here, here, here, here, here and soon here), I'm ready to do this!!

When I singed up for the Cape Cod marathon, I didn't give too much thought about the logistics of this race. I figured I would maybe book a room for the night somewhere local or even a couple miles away. When checking into it, I found out that most places were requiring a two night stay for that weekend. The places that didn't were already booked. Grr.. I wasn't on planning on spending $400+ for hotel stay. Then I thought worst case scenario I would wake up at 4-5 in the morning to drive 2+ hrs to then run 26.2 miles to then hop back in my car and drive 2+ hrs back home. hmm... that sounds great..... NOT!

I mentioned this dilemma to my brother in law a couple of weeks ago over a few beers. He mentioned to me that he knew someone that has a vacation house down at the cape and was going to ask if we could use it for that weekend..... SCORE!!!! A week later he called me and said that we got the house from Thursday to Sunday and the best part, at no charge! Woot!! 

This is going to be an awesome weekend! A week and a half away. I'm patiently waiting! ......... I can't wait!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What I learned today.....

I was contacted by Joe O'Connor, one of the CMS's race directors, to see if I was interested in helping out at a local race. The race was only 15mins from my house, so of course I said yes. All I had to basically do was keep track of the time of the runners as they came across the finish line.

Real easy to do since we had timers to do so :)

Joe is a 27 time marathon runner. He has run Boston multiple times. And has run a marathon in about 11 different states. Joe, to me, is a god. I admire him like a football fan would admire Tom Brady or a baseball fan would admire Derek Jeter. To me, Joe is one of the best. Just a day before, he was a pacer for runners for the half at Hartford. Amazing!!!

What I learned today:

- Pacers at these big races (like Hartford) run for free. Joe told me that he has run Hartford multiple times but has never paid because he has always been a pacer. He knows some key people at ING that has given him this opportunity.... I want a part of this!!!

- I never realized that the running club was "hired" by local races to keep track of time, or oversee the race results of a race. And the demand was so overwhelming that they actually turned down!.

- Again.... it's a lot of work.

- Race directors, such as Joe, are most likely to receive a time waved voucher for the Boston Marathon. Now, he didn't tell me this, but, I know for a fact that race directors get more points towards a time waved voucher for Boston. CMS gets roughly 20 or so time waived vouchers for Boston in return for their part in volunteering at their races. The more you volunteer, or the bigger part of volunteering you do, the more points you get towards the time waived voucher. I need to get busier!!

- I think what I learned the most today was, that no matter how far a long you are in your running career, no matter how many races you finish, no matter how many medals you get, you have to give back to the sport that gave you what you have earned. There is no greater feeling to me, than watching someone running their first race and seeing the look of satisfaction a they cross that finish line. We all know how that feels. We have all been there.

I was humbled by today's race. I talked to the people that helped put the race together. I saw what it takes. They had a vision, a goal to raise funds for their cause. I'm glad that we were there to help them out to reach their goal. I'm glad we could give back.

I know, I have said this many times before. But if you could give back by volunteering at races, I strongly urge that you do. The satisfaction you get, outweighs any medal you can ever get. Trust me.

Next Saturday, I get to do it again. Joe asked me to help him out at another local race. Since I am experiencing "The Naggles" .... what else am I going to do?

I will be there!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


All week I have felt run down and tired and I haven't been able to snap out of it. Monday I left work early, went home and slept all afternoon. Tuesday, I wanted to call out, but we were having quarterly sales meetings at work, so sales people from around the country were coming in and I had appointments with a few of them. So I had to suck it up!
Worked a late day, went right to bed when I got home. Same thing on Wednesday.....

My long run on Saturday really did a number on me. My left knee has been achy and my right ankle has not been feeling right. I didn't run Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Wednesday, as tired as I felt, I figured I would go out and test out my legs. A coworker joined me on the run, which was great because he runs a slower pace. It was exactly what  I needed.

After a 4.5 run, my knee felt good, but my ankle was still achy. Not as bad as Sunday, but I can feel still feel it. Luckily for me I have freezer full of ice packs in the fridge at work. I walked around with it the rest of the afternoon.

no one at work questions me any more...

With my marathon being just about 2 weeks away, this is were paranoia starts kicking in. I start  worrying about every single ache and pain I get! 

Am I the only one?? 

I just need to get past 2 "long runs" (12 miler & an 8 miler) before the big day. I have pushed my training past whats been on paper all along, but these last 2 weeks I have to stick the plan. Hopefully get the aches, pains and tiredness out of the way now so I don't have to deal with them come race day.

As for now.... I need a nap.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Review

Saturday was long run day. 20 miles was on schedule. It was my typical Webster, Dudley, Oxford back to Webster run. As planned, I added an extra mile right from the start so I can try to make for at least a 21 miler. At about mile 12 somewhere in Oxford, I saw a another runner up ahead of me. When I caught up to this runner I realized it was an old friend of mine, Chuck. I've known Chuck for over 20 yrs and he just so happen to be running the same route I was. Chuck is a well rounded triathlete, but at 48, his training for his first marathon ever, the Amica Marathon, in Newport, RI. Just 2 weeks away.

I can't even begin to explain how good it felt to run into him at this part of my long run. Mentally I was beat. I have run this route 5 times already this training schedule. I was getting bored of it. We ran together for the next 7 miles before he split to head back home to end his 18 mile run. Our conversations during this run went from when we first met to him explaining his training plan for his last triathlon. As I am interested in doing my first Tri soon, I was sucked in to this whole conversation. He even gave me a contact for a lady out of Westborough, that gives swimming lessons. I was supper excited.

As soon as we split, I just had a little over 2 miles to go to finish off a 21+ miler. Those last 2 miles were nothing. I finished at 21.5 at 3hrs and  18mins:

I say it was nothing because I finished strong, but I was hurting the rest of the day. My left knee and right ankle were sore after this run. There was a lot of icying going on that afternoon.


Sunday I volunteered at the B.A.A.Half. The day started at 4am with breakfast and a trip out to Worcester to meet up with running club at 5 so we can car pool into Boston to be there for 6. We were stationed at water stop #3 at mile 6.

I can't even begin to explain how much work goes into setting up a water stop. Setting up tables, getting all the cups ready, filling them with water, trying to figure out how much to set up. The Gatorade comes in concentrated gallons that must be mixed with 5 gallons of water. So you mix it then you start setting up and filling cups. It's a lot of work.

I think the worst part is waiting for the runners to start coming through. The wait made me nervous.
Allan Kiprono from Kenya (surprise!!!) wins the half.

The elite come through first, but water is the last thing these guys want. They are hardcore as you know, all the want is more pavement!! They didn't even look our way....

But by the time the "normal" runners came through, it looked more like Dawn of the Dead, but instead of looking for brains, it was water they were craving.... 
Wahtah..... (Zombies with a Boston accent... LOL)... no joke.

It was crazy.... It was kinda scary to times too. I might even have nightmares about it tonight. 

As soon as the rush came on through, 7000 runners later, it was practically over kinda quick. All that was left was a massive clean up of empty cup that stretch out for about a quarter of a mile past our water station. And even then, that went kinda quick thanks to the amount of volunteers we had.

All I have to say is that if you have NEVER volunteered at a race. Please do so. It will change your whole perspective of any race you will ever do. Trust me. ... again, Trust me! You will never look at another volunteer the same.

It made for a long day, a long weekend actually. But the people that I met this weekend, the laughs that I had, the experience that came along with it, I would never trade. It was a really good weekend.

The CMS Crew

Oh yeah... and we got a really cool volunteer shirt:

Have a great week everyone!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This Weekend

Yes. Already thinking about the weekend. 

Saturday is long run day. 20 miles schedule, but I'm going to try to pull 21+. I feel like I need it. The plan is to do the same route I did two weeks ago when the 19 miles became 20, but I'm going to add an extra mile in the beginning so I am already I mile ahead by the time I get to the end. A little bit of mind games with myself, but  it's been working so far.

After the long run, the family and I plan to go apple picking.

I'm 38 years old and I've never gone apple picking. It's one of those "Fall" things. Hey, give me credit, I'm trying. I can't wait!


Sunday I will be volunteering at the B.A.A Half Marathon. I will be doing this with the running club. We are going to be working one of the water stops. This will be the first time I'll be working the water stop at this race, but the second time doing it with the club. I can't wait, this is going to be fun. I dont get to hang out much with club members. Honestly I think I've been a lousy member. I have not gone to any of the club only races or events, and they races sponsor, I usually end up running them and instead of helping out. They probably sponsored 30\40 races this year and I have only volunteered 5 times..... I suck. I'm hoping I can change that going forward.

After this weekend, I'll be looking forward to taper time. No, not really....

C'mon Friday!!!!