Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Beard Thing, You Wouldn't Understand...

As most of you know, I have stopped shaving basically since the start of my marathon training.... just about 4 months now. People's reactions have been mixed. Some you guys like it and some *cough* Char *cough* don't. That's cool though. My wife doesn't mind it, she actually loves it!.... so I guess that's all that matters :)

But I've heard all the jokes already. Here are a few references made about my manly beard:

Hey ZZ Top

Lost family member of Duck Dynasty?
Had no clue who the were, I had to look it up!!

And of course, the all time classic...
Run Forest Run!! 

It's all good. 

But something weird happened. Yesterday, while my daughter and I were walking the streets of Cambridge, Ma. A guy on a bike was riding towards us and I noticed he also had an overgrown manly beard. But his was longer and fuller than mine.... I had beard envy! As he rode by us, I was admiring this epic beard when I realized he was also looking at me.... nothing was said. We just nodded. You know, like that nod or wave you give to another runner when crossing paths?... just like that. It was like my beard was worthy enough.... even my daughter was like was what was that about? .... Hehehe... I told this story to my wife and she thinks I've lost it!!.... It's a beard thing, you wouldn't understand...  LOL

In two weeks this grizzly, ZZ top, Duck Dynasty, Forest Gump looking beard is going to cross the finish line at Boston..... and it's going to be EPIC!! The pictures are going to be awesome!!

Take a good look at it.... in two weeks it will be gone!!

Now if I could only grow hair like this on my head  :(

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

20 Days...

Got this in the mail on Saturday:

My Boston Runner Passport, which has my official packet pick up form:

covering my DOB only for privacy reasons

along with a welcome pamphlet that has information on everything Boston, from parking to local restaurants, a hydration pamphlet and the official 2013 merchandise catalog. Exciting stuff!!!!  The only real important thing there is the passport. I'll need that to pick up my stuff at the expo. From the merchandise catalog, the only thing I really want is the jacket, but I might get the hoodie only because it looks cool and I love hoodies!.

Kinda pricey though. $100 for the jacket and $60 for the hoddie. Ouch! But being my first time, I might just do it.

20 days away and I am excited!!

After running the 21 miler on Saturday, I took Sunday as a good rest day. I needed it. Today, I played it by ear. I brought my running stuff to work with me just in case, but I then decided not to run. Still a little sore. Not going to push it this late in the game.

I ended up going to the club's pub run tonight because I needed to pick up my sweatshirt that I had left one of the vans on Saturday. I thought about running in tonight's 5k, but decided on a beer instead. I hung out for a while and waited for them to get back. Had some good conversations tonight.

This club has a great bunch of people. I can't say this enough. From the president of the club to the new members, they are just the most friendly and funny group that you can ever meet. I am happy and proud to be part of the Central Mass Striders.

I am now in tapertown. Nothing more to do now than to just run smart and stay healthy. My next two "long runs" left are a 12 miler and then an 8 miler..... feels weird to think of them as easy runs :)

Hey... did you guys notice the change in the blog banner? ... LOL

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Boston Rehearsal Recap

My adventure started Friday night when the wife told me her car was acting funny. After checking it out, I realized the alternator was dead on her car. So that meant she would need to drop me off in Worcester for the rehearsal run before 7am.
That night I couldn't sleep at all. I was up every hour thinking I was going to be late. It sucked big time! I finally gave up and got up at 4am. Our coffee maker died the day before so I had to run to Dunkin's for a coffee. Which was good because Dunkins coffee is like a laxative to me, and not to sound gross....but being "cleaned out" helped for this run.

The vans left Worcester at 7am to be at Hopkinton for 8am. Not too long after arriving at Hopkinton we started our run.
Me & my friends, Sandra & Melissa at the start.... it was cold!!

Here is all of us (picture borrowed from CMS facebook page)

I ran with a couple of club members for the first few miles which helped me control my pace. Otherwise I would have probably started way to fast. By mile 3 I was on my own. By mile six I caught up with other club members and ran with them for a while.

By mile nine, I was by myself again. It wasn't 'til mile 12 that I ran in to Bill (another club member) at a water stop and ran with him 'til mile 18, the bottom of Heart Break Hill.... He decided to take it slow at the hills. I on the other hand decided to take Heart Break head on! I have been there at this location many years as a spectator and watched it take out many runners. I was not going to let it do the same to me. I wanted to show Heart Break that it had nothing on me! I was going to conquer this legend..... and I did. I ran these last three miles faster than I did any of the last 18 miles.

Miles 13 through 15 were through the town of Wellesley.... Lots of traffic and snow banks. Some tough running...

5 more miles to the finish line!

It was good course. Not going to say it was easy, cause it wasn't. It had its up and downs. My right knee was aching almost all the run, but more towards mile 17. Especially on the down hills. I stopped my Garmin exactly at mile 21. I was done. Not too far after that I met up with the buses bringing us back to Worcester.

This run was very well supported. Plenty of water stops, police detail and crowd support. Not only was our club out there, but many other running clubs as well. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of people out there on the course today. It felt like a full on race. Not at any time did I ever feel alone out there. It was THE best training run I ever did.

After this run I feel more confident about marathon day. I know what to expect. Heart Break Hill was not as bad as everyone says. I know I can take it on again. The key is finishing off those last 5 miles.


I got back to Worcester around 1pm where my wife was waiting. Being that we only had one car at the moment, I had to tag along as she did her shopping duties. My body was begging for a shower so I stayed in the car while she did her thing. Two hours later, we were finally home.

Marathon day is three weeks away. Can't wait!!

I welcome any feedback...... Hope you all have great weekend!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

28 Days...

... til I shave this damn thing!!!

Not going to lie.... I'm kinda liking this beard thing. It's been keeping me warm on my long runs. Plus I can't stop touching the damn thing. It keeps me entertained. I'm constantly petting it, combing it and cleaning it. I have become one with it. I like the feel of it.

I did say that I would not shave it 'til after marathon day. That's my goal. But not sure it will last that long. I work in IT. Which doesn't necessarily mean I need to be clean cut, but I always like to make a good impression especially with new employees and with upper management. So mentally it's getting to me....

...... But my beard, I feel, has been giving me good luck throughout my training for Boston. Call me superstitious, whatever,.... its working, and I dont want to mess it up! I will not shave until after April 15th. That's what I keep telling myself... I hope I can make it that long.


I wanted to run the New Bedford Half marathon today, but when I went to sing up for it two weeks ago, it was already sold out. I was bumming. I ran it last year at it was a great course. I'm sad I missed out this year. Bill, (Impossible is Nothing), when I heard you weren't running it, the thought of taking your number crossed my mind..... But I didn't.  I know...  I'm horrible..... :(
EDIT: *** For the record... I would never do such a thing***

I instead ran a 16 miler today. The first 3 miles by myself. The next 6 miles with members of the running club, and the last 7 miles by myself. It was a tough run, but I'm glad I got them done.
Next Saturday is the Boston Rehearsal run. Where we will run from Hopkinton, MA to Boston College. 21 miles of the Boston course. I am sooo looking forward to it. Can't wait!


That's it for now. I will let you guys know how it goes on Saturday....


I don't update my blog everyday, but I do post on my Facebook page almost daily. I welcome you all to follow me there!! I welcome any feedback!! 

- Jose

Thursday, March 14, 2013

2013 Boston Marathon Volunteer Assignment

I don't know if I mentioned this already. Not only am I running this year, but I am also volunteering (with the running club) at the Expo the Saturday before the marathon. I just got my assignment. I have to go there anyways to pick up my bib, why not lend a hand. Plus I get a cool volunteering jacket for doing so!

I volunteered last year as well but I worked the Adidas merchandise booth. It was more of a security type work as I worked the exit making sure no one walked out with items. This year I will actually get to talk to runners from around the world as they come to pick up their bibs. It will be cool feeding off their excitement! Can't wait!

The assignment is for 6 hours, but I'm sure they will fly by. I will be with members of the running club so it will be like working one of our races.... just bigger. Much bigger!!

I am so looking forward to this experience!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Watch out for 24043!

Got my bib number today!!

33 days away..... 

I'm excited, but I can't tell how much I want to get this marathon done. I'm tired. I hate to admit it, but I am. A year ago I had never ran a marathon. Now I'm on course to run my third - in less than a year. And my body is paying for it. I need a break.

Though I must say, this marathon training is much different than my last two. The first one was all new to me. It was my first 15 miler, my first 17 miler, my first everything. I had no clue what I was doing. I was just following a training plan a friend that was also running their first marathon gave me. I followed it to the tee. I was way too nervous to do anything different. It worked out good. Finished it in 3hrs 56mins. Not too bad for my first time.

The second one, I pushed it. I followed the same plan, but if it called for a 15 miler I did 16 1/2. If 20 I did 21. I wanted to out do my first marathon. And I did...... by 2 mins... LOL

This time around, I have been a bit more conservative with my runs. The first month and a half were horrible due to IT band issues. With the help from PT (and the foam roller), I have made them better. They are still not 100%. I work on them daily, but I have my bad days, my bad runs.

 I just need to stay healthy for at least 33 more days. I have to stay healthy for 3 more long runs. I'm looking forward to tapering. Then looking forward to marathon day.....

.... watch out for 24043!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week in Review

Last weekend I had and awesome run at Stu's 30k. I rocked those 18.6 miles through the streets of Clinton, Boylston & West Boylston Ma. It wasn't easy, but I got them done! I was on cloud nine most of the week.
This week, work was pretty busy so I only got in a 5 miler on Tuesday during lunch and a 4 miler on Thursday after work right at the start of a snow storm that we got Thurs & Friday that dumped about a foot of snow on us. The Thursday run wasn't planned, but I got in a new pair of sneaks via UPS from The Running Warehouse that night and I just HAD to try out!

When I returned from my snowy run I had this Facebook message posted on my wall:

Ha! ... Chris, you are a funny guy! That made my day!

Friday it snowed most of the day. I went to work that morning just to find out we were closed because of the storm. .... bastards! A phone call would have been nice! But being that I was already there and I had a key to get in, I went in and got a lot of work done without interruptions. It was a good day :)

Saturday, I wasn't feeling that great. Don't know what it was, but I wasn't feeling like going out for a run. Plus, I had left my Garmin at work so that just sucked right of the back. By the time I got all my errands done, it was already 1PM and a run was the last thing on my mind. But being that it was like 50 degrees out and the sun was shinning bright, I had to get out and do something. So I threw on my shorts and a long sleeve T-shirt and headed out the door. I figured if I got in at least 6 miles, I would have been happy. Of I went and I was feeling pretty damn good. This "OK with 6 miles" ended up to be an awesome unexpected 14.8 miles (according to I was felling great! I could have probably done more, but by this time I was by my house and called it quits. Perfect long run!!

Sunday, I woke up achy. My calves and knees were sore. I was like "c'mon! I was feeling great yesterday, whats going on?". I had to shake it off because I had to go volunteer at the Worcester Celtic 5k. I helped with packet pick ups and same registration. It was a crazy day. There were 3000 registered runners plus all those who registered that day. It was a lot of work.
Once the race started we moved up to the finish line to help hand out waters to the finishers. That was actually more fun. The look on the people's faces when they saw you holding a bottle of water as they crossed the finish line was priceless. We all know that feeling!

For my 4 hours of work I got a volunteer shirt: I got one of the runners shirts as a girt:

You can never have enough shirts!

It was a good day volunteering. I'm soo glad to be part of a great running club!!


Tonight, I'm still achy. I didn't run today and I probably will not run tomorrow. I need to rest these legs.

Next weekend I plan an at least 16 mile run. The weekend after that, the running club is holding a Boston rehearsal run that goes from Hopkinton Ma. to Boston College..... 21 miles. I want to be ready for that.

We'll see how it goes.

Have a great week everyone!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stu's 30k - recap

First, I want to apologize for the lack of pictures for this race. My weekend started on Saturday helping set up for Stu's. It was pretty busy. At 9am I met with the race director and a group from the running club in Holden, Ma to load a Budget truck with all of the race equipment needed for this race. Everything from tables, water, street cones to clam chowder for post race meal. It was a lot of work. But luckily we had a great crew to work with and it wasn't their first rodeo, they knew what they were doing. Everything went smoothly. Then we bought everything to the Clinton (MA) Middle School. This is where the race starts.

Race day...
Race started at 11am, but I showed up at 8am to help set up tables. Registration started at 9am. I then helped pass out T-Shirts 'til about 10:30. I then got my stuff ready and went out for a quick warm up run...... hold up... before my warm up run, I rolled on my foam roller for about 10mins. I brought it with me. I use this thing religiously now!

At about 11 sharp the race starts. The weather was in the upper 30's, partly sunny and snowing. Nothing big, just flakes falling. That only lasted for the first 2 miles. The sun was shining pretty good after that. I could have almost worn shorts.
This course was hilly as all hell. When you were going up, you were going for quite some time. These hills were no joke. Then of course when there is up hills, there are down hills. It felt like you were constantly going up and down through out the whole course. I ran with the same group through out the whole race. I passed them, they passed me. It basically told me my pace as consistent throughout the course.

The snow started falling again by mile 14. It was almost magical looking....

By mile 16, I was cursing Stu. What would possess him to start a race like this? WTH!?

By mile 17, on the last hill, almost at the end, I was done. I ended up giving up to that voice telling me to walk. I walked for a bit until a Alissa, a club member, ran by me and yelled at me to keep on going. I picked up my pace and ran with her. She was moving way to fast for me. I think (I know) she slowed down a bit for me. It was good though. She helped me push towards the end.
As soon as we saw the finish line ahead, she took off and finished strong. I lagged a bit behind her and ended up finishing at 2:43 (Garmin time).

I ran this faster than I should have, ..... than I wanted.... but it worked out.

The race basically runs around the Wachusett  Reservoir 

This is a tough course, but for anyone doing Boston, I recommend it. I truly believe it's the kind of race to get one ready for Boston. I'm glad I ran it. 

IT band not really bothering me, but then again, I have been foam rolling the crap out of it.... plus stretching it as much as I could. I'm determined to finish Boston!!!

Now, I'm just chillin' with my feet up and enjoying a well deserved local beer from the CBC
I found out after that this is the first time they gave finisher medals at Stu's... pretty cool.

I'm beat.... 
Have a great week everyone!!!