Monday, April 29, 2013

Call Me Crazy.....

Cox Providence Rhode Races offered up 200 FREE entries to the Cox Sports Marathon to be held on May 12th to any runner that did not complete the Boston Marathon ....

... I signed up. 

So in two weeks I will be running my 4th marathon.... 4th marathon in 11 months.

What have I done??

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Wife Ran Her First 5K Today....

..... and I missed it  :(   

The 5K was to benefit Autism Awareness. I was also signed up to run this 5K. This was going to be our first race together!! I was all excited about it, I couldn't wait!! A bunch of her friends from her gym where also running it.

Yesterday, was softball tournaments for my youngest daughter. During the 3rd inning of the second game of the tournament, my daughter was on first base and was given the signal from the coach to go for the steal of second. She charged as soon as the ball was pitched and the catcher immediately saw her and threw the ball to second as soon as she got it. My daughter went down for the slide and you could already tell something was wrong. Time out was called as we all checked on her. Paramedics were called in. She broke leg bone (forgot what it was actually called) right above her ankle. Sadly, she is DL for the season...

My poor baby  :(

So this brings me back to the 5k.... I decided to stay home with our daughter and my wife went off to the race with her gym buddies.

She's the one in light purple NOT looking at the camera... LOL

For someone who did not really train for this 5k, she finished strong! A little over a 12min pace, coming in at just about 38mins. 

Way to go baby!! I'm proud of you!!!!

Wife & her friend....You go girl!!

Is this the start of something new? Will I have a runner wife? A running partner? Another runner blogger in the house? The new Michael & Jim of the blogging world? Ok, I'm pushing it... LOL . I can dream, right? All joking aside, she did have fun today at her race and she couldn't believe she did it! She is pumped about doing another one. I am upset that I was not there to witness this. I am so proud of you babe!!

But time is on our side. There will be other 5Ks. I'm already trying to talk her into one for next weekend! LOL. She's not biting though. Oh well..... No need to rush. We'll just take baby steps.


Have a great week 'all!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Boston Marathon - My Official Recap Part 2 - The Race

Being that I was running The Boston Marathon, I actually slept well the night before. Usually I toss and turn worrying about waking up late and end up sleeping like 2hrs. But that night, I slept good. Had coffee and cereal for breakfast and took care of my pre-race bathroom duties. I had packed all my stuff the night before so it was just a matter of waking up my daughter and having her drop me off in Worcester, where the bus to Hopkinton was waiting.

Besides the chatting and joking on the bus, he ride to Hopkinton was uneventful. It's one I do almost everyday because I work one town over. I didn't start to get real until we were approaching the middle school. 

TONS of other buses and people

Athlete's Village

These are just a few pictures of many that I took

My good friend Joe. I put in many volunteer hours for him.
I owe him for helping get a Boston number!
Me headed towards the start

The start was crazy.... I've never seen soo many people at a race. It was an incredible site
Picture borrowed from my sister-in-law...

I was suppose to be in corral 9 of wave 3, but I ended up sneaking into corral 5 because I wanted to run with another club member that was in that corral. They were checking bid numbers as you entered the corrals so I had to be sneaky and got in, but by then I lost that club member in the crowd :( ... within minutes the race was on!!!! It was a slow start. By the time I crossed the start line I was at a slight jog. Which I was OK with. I knew that I wasn't going to break any records with this race. I was here for the pain and enjoyment of what is Boston.

The first few miles were bathroom stops for many people. No matter where you looked, left or right, men and women, were doing their business in the woods, in plain site. Nothing we haven't seen before right?
Though I ran this part of the course before, the streets still looked all new to me. About mile three there was a biker bar where everybody was outside drinking. 11am and already drunk off their asses.... awesome!
Mile 6.5, in Framingham, I see my first supporters on the course. A coworker and her family cheering me on. It was awesome!!! By mile 10 in Natick, hunger was starting to kick in. Down went one of the granola bars I had packed. The half marathon point in Wellesley was a sigh of relief. I was tired by that point, but now I can start counting down the miles left...At mile 15 I unexpectedly see my friend Teddy on the side lines. He snaps this picture:

I look crazy... LOL

I take the right onto Commonwealth Ave in Newton and I start looking for my parents. They had told me that weekend that they would be there...... no sign of them. Did I miss them? I was heartbroken. Did they really not show up? Not too long after I see my buddy Bill. Never had I been so happy to see a familiar face. Bill, I said it already but it needs to be said again.... Thank you for being there!! 

And here comes heartbreak..... I didn't attack it like I did during the rehearsal run. I wanted to conserve my energy for those last few miles. I just put my head down and chugged away. There I also ran into my brother-in-law and his family. He ran with me for a good 300 feet..... the joke after was that he never hurt so much in his life! Ha!

Boston College was insane!! Those kids really know how to pump those runners up. They make you forget that you just ran 21 miles and still need 5+ more to go. Those last 5 miles seemed to take forever. I wouldn't look at my Garmin, but I kept looking up for the mile markers. Kept tellin myself, come on 4 more, ... ok now 5k left..... 2 miles to go.... 
About mile 24, my left leg cramped up bad. It almost made me fall. So I decided to walk it off a bit. After a couple minutes I kicked it back into gear. I remember seeing the mile 25 marker..... then not to long after the "One mile to go" sign.... Tears rolled down my face. I was almost there!!! From out of nowhere I got a burst of energy and picked up my pace. I was passing people left and right..... the tears kept on falling.

I see people turning up ahead. There it is.... "right onto Hereford then left on to Boylston, I'm almost there!" I kept telling myself....

There is no doubt that I will return next year. NO doubt at all. Whether it's through volunteering again, through charity or if the BAA gives us a deferral. I will return. This is my city. I grew up in Jamaica Plains and in Roxbury. I walked the street of Boston without fear and I will run these streets without fear.

I have always been and I will always be - Boston Strong!


I finally picked up my medal this past Monday...

And I shaved ;)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Boston Marathon - My Official Recap Part 1 - The Expo

Saturday April 14th, Expo day. I met my friend Sandra at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. I got there right at 9am, though Sandra was there much earlier. There we met up with other club members that were also picking up their bibs. It was a great time. We soaked it all in. We were just in awe that we were actually there.

We partook in just about everything.....
My camera had issues that day :(

the Nissan Booth

Ready or not, here I come!!

Dick Hoyt!!!!!

One of the goodies inside our Packet...

And of course.... I bought the Jacket!!!

We walked around all morning, went and grabbed lunch, then it was time to go to work....

Bib distribution was awesome!!! We had low numbers. Me personally, 1100-1600, average qualifying time for these people were 2:45! I was blown away!!! I met people from all around the world. From Spain, Argentina, Sweden to Japan. It was amazing!!! Our job was to make sure we gave each person the correct bib and more importantly to welcome them to the city of Boston. Whenever possible, I would ask them about their trip and about their time in Boston. All were excited to be there especially those that were there for the first time. Almost everyone took pictures while picking up their packets. I must be in over a thousand people's Facebook :)

My three boxes

CMS hard at work....

Even got a visit from my good, friend Bill (Impossible is Nothing)
Bill always great to see you!!!!!

We worked from noon to about 6:30.... it was a long day. Don't forget I was there since 9am. I was beat. While most people drove into Boston, I on the other hand parked in Newton and took The T in. That was only because it only cost me $9 between parking and The T.... otherwise parking in Boston would have cost me $40!!... Money I saved and used in the expo :)

As tired as I was, I had a blast that day. The excitement of the marathon was in the air. You could feel it! 

I remember the ride back to Newton on the T, Dreaming about race day. I was ready....

..... To be continued

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston - My Final Thoughts

So it's been a couple days now since that unforgettable Monday. I posted that night with my heart in my throat and with tears all over the keyboard. Writing it was easy, it was still fresh on my mind and it was the most heartfelt post I think I have ever written. I felt vulnerable and weak already so there was no holding back. Plus the couple beers I drank, I'm sure didn't help.

This week has been a crazy week at home. The phones have not stop ringing with friends and family wanting to talk to us. My work cell phone has also been buzzing like crazy. Our Facebook pages has been blowing up with alerts left and right. So much so, that I just could not keep up with them. The County paper and local paper contacted us wanting to write about our story of that day. After some discussion, we decided to talk to them just to get the story out there for people to read and hopefully stop all the calls and questions people had.

The wife and I asked for the week off from work and it was approved with no questions. Luckily, this is school vacation week for my youngest daughter so she was able to stay home with us. We have spent the week trying to keep busy going out and doing things. We have been trying to keep Monday our mind off.
Sleep, especially the first few days, were hard to come by. I think I slept 6-7 hours between Monday-Wednesday. Thursday, my brother-in-law, took my daughter for a while, which was good. It gave us the time alone to talk and just rest up without having to feel guilty of not keeping our daughter busy.

We are all getting the help we need. But it will take time for us to get back to to some kind of normal.

Friday, we, as well as the the rest of the country, and maybe even world, woke up to the news of the Marathon bombing suspects being just about caught. Trying to break away from the TV was hard, but we turned them off, shut off our phones and headed out for the day. We ended up in Mystic, Ct at the Mystic Seaport Museum. It was a perfect day for it. I wore my Boston Marathon shirt as part of the wear Boston on Friday and while there, I ran into another runner that ran the marathon on Monday. It was weird feeling. As soon as we saw each other we immediately started walking towards each other.

This is Justin, a history teacher from Natick, Ma. He crossed the finish line just minutes before the bombs going off. We talked for a while about the whole thing. It was great to talk to him. It was good to have someone understand what I felt. After a couple minutes we shook hands and parted ways...... but for a brief moment, we stood as one. 



I hate that I feel this way, I truly do, especially with all the tragedy that has gone on this week... and I mean no disrespect to the families that have truly suffered because of this tragedy  But I am pissed. I am pissed off that I never got to finish this race. I am pissed that I never got to fulfill a lifetime dream. I am pissed that I was so close and I got this moment taken from me. Again, I mean NO disrespect to those that got hurt.... But that is how I feel. I wanted to finish. I wanted that medal around my neck. I wanted to post a great recap. I wanted pictures. I wanted that moment that I sooo tasted as soon as I saw the "1 Mile to go" sign on Commonwealth Ave. I conquered Boston that day. I did not cross the finish, but with my heart, which I left on the streets of Boston, I did cross that finish line. 

On Friday I plugged in my Garmin, which I totally forgot.... 


Circled above was where I was stopped... according to my Garmin, it was mile 26.1. I know it's not 100% accurate, but shows how close I was... It also shows the craziness of me running around looking for my family. I swear I can recall every step.


Its been a crazy week. We go back to work tomorrow and our youngest daughter goes back to school. I'm so not ready. I work with over 200 people locally and about a another 200 remotely..... I know people will have questions. Its only normal. But I really do not want to tell that story over and over. I'm just not ready. 


And finally,... I want to thank everyone for the support, for the kind words and for just being there. From my blogger friends, people from certain website I visit, strangers and to family and friends. 

I truly believe that people are put in your life for a reason and that things happen for a reason. The things that happen in life lead you to where you need to be. The people that cross your path, whether by reason, season or for lifetime, help guide you in that direction. As much as sometimes things don't make sense, you have to learn to accept things and believe that you are part of something much bigger.


I will eventually post a recap of My Boston Marathon experience. There was a lot of good that day, and I want to share with you.... stay tuned.

- Jose

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The "What ifs"

Don't even know where to begin. I've been sitting here looking at a blank screen for minutes. I want to recap positive side of my experience during the Boston Marathon, but it's all overshadowed with visions of people frantically running through the streets crying, confusion & chaos.

I've had 24hrs for everything to sink in and it has really hit me hard. I'm having a real hard time making sense of it all. I keep thinking of the "what ifs". What if my family had camped out 30-40 ft closer to the finish line?

This picture fills me with fear to see how close they were (my daughter)
 (I blacked out the scene out of respect)
Circled is the red chair she was sitting in. 

What if I didn't stop around mile 23 and 24 to walk off a cramp in my thigh. Those 3-5mins would have put me right on Boylston St. at the time of the explosions.  I was suppose to be in wave 3 corral 9, but I had snuck into corral 5 because I wanted to run with my friend Bill. What if I didn't? I would have been back stuck with all the other runners.Why was I where I was?

I can't even begin to explain how eerily quiet this scene was

What if?........ What if?......  What if?......

I want to shake it off.... but I can't. I want to unsee things I saw, but I can't. I want my kids to unsee all the horrible things they saw and felt, but I can't. I'm sad, angry, and pissed the F' off! But I'm helpless. I can't do anything. 

I don't want to bring anyone down. I apologize.... but my blog is my release. This is my story, my Boston Marathon.


On another note....

Today was my birthday and I got my cake,
....and my medal.

I'm happy to see another one and happy that my family is here with me. It could have been soo much worse.....

God, we pray for those that lost their lives and for those injured. Please help us heal.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Please Read

Today there was stopping....

The picture below shows how close my family was to today's blast.

I was approaching Hereford St when I heard the bomb's go off. We (the runners) all looked at each other and said "what was that?"... it sounded like canon blast or something like that. When I hit Hereford St. I can see and and smell smoke.... smelt like sulfur. When I came up to Boyslton, the cops stopped us in our tracks. I knew right then and there that something bad had happened. The cops said that a bomb had gone off at the finish line.....

... My heart sank. I knew that my wife and kids where right there waiting for me. I immediately grabbed my iPhone which I was using to listen to music and called my wife. She answered, but with all the commotion and noise I could not make out what she was telling me. I kept asking her if the kids where ok and I couldn't hear what she was telling me....

I started to cry.... I feared the worst.... I started to run down Boylston when the cops grabbed me and told me that they couldn't let me go down there. I ran towards the side fencing and jumped over it at started running down further. Still on the phone with my wife I was finally caught up with them on the corner of  Exeter St. and Newbury St.

My wife and kids were crying and telling me that there were bodies everywhere after the explosion. They told me the blast threw them off their seats. Then they told me that my parents, my sister and sister-in-law where there too but that they were missing.

My heart sank even more.... After about 15mins we were able to locate them and reunite.

The police forced everyone away from the blast zone.... so we just started walking back towards the course. Then I saw where they had stopped all the other runners .

It was something unreal... Like out of a movie.

After about an hour the let them all go, but towards the buses, not the finish line.

This is a sad, sad day for Boston. I am so glad my family is safe, but I am so sad about all those that got hurt. It still feels so unreal.

This was suppose to be a day of celebration. I can't stop tears from falling and my heart from hurting. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Boston Here I Come!!!!

No time to blog tonight.... it's been a busy day.
So this will have to do!

And track me if you wish!

Enter Bib#24043 when prompted.

Wish me luck!!!

Recap soon to come!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

So far so good....

If you read my last post, I was paranoid about catching whatever my daughter had. I think the wife and I are carriers of this sickness because everyone around us have been coming down with similar illnesses. From co-workers to friends, they have been going down. Knock on wood, if that is the case, I'll take it. Sorry everyone!...


On Monday, I dragged a coworker with me to Hopkinton (it's only 5 mins away) so he could take some pictures of me with this sign:

I can't tell you how long I have waited for this picture!!

While there, we were interviewed by a journalist from the MetroWest Daily News (a local news paper). He asked us if we were running, which I said yes and my coworker just laughed at the thought. He asked us a couple other questions and took a couple pictures of my coworker taking a pictures of me in front of the sign. He didn't say if or when he would post them though. Been keeping my eyes out for it!


I have one last training run left and I'm done. I'm as ready as I can be for Boston. I plan on doing my last 3 miler tomorrow (Thursday). Friday I have a deep tissue massage scheduled. Which is very well needed. Saturday will be Bib pickup at the Expo in the morning and then I will be working the expo from 12:30 to 6 also doing the Bib pickup for other runners. It's going to be a long day!!

Sunday I plan on resting, drinking lots of water and just passing the time. I know that night I wont sleep so the rest will be needed. I need to be out of the house by 6am Monday morning to catch the bus in Worcester headed to Hopkinton.

Nothing left to do but to F' it up - as my friend would say. So nothing crazy from here to then....


I posted this in my Facebook page today:

This so describes me right now.... I'm sorry for all of you (non runners) that I have bored with my marathon talks.... but hey,.... if you come and ask me about my running, be prepared to listen to me for the next hour or so.... LOL. If you don't want to know, don't ask me :)

Have a great rest of the week. I'll post back after the expo.

- Jose