Sunday, March 30, 2014

Best Week Ever!!

I had one of the best weeks in my life this past week. I had some good surprises and some very good runs.

The week started out with a planned 5 mile run on Monday morning that turned into a 10 miler. It was just one of those days where everything just felt right and I had the time so I just kept going. It was a great way to start the week.

Tuesday night, after a 3 week absence due to work, I made it out to our Tuesday night Pub Run for a good 5 mile run then a couple drinks with some good friends. Had a great time!

Wednesday - rest day

Last week, while traveling for work, Level Renner had asked for an update on my training so that they could update their article on our Boston Marathon training. I wasn't really happy with the update I sent them. I was busy with work, so I did what I could do and sent it out.

Thursday morning was our usual 5 @ 5 (5 miles at 5 am) with the club. Woke up a bit late, but made it just on time. Later on that day Level Renner posted the article and to my surprise my friend Joanna had contacted them to add a little something to this article. I was blown away by what she wrote. Read the article - HERE. I was touched by the kind words. Thank you soo much Joanna and Tri-State Running!!!! I'm truly blessed to have friends like you.

Friday morning, I walked into work to find a group of my coworkers standing in the lobby waiting for me. What is going on I thought. Was I getting fired? Everyone is holding cameras and yelling "Surprise!!"..... and man was I surprised. Check this out:

They want to get the company excited about having one of their own running Boston this year. So they "borrowed" pictures from my Facebook & Instagram account and made this huge posters and hung them throughout the building. How freaking cool is this??!! They even have foot prints along the stairs and each one has a special message from my coworkers.

As they gave me a tour of their work, I was trying the hardest not to start crying. Honest to God, it was tough not too. My throat hurt so bad. This has be to up there as one of the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.  It was totally unexpected. I truly feel loved and appreciated by all my coworkers. I feel like this is all a dream.


Saturday was our club Rehearsal run.
21 miles on the Boston course. From Hopkinton to Boston College. The club rented a school bus to take us to the start and then pick us up at the finish. This is the last long run before Boston, so there thousands of runners out there getting their miles in. The roads are open but at busy intersection, they have cop details holding traffic for us. Its very cool they do that for us. And like the actual race, they have water stops and potta pottys throughout the course.

I carried this week's good karma right into my run Saturday. I ran a comfortable 8:30min pace and finished strong at 3hrs on the dot! I felt good from start to finish. This was good indication on how well I will run come marathon day.

I met two Instragam friends before the run. I saw many people I know throughout the course and I even heard someone yell out "Beard to Boston" around mile 15. Didn't know who it was though. Thank you for that whoever you were!!!


This was a very emotional week me. It's not too often you get to find out how much you mean to others in your life. I never expected this kind of support. But it feels soo good to have it. Thank you all!!

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Lastly, I'll leave you with this video that was released this week. Sums up how I feel right now..

Have a great week everyone!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Dilemma

Like most runners, I struggled at first to find "the right" pair of shoes for running. After being injured early on, a couple of doctors visits and going through PT, I needed to find something. I went to a local running store near work (PR Running) and had a gait analysis done and tried a couple different pairs. I finally settled on New Balance 940 for the needed stability. These have been my "go to" shoes for the past couple years.

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This model was discontinued a couple months back. I was able to find my last two purchases online, but with my timeline of shoes I knew that by the time Boston rolled around I would be in need a new pair. Here's the dilemma... I can't find my size (10.5D) anywhere. I have been looking for weeks with no luck. With Boston being about a month away. I needed to find something fast.

New Balance came out with version 2 of the 940 so I ordered them through Amazon this week. I have to say that I was not crazy about them. I did not run with them, but just the feel of them did not seem right. They felt cheaper and for being the same size, they were tighter. So I sent them back and ordered a half size bigger. 

While I waited I for the new ones to come in decided to go back to PR Running to see what they had. They did not have my old trusty 940s so I asked the obvious, "What do you have that is comparable and not 940 v2s?" Here's what the offered:

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 ($119.99)
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New Balance 860v3 ($94.99)
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They have a treadmill where I tried both of them and they both felt great. I ended up purchasing the Brooks because they felt good but I toyed with the idea of buying both of them. But at over $200 - NO WAY. But when I left PR Running I strolled over to Marshalls and there I found the New Balance 860v3 but in a different color for $40!! For $40, hell yeah, I was buying them!!! 

New Balance 860v3 - ($40)
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So this week I did something I haven't done in over 2 years. Run in a different pair of running shoes.

NB860v3, Brooks GTS14, NB940v2

I tried them all this week in different runs. Then decided to run in one of them on my 20 miler this weekend. The New Balance 860v3 felt like the right choice and even though I was nervous about it, I went for it. A month before Boston sounds crazy, but what choice did I have? 

The 20 miler was a real hilly, really hilly course, but I felt real comfortable in these shoes all the way through. So much so, that I think these will be my Boston "go to" shoes. I'll know better in a week or so after really trying out the others.

So there was my dilemma. I'm sure many of you out there have gone through similar stories and I'm interested in what you guys did. Do you think this is a smart move being so close to Boston?

 What are your thoughts on this? Please share.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Boston Marathon Training Update

Week 12 ended with a 30k race in Clinton, Ma that really kicked my butt!! Stu's 30k is a must do for anyone in these parts that is running Boston. It is a real hilly course and I swear it makes Boston feel easy. As part of Level Renner's Level Legion: Boston Marathon Edition, they had me do a quick recap on it. So I wont do one here. But it was a good race and  I got a 9 min PR - Woot, woot!! Here are a couple pictures. Most of them taken by friends:

This one picture was taken by Michael Houlihan

You can read my short recap HERE on their website.

Level Renner also used my my frozen beard pic

in their "Editor's Letter" section of their Mar/April 2014 magazine (page 5)... very cool!


This week was a cut back week. Only 12 miles for the long run. "Only" ... Some would say that's crazy talk... LOL . Next weekend it jumps back up to 20 miles. We are planning to do a friends route half hour away in Holland, Ma. It will be a hilly 20 miler!!


There were a lot of St. Patrick's day themed races going on today. I worked bib pick up for the Celtic 5k in Worcester Ma. It was a chilly morning as we passed hundreds of bibs. There was another race in Putnam, Ct - The O'Putnam 5k which a lot of my friends ran including my good friend Kristen who won 2nd place in her age group!! She kicked some serious ass!! Way to go Kristen!!


Training for the most part is going well. I was a little beat up from the 30k, as I think most people who ran it were, but was feeling good mid-week. The only race on schedule right now, is the Boston Tune up 15k on April 5th but I might add one more some where.


Thanks to everyone comments on my last post. Now that Char is starting to like my beard, I might just keep it ...LOL ... Jim, I'm sorry about your non-beard issue :) ... Ty, my wife loves the beard!! She is upset that I am shaving after Boston :)


Well thats it for now.... Have a great week everyone!!!