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A picture is worth a thousand words.

2009 Boston Marathon

2009 Boston Marathon

Well, it was a great day.  I ran the marathon in almost exactly what I anticipated.  Not my fastest, but then again, not my slowest.  Actually, of the five I’ve run, it falls smack dab in the middle.  Perfect running weather too (just warm enough and overcast), though I actually got a sunburn on calves and the back of my neck.  It did cool down once I passed Cleveland Circle, but thankfully the race was close to being over.

Anyway, it was quite a pleasure to have Carol, my lovely fiancee, along with her brother’s family, meet me at mile 20.  It was my motivational factor throughout the race.  Carol also took the subway and was able to cheer me on from Boylston Street.  My feet were the only thing that really bothered me, and that didn’t happen to about mile 23 (which happened to be my most difficult mile).  Some bleeding on my left big toe (the injured toe) from a callus, which actually went through the sock and shoe, but wasn’t that problematic.  Fortunately the injury wasn’t at all an issue.  I had some Vicodin on me just in case it was!  I rebounded by mile 24 and felt great for the remainder of the race.

That being said, basically everything from my ankles on up felt terrific immediately following the race.  There was some stiffness, but that’s to be expected considering, well, I ran a freakin’ marathon!.  Not bad considering the lack of training I had.  My training regimen consisted of three 5-mile runs, three 9-mile runs and a 13-mile run.  Most people will run this kind of mileage in a week’s training.  Injuries stink, but I’m also a bit of a slacker.  Okay, a HUGE slacker!  I always thought I could run the Boston Marathon without any training and this is as close as I’ll get to making that a true statement.

This is my last Boston.  No more fundraising or training in the cold and snow!!!!  Anyhow, it’s fitting this was my 26th blog entry as this will be my last….

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Whew.

’nuff said:

2009 Boston Marathon Finishing Medal

2009 Boston Marathon Finishing Medal

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Expo

So, one of the events I look forward to during the marathon is the Expo. This is where you pick up your number and chip, and also receive a packet full marathon-related items, including the long sleeve shirt the BAA gives all the runner each and every marathon. There are hundreds of vendors and several thousand enthusiastic runners, along with their families and friends, that attend. You could spend hours perusing through all of the wares that are presented here.  It’s quite a chaotic scene, and to me, is a bit overwhelming.

First things first, I was elated that they FINALLY did away with the cotton version and replaced it with a real running shirt. Plus, they are now making them gender-specific, so that’s a plus. Here’s what it looks like:

Cool 2009 Boston Marathon Shirt.

Cool 2009 Boston Marathon Shirt.

I like tradition, and this holds true of the Boston Marathon.  Every year, after picking up my packet, I make a bee line to the Adidas section of the Expo and buy an official jacket.  In years past, they’ve been both bad (2000 & 2001) and good (2002 & 2007).  This year, I was a little disappointed.  I ended up getting a nice fitting jacket, which the assistance of my lovely fiancee Carol, but when I got it home and washed it, some of the BAA marathon logo started to peel off and crack.  I’m debating whether or not to bring it back, but the Expo is such a zoo, that I really don’t want to go anywhere near that place again.  Anyway, here’s the jacket:

Official 2009 Boston Marathon Jacket

Official 2009 Boston Marathon Jacket

Considering Carol was with me, and this was her first trip to the Expo, I thought it might be nice to meander around a bit.  I usually don’t do this, as I just get my packet, but the jacket and then make a bee line to grap some lunch.  We walked around for a bit, but just found it too crowded, so headed over to the Other Side for some lunch.  Yummy!

So, all of the necessary items (number, chip, etc) are placed in a BAA bag that has a nice strap so you can easily throw it over your shoulder and lug it around the Expo.  It also lets everyone know that you’re running the Boston Marathon as you stroll through the Expo and Back Bay.  This bag also doubles as a duffel bag that you can use to ferry your items from the start line to the finish line.  The BAA provides buses for this, and you MUST use this bag to have your items placed on the bus (they also give you a sticker with your bib number to affix to the bag).  Unfortunately, it’s not made all that strongly.  Each year, I have to use duct tape to hold it together.  Hey what do you want for free?!

BAA Duffel Bag

BAA Duffel Bag

So, on a fundraising note, I was happy to reach the $2000 mark in my fundraising. I saw a great line for a charitable organization advertising in the 2009 Boston Marathon Official Program that states “If you think training for a marathon is hard, try fundraising in today’s economy.”  How very, very accurate.

Finally, here’s my number and timing chip:

Bib Number & Timing Chip

Bib Number & Timing Chip

Oh, and yes, a gratuitous photo of Durga:

Durga Enjoys the Spring Weather

Durga Enjoys the Spring Weather

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Mary Jane

So, my mother’s birthday was this week on Tuesday, April 14. She would have turned 65. The 5th anniversary of her death is next month (she died May 13, 2004). She had just turned 60 when she succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease.

She never saw me run the marathon, though was actually healthy enough to see me for the 2000 – 2002 Boston Marathons that I ran. Her husband refused to bring her down. Anyway, one of my favorite photos of my mother is of her first communion announcement. When she died, I had the photo copied (to a 5×7) and placed her eulogy on the back, and then laminated it. I use it as a bookmark. I’m going to have another made for this marathon, though in a wallet size so I can place it in the pocket of my running shorts. Here it is:

Mary Jane's First Communion

Mary Jane's First Communion

On the back of the photo is the following note that my Nana wrote (she refers to my mother’s older sister Judy; my mother was one of 4 girls):

May 10, 1952

Mary Jane,

The dress I made for Judy two years earlier, made it smaller for you. Throw away pictures you don’t want. No one will want them after I’m gone.

No one will want them after I’m gone. Hmmm, I do.

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Singlet

Okay, the Boston Marathon is just one week away!  We received our singlets last week, and they’re quite sharp:

Cycle Kids Singlet

Cycle Kids Singlet

So, if you come out, look for me wearing this. I’ll be in the rather large group running towards Boston from Hopkinton. Oh, and I’ll be running slowly. My toe is still bothering me, though I think I can finish the marathon if I keep a 10:00 – 11:00 pace during the race. You’ll notice the race number on my jersey. That’s from the Cambridge City Run. It was a 5-mile race and I ran it in 49:23. Didn’t even break a sweat. Foot felt fine, though there was a little stinging in my toe for a brief spell. I figure I can keep up a pace like that all day long.

Okay, and now for a gratuitous shot of our chihuahua:

Isn't she adorable?

Isn't she adorable?

Finally, to get in the marathon spirit, here’s a photo of me crossing the finish line during the 2007 Boston Marathon:

2007 Boston Marathon

2007 Boston Marathon

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The Day After the Marathon.

A couple of things:  First, I thought I’d post this video which is titled “The Day After the Marathon.”  It’s quite funny, especially if you’ve run a marathon.

Secondly, my fundraising is going well and I’m happy so many have been so generous. Currently, I’m at $1360 (as of Friday, April 3 @ 7:30AM).  I’d love to reach the $3000 mandatory minimum, and am crossing my fingers.

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Today I Feel….

So, my fiancee wanted to show me how she was feeling over the weekend during her caffeine withdrawal and here’s what she came up with:

Ouch.

Ouch.

On the running front. I’m planning on getting out this weekend depending on how my foot feels.  Still need to raise a boatload on the fundraising end, so Im hoping for some donations to raise my current amount….

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