Saturday, April 24, 2010

4/24/10: Boston Marathon Pics

I took a few pictures before and after the race that I wanted to post.

So far recovery has been going pretty well. Took it easy this week and started loosening up.

Foolishly went out and ran a 5K this morning pretty hard, but more on that soon.

Dylan is so excited!
Athlete's village in Hopkinton. It was pretty crazy there! Good music over the loudspeakers though.

Oh my god. This guy is ready to go!

Rocking out by the portapotties.

Tata Consultancy took a picture of me on the course and e-mailed it to me. Not really sure why, but thanks Tata! You can see that I was hurting at this point.

After the race. Victorious!

Robert Anderson came by to watch the finish and somehow managed to find me in the mess of people. Thanks buddy!

Public gardens again .... I love gardens

Taking a breather in the public gardens and having a few snacks. We ran 26.2 miles and burned about 3000 calories. What did we get for it? A 100 calorie pack. Dylan was not amused. He's about to say a particular 4 letter word. See if you can guess what it is.

This may be the picture where Dylan looks most like Prefontaine. We decided to recover after the race by immediately heading to Cheers bar (yes, that Cheers bar). Nothing like a beer and a mountain of fries to replace calories. It was a ton of fun, and there were a bunch of other marathoners in the bar.

First Sam Summer of the year. Delicious.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

4/22/10: Boston Marathon RR

On Monday Dylan and I ran the 114th Boston marathon. Since running my first marathon in 2004, I’d wanted to run Boston. I qualified in 2006 and then couldn’t run it for a few years, but I finally made it! Dylan qualified handily in San Francisco with a 2:58, so we were able to tackle this thing together.

Koushik’s apartment was amazingly well situated for the race (thank you Koushik). It was maybe a 10 minute walk to where we caught the buses to the start. We got to the bus area at 6:40 and a mere 2 hours and five minutes later were finally at the race village in Hopkinton. Yes, the winner of the marathon RAN the whole race in the time it took for us to take the bus.

Dylan and I did all the usual pre-race rituals – peed in the woods, pooped in the Portapotty, taped and lubed various parts of our bodies, and peed in the woods again. Nobody ever said marathoning was pretty!

We had a pretty good seed with our qualifying time that put us close to the front, which was cool. The gun went off, and we start cranking downhill. The first 4 miles of the course was downhill with a bunch of flatish miles after that. We were mostly hitting 6:20s and 6:30s, which definitely didn’t feel very easy, but we went for it anyway.

The crowd was awesome from the start. Most of the city has Monday off, and these people know how to spectate a marathon! One other racer put it very well: “other marathons like New City also get a big crowd, but this is a professional marathon crowd … they know how to do it.” Well said, sir. There is an impressive amount of drinking, yelling, signs, and true running appreciation. One knowledgeable fan cheered on Dylan by saying “that guy’s got a Pre stache! Go Pre!”

I was starting to hurt around 7 or 8 and was wondering how this thing would play out. Between mile 12 and 13, you hit Wellesley, which definitely helped pick me up. I’d heard a lot about this section but still wasn’t prepared for it at all. To say there screaming girls lining the course is really an understatement. You can hear it coming from hundreds of yards out. The sound as you’re going through is deafening, and my ears were ringing afterwards. All of them are also inexplicably trying hard to kiss very gross, smelly runners. In a word … awesome. No kisses for this guy. Saving those for someone else (you guessed it … Eve).

I hit the half in 1:24, almost dead on what I did in Philly last time. Unfortunately, I started fading quickly after that. My pace was still decent until the Newton hills, but then it became much more of a struggle. I’ve run tens of thousands of feet up and down mountains, but Heartbreak Hill just owned me. I was hoping I’d come back to life after hitting the top at mile 21 and then work the downhill to get sub 3, but that wasn’t to be.

Low point was definitely when I was passed by a dude in a Minnie Mouse costume around mile 23 or 24. When Minnie Mouse passes you and you can’t respond, you know you’re in tough shape. I was slowing down but still kept at least a decent pace and crossed the finish in 3:04. That put me just a bit faster than Philly in 2006 but a ways away from my 2:55 in Philly in 2008. I was definitely happy with the finish though.
Dylan finished not far behind in 3:19. He had some vicious hamstring cramps but in typically Dylan style pushed through and still threw down a good performance.

All in all it was a great day. Really good weather, great crowd, and good company. I have a feeling I’ll be back for the Boston Marathon in the near future.

I’ll also come back to post some pictures soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

4/18/10: Pre-Boston w/ D'Fitz

Question: Who is this person?
a) Prefontaine
b) Homeless guy asking for change
c) Del Piero
d) Will's long lost running partner

Answer: All of the above! Yes, that is me, Steve "Dylan Fitz" Prefontaine getting ready for Boston while wearing a Del Piero soccer jersey (gotta stay focused on the World Cup even during the race) and I am away from home so I yes indeed homeless. Just before the picture was taken I dropped my "Will run marathon for water and gatorade" sign.

While some people prefer to train with massive amounts of running (see Will's taper as reported in the previous few posts), I, Steve Prefontaine, chose to forgo my usual incognito persona of Dylan the graduate student to return to the hairstyle and mustache that propelled me into a legendary runner. It is true - I, Steve Prefontaine, am returning to running! Because I have been in hiding as Dylan Fitz, graduate student mediocre, you might expect me to run at the normally slow pace that "Dylan" usually runs at. However, tomorrow I will let loose and unsheath my inner competitive sword to cut into Boston through the Heartbreak Hill. Look out!

The expo today was good and crowded. If I had exposed myself as an elite runner before hand, it would have been nice to have skipped the expo and sent Will "Pre's Little Errand Boy" Weidman to register for me. But the best laid plans are often developed while posting blog entries on BTR well after the plan would have proved useful.

Anyway, I've gotta go pick up a chick and cut my toe so that everyone is impressed by my ability to run through pain and bloody feet. Follow my results tomorrow on the Boston Marathon website and on BTR!

This is Boston Commons.
Fan of BTR Koushik Das (special thanks for housing us) and Steve Prefontaine


Good weather for the race

The long walk to the expo

This picture is pretty small, but adidas developed a great add campaign for their Boston Marathon "BM" (hahaha) gear. They had this incredibly large picture of a female runner squatting over a camera. But have no fear, we will be very cautious of the transparent sidewalks with cameras pointed up our shorts during the race. After all, I want to receive money for my money shots!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

4/11/10: Muir Woods Marathon pictures

I took a few pictures with the big guy out on the trail. Rachel also took a bunch of pictures in addition to being support crew. Thanks, Rachel!

Awww, so cute

Near the start line on a cloudy morning

Brome is already having trouble drinking water. I'm sporting my "Top Golfer" hat and have the game face on.

Already having way too much fun

Brome celebrating success early

Celebration may have been a bit premature. Danny looks a bit scared.

Looking up the mountain we're about to climb.

And we're climbing!

Victoriously entering the first aid station at mile 3 after 1,800 feet of vertical

Brome hauling some ass out of the first aid station

Refueling at 11 miles. Despite Brome's face here, he was running well and feeling good (or so he told me).

Me pointing to Brome. I was beginning to be amazed by his performance.

This was a really beautiful section, so I took some pictures while Brome went ahead.

It was super green and lush here. Probably because it was raining so much.

Coming into mile 20

Rachel got this really cool shoot of us in the distance coming out of the last aid station. Around here we realized that we were only about 3 hours in and starting turning it on.

Glorious finish!

Brome's face shows he is not someone to be messed with

Man, it was a good day ....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Muir Woods Marathon

[Guest Post]
This morning I managed to slow Will down enough to keep up with him for almost four hours, a substantial achievement by any standard.

The race started off from the beach, and started with a pretty steep climb over the first three miles up to an aid station at about 1800 feet. Most people were pretty restrained on the ascent, which helped keep Will from going into a bloodlust and charging off so I couldn't keep up. This part of the trail was really cool-- there were a few little waterfalls, lots of big mossy trees, and a ladder. My special friend Rachel was waiting for us at the aid station at the top of the climb, and we convinced Will to pause and enjoy a gatorade, instead of charging through. Heading out of the aid station, we passed a group middle-aged female hikers; one of them looked at Will and exclaimed "nice bod!" We were all thinking it, somebody had to say it. Then we headed down into Muir Woods, a great national park with huge redwoods and tourists, dropping almost the full 1800 we climbed, then heading right back up to the same aid station at mile 11. Rachel was there again, and supported us while we ate some ultra Cheeze-its.

After mile 11, most of the run was along a relatively flat out and back. We passed some delightful wildflowers, and then some fog rolled in, temperature dropped, and a little rain started. Will's tiny frame almost got blown off the mountain. The weather was actually fairly awful-- much worse than Birkie! weather. Our fingers had a tough time with the snacks we brought along. We made it to the aid station at mile 17 feeling great, the flat part went by really nicely, and the fan cheered us in. From there it was just a mile and a half to the turn around, so we got to see who was ahead of us. Other than one dude who was absurdly far ahead, we were pretty pleased to note only a handful of folks ahead of us, and Will got a little fired up for a top ten finish. I was feeling good, so I let him take the lead (in the run and the conversation), figuring I would try to hang on as long as I could.

We kept up a good pace through the flat return, then Will let loose on the descent to the beach. Truly terrifying. I think we were moving so fast the poison oak couldn't stick to us. The just a short trip through Stinson Beach to the finish, and one marathon done.

All in all, a pretty awesome race. Great trails, nice people, and an huge chunk of uncut WillGT time. Will's got an intense summer schedule of running, but that will be important to get him ready for Birkie! 2011. He's going to rock it in Boston with D'Fitz and Jersey with his dad, then get back to his absurd long runs. The amount Will runs is crazy, but after today I can definitely see the appeal.

4/10/10: The Hall of Fame

This morning, I had the pleasure of running the Muir Woods marathon with Daniel Brome. You may have seen in a previous post that Brome signed up for this basically on a whim and trained for 2 weeks.

The Muir Woods Marathon has 4.5K feet of elevation gain, which would be tough for anyone, let alone someone running their first marathon after signing up a few weeks before.

I was expected something in the 5 hour range. Brome blew my mind and ran 3:45 and finished top 10!!! This must be the finest athletic achievement since Abebe Bikila won the Rome marathon barefoot in 1960.

Ladies and gentleman, a sub 4 hour marathon is fantastic. It is even more impressive when it is someone's first marathon. It is incredible when run on a trail marathon with tons of climbing. With the minimal training, I don't even know what to call this.

Brome's achievement has inspired me to create the BTR Hall of Fame, with Brome being the first inductee. Congratulations my friend. It was an honor running with you.

I'm going to turn it over to Brome to recount his tale of glory and victory.

Monday, April 5, 2010

4/6/10: Spring Running

I feel like I have a lot to write about but very little time to do so!

I've been very focused on ramping up to Boston over the last few weeks. I was sick for about a week, but have still been managing to jam in a lot of quality workouts, including:
  • 3 miles in 18 minutes
  • 16 miles with 12 @ 7:15s
  • 19 miles in low to mid 7s
  • 800s in 2:49s
  • 3x1 miles in 5:45s
  • 21 miles with 16 @ 7:00s

I've started to feel pretty good and am exciting for Boston. I don't think I'm in better shape than I was before Philly, but I feel like I have a good shot at sub 3.

It has also been some amazingly glorious running weather here in DC. The first set of pictures below was taken on various days while running around town. The second set is from a trip to wine country with Jen and Eve that also included some hiking in the Shenandoahs. It was awesome!

I'm looking forward to running the Muir Woods marathon this weekend and will definitely post some pictures soon.

Happy spring running!

Canal by Georgetown
Early spring in Rock Creek Park

Cherry Blossoms one morning

Random little park close to me

Eve loves wineries

Grey Ghost winery

Sharp Rock Vineyards

B&B where we stayed for a night

More of the B&B

And more. The grounds were really beautiful.

Climbing up during our hike

Eve wasn't quite up to a 6 mile hike, so she got to enjoy the ride for a while