Sunday, November 3, 2013

11/3/13: Dylan's Awesome MCM Story

After the weekend in DC, I am happy to report to Born to Run readers everywhere that Baby Liam is truly born to run!  Tall and lanky – just like his father – Liam has an ultrarunner’s body and the endurance to persist at basic activities (sleeping, feeding, and eventually running) for most of the day.  Keep an eye on this kid’s career!  “Baby Li-am’s born to ru-huuunnnnn!” 

He’s also extremely cute. 

And the run was also extremely fun.  We didn’t have much of a plan going in to the race, with Brome’s status as a runner or support unclear (at least we chose to maintain hope that he would run without training!), Will training through this race, and myself lacking both mental and physical fortitude.  The basic plan was to run the race in around 3:20

Despite that plan, running with Will is just too much fun!  So we went out a bit faster than planned and were having too much fun to slow down.  It was a beautiful day and we raced past excellent music (“Everybody get up!”) and had intense debates with the crowd about questions such as “what does the fox say?”  - which in fact is something like “Chacha-chacha-chacha-chow!” 

Brome provided most excellent support.  He woke up around 2 am San Francisco time, walked to the start with us, carried our clothes back to the car, picked up essential power donuts, and hurried over to watch us. 

I was lucky enough to run with Will for the first 18 miles, although I am sure that I was becoming significantly less fun with each passing mile.  After coming through the half in 1:32, I was starting to slow down while Will was just warming up. 

As a result of the increasing deviation of blood from my brain to my legs, I became more and more paranoid with thoughts that people were following us.  I couldn’t quite pin the reasons down, but I had a suspicious feeling that about 30,000 people were tracing our every move.  Despite our efforts to lose the tail (we looped around several major landmarks), it appeared that we were still being followed. 

We decided to split up for safety, with Will racing on ahead while I stayed behind to fight for our safety.  I pulled off to the side to drink some water and Will took off like a Mako shark.  It was amazing!  One second I was talking to Will and a second later all I saw was a blurry bullet of an image fading rapidly into the distance.  Well, either that or he was too skinny to see from more than 10 feet away. 

The last 8 miles got pretty difficult and, while not feeling great, I realized that I needed to make a sacrifice to the running gods.  With Marines lining the roads, I decided not to make an actual sacrifice and instead sacrificed some of my own nipple blood to the gods.  They were pleased with this gesture and helped me to the finish.

Also, god appeared in the form of Daniel S. Zwrome, who ran with me for most of the last 7 miles.  His presence was most joyful and his ability to run while carrying donuts, a sweatshirt, jeans, and several other items was truly an inspiration.  Brome is a true Birkie! Warrior! 

The weekend and race were most enjoyable.  I’m sorry to report that Will failed to achieve the 3:20 goal, finishing in an effortless 3:03 while I finished in an effortful 3:21.  Since I was slightly slower than the goal, Will would technically have won under Price Is Right rules, but I won the race by all other objective measures. 

While I accept this (self-provided) recognition, it is a bittersweet victory as I know that it will only be a few years before the next generation of the Born to Run dynasty flies by me in the middle of a marathon, again like I’m driving an Amish buggy on the Autobahn.  If Liam teams up with Jermichael Haakon Zwrome, then I clearly am in big trouble. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

11/1/13: Marine Corp Marathon Race Report

So I guess BTR has kind of died, huh?  You might be thinking that having a son recently has meant there has not been time for running.  Apparently there is still time to run, but both running and blogging is out of the question.

After a brief hiatus, I started training again in a sleep deprived stupor.  But thanks to my wife being so amazing, I soon found a rhythm again and was back to doing some pretty decent running.  The biggest casualty has been our dog.  Our little dachshund is very lazy, and Jen was getting up with her later in the morning.  Now I drag her out in the darkness before I go for a run, and she is rather displeased. 

My mileage hasn’t been what it was before, but it is back up to 50-60 per week.  The upshot is that my speedwork has actually been pretty decent.  When the day’s schedule gives you about 40 minutes to run, you cover ground as fast as you can!  

Three and a half weeks ago I ran the Navy Federal 5K.  You might say: “Why run only 5K?”  Well fear not intrepid reader.  I ran there and back, and since it was a cool 8+ miles each way, I put in over 20 miles that morning.  My time was nothing to write home about (18:36), but I took third on a really hot day with many miles on the legs.

Two and a half weeks ago I ran one of the Backyard Burn Series 10 Mile runs.  They host a bunch of races every spring and fall on trails that are right in DC’s backyard (get it?).  It poured rain in the days leading up to the race, so it was a sloppy mess.  I ended up having a fantastic time at the race and again took third.  This is the first trail race I have done that is less than a marathon, and I think I need to do more of these.  The only downside was a rough fall at 4 miles, and next time I will seriously consider wearing spikes. 

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of Danny and Dylan coming to town.  Dylan and I ran the Marine Corp Marathon, which was so much fun it probably wasn’t legal.  With the Richmond Marathon coming up in 2.5 weeks, this was a last opportunity to cram in some training.  I upped my 60ish miles a week to 75 right before MCM with 22 miles the prior weekend and 7 miles the day before.

Running with Dylan is insanely fun, and we rocked out to Robin Thicke (“Everybody get up …”) and in general just crushed it.  I felt way better than expected and ran 3:03.  Once again starting out more conservatively was the key to success.  I am optimistic for Richmond and hoping to at least go sub 3.  I will keep you all posted on how it goes.  Dylan is going to write a guest blog post on this year's MCM, so look out for that soon.  He is way funnier than I am.

I have also booked flights out to the Alps with Jen and Liam in late August next year.  I am very much hoping to be able to run the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 100K, and I will keep you all posted on whether I get through the lottery.