Monday, February 28, 2011

Hyannis, Half I got a race for you...

Sunday, February 27th, Hyannis MA.
It was a balmy 35F and lightly snowing at the start of the 31st Hyannis Marathon Series. After spending a few quiet nights in Brewster - about 25 minutes east - Annie S., Mark F. and company rolled slowly down towards the West End rotary in single lane traffic for the 10am starting gun. We were 10 minutes away and it was 9:35am already. 

Annie, Mark and Myself sprinted into the Conference Center that housed the expo and quickly located our race numbers; just as quickly, we pinned them to our shirts; left our bags while yelling across the emptying room where we would meet when we were finished; and each found our way into the throng of anxious runners without uttering as much as a good luck or high five in our haste. 

I entered the pack with earphones blasting Mineral's Palisade only to realize that the race organizers had initiated the singing of the national anthem. I was able to pause my music in time to hear "...and the home of the brave." I hadn't even realized how close I was to the front until I rounded the bend and saw the 'START' banner waving from the slight ocean breeze. 

Not 30 seconds into the run did I recognize a familiar team jersey from Team Race Menu. Barry S. was more than cheerful and welcomed my company for a bit. Barry and I bobbed and weaved mile to mile through the crowded streets until mile 6 when I realized that Barry's determined pace was going to be a challenge for me. Being the stronger runner, Barry held pace through miles 7, 8, 9 - looking back and urging me to dig deep and push through the tough miles. I was feeling good, but right at mile 10, I couldn't hold on any longer and needed to slow my pace. Looking at my watch I realized that even though I had to slow up some, Barry's awesome pace and motivation helped me across the finish line with a pounding heart, aching joints, and a big smile. Big ups to Barry for being the man and looking out for a fellow runner.

This stuff is good stuff
An informal hello and special thanks to Kathleen from Mix1 for having a metric ton of my favorite post race bev. - the straw-ban/post rec protein drink hit the spot and it was also nice catching up. 

So what's your Story?
If you were one of the 35 people who said they were going to take place in at least one of the running events in Hyannis yesterday or you just ran for fun and aren't on the list here, I'd love to hear your story if you've got one, just write it in the comment section at the bottom. Martin already told his and so can you. 


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"So you wanna be in pictures..."

Kristy Representing!
Another great informal Saturday at City Sports and this time we had special guests. Apparently, word has been getting around town about our little club. Graduate student of Emerson College and reporter for WERS 88.9, Justine Frostad, was interested in filming a piece about sports/health and the benefits of group running. I don't think she really knew what she was getting herself into.

If we do any one thing right as a club; here's my top 5 list of why someone would want to interview us:

5-We are super awesome at being friendly and welcoming. That's two things, I know, but they go hand in hand like JP and Tree frolicking through the poppies.

4-Someone somewhere heard that there's something going on over at that City Sports over there and it started somewhere else in Cambridge and they eat after they do some kind of group exercise or something. This is what most of us are probably thinking.

3-Dave's mom is really hot. (Don't know Dave or his mom? Come on by this Saturday and ask Evan to enlighten you)

2-We potluck better than anyone I know.
Yum for real
and... THE NUMBER 1 REASON why someone would like to interview us is...

To get a glimpse of our totally cool pet Llama.

Paco the Informal Llama
So what do you think is totally awesome about running club? Drop a comment and join in on the fun!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

600 Meetups and Counting

Over the Top
Last night on the heals of Winter's attempt to freeze us out, 6 battle hardened runners emerged to celebrate our 600th meetup at the Corrib Pub. Summit Ave. in Brookline loomed ahead of us as the temperature dipped below 20 degrees in a last ditch attempt to stifle our run. Ray, Brianne, Maki, Julie, Galen and myself had high hopes of finishing the workout as quick as possible because the cold was nearly unbearable. Simple suicides up and down the hill, running hard to each cross street and jogging down, we passed one another at different paces and cheered one another on as the incline and difficulty increased. With straining calves and frozen hands, we pressed on and triumphed together each descending the hill with the promise of celebratory libations and the sound of clinking mugs just round the corner.
600 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Special TMIRCE thanks to everyone who, over the past 2 and a half years, have supported TMIRCE and have helped make it a welcoming and fun place to  eat, run and be merry.

Shortly after the run, I was privileged to have been personally invited by Bethanie Wilner to therfirst live performance of her album Stillwalk at Howl at the Moon in Downtown Boston. The aspiring singer/song writer was on key and in the zone as she performed her album hits to a packed house. The piano came alive with each key stroke and the room intently hung on the soft tones of her vibrant voice.  Congratulations to Bethanie on a successful performance.
Left to Right: Joe "Mama" Davies, Bethanie Wilner, Andy Marx

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A Very Informal Valentine: Rose Run 2011

An informal Saturday, 2 days before one of the most dreaded holidays of the year was upon us like a lion stalking an ostrich in the African bush. Although this lion wasn't struck by cupids arrow, it would be more comforting to know that he wasn't in fact stalking his prey, rather preparing a grand gesture of surprise as he would plan to leap from the tall grass and present his Ostrich with a dozen roses. It's unfortunate that nature doesn't always work that way - but running club? Maybe. 

And so we ran and we ate and met some great people. Brian was kind enough to share his sunny travels to Miami during the run as our sunny Boston weather peaked at a morning high temperature of 44 degrees (and that's in Fahrenheit for all you off-landers.) Thanks to Rob for making his first appearance in while and everyone who supplied the awesome goodies - Chocolate Milk, Bananas, Fruits, Sliced-dried Bananas, Banana Bread, Cookies and the Blue Berry pound cake (holy moley that was good.)

As is tradition on the grandest of days preceding Valentines day, Evan Dana (check out his party on Saturday) pulled a serious man move and bought enough roses to present all of our lovely ladies with a small gesture of our eternal gratitude for their commitment to making running club look good. Not to mention, these are some of the coolest ladies I know. 
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One Hill of a Mess

To anyone who showed up to the hill workout last night and was wondering where I was; I was here. That's right NTB - Tire and Auto in Allston. Just the place I was hoping to be instead of running with my favorite group of peeps. But having a flat tire wasn't all that bad. Due to the strategically placed location of this particular automotive repair establishment, I was able to try a new eatery just down the street. Pizzeria Regina at the Depot has replaced the long standing Sports Depot (formerly seen here). But you wont find this Italian eatery on Google because it seems they haven't yet optimized their SEO. Better talk to Annie Schirmacher over at Hubspot to optimize their Internet marketing strategy.

Impressions of the Pizza:

#14 Classico
I had the 10" #14 Classico pizza. It came with artichoke hearts, pepperoni, mushrooms, muzz-a-rel (mozzerella cheese to the non-Italians in the room) and romano cheese sprinkled on top with basil leaves. On a scale of 1-10 (1 = lowest) I give the overall taste a 7.5, while the crust, chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside comes in at a 9. There was a bit too much cheese on the pizza but I'd say my experience on the whole, while waiting for my tires to be changed, was an 8; and that includes decent service and not to mention, a full bar! 

Impressions of NTB Tire and Auto in Allston:

I showed up needing 4 new tires at 7:30pm. They usually close at 9:00pm. The guy at the front desk was not entirely competent, asking me how to spell Cambridge when he needed my home address - and it didn't give him any points that his store location is actually ON Cambridge St., nonetheless, took my car and had it completely serviced within the hour while I munched on my pizza. Nice work tire guys. The only thing you forgot was to screw on one of my air caps. That's ok though. It'll only cost me .4 cents at the local gas station. 

So what does this have to do with running you might be asking yourself. Well, I ran from NTB to Pizzeria Regina at the Depot seen to the left: 

A .4/mi run @ a 6.25 min/mi pace (it was really, really cold) took me a bit more than a minute each way. The route however is treacherous with ice and an unlit hill is unexpected on Cambridge St. ascending the bridge. 

All in all, I hope everyone who showed up to the lovely Corrib Pub in Brookline had a fun run and enjoyed the local fare and beverages they have to offer. 

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Monday, February 7, 2011

What's in Your Shopping Bag?

Mark being opulent 
During a recent running club, Saturday February 5th, club regular Mark stated, "I feel intrusive when I look at other peoples groceries." A statement that initially sparked a laugh and then initiated a separate thought "why this feeling of intrusion?" Upon further inspection and review, I came to the conclusion that Mark might be on to something. Let me set the scene:

35 runners are standing outside City Sports ready to trot off on our weekly run. Several shoppers proceed to weave through the informal ranks on their way out of the nearby Star Market carrying their full bags of groceries. Now, it's safe to assume that most people have walked the aisles of a grocery store in their lives to pick out the food that they will be eating/making and consuming in the near to late future, depending on preservative levels. So when Mark peeked at the passerby's bag, what could that have revealed about that person and furthermore, will this call into question the way any of us approaches food shopping?

As runners, we tend to think about the foods we eat differently than others. I know that after I run, I like to eat fruits and drink beer. I also will maw-down on the occasional pizza - and by occasional I mean often.

Everyone jump on 3. 1, 2 ... ahhh to soon!
Food on the table this week of note:

  • fresh bananas
  • lots of grapes
  • Guacamole (home made)
  • llama meat (just kidding?)
  • Ritz Crackers
  • stick 'o' dynamite
The run itself was eventful. Because literally running on the Charles River is frowned upon, Boston's DCR decided at the beginning of the winter season, that they would do a better job clearing the pathways on the river than Cambridge; and so far they're proving themselves. When you get to the Cambridge side, I suggest making a B-line for the MIT side of Mem. Dr. Pretty well done MIT. Thanks to everyone who showed up and made this Saturday the best run ever! I just have one question I'd like to throw out there...

What's in your shopping bag? Discuss. 

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

We Run Because...Top 5 Reasons

What's off about this picture? (besides the focus)
 On a bitterly cold, sunny Saturday, I was excited to see so many runners turn out for the weekly run. So many so in fact, that it became apparent that a list needed to be made for how awesome TMIRCE Saturday really is. What does that mean? It means that the awesome-ness factor scale is solely dependent on one thing...informal runners. So without further adieu, the list you've all been waiting for:

5. matter how bad the weather is and no matter how cold it gets outside, someone always shows up. The attitude around the informal campus screams "I am a cold weather runner and so can you!" To the average observer, we'd look like postmen and woman who didn't know any better; out in the elements - rain, sleet, snow and hail.

4.'re training for something. There's a small voice in your head that says, "Thank goodness for running club, otherwise I'd never get my run in."

Mary getting her juice on
3. ...a lion escaped from the Stone Zoo in Stoneham and thinks you're dinner. YUM.

2. some point or another, there's an uncontrollable urge to do something completely different and out of the ordinary then 98% of the other people you know. Unless everyone you know is a runner - then it's because everyone else that you know is a runner and you want to hang out.

              and the number one reason why we run is...

1. ...because running is [-------------]. Who am I to say what the best thing about running is for you. All I know is that for me, every time I run, it's the best day ever.
What to Look Forward To:

It'll be the best day ever.


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