living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Filtering by Tag: #RunforBoston

Streaking. Not streaking. Streaking.

The last time I did a running streak, I ended it feeling really out of it. It was the second time I've attempted some sort of streak and it just left me unsatisfied after hindsight set in. Fast forward a couple of years and I found myself intrigued once again by the Runner's World challenge to run at least a mile every day from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.

I didn't think about it too much -- I decided a couple of days before it started to go ahead and do it. Nothing else has been normal about this year, so I figured this could be a good way to end the year and enter 2014.

After kicking things off with a race in Ohio, then easing my way through the first week and then doing the Surf 'n' Santa 10 Miler, I was really looking forward to getting through the month with a mile or two here and there, and a handful of 3-4 mile runs. Nothing big. Nothing crazy. Enjoying running to run.

The day after Surf 'n' Santa, my throat hurt a bit, but I squeezed in a mile between periods of rain and sleet. That afternoon I had a low-grade fever. Nothing much to really worry about though.

Monday morning, my hands hurt. I could see small red spots showing up. I thought about running a mile just to keep the streak alive, but by that afternoon my feet had the same feeling as my hands.

Hand, foot and mouth diseaseOn a pain scale of 1-10, I'd say it was only a 2. It felt like my foot was asleep after sitting for a long time, only it wasn't going away. The red spots only intensified.

I self-diagnosed myself with hand, foot and mouth disease -- mostly a children's illness, but it was something I didn't have when I was younger.

On Tuesday I finally opted to go to the doctor just to make sure that was it. Sure enough, that's what it was. Tuesday night and early Wednesday were the worst. Then as quickly as it hit, it started to go away.

I opted to let things heal before running again. The run streak became a runless streak of 6 days, nearly ending a streak I re-started last year after being sidelined from the flu of running at least a mile a week.

I took Monday off and today I agreed with myself to get the streak going again. It'll only be 2 weeks, but I don't want the "disease" to be a defining moment for me.

As I look ahead to these two weeks, I also want to end the final full week of the year recapturing one of my biggest highlights of the year -- running 26.2 miles for the week.

You can see my post from earlier this year of why I did it. It meant so much to me for a variety of reasons that I want to do it again ...

Rolling Stone justification? It doesn't exist

In the past couple of days I have tried to remain opinion-less of the Rolling Stone cover with one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, but I just can’t. Especially after some people are trying to defend it directly to me. Let me give you some perspective on why I am outraged at this cover. In 2007 I was working at the daily newspaper in Lynchburg, Va., when the Virginia Tech massacre occurred. Being less than 2 hours away from Blacksburg, this was a local story for us; for so many others this was one of those things they just couldn’t believe, shook their heads about it and then went on with their daily lives as normal.

For me, there was no escaping it; there's still no escaping it.

I lived and breathed updates on that story every hour for several straight days. We had two reporters on the scene, one of whom was a VT graduate. On another level, I was in constant contact with friends who are alumni – I'd say that I know at least 20 people who are alumni. I've been to concerts there; I've been to a few basketball games there; I've been to a handful of Hokie football games.

I don't remember the full timeline, but toward the end of that week NBC broadcast the video they received of the shooter; then the AP released many photos of this guy.

At the paper I remember wrestling with this decision of what do we show on the front page of the paper. His eyes? The guns? Nothing?

If I could go back in time I would shout to leave this guy off the front page … let's belittle him and not even show the thumbnail photo of him anymore.

Showing his photos and airing this creep's videos is what he wanted. It's also want others with his same mind-frame want to see. They know if they do it, the media will show it.

We'll never know if the Boston bombers really wanted to be glorified with photos of them in the media, but we do know that others out there admire them. If they go out and bomb a public event, could they get on a cover of a magazine too?

To add fuel to the fire, Rolling Stone is publishing this 3 months after the bombings. No editor can justify that to me. No one outside of the media business can justify that to me.

Some may argue that we're too sensitive now; that we need to see this stuff.

After we catch people who do this, what is the point of posting photos more than a few times? Why do they deserve a photo in a newspaper larger than 7 picas wide?

They don't. Again, no one can truly justify this type of glorification.

I'll get off my rant now and continue to run and focus on the greater good this world has to offer. …

Running for Boston shirt

Epic? I'm going there

Run for Boston, #runforboston The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon weekend can be summed up in one word: epic.

I hope you know that "epic" has never been used to describe any event from me. I did use it in a post a couple of weeks ago when I hinted at what I was going to do at the Monument Avenue 10k, but I didn't bust it out. I even looked up the definition to make sure something there fit well. "Impressively great" works for me.

I use it with caution, but I'm using it nonetheless because it just was. I'm not even going to disclose everything here either -- it's just one of those things for the memory bank and great stories to tell others in person.

In addition to my first post on Sunday, here are some other weekend highlights and thoughts.

    • The elevation change: Blue Ridge Half elevation
    • My actual race performance was disappointing. I was exactly a minute slower than last year. In 2012, I put too much effort going up Mill Mountain; this year was too conservative. Despite a couple of fast miles coming down Mill Mountain (7:20 for mile 5, 7:40 for mile 6), I couldn't make up the time I lost going up the mountain (mile 2 was a little more than 10 miles, mile 3 was in 12:10). I did manage to have a negative split, just not negative enough to feel fully satisfied. Running 13.1 miles in the week leading up to the race didn't help, but I have no regrets. I know I can get closer to 1:50 in this race ... eventually.
    • WDBJ7 interviewed me about #RunChat.
    • In addition to hanging out with great people I mentioned in my last post, I hung out with these awesome people:

      Blue Ridge Marathon

      2013 Blue Ridge Marathon

    • That makes for two years in a row of some awesome socializing at this race, plus I had the opportunity to make this a working weekend helping both Foot Levelers and the Blue Ridge Marathon with some social media posts.
    • I feel like WDBJ7's photo of me with Bart Yasso and Amy really sums up my weekend. All smiles. A celebration of running. Doing it all for Boston. Uniting as a community.

As for what's next, I really don't know. All my plans and thoughts have been thrown out the window.

For now, I'm just enjoying running to run. ...

Stronger.

2013 Blue Ridge Half Marathon medal

There are so many things that have happened in the past few days that have completely changed my view of running.

Race weekend in Roanoke, Va., for the Blue Ridge Marathon is full of amazing stories -- the support for Boston by everyone, grabbing a photo with Bart Yasso, Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, meeting some awesome friends I've known through Twitter, interviewing with a local TV station about #RunChat, witnessing a runner completing the marathon backward for charity and, of course, finishing 13.1 miles to get to 26.2 for the week for Boston.

I could go on and on.

All of these things have made me realize that the running community is stronger than ever before. Everyone felt closer to each other this weekend. Boston was on the forefront of all conversations, but after the race was over there seemed to be more smiles and hugs and celebrating crossing the finish line.

From a personal standpoint, I feel stronger mentally after this week. Despite yesterday being my worst time on this course after a conservative start, I'm stronger physically. I'm stronger because of great new friendships that will last forever.

I can't even begin to explain how it feels to part of the running community right now. As Bart Yasso said at Friday's pasta dinner, running is all about "acceptance and community" around the world. There's no way I could have stated that any better.

Blue Ridge Marathon running legends

RunChat meet-up

RunChat at Blue Ridge Marathon

Frank Shorter

There is certainly more to say about this weekend, but for now I feel like I'm still taking this all in. My head is just spinning and spinning thinking about the weekend and running and what's ahead.

26.2 for Boston

Blue Ridge Marathon Running for Boston

I feel obligated to run. Just go out the door and run.

Then it hit me today. I wanted to join the Run 26.2 for Boston event on Facebook and hit 26.2 miles for the week when I cross the finish line of Saturday's Blue Ridge Half Marathon.

No matter where you are or how much you run or what you're training for, join the online movement to #RunforBoston. Also check out our posts on the #RunChat blog on ways you can help and show your support.

Post your miles. Post your photos in your race shirts. Stand as one.

It's for the runners.

It's for the spectators who pack every finish line.

It's for the volunteers who give us endless hours of help on the course.

It's for Boston.