Tag Archives: Team Hoyt

52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 48: Will run for pie (again)

We may have eschewed turkeys in favor of tigers last week, but we knew it wasn’t going to be long before we were back out among the turkey faithful. We signed up for the Thanksgiving Day Feaster Five in Andover, MA, many months ago (it’s the one with the free whole apple pie for every runner at the end!). I had some vivid non-pie memories of this event from last year, mostly because it was the first time I had run in obscenely cold weather. I had little experience running in such conditions and my hands were so freezing that I insisted on wearing my Columbia snow gloves. Worst. Idea. Ever. The run was definitely the first of many iterations of the Absurd Winter Running Outfit™. I think I eventually got it right.

Last year’s Feaster was also the occasion of the infamous fakeout finish banner. You can read more about that here.

Ah, the things I have learned since then, apart from how to read a sign. I believe I have discovered how to actually run (or at least I’ve convinced myself that I can) because this year I willingly signed up for the 5 miler instead of the 5K. I am always intrigued when I willingly sign up for a longer distance when a shorter one is available. What the heck is going on in my brain?

Feaster Five 2012

The morning sun beats down on the giant crowd.

Thankfully, I had my friend Tiffany from the fabulous Cute Dogs & Hugs along with me for the ride. We were both pretty apprehensive about this run. Tiffany because she had been vacationing and hadn’t trained much, and this was going to be her first 5 mile race; me because I was struggling with IT band issues and am generally lousy at training anyway. Also, because I knew there was one big-ass hill between mile .5 and 1.5. I remembered it so well because last year I spent quite a lot of time on it. Walking.

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A lowly 5Ker among a sea of Boston marathoners

I’ve decided I have to run the Boston Marathon. Have to.

What inspired this new-found proclamation? Next time I go to the John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo on marathon weekend to pick up my bib, I would like not to be told, “Sorry, you can’t get your number here at this big table that says, ‘Welcome runners. Number pickup.’ Rather, you have to proceed to the far right, down three flights of stairs, into a basement, through two steel doors with secret codes, down a dark-as-night corridor, and across a bridge under which lives a troll who requires answers to three riddles.

OK, it may not have gone down exactly like that. But for those of us doing the B.A.A 5K on Sunday instead of Monday’s fancy-schmancy marathon, our number pickup was in a teeny, nondescript room off the back of the giant expo that you had no hope of finding unless you experienced the above exchange at the pickup desk for the real runners.

And that is why I have to run the Boston Marathon.

John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo

A sea of orange Adidas gear (the company is the official marathon sponsor). The screen above says "Boston is all in." Will the runners be playing poker?

Don’t get me wrong. The expo was fun and all. And I certainly don’t want to diminish the achievements of those folks doing the 26.2; it’s an astounding feat. But I felt highly conspicuous as I walked among the stalls without the telltale bright orange swag bag given to the marathoners (no swag for the 5Kers).

The fact that I feel as though I’ve run a marathon at the end of every 5K clearly doesn’t count.

John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo

Coveted shirt.

I was surrounded by shirts with various Boston-y things on them, like “Boston Runnah,” “Haaahtbreak Hill” (or something along those lines) and “Boston 26.2.” Mizuno had an amazing shirt that just said “RunBos 2012.” And Nike had the one pictured on the left. Sure, I guess I could have purchased either of the latter two, but I couldn’t bring myself to. Not until I run the real thing. I don’t want someone coming up to me on the street to ask how I did.

My favorite display was by Brooks, who brought “Pure running heaven” to the expo and were showing off their wares behind golden pearly gates. Inside was plush carpet and cherubs hanging from the ceiling wearing Brooks trainers. Angels beckoned you in with “Welcome to running heaven.” Genius.

John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo

Pure running heaven by Brooks.

But, as much as I appreciated Brooks’ heavenly commitment, and was thrilled by the presence of Dick from the inspiring Team Hoyt (he and his son are about to run their 30th Boston Marathon), and a candy-red Lululemon truck, I felt out of place among all the energy gels and compression socks (fear!) and bright orange official threads.

John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo

Portable Lululemon.

So I took my bagless 5K bib and T-shirt and slunk towards the exit. Who knows if I’ll ever be able to wear one of those marathon jackets for real. But it’s a cool thought. And and least then I’ll know which table to go to.

52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 11: Gimme five!

I never thought I could run five miles in a row. Maybe over the course of my life, but not in a row. If you had told me this time last year that I would be running such a vast distance at some point in the next 12 months, I would have declared you the ruler of Crazy Land.

Well, I must have relocated to Crazy Land, because last weekend I ran the Hynes 5-Mile Road Race. It was No. 3 in the Wild Rover series, and No. 11 in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge (gosh, the time has flown by – at a blistering speed of 5.5 mph). Needless to say, this race signaled a new distance for me. And, I am ashamed to say, yet another week of zero training. I must stop doing that.

Hynes 5 Mile Road Race

The Hynes Tavern in Lowell, MA, that would soon be overrun (!) by folks in bibs. This was the 32nd incarnation of the Hynes road race.

The forecast was for windy/warm weather, which prompted a question: Could I finally retire the Absurd Winter Running Outfit? It’s a fine line between too chilly and too hot. Sartorial quandaries aside, it turned out to be a glorious day. Warm but not steamy; breezy but not blowy. Ideal. So I doffed my trusty wool and donned one of my many, many running shirts. I would have felt totally hard core had a significant number of runners not also been wearing the same threads. Note to self: Next time, wear a shirt from a different series.

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