Saturday, September 29, 2012

The 40 Year Old Runner

Say goodbye to Sub-40, Sub Four!
After all this time, Sean finally joined the same age bracket as his fellow E Streeters.  So what better way for him to spend his foray into his forties than an eight-mile run with a bunch of guys who've been running like they're in their forties since they were in their thirties?
The Mean Streets of Chelmsford, hills and all, welcomed the E Streeters today.  How did we celebrate with the birthday boy?  Well, there were these two ladies who stopped to talk to us along the way, but this is a family blog, so we'll have to leave that story out on the streets.

Nothing like an ice cream on your birthday.  Say, haven't I seen that name somewhere this week?  On a book title written by some hack, or something?
Barry had intended to flash Sean's 4-0 birthday sign, but had a bout of dyslexia, and instead flashed a sign for the 0-4 gang and insulted a bevy of ganstas.
Afterwards, back at Woodlawn Estates, hoisting high the birthday muffin.
The run came complete with an Aquaman sighting, though not still in his box.  And more than once, we felt like we were running with bags of sand, under skies that were dark and cloudy, with a chance of drive-by.

Happy birthday Pumpkin Man, welcome to our age bracket!  See you and Jill in Vermont!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bruce Day Bananas

Bruce Day 2012 - and if you don't know what that means, welcome to the E Streeters, where every September 23rd is a reason to celebrate the birthday of our favorite musician, Bruce Springsteen.  (Today was his 63rd!  Yikes!)  In true Springsteen spirit, the E Streeters turned out in big numbers today to support a mid-month No Bananas 5K race on the Freeman Trail in Chelmsford.
Apparently, today was a day to rock MCC swag, as seen by the spectrum of race shirts hitting the trail today.  The Scanlon brothers made a red carpet faux pas and wore the same shirt, but in the end, only one of them would ride the rail to victory.  More on that later. 
Pre-race, 21:07 nad 21:10 were sizing one another up, trying to figure out who would come out triumphant in today's Clash of the Titans.  You can see Carlos' reaction to Tommy's trash-talking. 
Right away, Tommy makes his move.  Big mistake.  Barry would capitalize on this rookie mistake on the way back in and blaze past his older brother, leaving him soundly in his dust.  Looks like Carlos gets the Hermano y Hermano duel he's been calling for all these months.
Some finish lines shots of our finer finishers, including the No Bananas Queen herself, Ruth, apparently the only member of the Crockett family still logging the running miles.
Two-thirds of the MCC Public Affairs team finish it up with smiles on their faces
And finally, the results!  What's this?  Tommy eked out a one-second victory over his arch-nemesis Carlos?  Apparently he CAN back up his trash-talking!
Finally, the whole bunch of bananas, getting ready for their October outing, which happens to follow on the heels of the 3rd MCC Trail Race on October 6!  Hope to see you all there! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

We Know What We're Walking About!

It's September, so that means once again, my beautiful wife put her peds to pavement and walked the 13.1 miles from Wellesley to Boston along the Boston Marathon course to support the Jimmy Fund and to help combat cancer!

For the second year in a row, Jack dedicated the walk to her dad, who battled and beat cancer for several years.  As always, she was joined by her entourage, including her sister Annie, a survivor herself, who amazingly bumped into Dr. Stone, the doctor who helped her through her fight, as she walked through the streets of Brookline.  Folks were able to offer a personal thanks to the doctor, and show him the results of his great work, walking right alongside him.  Also returning for the commute were two of Jack's biggest cheerleaders, Andrew and Heather.  And this year, Lowell PD dispatcher Colleen Cullen Sheehy, who's become a walking machine herself of late, joined in on Heartbreak Hill!  (You may also notice Heather's colorful socks, always a crowd favorite, made their return as well.)
Andrew and I ran out from the finish to meet with walkers at our usual rendezvous point in Brookline!
Heading into the final two miles, the group shows some oomph at the Kenmore Square water stop 
Proudly representing the LPD in Kenmore, Jackie and Colleen provided more excitement than the neighboring Red Sox have been delivering of late
 Andrew, bleeding purple for Holy Cross, strikes his victory pose before the fabled sign
Ready to go right on Hereford, left on Boylston (anyone who's done the Boston Marathon knows what I'm talking about), Jackie with her best boosters, hand-in-hand to get to the finish
Heather would have loved to have stopped at Gucci's, but luckily the Patriots game was approaching, so we had to beat feet.  Whew!
Making it to Copley Square, Annie was joined by her two biggest - and tallest - supporters, John (Squared)
With of course, the annual welcome to Boylston smooch from hubbie John
The group of supporters awaiting us at the finish is staggering and inspiring.  The sense of accomplishment for the over 8,000 walkers is made even more poignant by all of the cancer survivors there to greet and thank the walkers.
The victory smooch for the bestest of friends, to cap the feat. 
And because I know many of you were worried - yes, Andrew did get to eat at the finish.  Somehow, the boy always finds the food.  Meet Nathan's Hot Dogs' newest poster boy.
This event is absolutely one of our favorite outings of the whole calendar year.  It's one of the best-run events out there.  Kudos to organizers.  There's a great feeling in the air, and we actually get to feel as though we're helping to make a difference in the lives of some of the cherubic little faces of the juvenile cancer fighters on the mile marker posters along the route.  Hopefully, we can not only help conquer cancer, but we can kick its ass in the process!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Welcome to Great Falls!

Anyone who knows me and knows how much I love to run, knows how much I love to run trails.  Given the choice, I'll pick trail running 10 times out of 10, especially in the fall, here in New England, when the scenery is breathtaking, the air is crisp, the trails are in great shape.
Some running compadres, however, shy away from trail running, for fear of twisting an ankle on roots or rocks, or getting injured.  Not me.  I ALWAYS vote for trail running, and over the course of a 22 tear running "career," I can easily count the number of times I've actually fallen while running trails.  In fact, heading into today, that number was a solid two.  And on both priors, I was able to recover nicely with a quick barrel roll.
Not so today.
This morning, running with the E Streeters at Great Brook State Park in Carlisle, I took what was easily the worst spill I've ever inuccured while running.  My size 13s tripped over a rock.
Down I went, ass over teakettle, into an ugly pile on the trail.  Cheek to the ground, dirt in mouth, trail rash on both hands, along my arm and on my hip.  It was ugly.  Here's me, back up and ready to kill.
Barry, running alongside, and quick to rush to my aid, was amazed at my restraint in terms of the number of expletives yelled.
Scott, Carlos and Sean were in front of us, so they missed the debacle.  And luckily, I was the only one running with a camera.  With said camera, I was able to snap a picture of the rock that felled Goliath, and can produce it here so you understand how it happened.
So, that one's in the books.  I've got one toe in bad shape, hopefully it's not broken.  We'll find out tomorrow.  Does this deter me from running trails?  Absolutely not.  Given the opportunity, I'll be right back out on them again next weekend.  And if you see me out there, just get the hell out of my way, because I can't stop.
In the meantime, I figured I'd use this opportunity to look at some of the other great falls out there.  So enjoy.  Nice to see I'm in good company.