Earplugs and alarm clocks

sb300ss.jpgI’ve recently begun sleeping in earplugs, since I try to be in bed pretty early in order to get up insanely early and run. I sleep well in earplugs, but how could I trust that I’d hear my alarm, short of waking my entire building in the process? Enter the Sonic Boom alarm clock, with its scare-you-awake vibrating bed-shaker. This thing works very well, though I suspect I might be shortening my life with the cardiac stress this thing induces when it goes off every morning at 4am. I ordered mine from here, though ThinkGeek has the red-LED ninja-looking one.

Training log

Three weeks ago:

  • Sunday: 26.2 blazing fast miles in wonderful Portland, OR.
  • Wednesday: 7.5 miles in the morning, plus 20 minutes on the treadmill at the gym. 10 miles.
  • There was another run in here somewhere?

Two weeks ago:

  • Saturday: 12 miles at McMullen with Paul.
  • Monday: 7.5 miles in the morning, 20 treadmill minutes. 10 miles.
  • Wednesday: Repeat of Monday; 10 miles total.
  • Thursday: 10 miles in the morning with Susi and Jana.

42 miles, mostly pretty easy. Pretty tired, but feeling pretty strong considering this is recovery time.

Last week:

  • Sunday: 15 miles in the afternoon, extending my 13 miler out to the hospital.
  • Monday: 7.5 miles in the morning. Pretty slow, still tired from the afternoon run the day before. Skipped the gym, easing up.
  • Wednesday: 7.5 miles in the morning; almost six minutes faster than Monday. 20 minutes at the gym, for 10 miles total.
  • Thursday: 7.5 miles in the morning, in the rain.

Total of 40 miles for the week. Strangely enough, I feel like I’m slacking.

Boston Entrants: Paul is in (twice)

Paul Martino – perpetual bet loser, fish dinner sponsor, and psycho runner extraordinaire – is on the list of official entrants for the 112th Boston Marathon, as of the 18 October list. Congrats, and good luck at the Columbus Marathon this weekend… We’ll be watching!.

Update 21 October: Congrats to Paul for putting in a time in Columbus good enough for both Boston 2008 and 2009, despite battling a head cold. He claims now he doesn’t have to run hard again for two years, but we’ll see about that.

Success in Portland: I’m going to Boston!

Today in Portland the weather was reasonably cool (unlike in Chicago!), with no real rain and mostly-tolerable wind. I have felt good the past few days, and have been eating well, so everything was set for a good outing. Which, I’m happy to say, after five years of hard work, I delivered in spades! I crushed my Boston qualifying time (3:10:59) with a 3:00:48, of which I’m extremely proud.

I started out a little faster than the 3:10 pacer, knowing I needed to stop to pee in the first half, and I never needed to let up. I almost caught the 3:00 pacer around mile 22, but the wind (and my quickly tiring calves) wouldn’t let me close the gap; I have no doubt I could have stayed with that group the whole way had I known I had any business shooting for sub-three.

My light race shoes (Asics Gel-Speedstar) were superb, even on some pounding downhills. I don’t think I’ve blackened any nails, even with dead legs the last few miles. I tried listening to my iPod starting at mile 21, but I was mentally in better form without the music. Plus, my new headphones sucked, and I threw them away before the finish. My calves were gone at the finish, but I recovered quickly over the next half hour, and six hours afterward I’m rather looking forward to the ten-minute walk to our sushi reservation.

Speaking of which, Susi also qualified for her second running of Boston. And Jeri ran a good race, even though she’s already qualified.

I’m already signed up for the 112th running of Boston; just waiting for the paperwork to go through and validate my time. We already have rooms at the Westin.

Of special note is that Boston 2008 will be the 25th anniversary of my dad’s 1983 Boston race. I hope he can be there to see me run mine. Maybe he’ll commit to qualifying so we can run it sometime in the next few years? I may already have qualified for 2009 with this time, but I’d like to run a Boston-qualifying time in Boston, and perhaps make it a tradition.

I enjoyed the course through Portland, and the city is fun. Pros: Tons of water stops, port-o-johns all over the course, good weather, great mix of flats and hills, all marathoners. Cons: Gear check was screwed up, start and finish were simply too crowded, wind was challenging, and some might call the industrial out-and-back section less than scenic. Overall I thought it was a great event, and I suspect I’ll be back for it again.