My First 5K December

5k race, my first 5kMy First 5K for December is

Cambridge Winter Classic 5K on Sunday December 7th.

This will be the second year in a row that I’ve run this race. Last year a group from my office and several friends from the Melrose Running Club ran the race.

It was a freezing cold day. The great thing about running is that you warm up pretty quickly. After the race we bundled up and drank ice-cold beer.

The beverage sponsor of the race was Jack’s Abby Brewing so there was no shortage of beer. The beer was so cold that it was difficult to really taste it. What I could taste was really good though. Jack is back for 2014!

The Grand Tour of Cambridge

5k race map, winter classicThe race starts on Sidney Street and takes a quick left hand turn onto Mass Ave at Lafayette Square. We run about a mile down Mass Ave and take another left onto Linden Street. Linden takes us out to Mt. Auburn Street. After about a quarter-mile we turn right onto Putnam Ave.

Putnam Ave roughly parallels Memorial Drive. It’s back about two to five blocks from Memorial Drive and takes us through this Cambridge residential district.

The last three-quarters of a mile is on Brookline Street. We take a right off of Brookline onto Franklin for the last run in for the finish.

The main thoroughfares of Cambridge are mostly commercial store fronts with restaurants and shops of all kinds. Cambridge in known for being the home of both Harvard and MIT. Many international biotech and hi-tech companies are based here or have major facilities or offices here.

One of the great things about this race is that we get to see some of the residential neighborhoods of Cambridge. We get to see the folks who grew up here on their stairs, and porches cheering us on. These are the people of families that built Cambridge and don’t have PhDs from down the road or fat salaries from the high-tech start-ups moving into their neighborhoods.

While the heart of Cambridge may be along Mass Ave and Memorial Drive with the universities, hi-tech and nano-technology companies, the soul of Cambridge is the people who live in these neighborhoods that many of us never see.

I’ll have a race re-cap, hopefully some photos and a link to results on Monday.

Run well my friends!

Andy

Harpoon Leviathan IPA Brew Review

Harpoon Leviathan IPA

I make a pilgrimage to the local “packey” about once a month to re-stock the old fridge. It’s always tempting to pick up the usual 12-pack of Sam or Harpoon. But I also try to get at least one brew that I’ve never had before. I’ve had plenty of Harpoon IPA and enjoyed every drop of it. While talking with the manager over at Atlas Liquors in Medford about all of the new breweries and seasonal brews, he pointed out this new IPA from Harpoon.Harpoon Leviathan IPA is an Imperial IPA and is 10% alcohol with 90 IBU. Now, 10% is

strong for an IPA which is usually in the 5-7% range. This is more like a barley wine. IBU stands for International Bitterness Unit and is how brewers measure the bitterness of their creations. The bitterness in beer and ale is derived from hops. There are a wide variety of hops grown all over the world. Each variety and each location can impart their own unique flavor profile. Assessing the qualities of hops can get quite technical and often involves chemists or biologists working in a lab. But, your tongue will do a fine job of telling you what you like and what is “too hoppy”. Some people like malty beers like Oktoberfest or Marzen. I’ll take a well hopped ale any day over one of those heavy, sweet brews. But I digressContinue reading “Harpoon Leviathan IPA Brew Review”

Running Towards My Goals

Goals and Commitments

My New Year’s Commitment for 2014 was to run 1,000 miles. As of October 22nd I have achieved 880 running miles. With all of November and December to go, plus another week left in October, I’m confident that I will be able to achieve my goal of 1,000 miles.

This week I saw Dave McGillivray speak. He said that he likes to set goals and keep checking them off. The list never goes away it just keeps changing as goals are accomplished and new goals are set.

The 505Ksat50 project

The day I turned 50 I went out for an 8 mile run at lunch time. What a gift to my self. It felt great and it made me feel great to be turning 50. Several times during that day people at work asked what I was going to do for my birthday. I told them I gave my self a run for my birthday.

I also told them that the BAA gave me 5 extra minutes to qualify for the Boston Marathon. What a day! They were thinking more along the lines of a lavish dinner or something.

50 is a big deal and it isn’t. I have to keep reminding my self that I just turned 50 and not 40. I feel 40. I probably look 50.

50 is a big deal because I am half-way to my goal. I want to live to be 100. I know that’s a big goal, but why not? I think it’s a great goal. Maybe I’ll only make it to 90 or 95. That’s still pretty good.

To celebrate turning 50 and to help me towards my ultimate goal in life, I decided to do something running related. Why not?

For 2014 I committed to 1,000 miles. I knew I couldn’t do 50,000 miles or even 5,000 miles.

I decided that my new goal is to run 50 5Ks before I turn 51. My hash tag is #505Ksat50. Gotta have a hash tag these days.

Simple math indicates that I need to run one 5K almost every week of the next year. In the six weeks since I turned 50, I’ve run 3 5Ks. I’m running behind already. Par for the course!

I’ve signed up for three more 5Ks over five weeks, and it looks like I need to find a few more.

An Extra Twist

My little business (Omni Running) features medals for first time 5K runners. I’m selling medals at two 5K races that I have run in the past. If I’m running my table and putting medals around runner’s necks at the race, I can’t very well also run the race.

I know that there are people out there who have never run a 5K before who can run one faster than me. I can’t have them waiting at the finish line for me.

If my business continues to grow it may be very challenging to get in my 50 5Ks. Accomplishing both goals this year will be the real challenge.

Run well my friends,

Andy

So many pedestrians

So many pedestrians, so little time!

Why is it when I give a pedestrian the go ahead to cross at a cross walk they insist on sauntering across the road while sending a text message?

I know that legally I am supposed to yield to pedestrians in a cross walk, but come on! We are all on our way someplace and would like to get there sooner than later.

If I have the courtesy to give you the go-ahead, then freakin take it and get your ass across the road!

Beatles,pedestrians,abby road
from Wikipedia

As a runner I spend a lot of time as a pedestrian.

I try to cross in areas where cars can see me. I try not to press the cross walk light button when the nearest car is half a mile away. I stay on the side of the road and don’t run three abreast and block traffic.

I try to be a good citizen in my car and in my running shoes. All I ask is that drivers give me a foot or two of space and that pedestrians get a move on when I give them the go-ahead.

Is that too much to ask?

Run well my friends,

Andy

© 2014 anagelin

Training at 50

The 50’s are here!

AARP can wait. I need that membership fee to sign up for a 5K. If you saw my post yesterday, I have a few to run in the next 12 months.

running,runner,trainingOver the years, my birthday has fallen on Labor Day or Labor Day weekend several times. Three days to eat, drink beer and usually swim a lot. Very nice.

This year my birthday was on a Thursday which means I get to party on two weekends! Last weekend we had a nice family get together in New Hampshire with lobsters, a few IPAs and the traditional swim.

I also managed a 21 mile long run in sweltering heat which didn’t kill me. This weekend I have a 20 mile long run and the wife and I are going out for my birthday dinner. That means someplace nice. Maybe appetizers and desert. Maybe Salvatore’s in Medford Square?

Training this week

I had a nice 8.34 mile birthday run on Thursday. Mostly under 8 minute miles with an over all average of 8:18. The Esplanade is mostly flat and those miles felt pretty good.

When we had cake at work today, everyone asked me if I was doing anything special for my birthday. I told them I just gave my self a nice long run. I think most of them thought I was joking. A nice run that will help ensure I make it to my next birthday. That is a priceless gift, and it was free.

My weekly total came in at 35.6 miles! A weekly high and nothing really hurts. So far my Baystate training is going well.

I have no real plan. This is a totally by the seat of the pants training program here. I run the Sunday long run every week, I’ve lengthened the Tuesday night run to 8 plus miles and I run one or two days at work, 6-9 miles. I’m just a knuckle head on auto pilot. Relying on experience and listening to my body.

A gift from the BAA

Who says you can’t give the gift of time? Upon turning 50, my qualifying time for The Boston Marathon increased by 5 minutes to 3:30. Now I ONLY have to run 26.2, 8 minute miles, instead of 7:49 miles. What a relief!

I know that I can run 6 to 8 miles under 8 minutes during training. Under race conditions I can probably stretch that to a half marathon at my current fitness level.

With six weeks to go I have a lot of work to do, and I am looking forward to it. Just like last week, I am looking forward to the long run. 20 miles. Bring it on!

Any good mid-week 5Ks that you can recommend in the Boston area?

Run well my friends!

© 2014 anagelin

The Big 5-0

Today I hit the big 5-0

Every time I say that, I hear the opening riffs to the original Hawaii 5-0 show. I think that may be my un-official theme song for the next 365 days. I’ll have to buy a Hawaiian shirt or something.

Anyone sell tech shirts or singlets in that design?

This little gem showed up in the mail Wednesday

AARP,turning 50

My New Year’s resolution was to run 1,000 miles in 2014. As of Tuesday night I was at 637 miles. This leaves me with 363 miles to complete over the next 16 weeks. That is just under 22.7 miles per week.

I will be running 30+ miles per week over the next few weeks. That will get me a bit ahead of the curve and then I’ll just need to run my base miles for the rest of the year. Simple, right?

Turning 50 doesn’t bum me out

50 years is an achievement that not all of my friends have been able to accomplish. I feel fortunate.

At 50 I am healthier than I was at 40. At 40 I was probably healthier than I was at 30. If I can get to 60 without any major health crisis I will really feel fortunate.

At this point in my life, I am in a great place to leap forward into the second half of my life.

Many things have changed in the past few years, the biggest change has been me.

To celebrate turning 50

I am going to run 50 5Ks in the next 365 days. #505Ks@50. Not sure that will work as a hash tag or is SEO incompatible, but that’s the best I could come up with.

1,000 miles in a year is a challenge. I think 50 5Ks will also be a challenge and a lot of fun. There are tons of 5Ks around Boston and I’m sure I’ll have a weekend or two where I’ll try to run two or three 5Ks, just to keep things interesting.

  • Any favorite 5Ks in the Boston area you can recommend over the next few months?
  • Anyone else turning 50 in the near future and want to join me?

So many lines from Hawaii 5-0 that I could use to close with, but I’ll stick with:

Run well my friends!

© 2014 anagelin