Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Boston Marathon

I'm a little late in posting this because I'm still not sure how to summarize such a contradictory but successful and overall awesome day.  It's difficult to try and summarize just one "three hour" event when in reality it was hours upon hours of buildup, not even considering the training. I must apologize up front because this will most likely be a lengthy post. I'm not sure how long it'll take and how many details I'll exclude and how much useless information I'll include. But it will be long! Feel free to read it in parts/installments......

Perhaps the most significant aspect of my Boston experience was the hospitality and helpfulness of Ryan Davenport.  I met Ryan last year through the online "dating" site, Strava as well as through Jonny's stalking prowess.  By chance, we began running a few times together and one thing lead to another, his influence swung me over to the dark side blue and yellow unicorn side and I decided to sign up for the 2015 version of "Bahston". He even helped me out with a few long workout/training runs on the course several weeks before the race itself. These were truly so helpful. Awesomeness and so valuable I cannot begin to thank him enough for it.

The Day Before & Pre-Race:
I guess it's easiest to summarize by saying that there is realistically no way that I would ever run Boston if I had to deal with the logistics of the race like the majority of the masses. I could NOT ride a bus from Boston back up to Hopkinton to the Athlete's Village, to wait around in lines, urinating everywhere, only to hike a mile to the starting corrals and then wait in the corral for who knows how long.  It just isn't in the cards for me.  Instead, thanks to Team Davenport, I was able to drive up to Hopkinton early Sunday afternoon and hang out.  Ryan's brother and his wife (Dan and Marie Davenport) brought me into Boston at 4:00 pm to pick up my bib while they dropped off her water bottles for the Elite tables.  We went back to a huge family meal and relaxed for a very laid back, fun evening.

After an awesome night's sleep (until 0430 when I awoke and began fretting about the race instead of sleeping more), we had a pleasant "help yourself to whatever you need" breakfast buffet and discussed race logistics.  All of these pleasantries however, masked my internal feelings about the weather.  All of us had been studying the weather and realized that it was going to be chilly, windy, and wet.  With the headwind and rain, I was talked into accepting the fact that I was going to have to add approximately 5:00 to my finishing time.  It was, in essence, stupid to run my original goal pace (6:15) to hit my goal time (2:45).  Trying to do so in these conditions was a recipe for disaster.  Despite resigning myself to this adjusted goal, I was secretly pissed off! WTF?!? Train like I did just to run a 2:50 plus? No way! I refused to accept that.  My new goal was to run a tiny bit slower but still do my best to get in under 2:49.  This would still be a PR for me by over two minutes. If you blow up, at least you go down swinging! Nothing left to do but wait and see. As I stated, with Ryan's gracious assistance--food, lodgings, race day info, gels, nipple guards, super comfortable bed (air mattress...NOT HIS)--I was feeling good and ready to go.

Around 0830, several people left Ryan's house (one mile from the start line) to escort Marie to her earlier start for Elite females.  The rest of us left soon there after to walk up towards the start where we stayed at a friend's house even closer to the starting chaos.  My nervousness increased a bit here -- Wait, is that groin tightness I'm feeling? Am I really ready to do this? The new residence had more food, more bathroom availability, and was only 4-5 houses down from the start! Unreal!  After pacing around, sitting and stretching, watching the start of the elite women on TV, hitting the head one more time, most of the group strolled down to the town greens and, after showing our bibs, simply walked into our starting corral (wave 1, corral 2).  It was that friggin' easy!! I stood around for only about 8-10 minutes, shed old clothing layers, double checked fuel in surrounding shorts pockets, listened to the introduction of the elite men's field, and then BOOM--we were off.

In addition to my adjusted goal time, I also ran in a technical hat (WTAC).  I usually never do this but I figured with the impending rain, it might help keep some precipitation out of my face.  With the newly formed goals, my new pace was going to be about 6:22-6:25.  It seemed logical that despite the huge opening bomb downhill, I still was probably going to run about a 6:40 first mile or so.  I just had to settle in and go easy the first 6-8 miles (mostly downhill overall),  try not to chew up my legs  too hard that early, make it to the half way point and see how I felt. My internal dialogue was essentially: Run smart. Consistency is the key up until 20.  Make it over Heartbreak and if you're still ok, go for it & rip shit up!.  I didn't convey that to anyone out loud, but from research (online, books, conversations, etc.), it seemed like an achievable plan.  Ultimately, while I along with everyone else was bitching about the weather it actually benefited me in two ways: 1.) it took some of the pressure off regarding every split-second mile mark goal, and 2.) at least it wasn't hot.  I don't deal well with heat.

The Race:
It's probably easiest to chunk this into 5K intervals.  Those are the splits that BAA feeds to the masses, so I suppose that is what I'll go with here (mile splits on my watch are at the end of the post).

I managed to take it out easy for the first mile.  Despite the aforementioned big downhill, I went out a little slower, and watched Ryan and the other guys take off (didn't see them again for quite awhile). Following the sage advice of Boston runners past, I used this first mile as a feeler.  Loosen up the legs, warm up, and get my bearings.  I was getting passed by a bunch of people here but figured that was fine.  I kept checking out the passers in my periphery, judging and predicting those that I definitely wanted to reel in later on. Everyone around me seemed to be resigned to focusing and running their own race.  There wasn't too much banter, other than from the small crowd lining the course, which was exactly how I wanted it! I was feeling loose at the 3.1 mile mark, everything was going fine.  Everything felt super easy to this point.

Results @ 5K mark: 19:50 (6:22 pace)

Took my first gel at 4.5 miles.  I assumed (feared) that if I fueled every four miles, I'd be left in no-man's-land at mile 22-23.  Instead, if I staggered the "feedings" every 4.5 miles or so, that would give me a tiny bit more time. Still was just passing the time, focusing on consistent pace without over analyzing (watch glances).  At this point we passed through a few larger crowds past the Ashland Clock Towers (around mile 4) and there were a few points where the crowd was a little more jovial than the rest (i.e. just before the Framingham Train Depot near mile 6).  At the 10K mark, all was still well.  It began spitting rain lightly around this point and I figured this would signal the downpour.  However, it thankfully would start and stop and, in the words of Carl Spackler: "I don't think the heavy stuff is gonna come down for quite awhile". Still feeling good and really consistent.

Results @10K mark: 39:33 (6:21 pace)

During this stretch I really started to notice the headwind more and more.  It is along this route that you gradually turn due east (prior too and along Lake Cochituate) and the wind began to be noticeably troublesome.  It started to rain a little bit more consistently, albeit not heavy (Carl) during this point and I finally started to feel wet.  I felt as though I finally had to work a bit to maintain pace at several points.  The field was finally starting to settle out and runners around me became a little more "familiar", although I was still passing a few more people at this point.  I also was somewhat familiar (having run the two workouts with Ryan through here) and noticed that I was mildly anticipating the Natick Town Common area.  I knew there would be more of a bustle and I was looking forward to it, despite the   very gradual rise in topography. Gobbled another gel right around mile 9 and kept rolling.

Results @15K mark: 59:28 (6:22 pace)

We finally reached Natick  Center and the crowds were more boisterous.  At one point there was a small bunch of drunken guys, waving flags and screaming/chanting: "USA! USA! USA!".  I'm not really patriotic in that sense but their animation moved me.  I glanced down after we passed them and had to remind myself to back off--5:55 pace not acceptable at this point! Still, I smiled, pumped my fist to acknowledge them, and settled back into work. After leaving Natick there is a decent downhill which I made a conscious effort not to bomb down, as we approached Wellesley College and the screaming ladies.  I could hear them from a decent distance away.  As much as I didn't want to acknowledge them and let "those crazy college girls" interfere with my race tactics, I couldn't resist getting a little pumped up by their enthusiasm.  With the screams, the kisses (other runners, not me--it'd interfere with my pacing), I couldn't help but pick up the pace.  Another glance at the watch had me dial it back down again, as I realized I was high 5:00s again for pace.  I actually smiled and giggled a few times at a couple of their signs.  A few notable favorites: "I wish you'd hammer my finish line!" along with "I'm wetter than you are right now!" and "Please kiss me! I use tongue!".  Rest assured, my daughters will not be attending Wellesley. Still feeling good at this point though.  In fact, thanks to the drunk college females, feeling a little too good!

Results @20K mark: 1:19:23 (6:23 pace)

Halfway (21.1K/13.1miles):
After Wellesley, it was just a short jaunt to the halfway point.  This was a checkpoint I was eagerly awaiting as I was curious (as are all marathoners) to see how the legs felt.  As long as I still feeling okay, I could start to race a little bit versus just hang back and run.  That statement is a little misleading--I didn't intend to pick up the pace at all but I could start to worry a little less and welcome discomfort.  Basically, if you start feeling less than stellar before 13.1 miles, you're fucked. If you're still rolling and feeling good, all is going according to Hoyle.  At the half mark I was still bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  Keep it going, Muddy!

Results @ Half: 1:23:43 (6:23 pace)

Now I was entering the zone and ready to get after it.  I knew from the two previous training runs that I was fast approaching the post-mile 15 big downhill bomb into Newton Lower Falls area.  This was a tactical point that I had worried about.  I knew that I could open it up here but that it would also be at a point in the race in where I could do some damage to myself if I wasn't careful.  Perhaps more important, just after Newton Lower Falls was the sneaky "first hill" that people forget about.  Still, it was all good in the hood, despite some minor fatigue.

Results @ 25K mark: 1:39:10 (6:23 pace)

I knew from research and conversations with others that there are NOT three hills to surmount on the course.  There are actually four.  This sneaky one is sometimes referred to as "Heartburn Hill" as it is the precursor to the real fun.  Luckily, as the hill commenced right after the 16 mile mark, I felt good and was able to climb it with little to no difficulty and pass a bunch of people. Man, I friggin' love climbing hills and watching people fall by the wayside.  This incline is not big or long (only about 20m or so) but it is a good warm-up for what is to come.  We then took the infamous "wicked shahp" right hand turn onto Commonwealth Avenue by the Newton Fire Station.  This was a welcome change of pace/direction/venue.  I then continued motoring on towards the first of the "big three" hills.  I tried to focus on running posture, economy, and pace (not too big of a drop off here), and was so happy to pass a slew of people here.  Are people really slowing down this much already?  Just worry about yourself, Muddy. After this hill is a long gradual downhill that just really starts to mix up your legs before the 30K/~mile 19 mark.  It still felt good to turn them over at this point.

Results @30K mark: 1:59:09 (6:23 pace)

Just after the mile 19 mark is the next incline.  I think, (not sure), it was right around this point that I caught up to Ryan and several of the others.  We grunted props to one another and focused back upon the work at hand.  This hill seems to be the shortest but it still takes the wind out of your sails a little.  Despite this fact, as I started the hill past the Johnny Kelley statue, I dug down and kept moving.  I was a bit surprised here as I was feeling definite discomfort but relative to those around me, I was still moving along fine.  As I crested this incline, I knew that it was relatively flat for about a half a mile before the infamous last hill.  I appreciated the chance to recover a bit and gather myself.  I was definitely feeling fatigued here but it was still uplifting to see the others around me beginning to fall apart and slow down.  I still hadn't dropped off too much on pace/time so that was a definite positive.
As we started climbing the final hill (Heartbreak), I prepared myself for a "big one" but once again was happy to find that it appeared that everyone else was crawling and I was still motoring.  To be sure, I was hurting but nowhere near what I thought I should have been feeling.  As we crested Heartbreak (makes it sound like a giant mountain--it's not that bad, seriously), and I saw a giant inflatable that read something like "Heartbreak Is Over", I smiled.  I knew that I was about to start descending down into Boston.  Although the wind was really picking up here (the highpoint before crawling back down to sea level?), I still was super happy. Bill Rodgers' infamous advice came to mind here: "If you can make it to the top of Heartbreak and still feel good, you know you're going to have a great day at Boston.".  Shit yeah, Boston Billy! Let's do this!

Results @35K mark: 2:19:09 (6:23 pace)

This next stretch was a little tougher for me.  It is always is such a paradox. Although I was still feeling relatively good (but starting to hurt a little), I always get deceived by thinking that the race is almost over. But it's not--there's still a big chunk of mileage/10K left.  After looking at the clock at the 20 mile mark, I struggled (brain fatigue) to do some running math and realized that if I could just run a not disgustingly sloth-like 10K, I'd be good to go.  Time to buckle down! I was still super happy to find people dropping like flies and I still hadn't hit the wall yet.  I was hurting for sure but my legs were still turning over and I wasn't nauseous or near death.  Mile 22-still good.  23-still alright.  We continued down onto Beacon Street and I was still wondering; "Where is that Wall?".  At mile 24, the course flattens out and you start the chase home into the city.  Coolidge Corner was another check point where I expected to feel like death but, yet again, the wheels were still on the bus.  To belabor the point, I was obviously hurting, but not like I had expected!  No bonking yet!  Maybe I had fueled properly. Perhaps I had trained well. Simply lucky?  Most likely it was a combination of all three.
I was annoyed as we approached the 25 mile mark.  WTF was this "Citgo Hill"?!? There is a small bump there that feels like more than a blip on the radar.  Nobody told me about that MFer!

Results @40K mark: 2:38:34 (6:22 pace

The finish:
Finally, the home stretch was upon us/me. I left Brookline and entered Boston proper.  Here we go, man--1.2 miles left.  I was starting to really feel it here but nothing like what I had ever felt before at this point in any previous marathon.  The crowds were still there cheering but it was raining pretty steadily now and I figured they were smaller than normal.  I kept pushing and really bore down here.  It felt like I was trying to run 5:15 pace but a few glances showed me I was still on par.  No slow downs for me on this day! As we turned the final left hand turn onto the finishing stretch, I finally started to feel like some of that bonk/nausea/I can't do this feeling.  There was only about 400m left to go so I tried to concentrate on keeping upright, maintaining my pace, and not dying in the process.  I crossed the finish line with no actual idea what my real time was.  The clocks showed 2:47:XX but I knew it was a little less than that. No fan fare or celebration--just get me the eff outta here and back to the hotel (thanks again, Ryan!) at the Marriot so I can shower and change into warm clothes.  It is surprising that the worst part of the race, in all seriousness, was the lonely solo slog back to the hotel in my BAA Space Blanket.  I was a swaying, shivering, teeth chattering mess.  But I didn't that's good.

Finishing Result: 2:56:47 (6:22 pace) -- 637OA
Soaked to the bone, turning the corner to the home stretch on Boylston....
Splits on my watch:
Mile 1: 6:38
Mile 2: 6:12
Mile 3: 6:16
Mile 4: 6:20
Mile 5: 6:25
Mile 6: 6:15
Mile 7: 6:22
Mile 8: 6:26
Mile 9: 6:25
Mile 10: 6:22
Mile 11: 6:26
Mile 12: 6:21
Mile 13: 6:23
Mile 14: 6:20
Mile 15: 6:27
Mile 16: -- (missed split)
Mile 17: 12:43
Mile 18: 6:18
Mile 19: 6:29
Mile 20: 6:34
Mile 21: 6:16
Mile 22: 6:23
Mile 23: 6:04
Mile 24: 6:17
Mile 25: 6:06
Mile 26: -- (missed)
Final 0.2 Mile: 1:21 (5:50 pace!)

Looks like I ran consistently and my final 5K was the fastest! Wow! How the eff did I do that?!?

Thanks to Ryan and his family's hospitality, I cleaned up with a bunch of the guys I had left in Hopkinton and we went downstairs to Champions for beers and food.  The day really couldn't have been any better - a PR, a clockwork type race where my pace never faltered, surrounded by good people that supported me before, during and after the race.  I really couldn't have asked for a much better day.

Thanks to the Davenports and associates.  Thanks to my family for putting up with me over the previous 3 months.  And thanks to Jack Daniels for providing me with a simple and effective training plan that paid off in spades.

Now, do I do this bitch again next year? Maybe on a good day (not hot, generous tail wind), I could go sub 2:45?


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Time To Kill

Well, folks, it all comes down to this.  I find myself four days out from Marathon Monday and, per usual, waiting is the hardest part. I've a bunch of Time To Kill.  Unfortunately, John Grisham doesn't have this type of TTK.

It is really almost laughable when you think about it. Training is the fun part of a marathon.  Seriously! It's the last two weeks that make the process unbearable.  These 14-16 days are second in misery only to the hills (FOUR OF THEM?) from miles 16-20 along the course.

 How is it possible to feel so fit for the weeks leading up to now, only to have these last two weeks leave one feeling fat, slow, miserable, antsy, and stir crazy? 

--The only comfort comes from knowing that you put in all the hard work required to be (hopefully) successful.  Looking back through my running log, I did two fairly high quality extended workouts per week, several of which I'm surprised even now I was able to pull off. Scouring other running blogs/websites helps assuage some of the self-doubt and anxiety too. Knowing that 25,000+ others are going through the same thing is somewhat comforting.  This is normal. It's normal to feel lethargic and heavy-legged on easy five milers now.  All the cool kids are doing it/feeling it, even if it does go against all logic and reason.

What to do with all of my free time now anyway? 

-- Running about nine-ten hours per week and now I'm expected to run for only six to seven?  What to do when daily, easy, filler runs go from eight miles to only four-five?  80-90 miles per week now down to 30-40? No real long runs?  Now a "Workout Wednesday" or "Saturday Sufferfest" is only about an hour to an hour fifteen minutes  (and not really taxing anymore) instead of the usual grueling two to two and a half hours? I haven't seen a double day in a while. Well, it gives me more time to get the garden ready.  Kids have events so now I can relieve the missus of traveling/transport duties a little bit more.  I'm starting to make reparations I suppose.  We even got chickens! Now I'm spending a little time here and there building a chicken coop for my pretty, feathered ladies (NOTE: it is NOT going to be, as my friend teases me, a "Cock Hut"). I'll put up pictures and show the progress in a short post in the very near future.

Is it possible to put the reigns on that furnace that is my metabolism?

--The cutback in mileage and time-on-feet is certainly cause for a reduction in caloric in take.  How can it be so difficult to not go back for that extra piece of pizza, pint of IPA, cookie, or late night bowl of cereal?  I'm not losing weight. Wait, did I seriously gain two pounds since yesterday? Shit! Daily mind battles for sure.  I cannot count the number of times in the last 2-3 weeks that I've found myself standing in front of the cupboard, staring in at food only to forcibly close it and walk away defeated.  Same goes for the fridge and my bottles of home brew.  Soon. Very soon.....Fatness will be a gift?

More time killing can be spent checking the weather?

--Yes, I've become a meteorology slut.  Good thing there is not a "hit counter" on sites related to National Weather Service or Weatherunderground.  I certainly do not wish to be reminded of how many times I "quickly check" the weather conditions for Boston next Monday.  By the way, the course runs approximately west to east. Should I be worried that the forecast now is consistently calling for ESE winds at 10-15 knots? All. Morning. Long.  No shame in being a "drafting slut" either I suppose.  Luckily there will be hundreds of people around me running (hopefully) exactly my goal pace. Staring at soles of shoes and asses ahead of me for well over two hours?  Good times.

Does my family hate me now?

-- As I mentioned above, I've begun the difficult process of trying to make reparations towards my family and friends.  I've taken from them continually over the past three plus months.  Now, I'm trying to give back a little.  Trying to be more helpful.  Trying to be more open and available.  After all, I have the time now to do so.  But does their disdain for my selfishness trump any feeble attempts at restitution?  How much good can I be doing when I'm still just wandering around, fretting, wondering, talking, etc. about the marathon?  How can my family stand me when "Daddy is still so grumpy" (quote from my eight year old daughter)?

No matter what, nothing changes that Monday morning is almost here.  Nothing I do now can change my fitness levels, my goals, my hopes and dreams, or my fears.  The hay is in the barn.  Time to walk run that thin red line and flirt with disaster.

Hope I can hang on.

And PR.

And return to "normalcy" in life....even if "normal" is running, talking about running, reading about running -- being running.

Wave 1, Corral 2.  Almost go time.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 15 4/6/15 - 4/12/15

Mon. (4/6):
6mi.  - regular base run @ 7:12 pace OA on usual local roads.

Tue. (4/7):
4mi.  - slow, wet, damp, very easy trails across the street from home. Feels weird to have such reduced mileage on regular easy runs--on any run for that matter.

Wed. (4/8):
11mi. - a midweek workout of sorts.  Ran a type of cutdown. After the warmup, 3M (3:00 rec), 2T (2:00 rec), and 1 @ 10Kish pace.  Found it tough to turn them over and to hit my marks.  Wind made it pretty tough as well. It was one of those days where it feels as though it is in your face in every single direction.

Thu. (4/9):
5mi. - very pleasant, easy morning stroll in Carter Preserve before beginning initial work on a chicken coop in the backyard.  Starting the hen (hopefully) house from scratch/the ground up. Concrete blocks, frame a base and go with it.  It'll be interesting to see how it turns out as my carpentry skills are rather poor.

Fri. (4/10):
3mi.  - super short and easy to keep the mileage down (what a paradox). Did run it a little too fast for such a short, easy one. Easy there, big fella!

Sat. (4/11):
11mi. - weather was warm (55F) and sunny for this late morning effort.  Warmed up on trails in Grills Preserve and a tiny bit of roads.  Then, changed into shoes I plan to run Boston in and did a 1T+2M+1T+2M and then cooled down back on roads and mostly in the woods again back in Grills.  Felt pretty good for this one.  For the first M block I tried to go up and down (2x) incline that mirrors the hills in Newton area, just to work on pacing (not work too hard up but be consistent and not get too carried away on the descents).

Sun. (4/12):
5mi. -  after working at the Clamdigger race (registration, water stop, clean up, etc.) I got home to run easy local loop.  Felt really good.  Mixed in strides to change it up.  I swear the strides are what make you feel better/shake out the sludge.

TOTAL: 45 miles
YTD: 1020 miles

--> first week of tapering in the books.  Feels weird and I do not like it but it is necessary so.....just shut up and do it.  I know this is good and necessary.  But still......

Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 W14 3/30/15 - 4/5/15

Mon. (3/30):
6mi.  - just looping around town.  Boring on slightly tired legs. Feeling it.

Tue. (3/31):
8mi. - even more sluggish today than previous day.  Did push the pace a little bit faster than necessary.  Should have gone out much easier, probably by about 20 secs/mile.

Wed. (4/1):
13mi. - worked on some marathon pacing. Started in Shannock at Horseshoe Falls.  2E+10M+1E.  Settled into a groove and was pretty consistent for the most part.  Never really struggled at all but I did run the last 4-5 miles too spicy.  I think this was simply due to picking up the effort at several parts because of a substantial head wind.  Some very minor right knee soreness and aches towards the latter part.  A bunch of stretching and rolling followed by vitamin I as preemptive measure. Glad that another Workout Wednesday is in the books.

Thu. (4/2):
6mi. - back to the trails (finally) in Grills Sanctuary and Grills Preserve.  Legs were toast from yesterday's (previous 2 weeks) run.  Man, I forgot how different trails are.  Seriously! Took it easy (about 7:45-8:00 effort) but the twisting, turning, mud, and constant tiny short ups and downs were so tiring.  I've forgotten how to run trails! On a positive note, heard my first Spring Peepers of the year.  Wood frogs, Spring Peepers, flowers, sunshine.  Now I'm excited for spring and waiting for "Big Night".  First steady two days of  rains and nights with temps around 40 degrees.  Next few days maybe? Perhaps I can crush beers and stumble out with a headlamp and a camera to document the Holy Herpetologist Night. It's impressive -- the other resurrection in late March/early April.  At least I can see amphibians.  I like the irony of having both "events" occurring around the same time.

Fri. (4/3):
8.5mi. - very slow but still tiring Big River Trail 1/2 marathon course marking with Galoob and Jonny in between bouts of rain in the early afternoon.  Pretty fun.  Big River is just an awesome place.  I'm pretty much clueless with regards to my location in nearly every area. Tired near the end.  Probably  not a smart thing to do in terms of time on feet, the day before a grueling trail race.

Sat. (4/4):
14.5mi. - Big River Trail 1/2 Marathon.  Not a good day for me.  The course was amazing! I had fun until around mile 7-8 or so when I fell literally and bashed both knees on a granite outcropping and thus, figuratively fell off the lead pack.  Never recovered.  Limped and ran at less than race pace the rest of the way in, completely all alone.  Write up to follow.

Sun. (4/5):
3mi. - super easy shorty.  Just checking to see if any loose parts had fallen off and if everything still worked.  The good news: knees, although pretty stiff and painful, are going to be okay.  The bad news: my left big toe is swollen, the nail is crusty, chipped and discolored with black blood underneath and the anterior part of the digit is purple and red.  Hurts pretty bad.  But at least I can still pretty much run on it.

TOTAL: 59 miles
YTD: 975 miles

--> a strange week kind of.  Have slowly begun backing off just a bit.  Saturday trashed my soul but that was to be expected.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday spent time with bouts of diarrhea and stomach issues.  Hopefully that is beyond me and I'll continue feeling better as my mileage dwindles.  Strange to feel starving hungry yet nauseous and have difficulties eating at the same time. Scored two new pairs of Brooks Pureflow 3 so that is good too.  Beat those bastards into the ground.