Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Dreamfar High School Marathon 10K Ames Brother Challenge



My brother, Matthew, and I will be running our first race together on January 20, the Dreamfar High School 10K around Lake Massapoag in our hometown of Sharon, MA. To make it interesting and because I'm the competitive type, we will be racing against each other as Matt will be given a 15 minute handicap, meaning if I run a 40:00 minute race, we'll add 15 minutes to my time and then compare it to Matt's. Help us in raising funds for Dreamfar High School Marathon (his charity sponsor that provided his bib for the 2019 Boston Marathon which we plan to race together). Your donation of $10 or more will  enter you into a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card.

Here's how it works:

1. Donate $10 or more here: https://bit.ly/2TOrWrG

2. In the donation comments, indicate who you think will win by writing either TEAM KENNY or TEAM MATT.

3. We will draw the winner of the gift card from the "winning team" once race results have been posted (we will go by net time or gun time if no net time is available).

4. If we get over 25 donations, we will add a second $25 gift card for the runner ups team.

You can learn more about the Dreamfar 10K here: http://www.dreamfar10k.com/?fbclid=IwAR2Cyj4XD53-bZYqIlvWGUr_M0_FFyC1CeBj3qW-iOn2YtQNNpsqVB4lgZA

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: A Year in Review



2018 was another great year of running. I tied my PR in the marathon, finished second overall and first master out in South Dakota, and ran more miles than ever for a calendar year. I started running to work regularly, which accounts for all of my additional miles. Miles and I ran a lot of miles together: in addition to regular commutes to and from daycare and our favorite loop to the Zoo, we had our first races (2nd stroller at College Park 5K and 1st stroller at Capitol Hill 10K). And, today, we ran to the Smithsonian so he could play at the Air and Space Museum, with a quick visit to my office on the Hill.

A few stats to capture 2018 in running:

Total miles (bicycle and running) = 5,063 which was 691 total hours of exercise. I cut back on bicycling since I switched those bike share commutes to runs which allowed me to increase my total miles by over 600 more than last year.

Running = 4,265 miles (previous high in 2017 was 3614). That is about the distance from Washington, D.C. to Fairbanks, Alaska. I climbed 145,840 feet while running. That's the equivalent of summiting Mount Everest (29,029 feet) just over five times!

New places I ran = Deadwood, South Dakota, St. Michaels, Maryland. It wasn't a banner year for accumulating new cities, but I'm fine with that.

My my training partner Shawn captures my year in running:

"Kenny is getting better with age and he's doing it by working harder. When 2018 ends, he expects to have run about 4,200 miles -- he's currently at 4,050 -- a lifetime high that exceeds his previous best annual mileage tally by about 600 miles.

"He's not only running more. He's running faster. Kenny ran his second fastest marathon ever in March with a 2:59:32 at Rock N Roll DC, placing second in his age group on a very difficult course. The hill at Fort Dupont at mile 23 is a doozy. His PR is on the flat course in Houston in 2016 (2:59:31).

"The following month, he persevered on a rainy, cold day in Boston, setting a course PR of 3:08:36 when many other runners dropped out.

"And at the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon in the Black Hills of South Dakota in June, Kenny was the first master and second overall. He ran in the lead group of two for most of the race. He led the race outright from miles 12-14 until the winner, a 29 year-old, caught and passed him. He finished in 3:17 on a warm day when the winner crossed in 3:11. That made him the South Dakota State Master's Champion for 2018 and marked the 27th state in which he has completed a marathon.

"In November, Kenny set a course PR at the New York City Marathon in 3:01:06, easily besting his previous two attempts 3:26 (2010) and 3:12 (2015).

"He was third master at the DC Road Runners Club 20-Miler in September, setting a PR for the distance of 2:14:16 (6:43 pace).

"Adjusting to the running life as a father, Kenny placed second in the stroller division in the College Park 5K in May. He was then first stroller at the Capitol Hill Classic 10K later that month.

"He ran a 1-mile time trial in 5:15 during the summer and placed 2nd overall in the DCRRC 3K Track Championship in driving rain in July.

"And in November, Kenny placed 3rd AG/7th overall at the Camp Letts Turkey Trot Not-Quite 10K in 37:22."

It was very satisfying to see him run a personal record number of miles in 2018, improve his marathon time from 3:08:20 (Freedom's Run, 9/30/17) to 3:03:16 (Rock and Rock DC, 3/10/18) to 3:02:37 (New York City Marathon, 11/4/18). He also set many other PRs and win a few races outright and age group. It was great to run with someone who follows a similar routine and keeps pace.

The friendly competition was what was ultimately most rewarding in 2018. As I grow older, I maintain my goal of 50 marathons in 50 states. I am still striving for PRs, but I am narrowing my focus to the marathon. It was neat to train for a track one mile race even if the downpour conditions made a PR impossible. I hope that 2019 brings more PRs, milestones, and quality time running with friends and my son!

Monday, December 3, 2018

My Return to the Turkey Trot


Last year, I didn't race a Turkey Trot, so I was excited to join Shawn at the Camp Letts YMCA Turkey Chase. I signed up a few days ago when I was certain that it would fit into my schedule and that dad would join me. It was too cold for Miles, so he stayed and Mom watched him. Last year, Shawn was third overall and first in our age group so I thought this would be a good race to place high.

My father and I pre-race with the mascots. Three turkeys and a raccoon!

Shawn and I warm up for the race

Shawn stretches to "Y-M-C-A!"

I have to change my expectations when I am sick. I have battled a head cold for the couple of days. And while I was able to place in the top ten, I was barely on track to break 40. The course is not easy: it is run on a gravely road (I bruised the outside of my foot during warm up) and through a grassy field and through a trail in the woods with roots, rocks, and standing water. This is not a PR course. I tried to hang with Shawn early, starting the race on the line, but after the first mile I fell back - I made a strategic decision to try to run slower at first then close the gap later. He was wearing bright red and I could see him through the bucolic scenery. Even when he put 20-30 seconds ahead of me, I figured I could make that up over the last 2-3 miles. But coming back to the finish, I didn't have that finishing gear. I wasn't gassed, but I was stuck at my pace. Shawn finished nearly a minute ahead of me - he out-kicked a 54 year old guy to claim 5th overall.


And we're off!

The race sent me photos (link) and results. It reported that me as 8th and 4th in my age group with a guy besting me by 4 seconds. That didn’t sound right - there was no one in the 10K ahead of me. I emailed the race director about the results, pointing out that a 41 year old male from Laurel, MD, bib 153 finishing four seconds ahead of me did not race the 10K. I attached finishing video my father shot and photos from the race's pictures. And Shawn testified to back up my claim.


Early in the race
They replied, “Hi Kenny; Congratulations on a great race! We will certainly check this out. It certainly makes sense he ran the 5k but was signed up for the 10k; which is what was used for scoring. It happened more than once. Give us a couple days to gather any other anomalies and we will repost results. Thanks; Ron”

Finishing almost a minute behind Shawn
After about a week or so, they concluded that he did, in fact, not race the 10K. They emailed:

"The Race Director has authorized us to make the change moving Warren to 5k. Mark will re-calculate results and will update the posted results.
Thanks for your patience;
Ron"

I appreciate that they got this right. I was moved up to 7th overall and 3rd in my age group. In the grand scheme, it means little, but it is nice to have the record accurately reflect the final results.








Sunday, November 11, 2018

NYC Marathon Race Recap


Shawn and I have run hundreds or thousands of miles together. If I had the time, I could check the exact amount on Strava, but suffice to say that between long runs, recovery runs, easy runs, speed such as tempo, fartlek, and track, hill repeats, commutes, and my pushing Miles in the Bob stroller, he's probably the person I have trained with for the most miles (my dog Sammy has definitely ran the most total miles with me). Earlier this year, I pointed out to Shawn that his half marathon time qualified him for the New York City Marathon. He had always wanted to run it so when he signed up, I signed up since I also had a qualifying time. I have entered NY by three different ways (In 2010 I had been rejected three straight times and was guaranteed entry the third year, but this was discontinued. In 2012, I raised money for the charity the Blue Card but since the race was canceled, they allowed me to pay for entry into 2013, 2014, or 2015, and I chose 2015).



Got our bibs
We took the train up early Saturday morning and found seats together where we could stretch out. We talked strategy and expectations for most of the race. As reported earlier this year, we planned to race Rock N Roll together but that fell apart prior to the first 10K. This race, we mapped out and followed a solid strategy. While we plotted strategy and logistics, we ate lunch which consisted of pasta we packed for the ride. The train was easy and when we got to Penn Station, we walked over to the Jacob Javits Center where the expo and packet pick up is held. While walking, I texted my high school friend Nicole was was running her second marathon and first NY. She was a little nervous but I texted her that it was the race that should be nervous since she was going to kick its butt! We breezed through the expo, got our bibs, took a few pictures, and parted ways. I went to meet my coach at his hotel near the finish and handed him my dry clothes. I chose the poncho option, so it was clutch that Ryan took my clothes for me to change into after the race. Everything I was wearing would be tossed and donated.
With Coach Ryan Vail. Photobombed by an unfortunate sign.


After meeting with Ryan, I met my cousin at NYU where he teaches. We went back to his place and he found an old blanket I could use to stay warm then toss at the Athlete's Village. I bought bagels to eat in the morning about three hours before the race and some to bring back to DC. We went to dinner at an Italian restaurant near his house in Astoria and I ate two baskets of bread in addition to my pasta and tomato sauce! My cousin's husband's sister is also a runner who has run several halfs. She was very excited that she was visiting during the NYC Marathon and could watch it before her plane left. I gave her my logistics booklet explaining the race, where to watch, and course information. That seemed to make her happy. After dinner, I went to bed. I woke up at 4AM (it was the end of DST so I got an extra hour and felt quite rested) and showered and ate a banana. I left around 4:45AM and his neighbors were still awake and on the balcony. The city that really never sleeps!

Bib 3211 for 2018 NYC, my 44th marathon
I took the subway from Astoria (Steinway stop) to the Midtown bus. Luckily there was a runner on the platform and I could just follow him through the subway and to the bus. We chatted with other runners on our train including a young IT professional named Sebastian from near Warsaw in Poland. On the bus, I tried to get a little more sleep. On the bus, I sat next to a runner from the Boston area who loves to run New York but has no interest in the Boston Marathon. His aversion to Boston is training in the cold. After passing through security, I found the meeting spot, the orange area therapy dog station (the dogs licked our faces as we rested). When I returned from the bathroom, Shawn was there. We rested and I asked a woman to "Share the sun" who was blocking it from warming us. Around 9AM, we got ready and headed into our corral. In the corral, we waited around with other runners. One was taking a selfie, so I offered to take his picture in return for taking our picture and sending it to me.


Shawn and I have a friendly rivalry that makes us both better runners. This race was our tiebreaker for the year since earlier, he won the 1 mile and 3K at the DC Road Runners Club track meet, and I bested him at the Rock N Roll DC Marathon and the DC Road Runners Club 20 miler. But, I would have been thrilled if we finished the race together having paced each other to a sub 3 finish. If that had come to pass, we could have raised our hands together in celebration as we crossed the line.

The weather for the race was perfect. Starting in the 40s and rising into the 50s, we really couldn't have asked for better weather. Thankfully, the heavy wind on Saturday was mostly gone for Sunday, just an easy 5 mph wind that wasn't a factor.  It wasn't too cold that we were shivering in the Athlete's Village and it wasn't too hot on the course. We brought some throwaway clothes and blankets that kept us warm while waiting that we tossed before and during the race. When the race started, it took us about 40 seconds to run over the start line. We ran on the lower section of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Our Garmins had trouble accurately finding our pace, possibly because we were on the lower bridge and also due to so many other Garmin users. I knew not to trust my watch that read an 8:30 pace (when I was less experienced, I would have freaked out thinking I couldn't get into my pace) and sure enough, we clocked a 7:30 first mile even though my watch displayed only 0.9. The next mile had us running a 6:14 mile, which was again off. I assured Shawn that our pace was perfect and not to worry. I don't think he was worried, but sometimes I like to verbalize my inner monologue.

The run through Brooklyn went very much according to plan. We were settling into 6:50 pace, the effort felt easy, and the crowds were amazing. Even though there were so many runners near us, we were able to stay together without dodging other runners or exerting more energy than necessary. We tried to stick to the tangents as much as possible - only I veered to get water as Shawn brought his own. I wore my Red Sox visor through the streets of NYC and occasionally yelled for a fan wearing a Red Sox hat to give me a cheer - 2018 World Series Champions! In Brooklyn, I looked for my friend Chris and his son Alex between miles 8-9, but I didn't spot them. We hit the 10 mile mark right on pace and cruised towards Queens. I would call out the splits for each mile and did some quick, sloppy marathon math to know we were on pace. As we left Brooklyn and entered Queens, we passed the halfway point. 1:29:35 - right on pace to break 3! Before the race, we had talked about running the first half in 88 minutes (he rejected that and stated 89/90 minutes was smarter), so 89 minutes and change was perfect.

Queens was fairly flat and uneventful. In Queens, I looked for my cousin's husband and his sister.  Unfortunately, I didn't spot them, but later they reported they got to watch the leaders. I prepared us mentally for the Queensborough Bridge which is long and slow. As we approached and began our climb, it became quiet as no spectators are allowed. Again, I feared Garmin might be off so we just held our effort and didn't worry about effort. It paid off as we ran a the bridge smartly and entered into Manhattan to huge cheers. Within half a mile, I heard my name and saw my friend Michael cheering for me. That was fun to be spotted by a friend - three years ago my friend from college not only saw me, he took a great picture.

Through Manhattan, we kept our pace and even pulled slightly ahead of the 3 hour pace team. We did not intend to do so, but our pace brought us slightly past them. The miles were adding up, but mentally I remained in a good place. As we climbed the bridge into the Bronx, the pace team overtook us but we kept them in sight. The segment through the Bronx is not that long and soon we were back in Manhattan. The last time I ran NYC, I thought I could break 3:10 and felt my chances were good but I faded. This time, I felt I was on pace to break 3:00 and pushed towards my goal. With about five miles to go, I felt a burst of energy and felt like I had lost Shawn. I don't think I increased my pace as much as he lost the pace, but in any event, I felt I was going to run the final miles alone. That is what happened. I felt strong and kept pace as long as I could, but the climb next to Central Park slowed me by 20 seconds a mile. I thought all I needed to do survive and once in the park, I could lay down the hammer. But, those rolling hills took its toll and I was fortunate not to lose anymore time. As I headed to the finish, I thought I heard footsteps and wondered if Shawn was closing in on me. I don't know if I had anything left to match him if he was going to push me. But I finished then waited a minute or so before I saw him cross. We were both very tired and excited for our effort. It was a PR for him by 39 seconds.

If the end were completely flat, I could have broken 3. Our 3:01/3:02 was a sub 3 on a flatter course. The fitness was there as demonstrated at the 20 miler. If there were no hills in Central Park, I could have broken 3:01. But, I know I gave it my all even though I came up a couple of seconds shy of getting under 3:01. I am so proud of my time and very impressed with how Shawn has continued to get faster in his mid 40s. A 3:01/3:02 in NYC is amazing for a 40 year old, and even more impressive considering my first ever marathon was a 4:10 and my two previous NYC Marathons were 3:26 (2010) and 3:12 (2015). This year, I finished 1275 out of over 52,000 runners, so I definitely beat my bib (3211). This was my fourth fastest time out of my 44 marathons.

Comparing my three NYC Marathons:


Course profile
2010 NYC Marathon (Bib 7702 / Age 33) = 3:26:01
Pace = 07:52
Place Overall = 4,047 of 44,976, Place Gender = 3,565 of 28,849, Place Age Group = 3,566 of 3,857
Place Age-Graded 6,023 of 28,850
Time Age-Graded 3:26:01
Percentile Age-Graded 60.6%
Splits: 5K 23:11 (23:11 = 7:29) / 10K 46:10 (22:59 = 7:25) / 15K 1:09:44 (22:34 = 7:17) / 20K 1:33:23 (22:39 = 7:18) / 25K 1:57:50 (24:27 = 7:53) / 30K 2:21:54 (24:04 = 7:46) / 35K 2:47:25 (25:31 = 8:14) / 40K 3:14:47 (27:22 = 8:50) / Half 1:38:43 = 7:32 / 26.2 full 3:26:01 = 7:52 (8:09 2nd Hal)

2015 NYC Marathon (Bib 5011 / Age 38) = 3:12:47
Pace = 07:22
Place Overall = 1,709 of 49,461, Place Gender = 1,558 of 28,788, Place Age Group = 302 of 4,562
Place Age-Graded 2,498 of 28,788
Time Age-Graded 3:09:38
Percentile Age-Graded 64.84%
Splits: 5K = 21:19; 10K = 42:42; 15K = 1:04:20; 20K = 1:26:13; Half = 1:31:10; 25K = 1:49:10; 30K = 2:12:20; 35K = 2:36:33; 40K = 3:02:13




My 5K splits
2018 NYC Marathon (Bib 3211 / Age 41) = 3:01:06
Pace = 6:55
Place Overall 1,275 of 52,700, Place Gender = 1,183 of 30,580, Place Age Group = 228 of 5,109
Place Age-Graded = 1,453 of 30,580
Time Age-Graded = 2:54:55
Percentile Age-Graded = 70.3%
Splits: 5K = 21:25; 10K = 42:25; 15K = 1:03:33; 20K = 1:24:52' Half = 1:29:35; 25K = 1:46:33; 30K = 2:07:34; 35K; 2:29:07; 40K; 2:51:13

Running more overall miles and more miles at tempo pace during training has made me a better marathon runner. Having to run-commute with a backpack and running my son into daycare in a Bob's Blaze jogging stroller has had no negative effect on my training - perhaps it even helped by adding a level of resistance. Adding doubles has helped me in distance racing. And, switching from a set long run on the weekends to more total mileage but no traditional long run has not impacted my training. I hope to be able to use this method to keep improving my marathon and other race times. As documented in previous blogs, since the birth of my son, my training has changed. I have had to move my runs, run/commute with a backpack, run my son to daycare in a stroller, and completely ditch large group runs. While I miss running with my club every Saturday morning and doing track with them every Wednesday night, I’ve found ways to not only continue to train, but to actually increase my mileage and effort. 

This New York City Marathon was the race I hoped Rock N Roll DC earlier this year could have been. Having trained with Shawn for several years now, we planned to race New York together, pacing and pushing ourselves to break 3. It has been tremendously rewarding to witness his transformation into such a strong and smart runner in just a couple of years. By committing himself to doing the mileage and adding in speed, hills, and tempos, he not only dropped his times and qualified both for Boston and New York, he also inspired and challenged me. Plus, selfishly, having a friend and rival to push me and motivate me benefits me. He keeps me from getting complacent. I look forward to training runs where we can talk running, Red Sox and Patriots, politics, or the day's news while testing our VO2 Max or running at recovery pace. Running alone is not as rewarding to me as having a good friend and training partner to keep myself honest.

We're not quite as fast and accomplished as Des and Shalane, but we have pushed each other to achieve results.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Taper Time for NYC Marathon


One year ago today I ran a negative split at the Hartford Marathon, good for a 3:01. Today marks three weeks to the day of the New York City Marathon. During this blog, I am sharing photos from my last NYC Marathon race in 2015 (2015 recap). In 2015, I ran 3:12 on a warm day, better than the 3:26 from 2010, my first time racing NYC. Now that I think about it, all three of my entries have come in a different way: 2010 was the old "get rejected three times and get in the fourth," 2015 I raised money for a charity in 2012 but that race was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy so I took the guaranteed entry offered for 2015, and 2018 I qualified with my half marathon time.

View of Central Park - the finish line is down there somewhere
It is officially taper time! I've written about the anxiety of the taper before, and with fewer miles to run I have to be judicious about deploying them. I will try to replicate my taper from before the Rock N Roll Marathon where I ran a strong race. Based on how I tapered and adjusting for my tolerance for increased mileage, I'm going to try to stick to the following plan:

Bib and packet pickup at the expo
Week 1 = not to exceed 80 miles, fartlek midweek, and long run with 3,2,1 MP tempo
Week 2 = not to exceed 55 miles, fartlek midweek, and long run with a 20 minute MP tempo
Week 3 = not to exceed 25 miles, 5 x 4 minutes at MP midweek, then Sunday race day!

Pre race waiting to board the bus from Brooklyn to the start at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island
This week started as a rough one for me. Last weekend on Friday night, I came down with a fever and body aches. I've heard the rule for running when sick is if it is above the head (sniffling, congestion, runny nose) it is okay to run and below the head (body aches) then to skip the run. I ended up canceling Saturday and Sunday's run and on Saturday night decided I would also give myself Monday off (Columbus Day) as well. I thought I was feeling better so I ran on Tuesday, but by Tuesday night my fever had returned and I had a nasty headache. Dayquil got me through the weekend so we could go to activities with my son like attending the pumpkin festival, but I relied on Advil Sinus to make it through my workday (it was pretty effective).

Waiting at the start line
I was able to run again on Friday and on Saturday I ran my son to the National Zoo and back. And earlier today, I ran during Miles' nap - 17.4 miles in 2 hours and 4 minutes with the middle 11 miles at marathon pace (6:45-50). The first four were a struggle but then I found my comfortable pace.

Running mile 17
The Red Sox playoff run is a threat to my taper. In 2013, their last time in the ALCS, their clinching game was the night before the Detroit Marathon. I did okay with a 3:09, but late games are not good for my rest. It is hard to be disciplined when your favorite team makes a deep playoff run.

Snot rocket?
I also have been helping my brother raise money towards his goal of $10K for his charity Dreamfar High School Marathon to get his bib for the Boston Marathon. I solicited 50 of my past donors with the email at the end of this post.

Post race celebration
Dear Friend,

As you may know, this will be my seventh Boston Marathon and while each time I’ve qualified is a truly special accomplishment, this year has added significance. My younger brother Matthew joins me on April 15, 2019, in the Athlete's Village in Hopkinton for his first Boston Marathon!

Not only am I coaching Matthew, we are also working together to raise funds for the charity called Dreamfar High School Marathon (DHSM), an organization that challenges high school students to reach their full potential—physically, socially, emotionally, and academically—through a mentor-supported marathon-training program. Over the years they have served students struggling due to gender identity issues; autism, learning disabilities, and social phobias; severe depression; homelessness, as well as the overwhelming stress to achieve success in the classroom.

We are deeply moved by Dreamfar's mission and want to help them with their goal of reaching every student in New England. If you are able, would you consider making a donation to support our team, please?

You can donate at: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/dhsm2019/matthewames2

Thank you for your support!

Kenny Ames

Running with my brother and our sons in the Bob's Ironman Double Stroller at the National Zoo

Sunday, September 30, 2018

DC Road Runners Club National Capital 20 Miler Result

Today was a test of my running shape. This summer, I had a lot of time to run but that ends tomorrow as I start a new job. I decided not to do a traditional taper for the 20 Miler yet try to hold marathon pace for the race. I still ran 100 miles this week by front-loading my mile: Monday and Wednesday I went over 20 miles, Tuesday I ran 12 easy with Shawn, Thursday Shawn and I ran our pre-race workout (5x4 minutes with a 1 minute standing rest), Friday was an easy run with Miles to daycare and ran myself home, and 2 miles easy to the playground yesterday. Last week, I ran 24 miles on Thursday (did a double and 10 of those miles were pushing Miles in my Bob's Ironman stroller - what a phenomenal stroller by the way! I just upgraded to the new Bob's Blaze and cannot wait to take Miles out for a run) and Friday,Shawn and I did 21 miles with the middle 10 at marathon pace. Since I could handle that, I thought I would do it again for the race this morning. Some in our group of friends predicted that I would suffer, which was fair. That partly motivated me to prove them wrong.

The weather this morning was almost perfect for race day. The temperature started in the 50s and hit the 60s. It was overcast. The only complaint was it was humid. The race started at Carderock and ran into the city. The race director announced two diversions due to construction on the C&O Canal Trail: a detour over the canal before the 2 mile marker and a detour into the canal. Both would slow us down and were narrow, so he advised to adjust accordingly. Plus there was mud and standing water. I started the race slow and caught up to a pack of runners in a couple of miles, including Shawn. The five of us stayed pretty tight through the next 10-12 miles. There was a lot of chatting, swapping stories, sharing race results, and talk of our upcoming fall marathons. The camaraderie kept my spirits high and any negative thoughts out of my mind. There is something encouraging about running with a pack.

As we approached the turnaround near the Key Bridge, a half marathon was beginning in waves. The path only accommodates maybe three runners abreast so there was a traffic jam where the leaders of our race were leaving Georgetown while we were approaching the turnaround and that half marathon was sandwiched in-between. We did our best to announce as we were passing. Only one runner made a snide comment - she said that she was passing too. I'm surprised that the Park Services granted both races permits to run into each other at the same time.

On the run back, the group started to break apart. I rarely raced with my phone, but I did today as a precaution. One runner offered to hold it and of course he was the one that took off. I tried to stay near him, but he ended up pulling away. I stayed with one of the runners for most of the race. He was 29 years old and raced a 5K in just over 17 minutes yesterday, good for 3rd place. I thought he would eventually pull ahead. With a mile to go, he did start to put space between us, but then I decided to try to match and with half a mile left I began my kick, passing him, and he chose not to match. Three bicycles then overtook me and one said to try to keep up with her until the finish. I did try that which probably helped me cross the finish line with a time of 2:14:16 (6:43 pace). I've never raced that distance, so it is a personal record, but more importantly, I proved that I am in really solid shape and peaking at the right time for New York City.

I am very pleased with my result at the National Capital 20-miler = 15th place out of 180; 15th male out of 84; 4th masters (over 40); 3rd place age group 40-49 good for a $5 Starbucks gift card that goes to my wife as I hate coffee. It was a really strong field. Last year's master's winner ran a 7 minute pace; this year's ran a 6:12. Shawn finished a minute behind me - we both ran very strong and are well-positioned for New York City Marathon. The few muddy patches and puddles may have slowed us, but I doubt by much. First half 1:07:58 (6:48 pace); second half 1:06:19 (6:38 pace); negative split by 1:39. Again, I am very happy with my result and confident in my training. Plus I feel a sense of accomplishment that I ran 100 miles this week and still put up such a strong race.

Next race: The New York City Marathon on November 4! Time to recover and then taper...

P.S. Some of you may know my brother, Matthew, got a bib for Boston to raise money for the Dreamfar High School Marathon. They challenge high school students to reach their full potential—physically, socially, emotionally, and academically—through a mentor-supported marathon-training program. If you can, please support my brother's cause with a small donation.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

My Brother Got a Bib for Boston!

My younger brother, Matthew, received a bib for Boston! He has finished two marathons and is tapering for his third in a few weeks. Here is his Facebook announcement:

"Today I am pleased to share with the world that I will be running the 123rd Boston Marathon in 2019! I was recently accepted through the Boston Marathon's charity program, specifically on the Dreamfar High School Marathon (DHSM) Team.

"To donate to my fundraising page and learn more about DHSM, click this link:

"To say that I am excited is an understatement. As many of you know, my older brother Kenny is an avid runner and has ran the Boston Marathon six times. To be able to run the same prestigious race as him while also raising funds for a very worthy charity makes me feel very humbled, excited, and many other emotions I'm still processing as I write this.

"One of my main reasons for supporting this charity is that DHSM is the only high school marathon program in New England and welcomes students of all abilities and backgrounds. Over the years they have served students struggling due to gender identity issues; autism, learning disabilities, and social phobias; severe depression; homelessness, as well as the overwhelming stress to achieve success in the classroom. DHSM offers students a judgment-free, non-competitive environment in which they can test their physical, social, and emotional limits. DHSM stresses completion not competition encouraging all students to do their personal best.

"There will be a lot of work ahead, both mentally, and physically, and this will be the first time I have ever fundraised for a race or on this scale.

"I will share much more about my training, fundraising and special events to reach my goal, but in the meantime, please consider supporting my effort by donating to my individual fundraising page and/or sharing with any family/friends who may be interested in supporting the cause as well.

"Thank you family and friends for your support, and see you at Boston in 2019! #Ames2RunBoston"

Below is an excerpt of his racing resume beginning with the marathons:

• Earth Rock Run, 26.2M, 4/27/14, 04:07:55

• Bay State Marathon, 26.2 Miles, 10/19/14, 04:05:05

• Bay State Marathon, 26.2 Miles, 10/21/18, TBD

• Black Cat 10M and 20M, 20M, 3/1/14, 02:45:40

• Green Stride Newburyport Half Marathon, 13.1M, 10/20/13, 01:42:49

• Happy Holidays Half Merrython, 13.1M, 12/8/13, 01:41:38

• Parker River Half Marathon, 13.1M, 7/8/18, 02:11:16

• Yankee Homecoming 10M, 7/30/13, 01:30:53

• Bourque Family Foundation 7.7K, 7.7K, 6/9/18, 00:50:02