Races: So much to say

‘Cause here we have been standing for a long, long time, Treading, trotting trails for a long, long time…

It’s June. Of 2022. What. The. Hell. Happened? It was just New Years. I know it was. New Years’ Eve: I was going to go celebrate the new year at an old friend’s place, and then run the traditional New Years’ Day 5-mile race put on by my local running club, after volunteering to mark the course.

What really happened, was I started to feel kind of sick. Given the coronavirus was making it’s winter surge, I didn’t think hanging around in closed quarters seemed like a good idea, so I messaged my friend and said I couldn’t come. I felt well enough to go for a midnight hike up the nearby mountain with another group of friends, figuring the outside air would be a qualitatively different situation.

Come morning, without having celebrated with libations (so I knew it wasn’t a hangover), I felt awful. Good enough to head down to volunteer at the race, but not good enough to actually do anything and certainly not run. This started off several days of home COVID tests (all negative) and eventually an urgent care PCR test (negative for COVID AND the Flu). Apparently I had just a run of the mill upper respiratory infection.

That just wouldn’t go away. Like at all.

The rest of the year to this point has been dealing with the loss of fitness because I can’t seem to breathe deeply enough. My race performances have all suffered, my usual training runs have been slower and harder. This is not what I’d imagined.

Here’s the recap of my race year to this point:

I’ve run 3 Marathons, each progressively slower than the one before, culminating with the most recent tire fire. The first, a flat and generally quite flat Clearwater Marathon; the second, the Boston Marathon where I took my time and enjoyed my race, but ultimately finished 41 seconds over 4-hours, and most recently Vermont City where everything came apart by about mile 23 when cramps derailed my 3:45:00 effort and landed me at more than 4:20:00.

I ran a Boston training run a few weeks before at a respectable pace which felt nice, but I also recently ran a 5k that was probably my slowest in at least 5 years – July 2017. I ran the Stu’s 30k race 1 second faster than I did in 2018, which saved me by 1-second from my slowest time.

I’m hopeful for getting my stuff back together the second half of the year, but the first part of my running year has been not been great, Bob. I’ll work on cutting out the excuses and actually work a plan for my next marathon in October. In the meantime, I’ll work on enjoying my runs.


I found a wayback machine archive of a post I’d made on an old version of this site – I had shared server space and was using some prepacked ASP with an Access database backend. Looked super slick and I was really proud of what I’d put together…until it got hacked and the data was completely corrupted. Lesson learned about backups.

At any rate, I’ll try to post as many rediscovered posts as I can. To give some context to the following post, you may want to read this article from Fox Sports on June 3, 2010.

This post originally appeared on June 4, 2010 on a previous incarnation of Morrisseyweb.

We’ve now all had some 24 or more hours to digest the catastrophe that should have been baseball’s 21st perfect game.  We’ve heard the calls for instant replay grow louder.  We’ve heard   umpire Jim Joyce apologize for having blown the call.  We’ve seen the two proverbially kiss and make up on Thursday night. Bud Selig announced that he would not overturn the call and so, despite the human error involved, the record books will forever record a one-hitter. There are so many points to be made on the back of Mssrs. Joyce, Galarraga, and Selig, I don’t even have to come up with a silly theme to knit disparate stories together.  I am here to accept the mantle of arguing the unpopular position on a more than one count, and defending the largely unpopular people.


Hello darkness, my old friend

The last day of 2021. A remarkable year. So much promise. So much tumult. Change. Evolution. Love and loss. A year of so many highs and lows in my life like really none other I can remember.

I woke up this New Years’ Eve morning after a night of terrible, restless, barely continuous and certainly unrefreshing sleep to a gray and dreary New England December morning. The house is quiet and cold and in wild disarray befitting my current state of focus. The people I love most in this world are scattered about in the world. I’m alone.

I brewed myself a cup of coffee, looked out the kitchen window and preceded to listen to no fewer than five different versions of “The Sound of Silence.” It’s really only that first lyric that sticks though. I thought I was going to write a retrospective of the year – what made it tumultuous in my own life as a microcosm of the journey we all took this year. It turns out that what I really want to write is something a little different.

A winter’s day in a deep and dark December…
Continue reading “Hello darkness, my old friend”

2021 Race Recap #12: Reliant Foundation 5k

I don’t know if this was the former “Shore Park 5k” or just the same setup/course, time of year, or what, but in re-reading that write up there are more than a few parallels – starting with the late registration.

I was trying to decide what to do for a run today, and the RD gave a presentation with a bib giveaway at Sneakerama Thursday evening so I decided to go down and run this. The time of day worked out well so it fit in with my busy lifestyle. <<eye roll emoji here>> The day started off with a slice of cold pizza, a sausage & French toast breakfast sandwich and a large coffee, so why not race a 5k?

Continue reading “2021 Race Recap #12: Reliant Foundation 5k”

2021 Race Recap #11: Clarence DeMar Marathon

This was my fifth marathon. A distance is swore I would never – NEVER – do. Where the Half Marathon is a challenging distance, but still doable, the full marathon is straight pain cave nonsense. The elite runners – the folks who have sponsorships to do this stuff – do this seemingly at will. Sure, they’re training, but it’s also their job. For Joe Average, this stuff is hard work.

It’s me. I’m Joe Average.

Continue reading “2021 Race Recap #11: Clarence DeMar Marathon”

2021 Race Recap #10: Black Cat 10-Miler

The saga of the endless pandemic effects continues. The Black Cat is typically run in March as a training race for the Boston Marathon – with the 20-mile distance being a healthy part of a solid training plan. Well, as we’re aware the 2020 races just didn’t happen, so this got deferred to 2021. Which too didn’t happen on schedule.

Now the company that runs the Black Cat, also runs a half marathon called the “Wicked Half,” a race I ran in 2019…you know, in the “beforetimes.” So, incorporating the majority of both courses and combining the races made sense for 2021 and here we are.

Continue reading “2021 Race Recap #10: Black Cat 10-Miler”

2021 Race Recap #9: Laborious Labor Day 10-Miler

There’s no easy way to say this. It was abominable. The Laborious Labor Day 10-miler is the Labor Day version of the same race a local club – the Highland City Striders – runs near Thanksgiving, the Tough Turkey Trot. It’s basically 8-miles of downhill, until it’s not for the last 2.

On this day, I ran the first 5-miles pretty well. Until I didn’t.

Rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling….bonk

This is one of the situations where I feel like I could have, should have done better. It was a nice day, a familiar – albeit challenging – course. It was a bit of a wake up call for me. “You ran a marathon last weekend!” I heard that a few times, and I’m sure that was part of it, but honestly I know I hadn’t hydrated well. It was a train wreck that never should have happened.

Continue reading “2021 Race Recap #9: Laborious Labor Day 10-Miler”

2021 Race Recap #8: New England Green River Marathon

May be an image of 6 people, including Iain Ridgway, people standing and outdoors
To the far left, waring bib #467 is my club mate, Iain Ridgeway, starting the race. He finished 7th,with a course record for the age group of 2:46:49.1. To put just how fast a marathon that is, I finished almost exactly an hour later, didn’t finish last AND set a personal best. The guy in the middle wearing #504? He won at 2:30:42.3. That’s a 5:45 minutes per mile pace. I raced a 6:11 mile once in a 5k and it almost killed me.

Back in 2019 or so, when I was fresh off my Baystate Marathon personal best, my friend Eric suggested that I should run this marathon. Mostly downhill, beautiful scenery, relatively inexpensive and small. There was a lot to like about this. “Sure. Why not?” and so I pried open my wallet and registered.

Continue reading “2021 Race Recap #8: New England Green River Marathon”

2021 Race Recap #7: TVFR Woodland Trail Series Race 3 of 3

The Woodland Trail Series is billed as 3 5-mile races. The August race historically starts 30-minutes early to accommodate the series awards ceremony and the potentially waning daylight, etc. This year, the third race was also 2-miles shorter. Not sure why, but for a race that costs $6 and which this year donated roughly $500 to the local food bank I won’t complain. Besides, it was 91-degrees at the start time (6PM) and according to Strava, it felt like 103, so it’s entirely likely 5-miles may have in fact killed me.

It’s not hard to see just how much I was affected by the heat and general grossness of the weather.
Continue reading “2021 Race Recap #7: TVFR Woodland Trail Series Race 3 of 3”

2021 Race Recap #6: TVFR Woodland Trail Series 2 of 3

It’s the end of July and this is recap number 6 for the year. Significantly below that which I have come to expect, and yet this race eclipses my total for 2020’s race (and everything else) COVID-shortened activity year. That said in the 5 races I did last year, the distance covered was 66.7 miles. If we include the unofficial “Bill’s Fat Ass Challenge” at the end of the year as race 6, we’d be talking about 98.7 miles.

Continue reading “2021 Race Recap #6: TVFR Woodland Trail Series 2 of 3”
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