Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boston: Interfaith Healing Service, President Obama's Beautiful, Uplifting Running Metaphors

“This doesn’t stop us. And that’s what you’ve taught us, Boston. That’s what you’ve reminded us — to push, to not grow weary, to not get faint, even when it hurts. We finish the race. And we do that because of who we are and we do that because we know that somewhere around the bend, a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody’s there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick up.”

“Our prayers are with the injured -- so many wounded, some gravely. From their beds, some are surely watching us gather here today. And if you are, know this: As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again,” he said as applause rained down. “You will run again.”

“When the Sox, the Celtics, the Patriots, the Bruins are champions again – to the chagrin of New York and Chicago fans – the crowds will gather and watch a parade go down Boylston Street. And this time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and to cheer even louder for the one hundred and eighteenth Boston marathon. Bet on it!’’ 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston was All In to Save Lives: The Finish Line and the Hospitals.

"The bombs at the Boston Marathon were designed to maim and kill, and they did. Three people died within the first moments of the blast. More than a hundred and seventy people were injured. They had their limbs blown off, vital arteries severed, bones fractured, flesh torn open by shrapnel or scorched by the blasts’ heat. Yet it now appears that every one of the wounded alive when rescuers reached them will survive." 

The tragic events at the Marathon occurred within yards of the medical tent and hundreds of the best caregivers in the world. I have not run another big city marathon in many years but have run St. George 3 times with 7000 competitors. St. George puts a very active medical presence on the course to intersept those in trouble and has a relatively light medical presence at the finish line. You finish, go under a mister, are handed a bottle of water and directed into a grass corral with hundreds of others to fend for yourself, often in tremendous heat. Not that EMT's aren't around but you are pretty much on your own.

Boston, for those who haven't run it makes finishers walk a couple hundred yard (at least it feels that way), very friendly gauntlet of medical people and volunteers. No stopping for any length of time beyond picking up a water bottle, mylar, medal, food. If you can't walk and need help they are there in an instant with wheelchair and helping arm.

The fact that hundreds of some of the best medical people in the world, EMT's, police, race volunteers, finishing runners with training, and passerby were there at the site of the bombings and went into action in seconds going from tending a few blisters and dehydration to setting up a battlefield triage and tending to gravely injured is truly amazing. Within 5-10 minutes all the injured were being treated and sent to hospitals.

The heroic care continued of course at the hospitals. And here the story is equally amazing. Please read the full NewYorker article here. The hospitals had drilled for such a mass event but it was so large, so sudden, and so devastating that no direction was really possible. Everyone knew what to do:  hundreds showed up immediately, nurses watching the news decided how to stock multiple operating rooms based on anticipated injuries, teams formed with multiple specialists for each patient.

All the injured who were alive when reached by rescuers are still alive and we pray it stays that way.

From the article written Atul Gwande, a doctor at one of the hospitals, reflecting on the post 9/11, Newtown, Aurora, Iraq and Afghan wars world:

"We’ve learned, and we’ve absorbed. This is not cause for either celebration or satisfaction. That we have come to this state of existence is a great sadness. But it is our great fortune.
Last year, after the Aurora shooting, Ron Walls, the chief of emergency medicine at my hospital, gave a lecture titled “Are We Ready?”
In Boston, it turns out we all were."

Boston Marathon: Please donate to help victims, Interviewed by Park Record(UT).

The City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts along with other business and civic leaders have established a charity, The One Fund, to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Sadly, I believe we will find out that several of the maimed were runners, especially by that second bomb.

Please consider a donation. I just donated.
Link to donation site:
Link to press release:

I was interviewed by the Park Record in Park City, UT about my experiences at the Boston Marathon along with several others from Park City. Link to the article here:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon: I did not sleep well last night

I ran Boston yesterday. A magnificent day on the roads ending in tragedy.

I did not sleep well. Not the usual after marathon sleeplessness. Yesterday's events were such a contrast of beauty, effort, and joy followed by fear and tragedy. 

Grateful that we and friends are safe but deeply saddened and angry about the injuries, deaths, and terror on this particular, highly symbolic day: The Boston Marathon, Patriots Day commemorating Lexington and Concord, and of Boston itself. All symbols of the best of our region,country, and humanity and the day when somewhat still parochial Boston opens its arms to the whole world. Much lost. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those and their families struggling with loss and injuries. I saw the blasts go off from the bag pick up area. 

Yet, amid the chaos all of Boston, the BAA, the people of Boston, the first responders, doctors and nurses, and authorities responded instantly and magnificently. Many many more might have died if it wasn't for the best doctors and nurses in the world tending blisters and such and race running doctors who ran to the scene and who instantly turned the medical tent into a battlefield triage tent. The police within a few minutes stopped the race away from the scene. The residents and businesses opened their arms to cold exhausted runners stopped on the course or unable to get to their hotels. 

The Marathon and Patriots Day will come back bigger and with even more emotion and meaning as this was an attack on our freedoms, peaceful assembly, history, and the good noble endeavor of running a marathon. 

The theme for the Boston Marathon, on billboards and posters everywhere is : All in for Boston. Right now in this difficult time we should all be All in With Boston.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Boston Monday: It's going to cool fun! Gear list

Really looking forward to my 5 or 6th Boston. Had a 25 year gap in there. The weather should be cool, good for me. Not much of a fan of the course but will try for once not to go out to fast!  Love the crowds, the organization, the tradition. Had the goose bumps at the expo yesterday seeing so many fit and fast runners of all ages from all over the world. The Marathon and I am lucky and grateful to be still able to qualify and run in such an amazing event. Best wishes to everyone running Boston Monday!

Shoes: Adidas Energy Boost.  My go to shoe all spring
Socks: Falke. Anatomical fit, lightly cushioned
Shorts: Patagonia Strider Pro. Love the 2 big no bounce pockets. Just the right 5" length.
Shirt:  Mountain Hardwear Way 2 Cool Tank. Not sure I will need the magic Q cooling disks,  who knows this is New England and it was 33 and raining Friday. Fits just right and has good shoulder coverage.
Belt: Salomon S-Lab 2 belt. 6 pockets (2 zip on a no bounce soft belt. iPhone on board Strava but I won't be looking at it. Gels, Bloks in other pockets.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Spring Running Favorites: Patagonia Strider PRO Shorts, NorthFace Better than Naked Jacket

With spring trying to arrive I have been enjoying 2 very well designed running items from Patagonia and the NorthFace.

Patagonia Strider PRO Shorts
I like the Strider PRO alot because for the first time I have found a short with decent sized pockets which actually work, no bounce and secure. The Strider has 2 decent size hip pockets: the yellow stretch fabric covers the pockets and is tied into the waistband.  There is also a zip pocket on the rear.  I run with an iPhone 5 in a baggie for Strava... and for pictures along the way. By placing decent size pockets on the hips and making them snug and secure Patagonia is the first to really solve the "pocket problem".
Patagonia Strider PRO shorts 

I have even been able to stick a full Salomon 8oz Soft Flask in the other pocket or you can put at least 4 gels in either pocket. Note with the Salomon Soft Flasks once you have had a decent drink, no matter the pocket, they tend to flop around so I hold them in my hand after starting one.

The waist band is snug and substantial  but unfortunately has a continuous pull cord so no way to synch a bit tighter and keep it that way when pockets are really full: phone and Flask.

The material is a combination of very soft, smooth polyester fabric on the front and back and mesh on the sides. The inseam is 5", a great compromise length. A very functional, breathable and comfortable short indeed. $55 retail.

NorthFace Better than Naked Jacket

The $130 Better than Naked is one fabulous running jacket. Very light at 6.35 oz. Made of a non plasticky, smooth yet textured and stretchy fabric it not only blocks wind but its breathability is outstanding The FlashDry treatment really seems to work as I have never sweated through the jacket. I tend to run hot and this jacket really bridges the gap between wind protection and a sauna, wet feeling in variable conditions.
North Face Better than Naked Jacket

Hard to see in the picture but the sleeves running from just in front of the elbows, up under the arms and then down the back in a strip are a more mesh like version of the rest of the fabric. The wrists are also made of the mesh material and can be rolled up a ways. There is laser perforation venting at the top of the back.  I have not yet run with it in rainy conditions but expect it will provide decent protection but really should be considered a wind shell.

I wear a medium and have put a heavy weight mid layer underneath without feeling constricted due to the stretch nature of the fabric. The pocket is decent sized and accommodates an iPhone 5 without bouncing even when the jacket is partially unzipped.

Disclosure: I purchased both items.