Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beantown Mania

Last weekend I ventured down to Boston to soak in the marathon festivities and to participate in my own race, the B.A.A. 5k.  It was great to be able to return to a race in attempts to defend my title from the previous year and to be apart of the marathon hype.  Running in front of the Boston crowd is always enjoyable, as there are always many familiar faces cheering me on. 

Race poster featuring yours 'truely'
This year brought a long list of elite athletes to the 5km with the formation of the Boston Athletic Association‘s new distance series.  The three race series, consisting of a 5km, 10km and half-marathon road races, provides a $100,000 grand prize to the runner with the lowest overall accumulative time.  With the weekend’s 5km serving as the first race in the series, many were ready to start their quest for the large prize with fast times.  Unfortunately for me the second race of the series, the10km, has been scheduled during the Olympic Trials at the end of June- thus eliminating me from contention to win the overall.  Never-the-less I was aiming to defend my title from last year and to use the race as a gauge of fitness.

Battling down Boylston St.
I was lucky enough to be able to pull away in the final finishing stretch of the race to win.  The race proves that my training is where it needs to be and that I am headed in the right direction for big things to happen later in the spring.

Breaking the tape
Being able to watch the marathon the following day, despite watching the runners suffer through the unusual heat, only reaffirmed my affection of the marathon and desire for my eventual debut to the event.
The rest of my week has been consumed by the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Bruins fighting strong in the first round against the Washington Capitals.  With the series tied at three, game seven on Wednesday is sure to be exciting.

What a bunch of Bruin fans
Until next time,
Ben




Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Spring Classics

It is during this time of the year, when you can find me glued to the television watching the renowned cycling Spring Classics, that I wish my sport offered the same grueling misery that only sheer toughness and guts can tame.  Sure, running has its cross country courses, its brutal hills, nagging miles, wind and weather.  But do we have anything that compares to the wretchedness that is Paris-Roubaix?  While the World Cross Country Championships add logs throughout the course to heighten the difficulty, do logs compare to miles of cobblestones?  Do manicured courses under the bright sun garnish the same mental and physical strength to conquer as the wind and rain of the Belgium spring?  Watching the riders suffer throughout the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix something inside of me became jealous.  We need this rawness in our sport.  This insurmountable toughness that only can be tamed by the strongest of wills.
(2011 IAAF World Cross-Country course in Spain)
Is this a manicured lawn or a XC course?
(Paris-Roubaix)
This is what XC should be
While slightly masochistic, there is something rewarding in success through misery.  Being able to tap into your inner self and find strength you never knew you had.  To fight through the harshest of elements.  To test every aspect of your body and mind- that is when you can really see what you are made of.  Or maybe it is just because I like mud.  Either way, watching the major cycling Classics has made me envious and wishful for a new level of toughness in cross-country, one that challenges all aspects of our bodies and minds.


Until next time,

Ben