Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week Five w/Team In Training

This weekend the Team In Training ran a training race taking advantage of the Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run.

The Shamrock Run is a 4 mile road race in its 4th year. It has grown every year and reached a new high for runners. I believe 2200 runners were registered and 1997 runners actually ran and completed the race.

The Shamrock Run is only 4 miles and would seem like a walk in Burnet Park if it wasn't for the torturous hills. Two huge hills are traversed with in the first 2 miles of the race and, although hard to climb, they allow you to pick up speed and gain some composure before the last gradual and most devastating of hill on Coleridge Ave. leading back to Burnet Park and eventually the finish line.

I started out running within the 7 min/mile group with a friend who run quick; I hoped to stick with her ensuring a great finish, but I couldn't keep up as we completed the first mile, and she was gone. Kim finished the race in under 30 minutes. As I drifted away running down Burnet Park Drive, I caught up to another speedy friend who had gone out too quick. That is the only way I could catch her. We stuck together for about a mile, chatting and listening to the many bands rocking out to Hendrix. As we turned onto Hamilton St., the two nib hills stood before. I let her know that on the second hill I would take off on the decline and gather speed entering the last long gradual hill. I lost Tiffany, she finished well at 32:34. I thank Tiffany for being with me as we approached mile 2 since she has a competitive espree that rubbed off on me.

As I ran past St. Patrick's Church there was a water stopped which I ran by; in hindsight I should have stopped and a a cup of water. I continued to N. Wilbur passing Nibsy's Pub and a contingent of Syracuse Firemen. Then I cut across Tompkins and up S. Lowell passing Coleman's Pub were the gradual hill of death begins its ascent to Coleridge and into Burnet Park for one last loop before crossing the finish line.

I really do not remember much of Coleridge except the desire to either die or walk. I could not quit now. I committed myself to finish well. I slowed the pace and made back to the starting line, which ended the agony of Coleridge hill and swung into the park. I actually grabbed the stop sign pole and allowed momentum to pull me into the park. It begins uphill, then down, then up again passing the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and flattens out before the finish line, It was at that moment I sprinted, passing a several runners and crossed the line at 31:21.

It was over. I could not breathe. I wanted to vomit, but in good form, I had nothing to lose. I drank water, to no avail. I still felt awful. Thank God for G2. That hit the spot and brought me to recovery. I chatted with some friend from TNT, Joel; he ran under 35 minutes. Took a pic with Eileen and Mary Ellen; said hello to Ray and Bob; finally found Erin, who finished in 37:54 beating her goal of 39 minutes and Kristen, who finished 35:56, and Kim who introduced me to Pam. I even found my wife and daughter at the races end. It was a great experience. I can't wait to do it all over again.

The Team in Training had a fantastic turnout and outstanding performance. The Shamrock Run is our first race for us, setting us ever closer to our goal of running a marathon for heroes, the people with blood cancer. For me, this was my first race for Jane Spellman. I was able to compete well enough to finish in the top 350 runners. I beat my goal time by 5 minutes. I ran at my best pace ever at 7:51 min/mile. However, I must always remember why I run. It is to raise awareness and funds for people like Jane. It is for them. Any donation can help researchers find a cure now or in the future so we do not have to run anymore. So, please visit my donation page and make a secure donation at:

To cap the weekend off, we ran just over 13 miles this fine Sunday morning at 11am in Baldwinsville. Since the Team In Training did not have a long run on Saturday, Mark and I ran 13. He needs to prepare for the Knoxville half, and his suggestion to run beyond 9 inspired me to continue my preparation for the Team In Training marathon. I ran those extra miles with Jane and all our sponsors/supporters in mind; all of whom I cannot let down. Thank you for all of your support. I do appreciate it and hope we all cross the finish together.

Thank you for reading my progress toward raising funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with Team In Training. See you on the road.

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