Sunday, May 17, 2009

Team In Training Weeks 15 and 16

Week 15 was a busy week and weekend for me. I awaited a Tuesday morning phone call to discover whether or not my sales position was going to be maintained, and I also received my first ever root canal on Thursday Friday afternoon. Both events were painful although not as painful as my knees have been feeling over the past week.

While the Team In Training ran long down in Cortland this week to pull the CNY and Southern teams together for the first time, I ran 13 with my buddy Mike who took me on a long hill run from Wegmans in Fairmount, through Tipp Hill and up several old brick stairs that lead to the Burnet Park Zoo. Afterward, I raced home to prepare for my oldest son Billy's graduation from SUNY Oswego.

The 13 miles on Saturday at 5:30am were tough. Mike and I met up with three lovely young ladies. Mike and I ran separately once we got going since our distance was a bit longer. At the outset the run was gentle. The miles were flat until we headed toward Bellevue Ave when the road tilted upward. Hills bother me, but I usually manage them well enough to keep running. However, this morning caught me walking at the top of a few hills. I may have run too fast. Mike led me up a stair case that led into Burnet Park Golf Course and then to a long abandoned road heading out toward the zoo and back up hill behind the high school. We ran passed Arc of CNY and hit the stairs running up into the Burnet Park Zoo parking lot. Those stairs killed me. I walked a little afterward. From there I finished strong over the hills of Tip Hill and back to the Wegman's lot where we started.

The run was uneventful for the most part except for the down pour of rain from Avery Ave back to Wegman's. The rain was cooling though, but made for an uncomfortable ride home.

Sunday was a lone run around the village of Baldwinsville. I started from the high school parking lot and ran up Oneida St. and out Sixty Rd. to 631 to Smokey Hollow and down 48 back into the village; that part of the run is 4 miles and relatively flat. Its a quick run from 48 to the village 4 corners since its a nice grade down hill. It felt great.

I turned left at the corner blowing past the B'ville Diner and turned right onto 370 with the aroma of Gino and Joe's Pizza. I ran down 370 to "Budweiser Hwy" and ran up hill back up to 31 and into Aspen Springs, more up hill running. The down hill side of Aspen Springs is nice and easy. Once out of Aspen and Lamp Post, I head onto 31 and a few back roads back to 370 and turn right toward the VFW and down Woods which leads to the river.

At the river at the bottom of Woods, I noticed that the cinder river trail had been extended. Although it was roped off, I beelined for the cinder path and ran uncharted territory. As I stepped onto the freshly laid path I thought about the fund raising efforts I and many others have been doing over the past 4 months on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and could only think about the uncharted territory the once healthy people who have blood cancer chart now, everyday, and the researchers who chart new boundaries in their attempt to cure and hopefully arrest an insidious disease to either save or prolong a life that is precious to all of us, especially to the family members who care for the people, our friends, who have blood cancer. My thoughts go to the moms and dads who worry and wait about the fate of their children as the days and years pass wondering, "Will my child survive another day?

No one knows for sure if any of us will last another day, but for most of us the strike against us is usually poor choices-- bad diet, no exercise, and carnal vices. People with blood cancer do not make a bad choice when acquiring this disease; no, they just visit the doc one day and BOOM life has changed rapidly.

So, this is my last plea before the race on May 31st to ask for your support. We are only $700 away from our goal of $4,400. Please visit my donation page and support my run in honor of Jane Spellman at Your help of any amount is appreciated and may help today or tomorrow. I do realize times are not easy. My company just let go of many reps this past week. However, if you are able, please step out of the comfort zone and help us attain what seems to be an insurmountable goal. Thank you very much.

Now for the final send off. The race is just eight days away. Last night the Team In Training crew met at Green Lakes Park to have a pre-race get together. We had hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, pretzels, chips, and assorted beverages. My favorite was a noodle salad with almonds and sunflower seeds. It really kicked.

I brought my daughter Anna and her friend for the cook out. They had a good time riding their scooters on the walk next to the beach. I chatted with a contingent of folks and received my race day singlet and my Bib number came in the mail before I left for the park; it is 8235.

Before I sign off, I would like to extend a great thanks for all those people who made the training runs possible: Maureen and Paul, my mentor Tim; my Saturday running mates Charlie and Joel; all those who cheered me in on the long runs: the previous mentioned and Matt, Tara, Yvonne, Kim, Missy, Ryan and Kristen, Cooch, Kristen, Erin, Heather, Jennifer, Megan, and Mary. The walkers who made me feel fast and encouraged us runners onward and upward as we ran by; Maura and Alexius for making a good presentation on a cold night at Meltzer's Bicycles to help push me to join Team In Training while my buddy Tom convinced me to make the actual commitment for his sister Jane.

I also want to extend a BIG Thank You for all the volunteers who sat in the cold over the winter and the hot sun as the weather warmed to bring us runners necessary refreshment on all of our Saturday morning runs. Thank you all. It was always a wonderful sight to see you guys waiting for us. The brief conversations and encouraging words meant more than you will ever know. Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who signed in online or sent a donation in support of my run in honor of Jane Spellman. I cannot thank you enough nor can I truly express what it meant to me to receive such generosity. I never expected it. My job was easy because of all of you. I also want to thank Amylin Pharmaceuticals for stepping up and matching donations from fellow Amylinites.

I would also like to mention all those Lake Effecters from around CNY who ran with me every week during the week to keep me running. I had a lot of fun running the Shamrock and Mountain Goat training runs and races with all of you. I can't wait to get the 26.2 over so we can run our next race and prepare for our next long run this summer.

Stay posted, I'll complete my post upon a safe return and hopefully a completed race. Wish me well.

See you on the road.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Week Fourteen

Week Fourteen was a joyous run from Ryder Park in Dewitt where running 20 miles was the goal. Although I already completed a 20 mile run a few weeks ago with great difficulty, this second 20 mile run was much easier, but equally as tiring.
The Team In Training met at Ryder Park next to the Dewitt Town Hall. Interestingly, there was another group, First Time Marathoners, who met in the lot next to us. I would guess that there must have been over 50 runners training for a half marathon or a marathon this fine Saturday morning. Running is definetly a popular sport, something I didn't realize until I started running.
Well, the Team In Training took off down the Erie Canal cinder trail just after 7am. Maureen set up seberal water stops which were approximately 2-3 miles apart. Thank goodness for these water stops. When I ran my first 20 miles alone, I did not have water stops. I had a few bottles on a belt that ran out too soon and needed to be refilled. Being alone didn't make that solo run any easier either. However, this morning we had water and company. So let me thank, as best as I can, the volunteers who gaves us runners an oasis along the roads and tarils of Dewitt: first there was the self serve water stop at N. Burdick St followed by another stop at Minoa Road handled by Carrie. By mile 5 or so was Theresa and her son along Saintsville Road where we ran along the railroad tracks, and the many bicyclers training for their racing season; man, they are fast. You could hear the tires humming as they appraoched from behind. Then came Marybeth at Poolsbrook Road. She was just a little too comfy lounging under the shadow cast by the hatch of her Ford Escape. And once inside the canal park again, just before the 10 mile turn around was Jennifer with her mom giving us water, Gatorade, and ICE POPS; awesome! Thank you very much for getting me and the others through our 20 mile run. The breaks were necessary since the sun was strong and the road hot.
For me the road was lonely until reaching the water stops and then the finish. I started running with the Charlie and Joel along the canal; then we ran 4 abreast once Missy joined us, blocking the path. If we were NASCAR we would have caused an accident for sure. I found myself alone once I passed the first manned water stop and the others stopped for refreshment. I ran alone from tha point on. I eventually caught up to Denise along Poolsbrook Road, running slow and comfortable.
I truly admire her perserverance to finish each week. She has a comfortable pace. She says its about 12 min/mile. She seems embarassed by it, but I think her pace is just what the comfort doc ordered. Going slow builds long term endurance and may be a safe guard against injuries as the body adapts to more miles. As I pass her I always have a desire to run with her and slow down to enjoy the rn more. Yet, I always run by. Running to finish the distance and try to stay below 10 min/mile. It shouldn't matter; I'm not going to win anything. Its me against the road.
For the people who struggle each day with blood cancer, its them against the disease. They look ate each hour, day, and year as a battle to perservere, to overcome obstacles we can't even imagine. Their family and friends are their water stops; their small breathers, so to speak, to gather strength for more time and healing. So, help us runners help them in their battle and visit my donatin page:
After running by denise and encouraging her on while she encouraged me, I continued up Poolsbrook Road passing horses, miniature horses, peacocks, and sheep. Its beautiful along Poolsbrook Road. Then we entered the canal park again to reach the 10 mile turnaround and return the way we came. I passed the final waterstop and caught it on the return from the turnaround. It was here that I took my first gel pack and carried a Bomb Pop with me on my return from the canal park to Poolsbrook Road.
The return run was uneventful except for stopping to remove the gravel from insdie my shoes and seeing a very large turtle cross the trail as I neared Ryder Park running along the old garbage dump. This was the largest turtle I have ever seen outside of captivity. It had to be at over 12 inches long if it were a foot. In the words of George Costanza, "the sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man returning soup at a deli," he continues, "I approached the big fish. Whoa, big fella." I thought of that exchange between Jerry and George and laughed out loud. Literally, a real LOL.
I ran to the finish and received cheers for making it back. I smiled and wabed at the other TNTers who waited for us 20 milers to return. It felt great. I can't wait for the 26.2 which awaits me in San Diego in a few weeks.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Team In Training Week Thirteen-- The Mountain Goat Run

Week 13 was something special. The mileage was significantly lower than our previous runs which climaxed at 18 miles for the group, and 20 for myself. This week we ran the Dunn Tire Mountain Goat Run in downtown Syracuse, NY.

The Mountain Goat Run is one of two major runs in Central New York, with the other being the Boilermaker in Utica. However, what makes the Mountain Goat special are, as the name suggests, the HILLS. The race begins at Clinton Square on Clinton St. and ends in Clinton Square on S. Salina St.
Before the race began I met up with the Lake Effect Run Club crew at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument that makes Clinton Square identifiable. It is also the home of the skate rink during the winter and the location of the Jerry Rescue monument from the days of the Underground Rail Road. We started the race and headed up Clinton St. and then up toward the reservoir on Stolp, the first killer hill that needs to be taken slowly. If you're not comfortable with hills and go to fast, you will run out of steam early and the next 8 miles or so will be painful. Although I separated from my buddy before reaching Stolp, I took the hill at a comfortable pace preparing to enter Onondaga Park where the second hill awaits.
Once in Onondaga Park, the runs is flat until the reaching the backside and a climb begins, not very long, giving the runners an opportunity to look out to the Syracuse University Hill across the city. Mount Olympus, the Carrier Dome, and Crouse and University Hospitals make for a spectacular scene. It is breathtaking. On this side of the park, I caught up two my running mates from the Team In Training, Charlie and Joel. However, once the peak is reached, the first large down hill run begins, and I took it fast just as I planned. Anyone who passed me on Stolp now was behind me after descending toward South Ave.
On the turn toward Kirk Park, I accepted a couple of Gel packs which I used later and took my first water stop. It came just in time to re-energize my legs for the climb up Colvin, the BIG ONE. At the second water stop I sucked down the gel pack and chased it with water. Turned onto S. Salina and headed for Colvin Ave.
Colvin Ave. is a double segmented hill. At first its long and gradual. Then it plateaus before becoming a steep, short climb to Euclid Ave. and the Manley Field House. Several runners sped passed me, but I remembered the words of a good friend I ran this hill with over the winter. She told me to take it very easy because once you get near the top, the runners who passed you will be dead as they near Manley. She was so right. I began passing runners on the last segment and reached Euclid Ave in good shape. As a matter of fact, I caught up to another friend on this flat part of the run which leads us to Thornden Park for the final hill.
Euclid is the calm before the storm. Euclid is flat and comfortable. The streets are lined with onlookers. The distance is more than halfway, maybe 6.5 or 7 miles. I felt good. I ran the yellow line; I held an even pace hoping to come into Thornden Park with enough energy to climb the last hill and finish strong.
Thornden Park was tough, but I made it to the top, passing the water tower which had been part of the old Mountain Goat route. I took my second gel pack and water before leaving Thornden Park for a fast descent on Madison and then Irving. I flew down these hills like it was nobody's business. I received encouragement from a friendly face. It made me feel good. She shouted out, "Hey Bill Boyd, How do you feel?"
I shouted back, "Great!"

I did feel good. I reached E. Genesee St. and headed for Columbus Cr. and Jefferson St. The finish is near. Once turning onto Jefferson St., you can see the Armory. It seems like that is the end, only about a 1/2 mile to go, but one more turn onto S. Salina and the spring for the finish line commences. I saw the finish banner and three of four runners ahead of me. I told myself I could beat these guys. I took off, gradually increasing my pace until I passed them and crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 25 minutes, and 56 seconds.
I did it. I finished my first Mountain Goat. I bumped into a friend in the shute who volunteered to remove time chips and another friend who finished 5 or so minutes before me. She looked refreshed and ready to run again. I was bushed and ready for a Powerade, bagel, and water.
The Lake Effect Run Clubbers all met up again at the monument in the Square. We had refreshments, listened to music, and shared our race experiences. What a blast. Now I look forward to running the San Diego Marathon and the Boilermaker in Utica.

Although I am writing of my running experiences during my training for the marathon, its important that me and you do not forget why I started to train for the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon. I run am training and running for Jane Spellman. She is the sister of my best friend Tom Belinsky. Jane was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer 4 years ago. She has undergone many therapies including a kidney transplant and a bone marrow transplant. I do thi in honor of her and her family hoping to bring a smile and hope. Your donation to support my run is actually supporting people like Jane Spellman who hope and pray for a cure.
I hope you may find it in your heart to support Jane Spellman and donate on my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society donation page at:

Your donation will be greatly appreciated by me and Tom, but most importantly to those who have been diagnosed with blood cancer.
Thank you for your support.