So, that marathon I ran this morning? Went pretty damn well. My official time is 3 hours 19 minutes 55 seconds, which is a personal record marathon time—by about ten minutes! I attribute this to (1) spectacular autumnal weather—clear, cool, and perfect for running; (2) some half-arsed attempts at speed training I did over the winter; and (3) actually paying attention to my pacing, instead of my usual marathon strategy of just running as fast as I can until I end up barely able to walk the last mile.
I didn’t do much tweeting from the course, but I did take a bunch of photos—the camera on my new iPhone is a lot better than my old one. So here they are, with a reconstructed transcript of my internal dialogue:
“The best thing about a marathon in my hometown is, I can walk to the starting line. It was near the Metrodome. And the weather’s nice and clear! But, eek, I only have about 25 minutes to stand in the porta-potty line …”
Tomorrow morning I’m running the Twin Cities Marathon—a mere two and a half years, and three other marathons, after I moved to the Twin Cities. What can I say? Scheduling is tricky.
I’ll be bringing my phone, so there may be live-tweeted photos if I’m feeling comfortable enough for that. Certainly the forecast—cool and cloudy but not actually raining—is perfect weather for both a very long run and for nice photos of the prettiest parts [PDF] of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. But I’m really hoping to crack my current time record of about 3 hours 30 minutes, so the only mid-race updates may be the ones available via the marathon website.
In the meantime, I have one last very short run to go do, to keep the ol’ joints loose.◼
About mile 17 of the 2009 Portland Marathon. After five marathons, this is still the best “running” shot I have. Photo via jby.
I first heard that something was up in Boston yesterday when I got off the treadmill at the campus gym and logged onto the exercise-tracking app Fitocracy to record the workout. Like any self-respecting tech startup in 2013, Fitocracy has a “social” component, and people were using its message board to ask each other what had happened.
When I got back to the office, I found out pretty quickly. Someone planted bombs at the finish line to the premier marathon in North America. As of right now, three people have died of injuries sustained in the blasts; more than 170 are injured. Many people have lost limbs—legs—to shrapnel. I’ve run five marathons myself, and pushed myself pretty damn hard to do it, and I can only dream of someday qualifying to run the 26.2-mile course that ends at that finish line.
And that’s really all I can say about it. Other people were actually there. I’m just another guy who runs, listening to special reports on the radio.
I’ve spent the time since I saw those first social network posts helping a friend celebrate the completion of her doctorate (with cake!), hacking away at two or three different projects I’m currently juggling, listening to the news without saying much, planning for a scientific conference, speculating angrily about the kind of person who’d bomb a marathon, receiving some good (but not yet blog-able) news, and trying to decide whether to write about any of this in a public way at all.
And I found out—via Twitter, of course—that runners all over the place are logging their runs, and dedicating them to Boston. There’s a hashtag: #RunForBoston. So I did that for my nine-mile Tuesday run, down one bank of the Mississippi River and back up the other in the still-too-rare sunlight of an April evening in Minnesota. Because it’s A Thing I Can Do.◼
They give you a medal just for finishing — which was kind of a feat, in my case. Photo by jby.
So I’m home and more-or-less recovered from marathon number five, the Mankato Marathon. Final time: 3 hours, 33 minutes, and 32 seconds. Which, it happens, is five whole seconds better than my last marathon back in June. At two marathons a year with this kind of improvement, I’ll qualify for Boston some time before my 200th birthday.
I tried to tweet a couple images, but this one was pretty rough going, and I had other things on my mind. Like making it to the finish line. I’m sure Mankato is a lovely town, but there’s not enough of it to contain a whole 26.2-mile course, so most of the first two-thirds of the race were out in the middle of open farmland, with nothing to block a pretty persistent wind. Which wind was good for thermoregulation, but made running perceptibly harder.
Even so, I finished the first 23 miles in under three hours, setting what I’m pretty sure is a personal record for a half-marathon. That was too fast — by the last three miles, I didn’t have anything left. I ended up walking a depressing amount of the home stretch. Just like the last time around, I crossed the finish line to Cake’s cover of “I will survive,” and I felt every word.
Of course, it wasn’t just about the race this time round, and Denim and Tweed readers came through strong at the finish, donating enough to Minnestotans United for All Families to hit my $500 goal before the race even started. You folks rock!
(Of course, it’s still possible to donate if you didn’t get around to it. But this will be the last time I pester you about it here, I swear!)
And but so now I’m looking forward to spending the next three days or so unable to easily climb stairs. Also, trying to decide whether I really want to do a sixth one of these things. (Spoiler: I probably will, once I can climb stairs again.)◼
So if you’ve already given (some of you, twice!) maybe pass on the donation link via your various social networks?
And if you want to track my progress tomorrow, you can look for bib number 529 on the results page; or keep an eye on my Twitter feed, in case I manage to live-tweet again. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a race playlist to assemble.◼
Saturday morning, I ran Big Gay Race with a whole bunch of friends and thousands of other Minnesotans. In spite of an early-season cold, I did the 5k run in 20:08, nine tantalizing seconds from a personal record. (Is Pseudophed a performance-enhancing drug? If so, it’s not performance-enhancing enough.)
The BGR was the first of two events I’m running in support of Minnesotans United for All Families and the fight against the proposed anti-gay-marriage amendment to the state constitution. With a bit more than a month to go before the vote, polling on the amendment is also tantalizingly close, a statistical dead heat at 49% for, 47% against, and 4% undecided.
Meanwhile, I’m just about ready to take something a little bit longer—the Mankato Marathon. I did what will probably be my longest pre-marathon training run—19 miles un-enhanced by cold medicine in beautiful autumn weather—on Sunday, and I do believe I’m ready to survive 26.2 miles (or about 42k) less than three weeks from now.
Denim and Tweed readers have already given $205 to MNUnited, for which I’m mighty grateful. But if you haven’t given yet, please help us make it to $500 with a donation of $5, or $10, or $25—we’re on the home stretch, and every little bit will make a difference.
The camera on my iPhone (4, not even S) is really pretty lousy. But when I’m on the last long run before a marathon, it’s the camera I have with me. And it does give you some sense of how colorful things have become in the parklands that line the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to Saint Paul, my regular running route. More photos after the jump!
Well, so far readers have made some very nice contributions—$110, to be exact. Which is great! But I have reason to suspect that a lot of folks still haven’t chipped in. I know, I know. You, my readers, are about evenly divided between impoverished, ramen-subsisting graduate students and the kind of young, hip professionals who just blew their discretionary budget on a new iPhone—but you have five bucks, right? Minnesotans United for All Families, the campaign against the amendment, would be happy to have five bucks. It’s not a lot, but it would add up. The average post at D&T scores a couple hundred pageviews; if every page-viewing person kicked in a fiver, we’re talking folding money.
And what will your five bucks will go toward? More phone banks to make our case to each and every Minnesotan we can reach, more canvassing for support, and, as we get closer to the election, TV ads like this brand new one:
There is, of course, a long and storied history of homosexuals running for truth, justice, and the (North) American way, as the Kids in the Hall remind us.
This faggot will be running in not one but two events before the election: the 5k Big Gay Race on Saturday, 29 September; and then the Mankato Marathon on Sunday, 21 October. (That’ll be my fifth marathon!) I propose that you, my dozens of readers, commemorate these efforts and help keep bigotry out of Minnesota’s constitution by contributing to Minnesotans United for All Families, the campaign against the amendment.
I suggest you donate $5 ($1/kilometer) to sponsor the 5k; or either $26.21 ($1/mile) or $42.19 ($1/kilometer) to sponsor the marathon. I’ll even add an extra inducement: anyone who donates at least $5 and lets me know via e-mail will go into a drawing to recieve a free D&T tee shirt of his or her choice.
Postscript: For meditation on the appropriateness of the use of the word “faggot” in this context, please direct your attention/questions/objections to Scott Thompson and Lexicon Valley, in that order.
I took my iPhone with me, and tweeted photos along the course. And, just for the heck of it, I’ve put all the tweets (and encouragement/kudos/responses) together with some additional notes and context in a Storify. Enjoy!
Jeremy runs the 2012 Minneapolis Marathon
26.2 miles, tweeted.
Storified by Jeremy Yoder · Sun, Jun 03 2012 16:20:50
The 2012 Minneapolis Marathon was my fourth marathon, and my first springtime one. A mild winter made the training-up a lot easier, and the early June race date meant the weather should was tolerable, before everything goes all Minnesota-tropical for the summer. And, since I took my iPhone along for run-time tunes and podcasts, I could live-tweet photos of the course as I ran!
Long run tomorrow http://nblo.gs/yjHZQJeremy Yoder
And folks offered good wishes and advice:
@JBYoder good luck. Remember hydration is your friendDr. Wrasse
Thanks! And, always. RT @labroides: @JBYoder good luck. Remember hydration is your friendJeremy Yoder
Also, I did some carb-loading. Too much? Turns out it wasn’t.
Even though I’m running a marathon tomorrow morning, that double slice of leftover chocolate cake was probably a bad idea. #CarbOverLoadingJeremy Yoder
@JBYoder Naaah…plenty of time to digest. Good luck! More important: have fun! :)NatC
@SciTriGrrl Thanks! I’m sure I’ll be glad of the glycogen tomorrow morning.Jeremy Yoder
@JBYoder Well good luck!Giuseppe Gangarossa
I woke up at 5 a.m. to grab breakfast, then walked to the starting line in downtown Minneapolis. I love the view from the Hennepin Bridge.
Walking to the marathon. http://pic.twitter.com/rFtBIZYLJeremy Yoder
I got to the start a bit after 6 a.m., and people were already gathering.
Ready to go, in … 19 min. http://pic.twitter.com/HFNvEbgcJeremy Yoder
@JBYoder good luck!Bastian Greshake
At 6:30 a.m. on the nose, we were off. We ran through downtown, then turned down onto the riverfront road, first heading north to Broadway for a turnaround. And then it was long way south. My playlist was
“Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” by John Williams, which is great for that starting motivation.
And then another podcast, NPR’s new puzzle show Ask Me Another, which provided some welcom distraction in the third hour.
Here’s the actual Fort Snelling, I believe. This was right after a hill that regained something like 75% of the elevation we’d lost on the way down to the river in maybe 300 meters. That slowed everyone waaay down.
Loving @JBYoder’s photos from his marathon this morning. Run, Jeremy, run!science_goddess
Mile 21: I’m definitely slowing down.
No more podcasts, now. The playlist is entirely devoted to tracks that’ll help me keep putting one foot in front of the other. And my motivational music skews nerdy, as you might guess:
“To Boldly Go” and
“End Credits,” both by Michael Giacchino, from the soundtrack of the latest “Star Trek” movie.