Thursday, July 11, 2013

Catching up, moving on through pain, getting faster and having some fun

Club National XC Championship 2012, the last time I toed a starting line with Andrew Capizzi.
It has been a little while since I've posted up here. Yes, my lower back still sucks and hinders me to whatever point, but lot's has happened and I'm running well enough. I lost a teammate, friend, co-worker in June, that took the wind out of my did for a lot of us within the running community throughout New Jersey, surely I'm understating. Most of you who might be reading this, already know the story, so I'm not going into that again.  When I stop and think for a moment, I realize, we raced the Track East Region Club Championship six days after Andrew's passing and then the club National Championship two weeks after, it amazes me. Especially in the case of Kyle Price and Ken Walsh, my incredible teammates and fellow Ramapo Alums. Kyle, Ken and Andrew are best friends, and it pains me to know they are now separated by life and death. The bond they had as teammates and friends is one that I understand better than any other.  Kyle pressing on and training and racing through the pain was if nothing else, inspirational. Ken, like me, is a smoldering volcano, and this will boil inside his heart for all time, and it will push him to greater accomplishments as a marathoner.  I mean, it's all we can do.  You know, it's said that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, well Andrew was a strong link.  Do we see the chain as broken? Mending this is difficult, but we band closer together, and we remain strong.  And I know we all feel the same, in that we hate the thought of stepping onto a starting line together without Andrew there.  His spirit will run alongside us in Oregon this December, I'm not done with this whole running thing yet. The feeling we got from being Ramapo Roadrunners doesn't have to stop since we've graduated or left, and the same goes for any other runner. That is one big reason that I race with Garden State Track Club, because it's something many of us understand. The pursuit of a dream, the pursuit of excellence and victory!

And the show went on:
Regionals: 3k sc-10:07. And we win the Regional title!
Nationals 3k sc-10:08-8th overall(1pt scored!) and we win the National Title!
July 2nd-19.1mile run, last last in 6:15 in some serious heat, thanks for the company Steve Mennitt!
July 4th Firecracker 4mile in Cranford-21:41-4th outkicked by a 17yr old kid(that'll happen), but finish well ahead of Mark Del Monaco, love you Mark!
July 9th RVRR Summer Series XC 5k race #3-16:38, 2nd to Mike Dixon(16:32). Will expand on backstory here, this is a good one.
July 10th-Beer Mile-8:33, not a fast time, but a win. And winning in Beer Mile is more rewarding than most bullshit road races! I've got a belt and a jacket and neverending glory!
Knock Knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange ya' glad that the liner of my shorts isn't worn out? Club Nats 3k sc, not a fast race for me, but 8th counts, and 8th I was!
Me, Dixon, and Tony Lopez, three guys who ran for the same team and drank a lotta' beers together a long time ago. Still running!

It was like this for 2miles, but Dixon got the best of me...again!
I fought for it the whole way, it felt like a good day to rip it up
Once again National RVRR Beer Mile Champion! Invite me to your birthday party, and you will be a National Birthday Champion by association!

The Summer Series XC story: These races have been under the radar for 25yrs I believe(maybe 30?) We have returned to the original location of Donaldson Park, and although the course has changed; and in my opinion it could stand to have some tweaks to make it better. It is damn good to be home. For 6yrs we raced in Beuchluch Park in New Brunswick, a faster course, albeit a quasi-xc course(run on a cinder path where about 15-20% of the race is on paved asphalt). Skipping some boring details, we're back to Donaldson, where I began my XC racing career! With the new course due to park "improvements", comes new course records.  The first two races in the series were won by un-inspiring performances in the high 17min range(17:46 I recall).  I decided, I'll have none of that. While I couldn't reasonably compete in the those races with track club nationals approaching, I planned on showing up for race#3 to smash this soft record to pieces...but so did Mike Dixon.  So, we had a good battle out there. He ran 16:32.5, I was 16:38.  He can't go the next race. You gotta' be in it to win it I always say! So, in two weeks I'm getting after it, running a smarter pace early on, and I'm going to get a hold of that record, which by default will be mine until next June! So, there's some heat in the kitchen now. Anyone want that record? Wanna' race? Come n' get it!

Up next: buncha' long runs, Summer Series race #4 "The quest for the record", another beer mile, and "Chasing the Unicorn" Marathon on August 18th to qualify for the B.A.A. Boston Marathon in 2014, my birthday(Aug 28th), there might be some wild shenanigans in the works...grillin' chillin' and Beer 5k?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a full number of races on the calendar. I am sorry about your friend. I don't know the story, but I know it is not easy and that when you run, they are running by your side.