Monday, March 31, 2008

Beardsley's Ghost and 2008 Boston Goals

With my last 20 miler neatly tucked away in my back pocket, it’s time to turn my attention to the ALL IMPORTANT BOSTON MARATHON GOALS. (Back up and reread this with a booming, echoing voice. You may add a cymbal crash at the end if you desire).

I’ve been vacillating (word score = 10 points!) between setting ambitious, realistic, or amphibious goals for quite awhile. What to do? Really, I’m just happy to be here (there). Do I kill myself running the race of my life in the most prestigious marathon venue? Do I ‘enjoy the moment’ and run a respectable race – for me – and take in the scene? Do I somehow set a goal involving water that, really, has no place here?

I’ve decided to set my goals to match my approach to training.

Therefore, I vow to complain about winter the entire 26.2.

Seemingly, that’s all I’ve done the last few months anyhow.

Of course, that’s not my real goal. I’m being a Jokey McLaughsalot. And one thing I know about you, my reader, is that you appreciate my seriousness. You stop by for wisdom, guidance, and edification (word score = 12 pts). Running must be serious to me. I do it a lot. I also express my dissatisfaction a lot with other drivers but so far have not set any goals in that arena.

Without further adieu, here are my 2008 Boston Marathon goals in all their mundane goodness:

Time Goal: 3:25

I think I can do better than that but I’m scared of the courses hilly terrain. The Newton Hills and the final drive up Heartbreak Hill has me terrified. Of course, I’m probably blowing it way out of proportion. I’m imagining a scene where runners are dropping by the dozens to the chorus of snapping calf muscles. Bandages are being wrapped around ankles, hamstrings, heads. Families are weeping and holding (word score = -5 pts could have used ‘cradling’ here) their loved ones unconscious heads in their laps. A few are crawling up the hill on bloody stumps of knees as the ghost of Dick Beardsley stands on top taunting them and shooting lasers from his GU fueled laser gun. (I know Dick Beardsley isn’t dead. Play along alright?).

I don’t think I’m in Bayshore 2007 3:12 shape. More like 3:20 shape on a flat course. I’m adding +5 minutes for the Beardsley Ghost.

Performance Goal: No freakin’ cramping issues!!!!

The last two marathons have been derailed by the stubborn calves. (Big props to me for not making a lame reference to cattle in the street here. I could have. It would have been easy.) I’m about to have a cow if it continues (ch-ching!). I miss the good old days when I would start a marathon, get increasingly tired, bitter, hallucinogenic, suicidal, and, finally, triumphant. The body would work together to get me to the finish. I don’t know why or when the calves developed a separate agenda. They need to get on board though and quick or I’m threatening to pull a Rocky (“Go ahead, cut me. Take the calves out so I can continue.") Rocky didn’t have his calves taken out. You know what I mean.

So, there you go. You’ve learned a little something today and are probably pretty happy to have stopped by to see ol’ Nitmos. You’ve learned:

  1. My Boston Marathon goals.
  2. You can make any name funny by making the first name silly and the last name a restatement of the first name with a "Mc" preceding it.
  3. That Dick Beardsley is a ghostly runner slaying monster that stalks Heartbreak Hill with a laser gun. And he's dead (not really).

Every runner needs a motivation. Mine is a certain 2nd place finisher from the legendary 1982 Boston Marathon. The picture below is tucked into my bathroom mirror where I’m working to develop my Eye of the Tiger.

I can see you taunting me, threatening me with your evil gaze.

"Psycho" Dick Beardsley

Beardsley, as he appears on Heartbreak Hill
It'll surprise you to know that I am not a PhotoShop expert. I do have a full time job and it's hard enough to edit some pictures when people are constantly walking back and forth behind me. I think I captured the essence though.

Happy trails.


The Running Lamintor had an excellent post recently on running schizoprenia. Check it out.

Vanilla reminds us that running shops offering free "Gait Analysis" may just be pimping a gateway drug.


Kristina Pinto said...

While the hills might be arduous (word points: 5), if you go out conservatively and aim for a negative split, you'll be okay. The hills are actually a nice change of pace for some people after descending for 17 miles. Having 2 million people cheer you on also helps.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

2 million people as witnesses? Holy cow.

With all the word points, I can barely understand you. :D

Anonymous said...

I have a congenital inability to read parentheticals*, but I can tell you for certain that Dick Beardsley isn’t dead.

*I'm posting anonymously because of the embarrassment that this condition causes me.

RazZDoodle said...

I like to use vacillating on my long runs. It keeps me from chafing.

LOVE the photoshop comment! I think you did a fine job with it.

Anonymous said...


Your time goals are great if you are hoping to hang out with a bunch of 25 year old women for 3 hours or a bunch of 45-50 year old men. I hope that corrals #6 thru 11 don't trample you in the early miles.

Just load up on a bunch of rice krispy treats the evening before the race, remember that Boston is a "net" downhill course and every uphill has a longer downhill on the other side of it (visions of Fiddler on the Roof is racing thorough my mind).

If you wear the "Steers" gear and you run a 3:25, make sure you have "Steers Junior Varsity" printed under the logo.

For Pete's sake, you have a 3:15 in you, you haven't overtrained, run a smart first 16 miles, then run a fast remaining 10 miles. (100 points to me for giving Nitmos a stern look at reality when no one else will.) :-)


thebets said...

I'm so impressed that you are even running in it! You are going to be on the massage table or out to a post race lunch (Mr. McStuffyourfaceerson)by the time I would be crossing the finish line!

Your Rocky reference regarding cutting your calves can actually be done. My orthopedic guy told me that if I couldn't stretch out my calf muscles more that he would have to surgically cut the connective tissue in the muscle to relieve the tension...I can give you my guy's number and he can arrange to meet you around mile 16.

Eric Gervase said...

Funny... Whenever I use a funny first name and a Mc last name it always comes out as Squeegee McJackass. But, that's just me.

I tend to go with three goals that I'd be "happy" with to varying degrees. But, that just allows me to hedge my bets. When you run as slow as me, you have to really think about these things.

As if that Dick Beardsley picture couldn't get any more psycho... you added Godzilla. Yikes. Good luck on that hill. I'm not sure you have a chance.

L*I*S*A said...

Yep, your photoshop skills are um, wow.

I have a feeling you are leaving 3:25 in the dust.

Twiggy McRunsalot

Frayed Laces said...

Hehehehe. I just stumbled upon your blog through some on my blogroll. How on earth did I not find you for so long? You crack me up. Although I want to create a massive voodoo doll for all you BQers, for now I will send you warm and fuzzy runners wishes.

Viper said...

Dick Beardsley is terrifying. Thanks for giving me an excuse not to run Boston.

Anonymous said...

nice picture of dickie. :-)