Ramsey’s Cacophonous Serenade 22Apr08

The anticlimactic, maddeningly truncated video is finally up! See below:

Ramsey,

This is the greeting you deserved some twenty-odd years ago from the Wellesley girls. It doesn’t seem fair that you never experienced it; that you never got to run Boston. My measly 3:15 doesn’t hold a candle to your 3:01. But back in the day, qualifying standards were much tougher. And regrettably, injury now prevents you from running this storied race. Doubly unfair.

This may be a trivial surrogate for the real Boston experience. But accept it as a token of friendship and thanks for the miles we’ve run together and the counsel you’ve given. I’d say thanks for the ab class, but my abs are not ready to forgive.

Most of my readers don’t know you. Though I may underestimate your social networking skills, which are prodigiously advanced. I can’t recall running together without a handful of people greeting you, whether on foot, in cars, riding, working or otherwise. Those few who don’t know you would be happier if they did.

I hope this in some small way this gesture assuages any disappointment you may have felt at missing Boston. At least let it show that investments in friendship always reap dividends.

– Dean


The Video!


(NOTE: What on earth is that runner doing at the far end of the sign in the video?)

Unfortunately, the final cut of the video contains less than half of the event. Here’s the whole encounter:


DEAN
(Stops at the craziest bunch of Wellesley Girls)
Hey! Hold this for me and…


WELLESLEY GIRLS
(Not a breath lost, they immediately unroll the sign with great enthusiasm. No reason is requested.)


DEAN
Okay, this is for Ramsey. I swear this is not me. It’s really for someone else.
(Takes several photos)


WELLESLEY GIRLS
(incoherent screaming continues)


DEAN
(Assuming the Camera is now capturing the scene on video)
On the count of three yell, “We love you Ramsey”


WELLESLEY GIRLS
(immediately)
WE LOVE YOU RAMSEY!
(more screams)


DEAN
(laughing)
Let him have it! Tell…
(Filming actually begins)
.. him you love him! YEAH!


WELLESLEY GIRLS
(more screaming)


DEAN
alright!
(filming stops)


Ah well, the best laid plans often go awry. At least we got a bit of it. Ramsey, somewhere in Wellesley, the girls have your sign. Hopefully they’ll check out the site!

– Dean

Okay… Video delayed 21Apr08

Sorry folks, but my video and pics from the Wellesley Scream Tunnel will be delayed until tomorrow. So very sorry. It was my real goal of the race to have that up for you. This particular project was important to me. Once you see everything, all will be explained.

I took many pictures and I’ll try to get them attached to the various posts I made so you can take a quick look back. That will probably happen by tomorrow evening.

Suffice it to say, I did not have a great running day today. I was hurting as early as mile 14, and the Newton hills kicked my buttocks six ways to Sunday. I should not have been laid waste by a 3:37. But I’ve recovered decently and spent the day post race on the Freedom trail, checking out Paul Revere’s House and the Old North church. It seemed the thing to do on Patriot’s Day.

– Dean

6859: On the Clock 20Apr08

Friends,

If you are extremely bored on Monday, I have the solution for you.

You can follow my progress in the 112th running of the Boston Marathon on the official Boston Marathon site. Just use my Bib number, 6859.

Or you can stay tuned to this site. I plan on posting live from the course. Seriously. Let’s see how depleted glycogen levels affect my communication skills.

– Dean

Adidas, Yasso, Kastor; Oh My! 20Apr08

I’ve returned from the runner’s Mecca that was the Boston Marathon Exposition. Never before have I seen such a collection of physically fit people jammed together under one roof.

The Expo is housed in the Hines Convention Center near the finish line. While New York’s Expo took place in one expansive space, Boston’s utlized two large exhibit halls and various ante chambers for Bib pick-up, etc. I think the Boston Expo was larger, just less carvernous.

It was like runner’s Disneyland. Folks scarfed up gewgaw, posters (the offical poster includes the names of every entrant – That’s right, I’m listed on the same poster with Kipkoech Cheruiyot), and expansive quantities of Boston Marathon merchandise. The most notable of which was the jacket. Yes, Doc, I got the real thing.

The only drawback? I had to take out a small loan from a predatory lending firm to cover parking fees.

– Dean

Go Northeast, Youngish Man. 18Apr08


Photo: Boston.com – Dana Giuliana

I’m finally on my way to Boston. Oh yeah, I’ll continue to post daily. Here’s the official itinerary:


TODAY
I’m closing out fifty-nine thousand details before traveling to Raleigh.


SATURDAY
Angie and I will fly into Manchester, New Hampshire. We’ll head right to the Marathon Expo. I’ll offer a detailed, on-the-scene expo report (with a frank assessment of the shirt). Later, we’ll dine with the painaholic Kestrou at Antico Forno in Boston’s North end.


SUNDAY
We’ll attend the Women’s Olympic Trials in the morning, then spend time sightseeing. We plan to enjoy the Freedom Trail, Newberry Street, and the Commons. Later, we’ll retire to our lodging outside Hopkinton.


MONDAY
I will blog live from the Boston Marathon on Monday. I can only offer text updates from the course this year, but I promise video by Monday evening. Think Wellesley, Scream Tunnel, and an event some twenty years overdue.

– Dean

The Wall 17Apr08



Over the past seventeen days, I’ve written a Socratic dialogue starring Obama, Hillary, and McCain, presented a Studio 54 marathon medal only an undertaker would love, and extolled the virtues of Cadbury Crème Eggs. I wasn’t ashamed to say that Bambi scared me out of my skin, and I didn’t realize just how many people had heard of the Duel in the Sun but hadn’t ever seen it.

But Now I’ve hit the wall. My creative glycogen has been depleted and I now must burn the fat of writer’s desperation. I’m stumbling through the final miles of this daily blogging marathon.

Like all runners who experience quasi spiritual epiphanies after mile twenty. I’ve come to the end of my plucky wit and am finally looking beyond my own nose. I’ve realized that through all my sardonic bluster, I’ve failed to truly thank those who’ve helped get me to this point.

So let’s put this to mending:


East lake Runners
You lit the fire, gave me a structured goal, and provided much-needed companionship early-on. Without this, I doubt I’d have stuck with this running fad.


Boss Frog
You taught me how to run. You’re a human metronome and a running encyclopedia. You’re also the busiest man I know… and I know myself.


Harbison Trail Runners
You boiled me when I needed it most and introduced me to the engrossing trail culture. I always look forward to running with you. Let’s talk Laurel Canyon!


Readers, Family & Friends
Thanks for following my story and encouraging me as I’ve expressed doubts. Your support empowers me and your blog comments are consistently hilarious.


Colleagues
I swear, I’m running during those two hour lunches.


Angie
More than one person sacrifices during obsessive, continuous marathon training. You’ve backed me thoroughly and perfectly; much more than I deserve. I guess this means I owe you big time.

O’Charley’s tonight, baby!

Posted 1 Comment »

Urgent Message from Future Dean 16Apr08


Dean,

It’s me. I mean you. I’ve no time to explain how I’ve uploaded this message from the future. I’m not even sure if it will even reach you — I mean me — before Boston. But you must listen!

A runner in a fur hat and Wicked Witch Of The East socks will approach you on heartbreak Hill babbling something about the beauty of differential equations. Do not flee! You must introduce this man to Mike Huckabee. Everything depends on it. Bring a King James Thompson Chain Reference Bible. It may be your only hope of distracting his security detail. Trust me.

I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep writing, but there’s more you need to know. That plan you have for Wellesley? It’s not going to work out quite the way you think.

Oh yeah, and whatever you do, don’t book your airfare on Skyb……

I was Eleven. 14Apr08


I was probably playing with my favorite Han Solo and Chewbacca action figures at the time. I couldn’t have cared less about some dumb race. And I lived just over two hours from Boston.

Folks, if this doesn’t give you chills; If this doesn’t get you psyched for Boston — you need defibrillation.

– Dean

The Race 11Apr08



BARACK OBAMA
America, the Boston Marathon is upon us, and I’m running. I’m running for hope and I’m running for change.


JOHN McCAIN
I can think of no finer thing to do on Patriot’s Day.


HILLARY CLINTON
While at Wellesley, I cheered the heroic runners of the Boston Marathon. I was there when Tarzan Brown rallied to beat John Kelley.


BARACK OBAMA
In the face of great distance, we see opportunity. In the face of heartbreak hill, we see a better future. In the face of hyponatremia, we see properly managed sodium levels.


BILL CLINTON
I never did finish that marathon; couldn’t get past the Wellesley girls.


JOHN McCAIN
So you ended up marrying the Wellesley girl that cheered for you?


BARACK OBAMA
I have heard freedom’s call. I have felt the winds of change.


BILL CLINTON
Hillary was at Wellesley?


BARACK OBAMA
I have felt the wind of freedom. I have heard the call for change.


JOHN McCAIN
Many commendable American patriots attended Wellesley. All uphold the fine, upstanding values of the Boston Athletic Association.


RON PAUL
If victorious at Boston, I promise to dismantle the bureaucratic and unconstitutional Boston Athletic Association.


JOHN McCAIN
Destroying the BAA will only make us more vulnerable to dangerous terrorist attacks.


HILLARY CLINTON
I once ran Boston, paced by Sir Edmund Hillary. We came under sniper fire in Newton, and barely escaped with our lives.


BARACK OBAMA
I don’t run this race alone. In this decisive moment of history; in this dawn of a new era as a nation, we run as one people.


HILLARY CLINTON
That harrowing experience filled me with the desire to become the Senator for the great state of Massachusetts.


JOHN McCAIN
You’re the Senator from New York.


HILLARY CLINTON
Whatever.


BARACK OBAMA
Though we’ll grow weary in Newton, we will persevere. Though Cemetery Mile, we will not lose heart. Though our glycogen levels may become dangerously low in Brighton, we will finish this race.


JOHN McCAIN
Though I may have an acute myocardial infarction as early as Framingham, I will drag my battered body inch by torturous inch until I reach the finish.


GEORGE W. BUSH
You can do it Sparky. Heck in a handbasket, I ran a 3:44 in Houston. That takes guts. That takes tenacity. That takes stubbornocity.


HILLARY CLINTON
That’s not even a word.


GEORGE W. BUSH
Oh yeah, right. I meant “tenacitation.”


JOHN McCAIN
Friends, if by my death I can keep us secure from terrorists bent on diminishing our national physical fitness, I will humbly serve.


BARACK OBAMA
When we cross that finish line…


JOHN McCAIN
Friends, I don’t appear to have the funds for the entry fee.


BARACK OBAMA
…And when I say we I really mean me


JOHN McCAIN
I could run as a bandit; a renegade.


BARACK OBAMA
…When we break the tape at Copley Square, I’ll be thankful our moment has come; thankful for your tireless help; thankful for my Kenyan Ancestry.


HILLARY CLINTON
Have I mentioned that it wasn’t easy being the first woman to run Boston?


JOHN McCAIN
Friends, does anyone have body glide?

Zero to Manchester 09Apr08


Looks like I’ll make it to the Northeast in time for the big race.

I’ll start in Columbia, drive to Raleigh, catch a plane, stop in Washington D.C., and finally arrive in Manchester, New Hampshire. I’ll visit Connecticut, hit the expo in Boston, and stay outside of Hopkinton. On the way home, I’ll layover in Atlanta. That’s seven states in three days (if I’m fortunate enough to give Rhode Island a miss). In the words of Sam Spade, “Are you getting all this or am I going to fast for you?”

You know you’ve had a stressful go of it when the thought of starting a marathon is eminently relaxing. At least I now know more about the arcane inner workings of the airline fare system than I care to admit. Please don’t ask me about it, I’ll have a disturbing flashback.

Now, as long as US Airways and Delta stay in business for 2 more weeks, I’ll be all set. Meanwhile, I plan on telling every airline official who’ll listen that I’ve qualified for the Manchester Marathon.

– Dean