Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Paradise Found

After a disappointing Gansett Marathon due to GI issues on Saturday and a frustrating Sunday morning driving around Charlestown, Rhode Island looking for a criterium I never could find, on my way back up to NH I happened upon the town of Milton. I don't think it actually has any connection to John Milton but it was probably the closest thing to a triathlete's Eden that can be found nearby Boston. After giving up on finding the race I decided that I'd try to find a place to bike on my drive back up to Concord. Not being familiar with the area, I was looking to find a park or something that could afford me some safe biking. As I merged on to 93 from 95, I happened upon a sign for Blue Hills Reservation.

Taking the exit, I went from one of thousands of cars navigating their way through Boston's traffic, to be one of only a few cars on a pristinely paved road. That is not to say it was isolated, for there were multitudes of people: running, hiking or biking. I found a parking lot grabbed my road bike(I already had my new aR bike kit on for the race I never could find) and went for a ride. And what a ride! Weaving through several towns, Blue Hills Parkway was nearly untraveled by motor vehicles as the predominance of people chose a bipedal form of locomotion. Twisting turning, tortuous serpentine roadways with nary a pothole made the riding far more fun. If I had had more time and my quads hadn't been trashed from the previous day's marathon, I would have definitely gone for a long trail run in the woods that this roadway enveloped. As it was, it certainly brightened my morning, and definitely gave me a good option for a place to train if I'm ever down in the Boston area.

Gansett Marathon, formally Exeter, was again exceptionally well run and organized. For such a small race, it had a good amount of spectators and aid stations were efficient. Far more scenic than last year, this year's race spent several miles right along the water which was good and bad because it also exposed us to the high winds that Rhode Island had been experiencing all weekend. Despite the winds, Dave Principe of Tuesday Night Turtles and I run together for the first 19 miles or so, going through 10 miles in 60 minutes, the half-way mark in a little over 1:19 , before I started experiencing severe GI issues that forced a port-a-potty stop at mile 21. After that, those last five miles were painfully slow and I dropped from 6th place down to 14th. Oh well, I wanted this to be a good last long run before Ironman St. George and for the most part it was. And it got me down to Rhode Island where I had a nice weekend spent on Goat Island.

UP NEXT: Quabbin Reservoir Classic Bike Race(if I can find it) then TAPER!

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