Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What a Weekend! Getting Lost at Pisgah, Shark Fishing, Violin Lessons and a Wedding!

This past weekend was fun. Amber and my friend Jen Bonia(nee Bergeron) from Northeastern got married this past Friday. Am and I took the day off, Amber to get her hair done and do bride's maids stuff; me to go for a run. I managed to make my way over to Salem, MA just in time for Run at Work 5k which is part of the Mayor's initiative to get more people active. Judging by the turnout, it may be working. I ran into Nick Sousa, the NH10 winner and we ran the course together taking it easy as it was just a fun run. Since I had the day off and he didn't have to be at work until that night, we decided to extend the run a bit. Having never run through Salem, I let him do the leading. What a pretty town! As we crossed a bridge, I realized we had made our way over to Beverly which is where my older brother lives. We ended up running right by his house, but as it was mid-day he wasn't home... After about ten miles of me huffing and puffing to keep up with Nick, I decided I had had enough using the excuse that I wanted to make sure I didn't get ticketed for illegal parking.
After parting with Nick, I quickly headed to the hotel to get showered then made my way to Jen's wedding. It was at the Castleton in Windham, NH and they got married outside in front of the lake. It was beautiful. After I do, I do, toasts, dinner, cake, etc. the party began. Dancing. Yikes! To optimize the impressiveness of my dance-moves, it behooves the viewer to consume vast amounts of alcohol and dim the lights very low. Apparently the lights weren't low enough.
Northeastern Alumni Shakin' Their Money Makers
After the party was the after-party, which for Amber and I was cut short due to inability to stay up beyond seven pm. We certainly made a show of it but as soon as we made it home we were done.
What Amber looked like when her head hit the bed.
At five am the next morning my phone buzzed- my brother and dad picking me up. Time to go Deep Sea Fishing which I have renamed DSF or Dan Scares Fish. Last time I went DSFing was in Portugal and not only did I not catch any fish, but my side of the boat did not catch anything. What did everyone do? Moved me to the other side and they then started catching fish. Would Saturday be any better? Yes. If you like Dogfish. Not the IPA, unfortunately, but the shark that apparently can't be eaten since all we did was reel them up, unhook them and throw 'em back in. We didn't want to eat them, just make them late for something.

It was such a gorgeous day that even if we hadn't caught a thing it would be fun. We did end up catching a few edible fish which does make for a better dinner and picture.
Sunday morning. What to do? One last long run before Adirondack marathon next weekend? Sounds good. Amber and I decided that we'd make the trip out to Chesterfield, NH to do the Pisgah 23k. Neither of us had ever been out then before but as it is the NH's largest State Park we decided it would be worth the trip. Upon arriving, we saw the usual suspects of trail runners including, Kevin Tilton, Ben Nephew, Jim Johnson, Justin Fyffe, Brandon Baker, Ryan Welts and many other familiar faces.

"I didn't realize that this would attract this many runners."- Danny
"Already making excuses?" -Amber
"Errr, no, just making an observation"-Danny
"Okay, sure."- Amber
"Well, I think they're all doing the 50k anyway."- Danny

Both the 23k(which by the way is 14.2 miles not the half marathon that I told Amber), and the 50k started together and ran alongside each other for the first mile or so. As it so happens, most of those runners were running the 50k and were pacing for that distance. That worked out nicely for me because I otherwise would not have been able to hang on. As it was, I caused a little mayhem at the split, cutting off Ben Nephew nearly bowling him over. Ahead was a lone runner. I kept running my own pace but soon caught the leader who had been looking back(I soon realized to have company not due to early onset fatigue). It was Justin Fyffe who had ran 25 miles then day before and was just out for an easy run. We ran and talked for a while putting a nice separation on any of the other runners. At about minute 25 we came to an aide station and a fork in the road.

"Which way do we go?" - Danny
"You weren't supposed to come from that direction." -Aide Station Worker
"We made a wrong turn?" - Justin
"Looks that way." -Helpful Aide Station Worker
"Crap"- Danny and Justin

As this dialogue ended a third runner, Clint Joslyn, came to the aide station.
"I thought we were supposed to make a turn back there but I saw you guys go straight so I followed."-Clint
"Crap."- Danny and Justin
Being the largest NH state park, how could we not get lost?
So off we went again, this time at a more aggressive pace. While both Justin and I were saying that it didn't matter as the minutes ticked by and we still hadn't made it back to the turn off, I could tell we were both getting annoyed with ourselves. The only difference was how we took our annoyance out. Justin calmly just kept picking up the pace to the point when we finally made it back to the turn off(11 minutes back on an uphill trail), he had put a nice gap on me. My way of coping with this annoyance was to let him go and slow down the pace-Or it could have been out of necessity due to my wheezing provoked by trying to keep up with him. He was soon out of sight and I was left alone.

But not for long. As it turns out, it was somewhat of a blessing to go off course. I was able to cheer on all the runners as I caught and passed them. It was also fun for me, because the further into the race I got the faster the people I was passing became which in turn made me run a bit harder when I would have, probably, otherwise taken it easy. I didn't push myself so hard, though, to see how beautiful of a course we were on. Some of the views were amazing and the course(which alternated primarily between dirt road and fire roads) was a great change to the mostly pavement I have been recently running on.

I ended up finishing around the Top 10(results aren't yet posted) despite the detour and it was nice having Amber there at the finish cheering me on. However, I soon found out that she didn't beat me, but also got lost by going on the 50k course by accident. When she realized her mistake she just turned back and came to the start.

All in all, Pisgah was a great race and will definitely be on my list for next year. Hopefully the Ferreira's can stay on course.

I took my first Violin lesson last night and realized that I cannot supinate(turn my wrist palm up) to play. So I am learning the violin backwards. Can't wait to see how that turns out.

Up Next:  Danny: Adirondack Marathon this weekend. Amber and Danny-Pocono's 70.3 October 2nd.


  1. I've never heard of someone playing the violin backwards! Hendrix ability to know the ins and outs of the guitar came from his dad not wanting and accepting that he was left handed, so who knows--maybe you can be the next Hendrix on the violin.

    I was hoping to connect with amber via email. is that possible. tawnee@planetgear.com

  2. Hi Tawnee,
    They usually don't because it interfere s with the other players in the orchestra but I don't anticipate getting there so it should be okay. I'll try to make Hendrix proud.

    I've passed along your email address to Am but if you want to shoot her an email yourself it is amrunber@hotmail.com.