I made my move at mile 22.
I’d been trailing my nemesis for a dozen miles. The half-mile cutoff was 2:50, and I rolled through at 2:43, so I had plenty of room to spare, although, by this point, I’d given up on my goal of 5:30.
My nemesis was wearing a red shirt. I could see them a quarter to a half-mile ahead of me for several hours. I’d get a little closer, and then they’d pull away.
At mile 14.5, a timing device was set up, presumably to ensure the marathoners were on the second loop. I noticed the guy monitoring it (who later I learned was named Nate) picking up the cones after I went through.
I asked, “Am I in last place?”
“That’s a new experience for me. I guess I have a goal besides finishing.”
“Not coming in last.”
I knew I had several hours to catch the person in the red shirt. There was no rush. I took it easy and just cruised through miles 14 to 22. My new friend Nate the Great was at each water stop, packing things into his U-Haul after I passed. Since Red Shirt wasn’t really pulling away much, I’d stop, fill up my water bottle, and chat with Nate.
At mile 22, I picked up the pace. The last three miles of the course were on the Rail Trail. The nice people in New Hampshire considerately paint all the rocks and tree roots on the trail white, so it was a particularly delightful place to pass Red Shirt. As I went by, Red Shirt kind of groaned, and I said, “You got this,” which seemed to be the mantra for this race.
Nate was waiting for me at mile 23, ensuring I was still on the trail.
He said, “Looks like you did it.”
“Yup. Second to last place is more fun than last, but I’ve still got a few miles to go.”
“You got this.”
Yup. I sure did. New Hampshire is State #26 on my quest to run a marathon in every state. I haven’t done many in the past few years, and I’m getting slower as I get older. But I know how to get 26.2 miles done, no matter what the pace (I haven’t had a single DNF in all my efforts.)
The small marathons are my favorites. Other than looking at Red Shirt’s back for a long time, I was alone for most of the marathon, which is one of my favorite ways to exist on your planet.
Her first Marathon. Second place in the Olympic Trials. She’s now heading to the Olympics as part of Team USA.
I don’t know Molly. I first heard about her yesterday when watching a video of the US Olympic Marathon Trials. As I watched her run, I could see both joy and grit on her face.
This is what sportsmanship looks like (Aliphine Tuliamuk cheering on Molly Seidel a few moments after crossing the finish line in first place.)
Molly is incredibly inspirational, not only in this performance but in her return to competitive running. Since I’d never heard of her, the internets helped me learn a lot more about how The Olympic Marathon Trials Are Just the Start of Molly Seidel’s Comeback.
Injuries. Disorded eating. Obsessive compulsive disorder. Two jobs while training. A sacral stress fracture after an event that caused a teammate to say:
“You look like you’re dying,” Seidel remembers her friend saying. “You need to get help.”
The quote from the NYT article that made me smile over and over with inspiration was:
In the hours after her performance, she repeated the same thing a handful of times. “What is happening?” she said, looking upward, shaking her head, struggling to contain the smile stretched across her face.
Molly – count me as a new fan.
I love the idea that Eliud Kipchoge is the “Roger Federer of Marathon Running.”
If you are a marathoner or a fan of the marathon, you likely know how amazing Kipchoge is. If you don’t, following is his marathon performance history.
The performance level – both time and place – is almost unfathomable in contemporary sports. It’s reflective of Roger Federer in general, or Rafa Nadal, especially on clay.
While I don’t know Kipchoge, I’ve been hearing for a while about how wonderful he is as a human. This New Yorker profile prior to him running the INEOS 1:59 Challenge was beautifully written and included the line:
He is, perhaps, the sport’s Roger Federer
If you are a tennis fan, you know what this means.
Simply put, in addition to being an extraordinary athlete, he is a human that wants to use his success to make a substantial positive impact on the life of other humans on this planet.
The hashtag that he uses on Twitter is #NoHumanIsLimited. I have deep appreciation for that.
Sunday is the Knoxville Marathon. My plan was to run it, collect the finisher medal that has become part of the marathon ritual, eat whatever I wanted for dinner on Sunday night, and head home Monday morning.
Amy and I are heading home today. While some aspects of our week in Knoxville have been good, I came down with a nasty cold early in the week. I hoped it would only last a day or so, but each day has been worse than the previous day so we decided to bail yesterday.
Knoxville is a neat town. We stayed downtown and mostly wandered between the hotel and the area at Market and Gay. I
The deep nerd in me enjoyed seeing the fastest computer in the world. MDF was 3D printer experimentation heaven. Everyone in Knoxville was super friendly and accommodating. There’s a burgeoning foodie scene here and even though my taste buds stopped working on Tuesday, Amy and Ian said the food was delicious.
In the category of “try again next year”, I may be back in Knoxville in 2020.
My running is going well so I’ve decided to do the Knoxville Marathon on 3/31/19.
I’m putting a running team together for this, so if you are interested in being part of it, the only requirement is that you commit to doing the Knoxville Marathon. If you are interested, email me.
2018 was a tough running year for me. I was injured in the spring (calf injury) and then again in the summer through the fall (bone bruise). I’ve only managed 290 miles for the year (I’ll break 300, but that’s less than 30% of my norm for a year.)
However, the last four weeks of running have been solid:
Distance is improving and pace is improving.
I love running at the time of the year, especially when it’s 50 degrees and sunny in Boulder.
I’m going to run my next marathon in October. I haven’t chosen it yet, but I’m getting close to deciding which one I want to do. And – I’m looking for some help on my training.
Early this year, we invested in Dick Costolo’s new company, Chorus. Some of you know Dick from Twitter, where he was CEO for four years. But you may not remember that before he was at Twitter, he was at Google, and before that, he was the CEO / co-founder of Feedburner, where we were one of the investors and I was on the board.
I loved working with Dick at Feedburner. When he joined Twitter as COO (and then CEO), I was happy for Twitter but sad that I didn’t get to work with him on a regular basis. If you are connecting the dots, you’ll remember that Twitter bought Gnip, where Chris Moody was CEO. Moody worked for Dick for a year before Dick left Twitter and now Moody and Dick get to work again since Moody has joined Foundry Group.
It’s a delightfully small world.
But – back to the help I’m looking for. I’m interested in having up to 24 people join my marathon team on Chorus. If you are a regular runner who is game to get on a training plan with a goal of running a marathon in October, you qualify. You’ll get to be an early pre-beta Chorus user (it’s somewhere between alpha and beta right now), give feedback on it, and be part of my next marathon gang. Oh, and you need to have an iPhone, as it’s iOS only for now.
If you are interested in being part of my Chorus Marathon Team, email me.
I can now check Oregon off the “marathon in every state list.” After a four year hiatus, I ran marathon #24 in Portland today. My official time was 5:38 but there are some caveats that bring it down almost 20 minutes (to around 5:20). More on that in a bit.
Once again I ran it with my running buddy Matt Shobe. This is the fourth marathon we’ve done together (Portland, Detroit, St. Louis, and Huntsville). Matt is much faster than me but he patiently jogs alongside me, tells me jokes, and asks me to do a systems check about every other mile. This time he had to take a dump around mile three that added five minutes to our time. We also each had three other bathroom breaks, which added another five minutes. We’ve decided that eating Pho the night before is not the right food strategy for a marathon.
There were a few things about the marathon that were great. The volunteers and staff were awesome. This is the 45th year for this marathon and Portland shows up to take care of the runners. We stayed in the Hilton a few minutes from the start and finish – that was nice. And the marathon started at 7am which means I’m now on a plane heading home so I can spend the evening with Amy in Boulder.
Other than that, the marathon sucked. The weather was awful – it rained the entire time. Matt and I bought some MontBell shells the day before so our upper bodies were sort of dry. My iPhone, which is carried in my fanny pack is busted and Matt’s Nexus is as well. I have a few blisters on my toes, which never happens, and is a result of 27 miles in soggy shoes. Both of our fingers were numb and waterlogged by the end. And there were long stretches of the course that were just dark, wet, and soul sucking.
Normally a marathon is 26.2 miles. But this one was 27.
Corrals A thru G went 10 blocks extra in first 5K of #PDXMarathon. Corral H did not which caused mix w/ faster runners & human roadblocks
— Karey Romanowski (@KareyR) October 9, 2016
We didn’t ever see the mile marker for mile 1. When we eventually saw the mile marker for mile 2, our watches said 2.5 miles. When I crossed the finish line, my watch said 27.02 miles. This fucked up my running strategy way more than I expected as I spent miles 3 to 7 obsessing about the extra distance. My plan was to walk through the water stations but they weren’t consistently spaced so at some point I had no sense of what my run:walk pattern was. This contributed to us going out to fast, which was probably the most painful part of the race, which was completely self inflicted.
Other than the bathroom breaks, we were either at or below 11 minute miles for the first 11 miles. We drifted up to 12 minute miles for the next few and the I completely hit the wall at mile 16. A string of very slow miles – times I’d typically see in the last few miles – started. 13:42, 12:36,13:54, 14:53, 14:36, 13:36, 14:52, …
At mile 18, I told Matt to just go ahead and we’d meet up at the end. He said “no fucking way – I have one mission today and that’s to get you across the finish line.” I love him.
At the system check around 20, I finally figured out how to describe how I was feeling. “Globally great, locally shitty.” We chucked a bit and I said “all my global variables are in an acceptable range but my local variables are completely screwed up.”
We crossed the 26.2 mark at 5:27 on my watch. This wasn’t my PW (personal worst) – that’s 5:47 – but it was close. If you subtract the bathroom time, It’s a little under 5:20, which is still slow for me (I’m usually in the 4:45 – 5:10 range with an occasional 4:30.
It was an incredible relief to cross the finish line. I was done. We hugged, walked to the hotel, took showers, had a beer, ate some food that wasn’t Gu, pretzels, or gummy bears, and then headed home.
On April 16, 2013 I wrote a post about the horrific tragedy at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Here’s how it started:
At 3:55pm yesterday I cried.
I was getting ready for a Google Hangout back to my office with my partners and I noticed something about an explosion at the Boston Marathon on twitter. I did a quick scan of Twitter, clicked through to a few links, and realized a bomb had gone off near the finish line.
I went blank – just stared at my computer screen – and then started crying. I called Amy – she hadn’t heard about it yet and told her what had happened. I collected myself and called in to my Hangout. My partners were all shaken also – Seth lived in Boston for many years, Ryan has done several marathons, and Jason just did his first marathon last year in Detroit.
A few days later Brent Hill tweeted that he was going to run Boston in 2014 as a show of strength and did anyone want to join him. Dick Costolo and Matt Shobe quickly joined in and I piled on with a commitment immediately.
This resulted in a group of us running the Boston Marathon in 2014 as part of a team called #boston2014. The team includes a number of well known tech entrepreneurs, including Dick Costolo (Twitter CEO), Brent Hill (Origin Ventures), Matt Shobe (Angel.co), Elizabeth Weil (A16Z) and a bunch of Dick’s gang from Twitter including Chris Aniszczyk, Kelly Flannery, Taylor Harwin, Katie Haynes, Charlie Love, Dale Maffett, and Kevin Weil.
We are all running with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training which has a mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. Several close friends of ours have survived lymphomas and it’s a cause I care about.
As a team, we decided to make a big goal of raising $250,000 and I’ve personally committed to raising $50,000. My wife Amy Batchelor and I are kicking off my fundraising with a personal gift of $10,000 from our foundation.
Please support my, and the #boston2014 team effort, to raise $250,000 for LLS. Any amount is appreciated. And keep Boston running strong!
I woke up late today (yay – 12:06 hours of sleep) to the last 15 minutes of the elite women in the NYC Marathon. Watching them finish and then watching Mutai crush the men’s field over the last six miles was pretty inspiring. I haven’t run a marathon since October 2012 when I ran the Detroit Marathon but after a year of struggling to get into a rhythm I’m once again motivated – and interested – in doing another marathon. I’ve committed to being one of the 14 in 2014 that run the Boston Marathon – there’s a gang of well known tech entrepreneurs and investors that are doing this together as part of a big fundraiser. I’ll definitely try to get at least one marathon in before then just to be confident that I’ll get it done.
Last week I added back in something I used to do regularly, but had stopped for a year or so given my schedule and then ensuing depression. I did a full day of random day meetings on halloween. I sat at Amante Coffee all day, mostly in my cookie monster outfit, had random meetings, drank coffee, and ate cookies. I had a blast.
If you’ve never heard of random day, I’ll meet with anyone who signs up for 20 minutes. I’ve been doing this for almost a decade – it’s part of my “give before you get” philosophy that’s deeply embedded in the Boulder Startup Community psyche. I have no expectation of what I’m going to get out of these meetings, but some pretty magical things, including the creation of Techstars, have occurred as a result of them.
During the course of the day I had 12 meetings, three cups of coffee, a yogurt, a burrito, and two cookies. I met with the following people.
I was immediately able to help at least six of the 12. I have no idea what will come from the other meetings, but that’s part of the fun of random day.
I plan to do this again six times in 2014. So that’s about 80 random meetings – people I wouldn’t have met with – and who wouldn’t have had some time with me. If one powerful thing comes out if it, then it’s worth it. Regardless, I had a good day on Thursday and feel like I did something that contributed to the glue in the Boulder Startup Community.