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November 28, 2006

Silly Season

The silly season is over for me and it is now back to the serious work of trying to qualify for the trials in the marathon. FYI Thursday I entered the Whitinsville turkey trot 5 miler and ran a blistering 26:27 and on Sunday I did the Andover Strider Cross Country Race. 17:57 for what they said was 3.5 miles but I think it is more like 3.4 but who knows.

Today I ran 42:00 minutes through Nobscott woods. Shotgun season for deer has begun in these parts so I am now running with a dorky bright red vest. I must look prett funny. Better to be a funny looking live person than a swift looking dead one.

That's all I got.

November 19, 2006

Pats Win

Good sunday all around today. Got a door stained, went for a great group long run for 80 minutes on the trails, and Pats win. Brady took out his frustration on the hapless Packers by racking up 244 yds and 4 td's to shut up all the critics who said he was hurt and not the same QB. 35 - 0 is a beating. Next week the bears at the Razor. It the Pats can roll against the bears it will almost the lock up the division with loser's detroit, miami, houston, and tennessee almost sure wins and jacksonville the only challenge after chicago.

This morning was a great long slow day with Yvonne, Dan and Christy Mae all riding shotgun through the scenic Eaastt Siiidee trails. Perfect distance running weather with 45 and overcast.

Congratulations to New Balance Boston's Rebecca Donahue and her super fast victory in Fitchburg's Slattery's 5 miler. 26:11 is just a smoking time for that course. Still trying to figure on which race I will this week. Will let you know as I do.

That's all I got.

Grass Work

Well, this entry was supposed to be done last night but I got caught up putting in a set of recessed light in the basement so you could see the dartboard and behind the bar better. I thought sure 5 lights would have been enough for the basement but I thought wrong. It is pretty dark especially with the dark green color I chose to paint it, so 7 lights it is.

Today I actually have some running to write about. Yesterday our New Balance Boston team got together at Weston fields for some grass fartleks. We had a solid group of 5 guys so it was nice to have a crowd. It went very well all things considered and now I may actually do a thanksgiving day road race. Not sure which one yet but I will find one to jump in as a lark.

The workout:

4 x 3 mins
2 min rest

4 x 2 mins
2 min rest

4 x 1 min
1 min rest

After the first minute of the first repeat I thought I was going to quit the workout. Everything felt too fast and uuncomfortable. Midway through the second one things started coming back to my legs and I could spin them over and felt a lot more at ease on the grass. There were a few where I was even able to keep up with Justin which was a big step up from the work I have been doing. Hopefully my legs are started to get back underneath me from

This morning is going to be a long run with Christy Mae, Dan, and Yvonne.

Don't forget to cheer for the Pats today as they take out their anger of two losses in a row on the overmatched Packers in the the underserving "Title Town."

That's all I got.

November 16, 2006

Guido Sante Carrara

Well, it has been a while since I have posted on this running blog. All is fine and I have not been hurt nor have I quit running. It is just I have done nothing really running related at all. I am just going to workouts and going through the motions of some pretty easy stuff just to get my legs back underneath me. I am getting ready to reload for a spring marathon and another run at the 2:21:59 goal.

Unfortunately, my grandfather, Guido Carrara, passed away two weeks ago at the age of 92. Trust me, those are not all highway miles. He was born in Wallingford, Vt shortly after his immigrant parents arrived from Italy. We buried him next our departed grandmother, his wife of 58 years, not a mile from where he grew up, and only a ¼ mile from where they married. Here is a picture from his head stone in St. Patrick’s Cemetery. I could not think of a better place to spend eternity.

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One of the many interesting things about gramps, he was one of the few people in this world who could say “I started with nothing” and it was true. You would not even have to know him to know what type of life he had. Just shake his hand, and give it a little squeeze, then you will think you just put your hand in a vice. He had the grip of a hydraulic press. A little game my brother and I used to play was to try and make him say “ow” first. Let’s just say he took an undefeated record to his grave. We played that game until my grandmother got sick and I was about 19 when we stopped. That was one of my first recollections of actually pushing through pain. One visit over Christmas vacation I did not want to say ow and I had tears in my eyes it hurt so badly. Guess who caved? He and his brother Joe started a concrete business with a horse and trowel. Now, it is a huge business with three plants, 40 trucks, and has its hands in every bridge and foundation in VT.

After a spell, gramps sold his part of the concrete business to his brother and started his own contracting business. I think he left concrete after WWII or Korea. He never talked much about the wars he was in but he did have a sweet German Luger that was a blast to shoot in his sand pits. He built houses and barns from the ground up. He would dig the foundations, pour the forms, frame, roof, wire, and plumb. Most all of the barns are still standing today and you have probably seen some of them in those scenic VT postcards that are so popular. They were post and beam construction with hardly any waste. He would dig the foundations with his horse and a skid. All the rocks he pulled out he would use for the footers and foundation walls, then mortar the rest. He was the hardest worker who ever lived, and I will argue anyone that point until closing time. I was only a young boy when he was doing a roof at a site I was visiting, I watched him take four bundles of slate shingles up a ladder like he was taking an escalator. Try to taking a single bundle of slate shingles up a set of stairs and you will have a great appreciation for how strong he was. I used to love going to his work sites and walking around on the foundation planks and helping him uncoil wires and knock the form ties off the foundations. He was not a guy to mince words either, so beware of screwing up on his site. Gramps knew how to make a buck and it was not through wasting your time fixing things that should have been done correctly in the first place. He would work circles around the contractors of today. He would take one job at a time and see it through until it was done. He would survey, quote, and do it. If he missed his guess, he would never ask for extra money. He never wrote contracts, just said “$600 for that barn, you will have to paint it.” Then he would shake and that was as bullet proof as a contract written up by the best lawyers.

Yep, he was loyal to the core. He never left my grandmother’s side or thought about putting her in a community when it certainly would have been easier for him to do so. He folded up his business, took care of her full time, and kept her home.

We were up in beautiful Rutland, VT for the services and gathering. The entire family flew in from all over the country. It was great to see all my cousins again. They came from Arizona, Michigan, Alaska, Illinois, Vermont, and Massachusetts. One of my cousins is training for marathons as well so we had a lot to talk about. Of course he lives in Juno Alaska so the training is a bit different. He may come out to Boston and stay with us for the Patriots day weekend and the race.

Well, this was not exactly typical Easy Gait material, but I hope you enjoyed the story about my grandfather from Vermont. I bet he is in heaven right now making improvements. He was a loved husband, father, warrior, worker, and a great grandfather. I will miss him a lot.