Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
55F / 13C
Total Time = 3h 45m 19s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up about 4:45 – I had set 2 alarms but had no faith in either so about 3:00 I started waking up every half hour worrying about the alarm – finally just got up. Our hotel had a shuttle to the busses – that was awesome! Ate an English muffin with a little PB&J – small granola bar and a little cherrio box I swiped from breakfast the day before. Made it on the first round of busses which from what I heard was a good thing. Lots of laughing and chatting going on on the bus.

Got to the athletes village – all I can say is WOW. Not because it is anything fancy but just the atmosphere and the fact that you are finally the starting area. It was chilly and the ground was damp so I was all layered up in clothing that I was going to toss at the start. All clothing that is left is donated to the Salvation Army. I had on some old running clothes and a sweatshirt that was my father-in-law's. Bjorn gave it to me to take and told me that if his dad was still alive he would want me to have it and wear it to the start. :)

Tried to find Ben and Pam but it was pretty impossible to find anyone. Set up camp and laid back and relaxed. Had another English muffin and half of a banana. Chatted with a few others sitting around – many of them were from Detroit and worked at Chrysler which is where Bjorn was for 5 years so that was kind of cool. Visited the facilities in just the nick of time…no not that nick of time :) - the lines got huge and by the time I was done there and changed into my donkey attire – and put all of the layers of clothes back on they were calling for my corral.
Event warmup:

The walk was about .7 miles to the corral so that was the warm up and again atmosphere was awesome. I was happy that my qualifying time put me in one of the less “serious” groups. People who just wanted to have fun, run a good race and take it all in. I shed my layers there…got a few comments on the carrot and the donkey and my pink arm warmers, of course, …and got ready to go.
  • 3h 45m 19s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 36s  min/mile

Ok back to the story :)

It took about 7 minutes of walking/jogging to get to the actually start and I enjoyed every minute of it. None of the nerves of toeing the line, no run outs, just a nice start. Big smile on my face the whole way. Kept that smile on as much as possible over the next 26.2 even though it was tough.

While I hadn’t set a time goal I still had one in the back of my head – I wanted to be in the 3:30-3:45 range but I really wanted to beat 3:30. That didn't happen. BUT my main goal of running a better race then I did at Milwaukee (qualifying one and my only other marathon) did happen.

I went out at an 8 min mile for the first mile – mind you the net downhill on the course is 20 miles of the 26! Mile 2 and 3 started to go back into the 7:30s so I reeled it back and settled into a 7:40-7:50 pace. I got pretty tired of going downhill but I felt great…until about mile 7 – I had to use the facilities not in a big way but I had told myself that I was going to enjoy the race and if that meant stopping then that meant stopping.

About mile 11 is when my stomach started to get upset and I had to DTFU. I am not sure what went wrong..I felt good on the up hills but the downhills made me nauseous. I knew my time was going to be less than spectacular but I didn’t really care…again I wanted to run it for the experience. So I walked through the water stops - had to stop 2 more times to use the bathroom...again I have no idea why except maybe the later race start? About mile 17-18 it got really tough and I did some walking. There was one mile I think mile 24 or 25 where I did have to walk for a couple minutes. I was starting to feel dehydrated and ended up drinking more water at those water stops.

But the best part was at about mile 22. At Milwaukee mile 20 is where I hit a wall and that wall made the last 6 miles of that race hell. It also resulted in me having little confidence in being able to complete another marathon without crawling over the finnish line. So when I got to mile 22 at Boston I knew I only had a little over 4 miles left and I was going to finnish!

The crowd was tremendous along the whole course – very rarely was there a gap – it was awesome! And it really helped that there was always a sea of runners around you. It kept the momentum going. The last mile though was the best - tons of people that just kept you going and going. I ran the whole last 1.2 with out stopping - how could you not with all of the people cheering and yelling. When I saw that finnish line - I had the biggest smile on my face and releif when I finally crossed it.
What would you do differently?:

What would I do different…not much to be honest. I talked to many people through out the day and the day after on the plane and hear a lot of “oh I have an injury” or some other reason why they didn’t have a better time. I could say that too but I’m not. My limiting factor was my stomach and I think time of day had a lot to do with that. Also I think I could have pushed the pace a little more in the beginning – I don’t think that would have hurt me.

Post race
Warm down:

I think the longest part of the race was after the finnish line. The volunteers before the race, during the race, at the expo were awesome – not so much so after.

We were like a herd of sheep…walk and get water…keep walking and get a blanket..keep walking and get the medal….keep walking (I think you are getting the point now)…

It was easily 20-30 minutes before I got out of the athletes area to the family meeting area which was a mess. I was going to meet Bjorn at the letter C – I spent about 20-25 mintes wandering around trying to find him. I didn’t want to sit down because then he wouldn’t see me. Finally I went over to the information booth to see if they would call his cell but when I got there I started shaking, felt nauseous and my legs cramped. They sat me down – wrapped my up in mylar like a burrito – gave me some cookies – yuck – and called him. They asked if I wanted to go to medical and I really didn’t but I couldn’t get up. So here came the wheelchair…off I went feeling like an idiot.

The med tent volunteers were awesome as well and there were many people worse off. Most people though seemed to have similar issues as me. So they sat me down – I guess I was a little gray I found out later. Stretched me and made me laugh a lot! Blood sugar had crashed basically which I am not surprised at since I was walking for another hour after I had run for almost 4 hours. And within 25 minutes sent me back out to Bjorn. We ended up least I called it walking..Bjorn called it walking at a less than leisurly pace (slow as a snail) back to the hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think again it was nutrition - even though I did much better at pace and fluid and calorie intake than I did at Milwaukee something still didn't work for me.

Also, an April race is hard to train for when you live in the midwest. I don't think I did enough long runs. I could have used one more. On the other hand, I didn't have an "off" season and I could have used one. I basically never stopped training/racing from June 2009 on. Mentally I was fried the last few weeks before Boston.

Event comments:

After I got back to the hotel I showered – that took a while since I was not motivated to move and again moved very slowly – then finally met up with Ben for the first time all weekend - how could we be in Boston and not meet up once??

Tracy had made dinner reservations at Legal Seafood. I didn’t think I would be able to stomach much but I was wrong. “Real” food tasted so good!!! Had a great time..Pam came and it was just the perfect way to end the day.

What else can I say???

Yes I am unhappy with my results but it is the Boston Marathon. It is an honor to even be able to run the race. I did requalify but I doubt I will do another Boston - I see it aa a one time experience - one that you never forget.

The first few words out of my mouth to Bjorn as I was getting wheeled off to the med tent were "I am never doing another marathon". By the end of the night that changed to "maybe" the next night.."I am going to do another marathon". (I am sure he was thrilled to hear that :))

Last updated: 2009-10-09 12:00 AM
03:45:19 | 26.2 miles | 08m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
I stopped my watch each time I stopped at the bathroom but not when I walked. Minus bathroom stops I had 3:40:23 and 26.35 miles. Looking at that and at my mile splits makes me feel a little better about my time. All but one mile prior to mile 13 were sub 8's - not much faster that that which is good because that was where I wanted to keep it..Mile 17 is where the major fade came in....
Course: Net downhill - basically 20 miles down and 6 miles up not all at once but those downhills are a killer.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4