Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
45F / 7C
Total Time = 3h 11m 57s
Overall Rank = 2874/
Age Group = M18-39
Age Group Rank = 1735/
Pre-race routine:

I got up early but Brian stayed in bed. I got dressed into my Boston shorts and put the new HRC running shorts over 'em. Only a short sleeve compression shirt and my Maniacs jersey up top. Covered it all up with sweats and I was ready to go. Compressions socks and Newtons on the feet...all set to head out. I grabbed my dry clothes bag, said goodbye to Bri, and walked out of the hotel, and up to the Mass Ave T-stop so I could get over to the common. Upon getting there I headed to Dunkin Donuts where I got a coffee and a bagel.
Event warmup:

Jess and the Brandon Running group were getting on a bus as I boarded mine. They were about 5 minutes ahead. I had to pee but I figured I could wait til I got up to the starting area. Boy was I wrong. The bus ride was LONG. I had to keep shifting positions cuz I thought I was gonna pee my pants. By the time we got there, the pain was so intense I could hardly walk...I rushed into a portapotty line and when I finally got in one I thought I was gonna pass out!! But I finally released all the pressure and I felt better.

Jess called me and told me they were across the street in a nice little cottage owned by a lady who was a friend of a man who's done the marathon for 39 years in a row! She had invited all of us in to have some bagels and coffee and stuff. A member of the Brandon Running group had paced another friend of hers to a BQ and he wanted to return the favor by offering them a warm place to hang out before the race. So they in turn, invited ME, to hang out with them. Cool! It was nice to have a good warm place to spend the hour before the race. While I was there, I took my pre race supplements...Beta Alanine and Caffeine.

We headed down to the corrals about 9:15 after I dropped my dry clothes bag. I walked down with a couple of people, including a girl named Tara, who I'd run the first 14 miles of the race with. She was a close friend and frequent running partner of Heather Gollnick. She was very cool.

I ran into Max on the way to my corral...gave him a hug and got my picture taken. Sooooooo good to see Max!! Finally we all got into our corral (#5) and waited for the gun. I took a gel about 10 minutes before we started. The national anthem played, the gun went off! It was time to run!!
  • 3h 11m 57s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 20s  min/mile

After the gun went off, we waited almost three and a half minutes to get to the start. Last year, starting in corral 3, it was less time, so there was a lot of walking this time around. Finally, we were at the start and we started running. Tara and I paced together. We kept an eye on our pace, but it was impossible to really stay at a steady speed because of the sheer amount of people.

Most of the first 5 miles is down hill, so we just tried to keep our pace in check and not trash our quads as we went. We did a pretty good job...the first mile was a slow 7:27 but we ran a bunch of 6:55's to catch up. We passed the 5K marker at just over 22:10 so we were back on track. From them on, we just ran comfortable 7:05 to 7:10 to stay on pace. Everything was going well. I took a Roctane at Mile 5. I felt legs were strong, even though I was running faster than I'd run in over a month. Tara and I used each other to pace, to clear the way thru traffic, and to enthuse each other. Perfect marathon running partner! We passed the 10K mark at 44:15 or so, we were still on a great pace...and I felt comfortable.

At Mile 8 I thought I might have a calf was cramping a bit, I had to pee, and I thought I might have ANOTHER kind of digestive issue. Uh oh...would I have to find a portapotty?? passed...whew. But the calf issue kinda bothered me a bit. I just made sure to elongate my stride and run strong. Eventually, it released. We passed the 15K mark at just over 1:06 so I was really happy about that. On we went.

We were on a very flat part of the course so I knew it was time to conserve energy. I also knew that Mile 13 was coming and the SCREAM would be taking over soon. At Mile 12 I started to feel a little tired, but the Roctane kicked in just in time and I got a great big rush! As we started coming up on Wellesley College, the screams became apparent. It was such a rush to be running thru the screams again. But this year, it was markedly quieter than last year. Last year the girls were all up the hill on campus, and down in front by the street for a MILE!! This year, it was barely a half mile and they were only about 4 rows deep...definitely not that DEAFENING ROAR from last year. I just kept going at a steady pace and kept with Tara. Around 13 miles, we ran up a short, but seemingly steep hill and then immediately down. I started to lag behind but shook it out and took a couple of deep breaths. I was back on track. We passed the halfway mark at 1:33 and change. Right on track for a 3:10 or so finish. At Mile 14, I took out my bag of supplements...aminos, Aleve, and Beta Alanine.

Soon after, I got a huge boost in energy...I started leaving Tara behind. I looked back to see if she was there but she kept fading back. I just went with my energy. I figured she would probably catch me later. She had run a 3:09 at Boston last year so I figured she would get me at some point.

The flat area at Mile 15 was the portent of the huge hills to come. At Mile 16, we entered Newton...this is where all the hills are. Newton is the largest area of town we run thru...all three big hills are in Newton. The first one is right there at Mile's not steep, but it's long. I downed another Roctane and took some water just before running up the hill. I was able to run it under 8 minute pace, but I knew from last year it'd be the last one I'd run at that pace. The road is nice and wide at that point and flattens out a couple times as we ascend, so it was the easiest hill to conquer. I knew that in 2.5 miles or so...there would be a monster to slay. At Mile 18 they were giving out PowerGel, so I took one and held on to it...I anticipated needing an extra gel for Heartbreak Hill and I only had one Roctane left. It definitely came in handy. My stomach was NOT happy, but I took the PowerGel at the bottom of the Mile 19 hill and ran up. I barely made 8:10 pace as I ran up, but I kept on working until I got up to the top. Another downhill was the treat for conquering that one. I looked at my Garmin and thought...ONE MILE TO HEARTBREAK. The next mile was downhill so I used it to my advantage. Soon it was time to ascend HBH. Surprisingly, it wasn't as hard as the Mile 19 hill, and it nailed down my theory that HBH isn't really all it's cracked up to be. The Mile 19 hill is more difficult. They should rename it. But HBH is the last of the three hills so I guess that's why it's got the name...after two huge hills, another one.

At the top, I knew the big stuff was over and I passed Mile 21. My legs were TIRED!! But I wasn't ready to take that last Roctane yet...I didn't feel like I was fatiguing to the point where I needed it. So I figured I'd wait until 22 so I could have a good boost for the last 4 miles.

After Mile 21, it's mostly downhill so I just ran faster but efficiently and made sure I took the Roctane at Mile 22. I knew it'd take about a mile to feel the effects so I didn't want to overdo it. I knew I only had about 35 minutes to go, so that made me feel better. Miles 23 and 24 seemed to go by pretty fast. But getting to Mile 25 made it feel like I'd never get to the finish. So many people were accelerating. I looked at my Garmin and I was still on track to get a PR if I pushed it. I wasn't on 3:10 pace anymore, but I could hit a 3:11 if I just pushed it a bit harder. So at Mile 24.5 I pushed it hard. I tried with everything I had. Finally...I passed the 40K mark at 3:01 and a few seconds later the Mile 25 mark. I had 10 minutes to go 1.2 miles. I felt like I'd need EVERY second of those 10 minutes to get under 3:12. The "one mile to go" sign nearly broke my heart...I felt like I'd been running forever and I still had a mile to go. Now I only had 8 minutes to achieve the 3:11. My legs just wanted to STOP. I ran down under an underpass and had to go up the other side...I almost had to walk because my legs were just DONE. Then around a corner up Hereford Street...the last street before Boylston and the finish. A third of a mile to go and my legs just locked up! But I pushed with everything I had. What I didn't realize was that my stomach never absorbed that last Roctane. A left turn onto Boylston and the finish line was a quarter mile away...I pushed and I pulled...I willed myself toward the line...I kept looking at my watch. It was at 3:10. I had less than 2 minutes to make the 3:11. The finish line didn't seem to be getting closer! At 3:11:00 I started rationalizing. I had only another 59 seconds to get there...I figured I could make it...I had to sprint. 20 seconds...15 seconds. There was the mat!! 10 seconds!! 5 seconds! And I'm done...3:11:57!!

Only a 24-second course PR but a course PR nonetheless! Upon crossing the line, everything in my stomach come crashing to the surface! I puked for about 3 was all water and Gatorade...which told me I just wasn't absorbing the nutrition because I was pushing so hard. After letting my head clear a bit, I headed out of the finish area to get my medal and my mylar blanket.
What would you do differently?:

I think running the 100-miler only 3 weeks prior affected my ability for recovery. Since I'm now "done" with 100's, next year I'll be able to train for Boston and maybe I'll finally get that sub 3:10 here.
Post race
Warm down:

I made my way down to the dry clothes pick up and changed. When I turned my phone on, about 16 text messages came thru, including one from Brian which said he was waiting for me by the G area, with a hot green tea...yay for green tea and awesome other-half's who bring it to me! I was feeling REALLY awful, so I decided it was better just to get back to the hotel to relax and sleep a bit. I wanted to meet up with Jess and the Brandon Running peeps, but I just felt really crappy and needed to get comfortable. On the way back we stopped for some chicken soup and a Coke...that's my life-saver in endurance sports.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of recovery time from Umstead.

Event comments:

It's the Boston Marathon. Everything works like clockwork after 114 years. On to next year!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-11-06 12:00 AM
03:11:57 | 26.2 miles | 07m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 1735/
Overall: 2874/
Performance: Good
Hopkinton...716, 659, Ashland...659, 652, 707, Framingham...655, 654, 707, Natick...700, 706, 711, 703, Wellesley...707, 709, 719, Newton...707, 727 (First Big Hill!), 734, 723, 738 (Big Newton Hill!!), 757 (HBH!), Brookline...720, 728, Boston...724, 724, 749 (DYING!!!), 131
Course: Point to point...Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick (long flat miles here), Wellesley (screaming girls!), Newton (HOLY FREAKING HILLS!! Heartbreak Hill is here), Brookline, Boston.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5