Boston Marathon - Run

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
45F / 7C
Total Time = 3h 00m 4s
Overall Rank = 2661/
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Awake at 4:30 am. I probably could have slept a bit more, but it was race day and I was done sleeping. I ate some of my staple pre-race meal consisting of a rice porridge with some egg and meat, did a final check of my race gear and took care of other morning necessities.

I was downstairs by 5:30am for the shuttle to the train, took the train to the bag-drop and bus loading to Hopkinton. I ate the rest of my breakfast on the bus ride over precisely 3 hours pre-start. It was pretty cold in the Athlete Village and a passing rain shower didn't help. I shivered a bit and had a cup of coffee. I had 2 garbage bags for warmth and a mylar blanket from the med tent. It wasn't comfortable, but it also wasn't unbearable.

About 3 minutes before being called into the corrals I realized that I would have to pee before the start (despite already going probably 3 times since I had left the hotel). The port-o-potty lines were not reasonable. I shuffled with the rest of the runners up to the start, which was actually a pretty decent walk. I debated my bladder situation until 60 seconds from the start, and made the only logical move. I "tied my shoes." With my garbage bags pulled over me I squatted in the corral thinking I was pretty stealthy (but probably not) and stood up right at the starting gun. I was ready to roll.
Event warmup:

Spent 4 and a half hours getting to the start and shuffled up my corral.
  • 3h 00m 4s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 06m 52s  min/mile

I had a goal of running sub-3 hours. I had a plan, and I stuck to it. I wanted to bank 50 seconds or so over the first half to save for the Newton HIlls so I can add an extra 10 seconds to those miles, then take it home with whatever I had left.

I had a tight hamstring on my right leg going into the race. My training went pretty good except for the last 2.5 weeks where I had to pretty much shut it down to try to heal up. I was very internally focused on that hamstring, and had a scary moment around mile 10 or so where I felt like it might start to be a major issue, but thankfully it behaved (for awhile).

It was cold, but I didn't really feel it too much. I ran in shorts/t-shirt. The wind was there, and it was a headwind but it wasn't crazy. I felt it mostly cresting the hills. The rain started about 50 minutes into the run and was pretty heavy at times.

The weather DID NOT keep the spectators away. There really wasn't a quiet spot on the course. The Wellesley College wall of sound/scream tunnel delivered as advertised. I ran in NYC last year and came over the Queensboro bridge into Manhattan and this was every bit as intense.

I was trying to make sure my 5k splits came in under 21:00, and I was on track for pretty much the whole race. I crossed the half at 1:29:02, which was right where I wanted to be. I allowed myself to take the Newton hills approximately 10 seconds off race pace with the time that I had banked and felt great coming over Heartbreak hill.

My next mile I clocked at 6:42 and I felt like I had my sub-3 hour time in the bag. Then it happened. I felt a twinge in the back of my right leg. I tried to alter my stride a bit and really hoped it would hold out just a bit more. At about mile 24 I had my first major cramp. I couldn't really straighten my right leg and pretty much just swung my leg from the hip and hoped for the best. I wasn't going to stop to stretch it out, I just tried to force my leg to keep working, and I did, with moderate success. I coudln't keep up the pace I wanted, and stumbled quite a bit, but I knew I was so close.

My wife and kids said they would be on the left side along the final stretch on Boylston and between looking for them, looking at my watch, and eying the finish I kept moving as fast as I could. As soon as I spotted them and they saw me I just gave it all I had to the finish.

I looked down at my watch and it read 2:59 before I crossed, and 3:00 after I had, I didn't know if I had crossed in time to come under 3, but either way I was ecstatic. I hobbled through the finishes chute, collected my water, food, medal and blanket and walked to the gear bag pick up. Everyone looked pretty cold wet and tired. There was lots of shivering, and I was amongst them, but I was grinning ear to ear and actually laughing aloud some of the way. I ran my first Boston Marathon and knew I'd be back.
What would you do differently?:

I could say find a way to run 5 seconds faster along the final stretch, but that wouldn't have been possible. I really did everything I could, and more than I thought I could.

If I had any chance to gain those few seconds, it would have come earlier. I could have been less distracted and focused on running tangents, but then again I just wanted to enjoy the people and the course and not constantly worry about where exactly on the street I should be.

I had an opportunity to send in an additional time to improve my seeding and move up a bit at the start, but I didn't. I probably would have had a bit less of an issue keeping the pace I wanted for the first few miles. If anything, this is what I should have done differently, otherwise I pretty much executed the race as planned.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked the finisher chute to the gear pick up. Got my bag and changed into some dry clothes. My hands were shaking from the shivering, so this was actually pretty challenging, that bag did not want to open!

I knew my wife and kids were out, and it was raining, so I jogged (slowly) back to the family meet area.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I have been training for a trail ultramarathon so much of my training was not as marathon specific as it could have been. I didn't really get into "marathon mode" until about 4-5 weeks from the race.

Next year I will be focused on this race, and this race alone. I absolutely have a sub-3 marathon in me, and if all goes as planned I wont be just trying to skim in under 3 next year, I'm going to crush it.

Event comments:

This is simply one of the greatest races in the world. It's the Boston Marathon. Nothing more really needs to be said.

Last updated: 2015-04-22 12:00 AM
03:00:04 | 26.2 miles | 06m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Mile 1: 6:58, 2: 6:50, 3: 6:47, 4: 6:39, 5: 6:49, 6: 6:37, 7: 6:39, 8: 6:46, 9: 6:46, 10: 6:47, 11: 6:54 12: 6:37, 13: 6:43, 13.1: 1:29.02 (official), 14: 6:46, 15: 6:55, 16: 6:38, 17:6:57, 18: 6:58, 19: 6:48, 20: 6:58, 21: 7:11, 22: 6:42, 23: 6:58, 24: 6:52, 25: 7:00, 26: 7:08, Last 0.2 :6:15
Course: Rolling course starting with a descent out of Hopkinton (with a few sneaky hills that you don't really see on the elevation profile), then some rolling hills through Ashland, Framingham, and Natick, through Wellesley past the women's college and the aptly named "scream tunnel," through the famed Newton hills up to Heartbreak hill, then the descent through Brookline to Boston and the amazing finish on Boylston St.
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