Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
Total Time = 2h 59m 46s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = open
Age Group Rank = 0/
  • 2h 59m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 06m 52s  min/mile

Where to start?

Getting to the starting line at the Boston Marathon is logistically complex. Extremely complex. You don't even realize it, though, because everything is run so remarkably well. Here is how my morning went. Got up at around 5AM. Ate a bagel with ham and hummus (I know...wierd combo but it's delicious), bananas, etc. My pre-race meals are pretty normal meals. Took a shuttle to Boston Common at 6AM, got on a Hopkinton bus and was at athletes' village by 7:30. Around 9AM I ate an odwalla bar (delicious) and a banana and watched people get DQ'd for peeing in the bushes.

That was that. Onto the race. I had a goal of going under 3 hours. I did one marathon before (Detroit) and ran a 3:12 something or other. That race went well, I never felt too terrible and it seemed like 3 hours for my next marathon was a pretty good target. If I really think about it though, picking sub 3 hours was pretty random or arbitrary, but, oh well, I made the goal and a deal's a deal.

I had planned to run even effort throughout the course. On the Boston course that would mean pretty much a mild positive split from the 1st half to 2nd half. The gun went off (which I didn't hear) and it took about 2-3min to get to the start line (I was the fifth corral in the first wave). The first mile split I think was an even 7min or so. After that, you could pretty much run your own pace without too much bobbing and weaving around people. I kept the pace around 6:40-6:50 for most of the downhills.

Everyone knows that the constant downhills take a toll on your quads. I didn't, however, really know what that toll felt like. Around the 8 mile marker I felt like a had probably pulled my left quad. "That's fine," I thought, "plenty of time to recupurate after the race". Around mile 12 I felt like I had pulled my other quad and then it hit me, "so that's what the 'toll on your quads' feels like." It sucks. And the downhills really start to hurt. It's a constant pounding. I tried to get all meditative on it thinking "well what does it really feel like? Is it really that bothersome?" No luck, still hurt pretty bad.

Somewhere around this time we came up upon the Wellesley girls. I heard them from about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile away. They are bananas! Many had signs with offers for kisses. I thought that that was nice of them. I settled for some high fives.

At mile 16 or so the uphills start. These get a lot of press. For me, they were a welcome relief from the constant pounding on the quads. The hills themselves were not a problem in terms of effort but it was at this point in the race where I developed a cramping problem. My hamstring right underneath my butt seemed to want to tighten up and play hide-and-go-seek. I hobbled over to the side and got some water and gu and tried to stretch it out. I lost about a minute doing this but there is no running when your hamstring tries to go behind your butt muscle.

The hills are over at mile 21 or so which means more downhill and more pain. I don't want to get dramatic but the race at this point turned into a mental game of attrition. I had told myself before the race that "this is a will get will feel uncomfortable...there will be pain...don't be surprised...accept it as temporary and it will be fine." That being said, the last five miles of this race were the longest five miles that I have ever run and a good bit harder than I thought it was going to be. I had to pull over several times to quickly strech my hamstring.

Around mile 24 or so I saw something that was incredibly inspiring. This fellow was pretty broken down and it looked like he was having trouble even walking. The crowd at this point is about 5-10 deep. He stopped and hunched over and people were screaming at him "you can do it...only a little more...", etc. He bucked up and started running again and the whole crowd WENT ABSOLUTELY NUTS!!! The cheering this guy got was almost deafening. And that is one of the things that makes this race so extraordinary. Admittedly, our sport is boring to watch and the whole city of Boston comes out to support this event and they are full-on into it. It's really remarkable.

Anyhoo, things stayed pretty rough until I turned the corner onto Boylston. I could see the finish and I looked at my watch and it said that I had two minutes to go. I gave it all I could to the finish and crossed at 2:59:46. Good enough for me.
What would you do differently?:

I finished running and noticed that there was a thick layer of salt over my entire body. This, undoubtedly, lead to my cramping. I really didn't think that I sweated that much but it could have been the drier climate, etc. I could have been better prepared for that.

The course is rough. It would not be easy to truly train for it properly because you would have to do so much downhill running, like your whole Sunday long run downhill. Running up and down hills would not cut it. I don't know of any 20+mile downhills in my area:)

All in all, I really don't think that I could have run any faster on that course or put in anymore effort that day.
Post race
Warm down:

Wandered around cramping up and eating. Found my family. Rested for a little that afternoon, ate shepherd's pie, drank my weight in Guinness, went to bed.

Event comments:

The people of Boston are really spectacular about this race. There are tons of volunteers and they all must be on crack or meth because they have tons of energy and they will hurt themselves trying to help you with anything that you need. The spectators and crowd support are truly remarkable as well--2nd to none.

THE COURSE IS GNARLY!!! Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Last updated: 2007-11-20 12:00 AM
02:59:46 | 26.2 miles | 06m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5