Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
55F / 13C
Total Time = 4h 11m 6s
Overall Rank = 16390/22375
Age Group = M Open
Age Group Rank = 3837/4780
Pre-race routine:

For Mr Robert Spaulding:
When I was in 5th grade, Mr Spauling convinced me I would have a lot more fun running track than standing around waiting for something to happen in the outfield playing baseball. He was right. The next year he convinced my teachers I belonged in the advanced Math class, and challenged me to prove him right. He was right. In his classroom, he had race numbers from several races including the Falmouth Road Race, the Bangor Marathon, and of course Boston. That spring on he arranged a trip cross town from West Newton to just below the Newton Firehouse, to experience the marathon in person and give him some inspiration. I saw Boston Billy, Rob De Castella, John Kelly, and finally yes Mr Spaulding (2:38). That year I did a 10K, my first road race. Mr Spaulding came out, won the race, and then grabbed a camera and took a picture of every one from our team who competed that day. On my picture and cardboard frame was a message,"You did great today, Andy. Keep it up who knows someday you may be running Boston" He was right. Thank you.

I responded to an add in Runner's World for Team Hole in the Wall for a chance to run Boston last December. They didn't have any spots left but I decided to work with them and will be rasing fund for the Victory Junction Gang Camp for Ironman Arizona this fall. In February, they contacted my and said they had gotten a few extra spots for Boston and asked if I was interested. Of course I was. So I had 8 weeks to get ready, dead of winter, and raise at least $3000. I got it done, raised enough money to sent a critically ill camp for 2 weeks, and got in decent (but not really marathon shape). Drove up Saturday, hit the expo and watch the Woman's Olympic Trials, got a sign book and shock the hand of Dick Hoyt, and sat through a RW seminar before heading home.

Event warmup:

Got up at 5:00, took a shower and had some muffins and a vitamen water for breakfast. Drove to the MBTA stationand took the train to the Boston Common and stood in line for the busses to Hopkinton. That 26 mile ride took 90 minutes. (They were letting folks out to pee on the side of the freeway). I held on and was in pain as we were dropped off then I had to wait in line for the porta potties (they were ticketing folk running to the woods outside the atheltes village). They called out the first wave to procede to the start, so I applied the body glide, and sunscreen, and put my Disneymarathon shirt on under the jersey. Then I visited the porta potties again and the sun came out, so I ditched the long sleeve shirt, dropped my bag off on the busses and started that walk tothe start and found Corral #25.
  • 4h 11m 6s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 35s  min/mile

Life in the Back of the pack. The gun went off and we took two steps forward, then waited. Took 10:16 to cross the starting line. Once we got moving it was packed. It was hard with the big downhill but you are stuck trapped at the packs pace. I tried to hold backbut after a mile I started weaving and speeding up and slowing down. It was like that for the first 5 miles or so and i sure that hurt me. I got into a nice groove from 5-14, just floating along, still weaving but not as much just enjoying the crowds. If you ever do Boston, you have to put your name on your jersey cause you get about 100,000 people calling your name. Every little kid, I came across I high fived. It was packed the whole 26 miles. Just when you think it can't get any crazier, you hit Wellesley College and you meet the college girls, you could hear then for about 5 minute till you get there, then it was deafening. They just went nuts, screaming, signs, free kisses, wow that was an amazing stretch. Once past that I got back on track and flowed to mile 15 and got that last big downhill before the uphill stretch kicked in. I was holding back for this so now I started working my way up the hills, then crowd got even heavier in this stretch. People didhing out water, ice pops, oranges, and cheering you one even though runners have been streaming by for 2 hours. I felt good up thru the start of heartbreak, then I started feeling my left groin and hammy tighten. I kept chugging, but I knew that was a bad sign. I lost myself for a few minutes as I past the spot where I had watched this race in 6th grade. But Heartbreak just goes on and on, then there is a short downhill and another quick hill to the top. Ok I held back for 16 miles, so I could go after these last 5 miles, but when I asked my leg to go, the left hammy and groin, and right calf just twinged and made it clear that I wasn't going anywhere fast. After 21 miles of hills and a 5 mile uphill stretch, the cemetary downhill stretch just put my leg on strike. I fought on as fast as my legs would allow and it really hurt but I kept slogging and shuffling along. My pace dropped from the 8:30s to the 11:30s but I didn't come to Boston to walk. And the crowd knew it, they saw you struggling and they just did everything they could to keep you moving. They were great. I watched the Citgo Sign coming closer and closer, I made a pit stop at the med tend, porta potties at mile 23 and just kept moving along best I could. Finally it was over the bridge, past Fenway Park, under the freeway, a couple turn then a left on to Boylston Street in front of the Haynes Convention Center and you could see that Banner about 600 yards away. I tried to go faster but my legs reminded my I couldn't. I saw one guy whose calves were cramping up so bad he had to stop right there 100 yards from the end (I pretty sure he finished) and another guy on a medical cart on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on(pretty sure he didn't finish) just 200 yard from the end. The end was almost anticlimaxtic after seeing those to struggling worse than I was. I made it to the finish in my 2nd fastest marathon time in 6 tries, but this was Boston, I did it.
What would you do differently?:

Qualify. The way they do the start is really cool but not having a qualifying time and starting out back, force me to waste alot of gas early weaving in out and around, speeding up then jamming on the brakes. If you qualify you are up further and surrounded by folks who run your pace. I had gatorade/water every stop and had 2 Gus just before and one at 5, 11, and 18 miles so m nutrition was good, just my legs weren't ready for the pounding of those hills (especially the downhills) But this was Boston and I helped someone else reach there dreams along the way so it was all good
Post race
Warm down:

Once I stopped and walked after the line, my legs didn't know what to do, I shuffled to the space blankets, got my chip removed, got my medal, kept moving got a bag of food and found a table to plop down, get my feet off the ground and had an apple. Felt better,shuffled to the baggage busses, (only advange of being #25988 was my stuff was in the 2nd bus you came to. Moved to the changing tent (which ended up being a unisex changing area so I kept my shorts on put on my sweat and ditched to jersey and then exited the tent and hit the MBTA station (Got to ride free, even though I had bought a Charle Card the previous day, so now I have $2.00 for the next time I return to Boston to ride the train.) Rode the Green line to Park Street and got on the red line and got to sit down. Then actually walked better than several other runners going up the stairs and out to the car, and stated the long ride home (tried to avoid NYC at Rush hour, still got home very late) and went straight to bed.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Messed up at the start by spending too much energy weaving through traffic and aid for it at the end and I guess I need more hills. Still don't understand how i can go 4:50 in a Ironman marathon and felt good the whole way and can't go sub 4 in a standone and not feel terrible at the end.

Event comments:

This race was everything you imagined and more. The oranginzer, the expo, the police, the volunteers, the crowd, and the other runners were so awesome. It was a privledge to be there and part of an event with 500,000 screaming fans and 250 media outlets. It was awesome. Another dream down!!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-02-15 12:00 AM
04:11:06 | 26.2 miles | 09m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 3837/4780
Overall: 16390/22375
Performance: Average
5k 27:31 10k 54:20 15k 1:20:28 20k 1:47:30 1/2 1:53:17 25k 2:14:59 30k 2:45:04 35k 3:19:39 40k 3:55:39
Course: Boston. Large downhill for first few miles then small rollers working towards Boston, then Newton Hills starting at mile 16 to mile 21 and Heartbreak hill, then mostly downhill towards the Citgo sign, 1 mile to go at Fenway, and then a few turn and past the Haynes Convention center to the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5