Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
47F / 8C
Total Time = 3h 28m 22s
Overall Rank = 6758/23162
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 1169/2208
Pre-race routine:

After all of these years, I think I'm FINALLY getting what I can consider a "routine". I got up at 5am, which was 5 hours before the race started. I had my peanut butter sandwich and 2 BOOST, a bit of water, then back to bed for a hour. Jeff and I got up around 6 and got dressed. We grabbed our bags and went to the hotel lobby to catch our shuttle to the BUS PICK UP site. Once we arrived there, I got in the longest line I've ever been in. It was probably about a quarter of a mile long, JUST to get on the bus! While I waited in line, SUPER JEFF came up with the brilliant idea of going to the nearby STARBUCKS to pick us up some delicious Mochas. I held the line as he made the trip! Ahhhhhhhh, it was SO good! We boarded the bus for the surprisingly long ride to the start of the race, in Hopkinton, the little town that gets invaded every year for the start of this race. As soon as we arrived, we immediately walked through the "Athlete Village" and got in the PORT O POTTY line. We stood in THAT line for nearly 40 minutes, which took us up to 9:48!!!!!!! We jogged to the start line with about 6 minutes to spare. The area was a mad house, with over 22,000 runners crammed into this little street. We arrived at my "coral" area, and we said "goodbye" as Jeff's coral was well ahead of mine.
Event warmup:

The warmup was the jog to the starting line. As I stood there the last couple of minutes before the race, I looked around, just TRYING to soak in the entire experience, but once again, I found it overwhelming. SO many people...SO little of a town. SUCH a experience to wrap your head around, and JUST then, a girl right in front of me pulls her running shorts to her ankles, squats and just lets the river flow! She looks up to her fellow runners and says, "watch your shoes....sorry, but it's gotta be done". WOW!
  • 3h 28m 22s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 57s  min/mile

Comfortable? Got a drink? I get a little wordy on epic events. I guess to fully appreciate reading about THIS event, and how much better I did compared to last time, you'd have to block out a bit of your day to read my race report from 2007, where things did not go so well. Much has happened since then. I discovered Cross Fit, Tabatas and have trained for and finished another Ironman, so while I may be 2 years older, I'm in better shape and hopefully a bit wiser.
After I finished dodging the river of pee from the girl in front of me, the "gun" went off and then....NOTHING. I was far enough back in the pack that my starting area didn't move an inch for almost 2 minutes! Then when we DID move, it was the good ole START and STOP for several feet, until we began a slow shuffle, and then evenutally a jog. 4.5 minutes later, I hit the STARTING mat and began my race. This running of the Boston Marathon, I had a actual strategy. Last time, I had destroyed my quads by mile 13, due to my lack of understanding as to what several miles of downhill running will do to a humans legs. THIS TIME, I paid attention to my form and slowed down a great deal. SLOWING DOWN on purpose in the early portions of a race has been my race strategy the last year or so, and it's has paid off in a huge way. My goal was to stay just under an 8 minute mile until the half way point, and then evaluate my condition. So many people wedged together in the beginning miles made going slow much easier. I more or less just held my "spot". The first mile was filled with loads of people on the side of the road peeing. With no room for spectators and plenty of trees on either side, it's the perfect place to take that LAST one. My focus here, as was it for the entire race during down hills, was to SLOW DOWN....DON'T POUND YOUR LEGS and relax. USE YOUR HEAD!...and I did. For whatever reason, my right quad was slightly tender right from the start, which worried me a tad. Anything that hurts in the beginning may end up being a MAJOR problem well before the I made a mental note of it. Mile 1 was 7:50...not bad. I held back pretty good here, but with such a big crowd, that was easy. Onward I went, trying to look around a bit and enjoy the first half, before any pain could develop and my focus went elsewhere. Mile 2: 7:33...OPPS! A bit fast....SLOW DOWN...Mile 3: 7:47. That's' better. Knowing you can go SO MUCH FASTER and then's such a strange way to "race". The crowds were really picking up now, and their enthusiasm was infectious. I kept wanting to pick up my pace in response to the cheers, feeling so fresh and fast, but I'd catch myself and then slow it back down....DETERMINED to run SMART. Mile 4: 7:49. Mile 5: worries. I was finding my pace comfortable and had plenty of SUB 8s that I felt fine. Mile 6: 7:53. I wish I had some type of little tape recorder with me to give some quick thoughts on during these long races, because I really can't remember the little details. The first 4/5 of this race is fairly straight, while few turns even at the end. What I most remember about the first half is paying close attention to my pace and watching the crowds. THE CROWDS are an amazing piece of this playing, people SCREAMING, cow bells, and if you wore anything even REMOTELY concerning the RED SOX, well, you were a freaking SUPER STAR!!! I have NEVER seen a town SO freaking over the top about their baseball team. It's like every person who wore a Red Sox piece of clothing or hat had JUST hit the winning run for the World Series! It's THAT crazy! And on it went...Mile 7: 8:06. Mile 8: 7:54. Mile 9: 7:57. Mile 10: 7:59. Mile 11: 8:03. Mile 12: 7:54. And then there is mile 13. It's true in every story you've ever heard about this. Nearly a mile from Wesley College, you can hear the screams. It's the girls. You know IT'S COMING, and that alone is enough to make any runner forget about any pain or they have, or know that is coming. You arrive, and on either side of the street, for what feels like several hundred yards, is nothing but college girls holding their hands out, holding signs that say, "Kiss me" "It's my Birthday", "I'M ASIAN", and on and on and on AND ON! I wanted the rush, the energy and the push....and I slapped every single hand. If you can soak up energy from a crowd, This is the place it can happen. After that experience, the runners had huge smiles on their faces and were even talking to each other again about how cool that is, since for the last couple of miles, we had grown kinda silent among ourselves. Now it was back to the task at hand...Mile 13 split....after all THAT...8:03...not bad! Now it was time for my RE-EVALUATE....all systems seemed find...right quad still a bit tender, but no more than when I started, so that was just some fluke feeling. I decided to TRY to step it up...VERY slightly, until mile 20 to see how I felt THEN. Mile 14: 7:42. Mile 15: 7:48. Mile 16: This is where the first of the 4 HILLS begins, ending in the last around mile 20ish plan wasn't really working. It wasn't the UP hill part that was slowing me down though, because I'm fast at UP and nothing hurts when I'm going UP, but back DOWN is where quads were starting to get tender, and I was purposely slowing down and taking it easy. Hmmm. Mile 17: 8:05. OOOOOOooooo plan....try to stay around 8 minute mile. Mile 18: 8:06...Mile 19: 7:57. Mile 20: 8:03. Now it's time for the LAST HILL....HEART BREAK HILL. Really, being from Kentucky...these hills were no big deal...DOWN was the killer...not UP. So, after doing this last "big" hill, mile split 21: 8:12...not bad, still on my average by plenty of time. But now the quads were feeling the miles and it was time to refocus and get within MY race. If you can believe it, the crowds were getting progressively larger, deeper, and crazier. It was around mile 20 that I started playing the HOME ROUTE game, and picturing how many miles was left compared to my HOME training course....which somehow makes it a little easier mentally. It was also HERE that I reminded myself of how much pain I had put myself through on my last Ironman training, and how much better I could deal with it, so even though I was starting to feel EACH step, I put my WUSS factor aside and decided to dig deep here. Time to rock this freaking race. MILE 22: 7:36....YEA BABY....4 miles to go. Push Jim. Mile 23: 7:52...COME ON!!!! Mile 24: 8:18....Man this was REALLY beginning to hurt, but only 2 MORE MILES...I can put up with pain, just don't let anything STOP working!!! It was also during this mile that some tall guy dressed like a BAD Hooters girl passed me. Crazy large blond wig, orange shorts and a HOOTERS shirt. THIS was NOT a person I wanted in my FINISH PHOTO! Mile 25: 8:19. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Where the hell did my speed go?!? One mile...I was going to SOAK THIS UP!!!! I had begun to catch the HOOTER DUDE now, and it was either slow down to speed up to get away from this idiot. Easy answer. Ok Jim...what's left? Time to empty the tank. I went. I caught Hooter Dude, and passed him quickly. Quads were now beginning to catch on fire. I made the few short turns that brought us finally to Boylston Street, where I completely missed the 26 mile marker, but I didn't even realize it, because when I turned the corner, there IT was...the finish line, less than a quarter of a mile away. It seems further. The street opens up completely here, given completely to the runners. The crowds are out of their minds at this point. It's a non stop, deafening, world series roar from here to the end. I tried to soak it all up...the cheers, the approaching finish banner, everything. The pain was put aside...40 yards from the finish line they called out my name on the PA....JIM WHITE....very cool, and then I crossed. FINISHED. I KILLED my last sad Boston by 34 minutes...I DID NOT walk....and I was not a mindless idiot. I finished. I felt relatively well. Of course, I would have rather sat in a warm place and curled up into a little ball for about 20 or 30 minutes, but that wasn't going to happen. I took a water, then found a place to remove my timing chip, since I had to weave it into my special laces. That I was actually able to bend over to remove my own chip was an amazing feat all of it's own. I collected my space blanket and then began to freeze to death. I was cooling down quickly. I only had on my running shorts and a singlet and the winds were really high. I kept walking towards the end of this mess, but my steps were getting shorter, and I was going down hill quick. Ugh. I pulled out my cell phone, which I had stored in my "gel pocket" in the back of my shorts and called Jeff, who had finished 16 minutes earlier! He was at the JURY hotel and pub. I kept moving and moving and moving, getting colder and colder and colder, until what felt like a mile later...(I'm sure it was only 100 yards or so) I found Jeff. The nice door man told us to go inside and get warm.......and ya know what? I did.
What would you do differently?:

Usually, I say, "NOTING" here, but THIS race helped me pin point where I need to pay some more attention quads. I'm going to spend a great deal of time and effort building these up, so as I get older...I will not only just hold on to my speed and endurance, but get faster and stronger!
Post race
Warm down:

Yea,,,,right. Jeff and I went inside the Jury's bar, which is down a small flight of stairs...ouch. OH, I gotta mention here...JEFF was walking around and moving like he was at the START of the race! HE IS A FREAKING MACHINE!!! He could have done the entire race over.....really. It was good to have someone to take care of you when you're hitting the bottom. In the pub there was a gas fire place, which I found and promptly practically crawled inside of. I was numb and shaking a bit and my thought process was not entirely there...I was basicly on SURVIVAL mode. GET WARM! I stayed there for the next 30 minutes, until Jeff had called Brian and Bill. He went down the street and got my bad from Brian, then brought it back to me so I could put some warm clothing on. Ahhhhhhhhhh! My hands were still WHITE and my thumbs were numb, but I was getting better. We made our way out of the JURY and a few blocks away, where Bill was standing outside of P.F. Changs. Brian, Bill and Jeff's mom and aunt were inside at a table, where we eventually sat down and had a post BOSTON MARATHON lunch! Wow.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Quads. Lesson learned. New York will be my next big test. Before, I was just gonna DO it, but now, I wanna crush it. Time to train....well...I'll recover a few days.....THEN TRAIN!

Event comments:

I don't know when I'll do this again, even if I qualify, but I had fun and look forward to coming to Boston again. It's a great city.

Last updated: 2008-11-07 12:00 AM
03:28:22 | 26.2 miles | 07m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 1169/2208
Overall: 6758/23162
Performance: Good
Course: Start in Hopkinton and run to Boston. If you don't know the course, look it's a legend in it's own right.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
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