Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
45F / 7C
Total Time = 3h 10m
Overall Rank = 2738/26331
Age Group = M18-39
Age Group Rank = 1771/5647
Pre-race routine:

The wife and I flew in the Saturday before the race and hoping to save some scratch opted to stay in Milford near the race start which was nice for race day but kind of a pain in traveling around town with our car. Still, the La Quinta we were staying in had a shuttle to the buses that were taking racers in on race day which was nice. I was very nervous about the race, hyperanalyzing everything. I dunno why, maybe cuz it was such a big event, the quality of the field, the long winter of focusing on the run and hoping not to fail on the back of that. Whatever the case, I think I was a bit of a pain in the arse to the Mrs at first, but by Sunday evening, I had decided to crack my weak azz caffeine taper, threw on some tunes on the Ipod and played some chess of all things on my laptop. Ok, whatever, but it calmed me down. I was also given a gift or whatever ya want to call it in a very intense dream about the race. I had finished the race and met with my family and some friends (apparently Boston finishes in some crappy small park according to my perception in the dream) and they asked how the race was. I didnt remember a damn thing and it made me sick. I took this as a message to quit worrying so much, was at peace with just seeing what my training could do and being smart and overall, appreciating being at this race. I had a Boost and half of a clif bar, some milk and a banana. I chatted with the wife a bit, the shuttle came and i was off.
Event warmup:

Cool down is more like it. Temps were 45 degrees with some wind and it was a long wait at the athlete's village, basically an area of port o lets, water, gatorade- a staging area in a small town that for one day becomes the epicenter of running. basically just walked around a bit to check out the sights, grabbed a path of grass and layed down, closed my eyes and waited. they called wave one and we headed down to the start, about .7 mile. If you ever do this race, bring warm clothes or something to peel off last minute. they collect clothes for shelters, and oh yeah, there are peeps doing this all the way to the corrals, not that i gave my warm pants away at the first peeps or anything. er, right. anyhow, found my corral and just kinda waited for this thing to get going. two air force jets thundered over the start of the race which was pretty cool. all this blather really sums up to really no warm up, maybe some stretchng or hopping?
  • 3h 10m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 15s  min/mile

I had actually done some research on forums and stuff on pacing strategies and the concesus by many is that the descents in the first few miles will tear up your quads and make you pay later on. For some reason, I thought banking time in the early going would be a great strategy, but since my race pace seemed a best guess, I seeked to run off an even effort strategy. The mass of humanity ahead of me helped keep things easier in the first few miles, too easy perhaps. however, I remembered the cautionary tales or others and didnt really work into my cruising pace until after the hills slipped back. I also remembered the dream and enjoying things a bit. The crowds in Hopkinton were huge and as we started off, I was high fiving folks, keeping it easier and trying not to waste energy fighting through the crowds.

Once things flattened out around 3.5, my plan was to try and stay around 650+/- til the hill came up in Newton. I had to make up a little bit of time and it wasnt near my best case scenario pace, so just kept it steady while trying to take back some of the time i lost due to the crowds. nothing too daring though and kept disciplined. the first 10 miles flew by pretty quick and were really non eventful, maybe some chatter with some people includng two folks with wisconsin triathlon team tops on. enjoyed the crowds and stayed focused.

just before coming to Wellesley, I turned and saw Team Hoyt and got a bit choked up seeing them out there. just after that, you could hear what sounded like a hornets nest. i was coming upon the scream tunnel and it was extremely loud, girls with kiss me signs screaming their heads off at wellesley college. it was a nice pick me up but i laughed my azz off as the half mile stretch or so of girls with kiss me signs past by and two lone girls held a sign saying 'kisses for lesbians'. classic.

there were pretty much no areas where there werent solid crowds. i wore my donkey top singlet and got tons of pick me ups having 'go donkey' or donkey boy, or donkey man, etc, etc screamed out from the crowd from time to time. it was a very nice pick me up. on the other side of the coin, there was a dude, apparently named patrick and apparently with his name branded on him as i kept hearin 'go patrick' and kept thinking seriously, get away from me one way or another dude, your marketing skills are eating up my fan base, whatever ya did.

anywho, mile 15 has a decent descent that gives your quads another little shot before the steady climb up the four hills of Newton. The hills alone arent that bad, but here is where i think i made my mistake, or at least i gambled a bit and lost. hoping to still finish near 3, i pressed hard on the hills. i couldnt quite place it during the race, but looking at my splits, the pace must have been too much cuz my fade started shortly after the hills based on the garmin. i was relieved to be over heartbreak and there are some descents on the final stretch, but that didnt matter. i am not sure if it was pace, hydration (which is common for me), hills or what, but mile 22 and up was hella tough. the crowds got larger as you headed into boston, and as much as i wanted to soak it in, i was in a painful place. the thought occurred to me from time to time to take a walk break but i knew how successful that would probably be so just kept moving. i also told my wife that if felt like everyone in the race was passing me cuz i was just under 8s at this point vs faster stuff earliner. the focus was on closing out the deal and it appeared i was in the running for a PR. the crowds were nuts and i just kept churning away. it was tough to focus on anything but closing out the race and the cheering crowds were there but it seemed i had turned the volume off. i made the last turn, saw the slight downhill and the finish and tried to muster all i could. i thought i did my best to finish strong. 310 on the dot and a new PR.

took gels at about 40 and then every half hour. with water stations every mile, i lived off the course hydration though had all my gels. i was nervous about this and still had a fuel belt with 10oz for scaps and gels when needed.

official splits:
Checkpoints 5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:22:20 0:43:51 1:05:10 1:26:39 1:31:14 1:48:10 2:10:49 2:34:33 2:58:59
Finish Pace Projected Time Official Time Overall Gender Division
0:07:15 3:10:00 2738 2571 1771

garmin:728,658,702,650,658,648,646,655,652,650,654,650,651,649,657,659,714,720,712,729,753,721,743,750,755,811, .2@740avg
What would you do differently?:

the plan i was on was an upgrade on the plan i qualified with. it works with longer runs than most plans, but at an easier pace. i had a max run of 28 miles, with a 26, 22 and 20 as well (missed a 24 with a foot injury week off). while i think this has helped my durability and cured my deeper fades from races in the past, i will probably work to inject more fast finishes in my plans for the next one and maybe some more mpace so i can make a better guess at it. for this race specifically, might push that 4-15 a little more and ease back on the hills, hopefully to prevent the fade.
Post race
Warm down:

They guide you through a few blocks, give you a solar blanket, small bag of grub, and most important your medal. it took a while to find my wife and we had to wait to take the train back. i must have looked like crap cuz 4 or 5 RNs helping asked me if I was ok with some eyeballing from a distance aways and walking on over. probably dehydrated as always. gd sweat rate! i was freezing as i didnt have other pants to put in my clothes bag. make sure ya pack em! drank another boost, a chocolate milk and an oj when i got my hands on em, not all at once.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

headwinds didnt help, i garmined a bit higher than 26.2 so dont know if i ran bad tangents and danced too much in and out of peeps. as stated before i wonder if the plan i was on doesnt give enough with mpace etc. i will look at other plans or perhaps inject some more tempo stuff in, especially for fast finishes on some of the longs.

Event comments:

Top notch by BAA and the whole freakin city. I said I would scratch this off the list and maybe not do it ever again, but I will be back. Too much fun to pass up and I am declaring this one a tie with the course. I didnt get my sub 3 but PRed a tougher course, got the non-old dude qualifier but the course dealt me a lot of punishment. Cant wait for round 2! Do not ever hesitate to do this race if you get the chance. I feel so fortunate to have been able to do something many peeps can only dream of!

Last updated: 2008-11-17 12:00 AM
03:10:00 | 26.2 miles | 07m 15s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/5647
Overall: 0/26331
Performance: Good
Course: dowhill start that flattens out after 3.5 miles, four hills from 16-21 including heartbreak hill, primarily decending last 5 miles.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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