Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
45F / 7C
Total Time = 3h 24m 46s
Overall Rank = 5767/23211
Age Group = M18-39
Age Group Rank = 2805/
Pre-race routine:

Arrived in Boston with my whole family in tow on Friday afternoon. My Mother-in-law and her friend were already in town having a little vacation. We met them out for some sea food that night and I went over and got my bib. We had an early night the first night, hit the local tourist sites the next day (Fenway, FenueilHall, trolley, Boston common, etc.). Went to expo, got the jacket and fit in a short 2 miler in there, as well. Swam with the kids. Sunday was more of the same, except we didn't do as much walking.

Ended up hooking up with one of the NW Endurance team members and his wife drove us to the start. Got a very short taste of the athlete's village, which was fine by me, b/c it was still chilly outside.
Event warmup:

With about 15' to the start, I dropped off my bag at the buses, which meant getting down to my singlet and shorts. Left a throw away shirt on top and had throw away gloves and hat on, as well. That worked out good. I chucked the stuff by the second mile.
  • 3h 24m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 49s  min/mile

The start is obviously packed with people. The streets in Hopkinton are thin and we lined up with 23,000+ of your closest friends. They do a great job with the corrals. Every coral has about 1000 people in it, and its based on your qualifying time, which corresponds to your bib. I was in the 6th corral, relatively close to the front. Once the elites went off, we started walking, then slowly jogging, then walking again, and after about 3.5 minutes, we were at the official start and the pace picked up. The first mile was very crowded and real hard to get in a rhythm. The next couple miles, it thinned out ever so slightly, however, you could run at your pace.

My game plan for the race was to break it down into 5 mile segments. The first 5 miles of the course are downhill. There are rollers and its awesome to be in this pack of people as you watch the salamander of runners go up and down these rollers ahead. Just like a roller coaster, giving you a glimpse of what is up next. I knew the paces would be relatively fast for this portion, so I went by RPE and HR and just let the pace dictate itself. I expected to end up in the 7:10 range, and I was around 7:08, but the HR was lower than my expected avg. HR for the whole marathon, which I hoped would be around 152/153.

Miles 6-10. This area is relatively flat with some rollers. This is where I kind of lost concentration. My plan was to hold back for the first 15 miles, and take it from there. But for some reason, I *thought* I felt good by keeping with this pack of guys. They were talking, and having a good time, and blocking the wind for me. Unfortunately, my HR was higher than it should have been, but I never noticed, as I was watching the crowd and all the crazy people. Not only the crowd, but the runners, too. There was a dude running in a loin cloth and pink Crocs. I did not pass him until mile 11. This only reassured me of the strength of this field.

Miles 11-15. Again, I really didn't stick to the plan. This was not concious. I think I did good the first 5 miles, and just subconscioulsy thought "Ok - enough holding back". Also, I was just too tied up in all the hoopla. I was in awe and really not racing MY race. There are people everwhere and they seemed to push me faster than I should be going. This is also where you run into the college of Wellesley. The girls are lined up around the 13 mile mark, but you hear them at about mile 12. The sound is deafening. It sounds like a hornet's nest and it just keeps getting louder. Very cool to see how into it they are. It was also during this stretch that the crowds kept yelling, "Go Scott Go". This was happening for miles. I was thinking that Holly must have put a sign on the back of my singlet, b/c it was just after I passed the people. Eventually, this guy with "Go, Scott, Go" all over his shirt passed me. That got a big laugh out of me.

Miles 16-20. Well, now I realized I was a little more fatigued (in particular the quads) than I wanted to be at this point. I had been taking in my Infinit and water at every aid station, but now I was dealing with a side stitch like cramp. Since, I was hydrated, I am guessing it came from going too fast for too long. And my left foot was starting to hurt. My left foot has had issues before, but mainly off the bike. It kind of gets numb, doesn't slow me down, but is a nusiance. Of course, all this is happening as I am coming into the infamous Newton Hills (gotta love irony ;) The first of the four hills was actually welcomed as it was nice to actually climb for awhile, allowing the quads to rest a bit. Recovering after that hill, my foot was actually starting to hurt, in weird places. Like on the outside. I contemplating trying to walk it out, but I also figured if I started to walk now, it would be a ton of walking and I had over 9 miles to go. So, I just toughed it out and kept going. At mile 18, Holly spotted me and that helped as I had to get my act together and at least look like I was in good shape ;) The next couple of hills weren't that bad, as I just plugged along. Heartbreak wouldn't have been that bad either, if it was part of a 10K or something, but at mile 20/21, it definitely seemed longer than it looked on the elevation chart on the web page! Once I got to the top of that hill, the left foot was in a good deal of pain, and going down didn't help it or the quads. My goals had now changed to just make sure you don't walk. And thats what I did. I just shuffled along, thinking about how I will never do another marathon again ;)

Miles 21-26.2. Mostly downhill, but with the quads shot and my left foot in pain, these miles took me forever. And with all of these great runners passing me, it was very humbling (in a good way, if that makes sense). The winds were coming straight at us now and they were in the 15-20mph range. Drafting would have been awesome, but I would have needed to find a pack going at my pace....and that wasn't happening. So, now, I was hurting everywhere, getting blown backwards, getting demoralized by much more experienced runners, and still thinking what a great time this was to be coming into Boston for the 113th running of the marathon. I guess I am an optimist ;) Holly was there again around mile 23 and was shouting encouraging words. Of course, at this point, I didn't even attempt to look like I was in good shape...there was no hiding it. You can see the Citgo sign at this point, and once you get there, its "only" another 1.2 miles to the finish. And actually, they went by pretty fast, as the crowds are about 20 deep all the way to the finish line. Its so loud as you turn onto Bolyston and run the last 1/3 mile. Very similar to IMWI, but for longer.

Crossed the finish line around 3:24, tried to smile, and then started looking for one of those mylar blankets. As I guessed, once I stopped running, it was very difficult to walk on the foot.

My splits went down like this:

1m: 7:31, 136ahr
2m: 7:05, 149ahr
3m: 6:57, 150ahr
4m: 6:56, 151ahr
5m: 7:13, 154ahr
6m: 7:08, 155ahr
7m: 7:10, 154ahr
8m: 7:18, 154ahr
9m: 7:14, 153ahr
10m: 7:20, 154ahr
11m: 7:25, 155ahr
12m: 7:13, 154ahr
13m: 7:24, 155ahr
14m: 7:23, 155ahr
15m: 7:31, 156ahr
16m: 7:18, 153ahr
17m: 7:52, 156ahr
18m: 8:07, 155ahr
19m: 8:00, 153ahr
20m: 8:20, 153ahr
21m: 8:53, 154ahr
22m: 8:30, 148ahr
23m: 8:42, 148ahr
24m: 8:58, 147ahr
25m: 9:03, 146ahr
26m: 8:50, 152ahr
0.37m: 8:42, 154ahr

13.1 mile split: 1:35:17

What would you do differently?:

Stick to the plan. Hold back for longer.
Post race
Warm down:

The walk from the finish to the buses seems like forever, but they are very organized. I got my warm clothes on, even though it was hard to walk, and my foot felt like one cramped up mess. I made it over to the family area and found Holly. The plan was to find a cab, but an empty wheelchair came by and Holly told the person I could probably use it. She agreed and also thought I should head to the med tent for a massage of the foot. So, we went over for my 1st ever trip to a med tent at an event. It was nice and warm in there. Got some broth, and the massage people were backed up, so they really didn't do anything with the foot.

Ended up checking out, finding a cab, and stopping at a McDonalds. I had a big mac AND a filet-o-fish. Wow. Not sure why, but they were darn good.

Got back to the hotel, showered, and then Joe (jszat) called and we decided to meet them for dinner. That worked out good, as I was hungry again by the time we FINALLY met up. We had tried to hook up the entire weekend, but never happened. Good Food, good people, good times!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I only had 320 miles of running from Jan 1st - April 20th. Not even 20mpw, so the fact that I thought I could do a 3:15/3:20 on a tough course seems kind of crazy, but I gave it a shot. It definitely made for a tough last 8 miles..even tougher than IMWI. But now I know.

The cramps and the foot were definitely hinderances, but I think they probably came from not enough miles and going a bit too fast in the 6-12 mile range.

I hope this doesn't sound like I am disappointed, because I am not at all. It was a unbelievably great experience that I will never forget. And I learned a lot about me and my running. However, I am very competitive and I expect a lot from myself. When you figure only 1% of the population has ever done a marathon, and approximately only 10% of those ever qualify for Boston, well that puts me in some great company and I feel blessed to just be able to run!

Event comments:

I can't imagine a Marathon being better run than this one. The crowds come out in droves. The volunteers are great and treat you like a rock star. Awesome

Last updated: 2008-12-23 12:00 AM
03:24:46 | 26.2 miles | 07m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 2805/
Overall: 5767/23211
See in RR.
Course: Its Boston! Downhill rollers for the first half or more, then killer Newton Hills 16-21. Then into Boston. Lined with fanatics the whole way.
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
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Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
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