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Boston Marathon - RunMarathon


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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
48F / 9C
Overcast
Total Time = 3h 24m 33s
Overall Rank = 6997/27000
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 1135/
Pre-race routine:

I began this race morning with a little bit of a different kind of feel. The race started so much later than I am used to running and so I wasn't exactly sure how to eat.
I settled on a small container of yogurt and muffin at the hotel. Once I arrived at the athletes village I ate most of a plain, dry bagel. I had drank only a little bit of fluids in the morning before the race so as not have to stop during the race. I have found a little bit of coffee can keep me from getting the caffeine withdrawal headaches without giving me the side effects of standing front of a urinal.
Event warmup:

Warren had driven me to the start in Hopkinton and this proved to remove such a vast amount of stress from my race morning. These things can be so utterly frustrating to me if I am unfamiliar with the area and this would have been one of those days. I am unspeakably grateful to Warren for putting himself out in the manner in which he did to make sure I had a stress free morning.
In the athletes village there were so many people! I hadn't seen anything like it at an off site gathering for a race. I was overwhelmed several times by the activity and mere fact that I was not just a witness to this kind of race, but I was a participant.
I met with a few other AEP employees that were running this race and found that I was the lone first timer. One others (Charlie) had run as many as ten times and Jeff I believe was four times. I don't recall if Aaron had run two or three times. We had a brief introduction, had our picture taken, exchanged a few more pleasantries and parted ways. I had never met any of these men before this event and it is unlikely that I will meet them again due to different locations of work and differing departments.
As the start time approached I began to think about going to the port-a-john once more........And then the lines! It was actually quicker than I thought but it sure felt like a long time standing there....waiting! I tried to make myself look patient but I am not sure how well I did.

The event WU itself was some light stretching while in athletes village and then Warren and I walked to the start area. It really was much easier to just walk than to get on a bus and ride the quarter mile to the start area. Once I got close to the corrals I decided I needed some kind of running warm up just to get my mind in gear and my muscles a little bit of a chance to get some blood flowing. The reality is that it was far more psychological than physiological.
My overall WU would only have been a tenth of a mile at most. Then I was in my corral.
Run
  • 3h 24m 33s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 49s  min/mile
Comments:

As I was in the corral waiting for the race to begin my thoughts wondered all of over the board.I thought a lot about what it took to get me here and the pain along the way. This being only my forth marathon I am not what I would call an experienced marathoner but I cannot forget the pain I have dealt with toward the end of each race during my brief delve into the marathoning world. I remembered the pain of the Marine Corps and how I suffered so badly at the end of that race, thinking the drive home was by far the worst thing I could have done.

As the thoughts of these things raced through my mind the activity wasn't slowing down around me. It seemed to be quite the opposite as a mater of fact. The energy level seemed to gradually increase by the minute, to my perception, as the clock seemed to tick closer to the beginning of the legendary race. I am not sure if it was me or everyone that sensed this energy but it was thoroughly invigorating to me. I knew I had to stay focused I were going to be able to stick to my plan.

In the days leading up to the race I was having some difficulty trying to decide how to approach this race. so many people told me to just run to enjoy the race. But I sometimes seemed to be wired so differently that I couldn't really allow my mind to not race. Through a conversation and forum post it seemed to become glaringly clear to me that I should just "drink in the entire race." This became my plan. However, in the day or two leading up to the race itself I allowed myself to draw some possibilities on a possible PR if I felt great with about 5-6 miles left. And this was my official race plan.

As the race began at a shuffle, since I was so far to the back of the corrals, due to my slower qualifying time, I began to simply repeat to myself: "Control these first 6 miles of downhill and see what happens." I was targeting a 7:45+ pace for the first mile and then allow things to pick up very gradually from there. As I neared the actual start line I began to feel the electricity in the air. It was almost surreal to me to know that I was involved in such a legendary event. I wondered if I would be able to control myself enough for this first mile.
Just before the starting line the crowds seemed to be enormous and the energy they conveyed was gargantuan. As I crossed the line and hit my watch, I took a deep breath, felt a lump in my throat well up because I had finally made it to the pinnacle of marathoning in the US and possibly the world. The "soaking" began!

Mile one was almost unreal to me. I was still in a bit of a shock to where I was and what I was doing. Being in this place made for a large battle to control myself. I was incessantly reminding myself that I needed to slow down. I remember very vividly thinking that I must tell myself to slow down because if were to allow any lack of control here it could ruin my desire to remember as much of this race as possible.

Once I completed the first mile I allowed my legs to carry me a little bit more quickly through the front half of the race. I was still very much in the downhill section of the course and I knew I still needed to use plenty of control. The next couple of miles were probably the least attended spectator section of the course. There were still plenty of people to cheer and ring cowbells but the masses I had experienced in the first mile had somewhat disappeared. It was no problem to see the numbers of people diminish because it was so early in the race that I was not in need of any kind of adrenaline boost that I would likely require late in the race. These miles went by pretty quickly but it was likely that I was burning my matches a bit to quickly for what this course had in store for me.

Throughout these first few miles I had seen some of the spectator lined streets crammed full of kids desiring to be a part of this race. As I ran past many of them other runners darted from side to side giving these kids high fives. I'd heard many of the kids comment how cool it was to receive this little award. So, knowing I wanted to drink this entire race in I began to cruise through the sides of the street holding my hand out to make these kids as much a part of the race as I could. I immediately began to hear them provide feedback verbally to each other as I ran through high five-ing. It was mentally rewarding to me to make these kids a participant and I think it created small adrenaline surges in my body to hear them. I kept running down this right side of the street giving and receiving. It was so much fun to be this deep into a race and be able to see and feel the crowd. I had done similar things before in races but this time I made a more concerted effort to dwell in the race, feed from it and draw it all in.

Mile 5 began with a small hill that is normal to me and my running in Indiana. It wasn't steep or long. It was just enough to cause me to slow my pace slightly. I tried to maintain an even effort as I went through this section, remembering that I shouldn't be trying to maintain a pace uphill but rather a steady effort. I remember thinking about the legendary hills that some of the friends and acquaintances had pointed that would come later in the race and tried to use that as my focal point when running uphill.

At 7 miles I took in one gel and continued to take alternate water and Gatorade at the aid stations located just after each mile marker.

About 9.5 miles into the race the terrain changed more to a slightly uphill sort of profile. Again, nothing major but it dues noting because of the late hills, including Heartbreak Hill. I continued to maintain my strategy to apply even effort in my climbing and my paces climbed with the elevations to reflect this change. But it was around mile 10 where I first had a strong feeling that my legs weren't going to survive the abuse of the other more hill sections of the race. I was already able to feel the fatigue in my legs setting in as a result of the 10k downhill section. My quads were feeling weakened, but only slightly at this point. The memories of previous marathons and where my legs began to fatigue was reverberating in my mind. I hadn't felt this way until mile 15-16 in other marathons. I began to consider that I was going to be in trouble late in the day.

A funny side note to all of the memories on this day were my thoughts as I crossed each timing mat. I had remembered where the text alerts were supposed to be sent out but apparently they were not working properly. So, as I crossed each of these mats I thought about all of the people that were about to get a text message and tried to count them in my head. Later after finding out the text weren't coming through I thought about how silly it was for me to try to count all of these people.

I had made it to the half way point and checked my watch. Other than my legs being a little more fried than I had been used to in previous excursions, I felt pretty good. I made a mental check of myself and I remember thinking that I was doing good, felt good and still feeling strong enough to possibly make a faster run at another PR. I knew it would be a long shot, but I thought there was a possibility. My split at this point was 1:39:24 (7:35). I also knew I was on track wit my goal time of 3:15-3:20. But then....................

  • ......The Newton Hills began! I remember running down a sharper hill than I had run before and the pace felt so easy but my legs were not so delighted to be running down this hill. As I was coming up out of the "valley" and beginning the first hill clearly remember thinking "here they come." The toll the downhill section of the race so far had cost me was yet to be determined. As I headed up the first hill I hoped this hill was the sharpest climb and the others would be easier but I was having doubts. My legs were feeling much better as I climbed. It was an odd sort of feeling to actually know that my legs seemed to be having some sort of recovery here. Hills aren't usually thought of as any sort of recovery but with all of the downhill portions of the course I had already run through my legs seemed to enjoy this climb. Whatever relief on my legs I felt I wasn't experiencing that to my cardio and respiratory systems.

  • Internally I was beginning to lose my strength as this first climb began. 16 miles into the race and the hardest part of the course was in front of me. My mental faculties began a deeper work on me than I remember having to deal with in my previous marathons at this early point in the race. Previously I hadn't experienced the mental fatigue until miles 20+ but this race would be different.

    As the first hills continued to provide the physical and mental beating as I was climbing, I felt worse on the downhills. The downhill sections of these few miles weren't steep or long but my quads had absorbed enough damage in the early miles, more than I was prepared to deal with. As I was preparing to come to Boston I spoke to a few people that were aware of the course profile and they had warned me of the decline in the first 10k. However, by the time I had gotten these details it was far too late to adapt any sort of training. I simply hoped that the heavy cycling focus I'd had through some of the winter training cycle would help me. I suppose there was some sort of help but I wasn't feeling any on this day, at this time.

    The hills continued but there was one yet ahead of me.......Heartbreak! I knew it was before me and I was beginning to feel the mental stress of climbing it, but I continued to work my way through the course trying not to consider how hard it might be. There had been only a few hills so far and I was 't certain where Heartbreak was precisely. This was probably good for me because I was able to keep it in the distance so to speak. I kept climbing.

    I was at about 20 miles at this point and climbing a portion of one of the hills. I felt as if I had made it half way to the top of what seemed to be a larger, steeper climb. I had actually begun to feel better. I considered if I had possibly slowed my pace enough to have a sort of recovery or at least reduce the amount of distress I was placing on my body as I climbed. I had also been reading some signs that spectators had been holding and I began to have questions. I had pulled up next to an older gentlemen and asked him; "Are we on Heartbreak Hill?" His response was; "Yes. The yellow light at the top is the crest." I looked up. Just ahead was the flashing yellow light of relief. I felt a flash of adrenaline as I kept my feet turning over. I remember think that I needed to control my surge of adrenaline or I would fade in the final miles even more than I thought I was in store for already. When I crested Heartbreak I had this enormous feeling of elation. Relief was in sight I could see the downtown area of Boston through the tops of the buildings and I had a deeper feeling of relief because I knew there would be no more hills to climb.

    As the descent into Boston began my legs seemed to explode with fatigue. The downhills became worse and worse for my legs. I took in my last gel at mile 21. I had planned to take a gel every 7 miles and I was on track throughout. Hydration is obviously hard during these events and I think this was no exception. As I was running I began to wonder if I had hydrated properly for this race and I drew the conclusion I hadn't. It was here on the course that I recall thinking that I just wanted to drink a full glass of water. That's all! One full cup of water sounds so amazing to me at this point in the race that it became a distraction as I neared and ran through the aid stations.

    I also began to feel my right calf begin to develop the beginnings of cramping. The muscle began to have a rolling effect beginning at the top and bottom of tibialis posterior (center of the calf) and rolling toward each other. In the beginning it was minor but by previous experiences I knew it was going to get worse. And it did, in rapid fashion. Within a quarter mile it was in full retaliatory response to the beating I had been placing on it for 21 miles. I considered stopping to stretch it out, but I absolutely abhor the thought of stopping during a race. I had never stopped before and I wasn't going to start now. My plan to keep from stopping was to dorsi flex my foot with each and every stride until it was gone. It was minorly successful but it took at least a quarter mile before it began to feel remotely comfortable again.

    My pace had remained relatively quick through the hills in Newton, all things considered, but not nearly as fast as I would have initially liked. Heartbreak hill was the only mile above 8:00 through this point in the race. And now, at miles 22 and 23, my pace picked up slightly. I had felt a little bit of refreshment and recovery as the downhill began, allowing for the quicker pace. But as the descent continued the beating my quads continued to take drove me into the proverbial ground further. My right calf had continued to have the cramping effects throughout these miles, yet I willed myself to keep fighting it off using the technique mentioned above.

    By mile 24 my body had become so resistant to the ongoing trauma that I had little control, whether physical or mental, to maintain a sub 8:00 pace. My quads were thoroughly torn up and my calf almost unceasing in it's cramping. My pace dropped and I mentally allowed this to occur. I had hoped at this point to possibly save a little bit for the last mile or so and maybe pick up the pace somewhat. I normally plan and execute my races in a way that I don't have the ability within me to sprint toward the finish and I thought, maybe, I could recover enough to actual do that here, in the Boston Marathon.

    Miles 25 and 26 were bit of a blur to me but the crowds remained so intense! It was an absolutely unbelievable rush to have so many people screaming, cheering, high fiving and congratulating every runner that came through. The sidewalks were completely full of people completely absorbed in the race. They seemed to be as much a part of this tremendous event as the runners themselves. The high fiving that started in the first couple of miles for me continued to provide some adrenaline rushes for me but there was a cost. As my body wore down the toll for these clasps of hands had caused me to weaken in such a way that with each high five I was spun around slightly. On a few occasions, mostly through the Boston College campus, I had made enough contact with exuberant spectators that I was concerned about actually being spun to the ground. When I noticed this occurring I would move more to the center of the road.

    By mile 25 my right calf was in such poor shape that I could hold off stopping no longer. I was in complete pain at this point! I had talked myself through the 4 miles or so from where the cramping began but I could do so no longer. The dorsi flexion of my foot had no impact on relief at all. And the cramp had rotated around to the side of my calf (gastrocnemius and soleus) to where any mobile stretching would be totally ineffective. I stopped twice in the mile to alleviate the cramping but it almost immediately returned once I began running again. The crowds were incredibly amazing to me. I had to stop twice for stretching and with each stop the crowds surrounded me! Almost swallowing me up! Patting me on the back and encouraging me. In all honesty, it sends chill down my spine as I pen this! It was unbelievably encouraging to me. I certainly knew none of these people and yet they were so massively supportive. It was completely obvious that this wasn't just some race to come and support. This was a spectacle to participate in and become absorbed into. To be a participant of a different kind. I learned much more about what I'd heard about this race. I learned from first hand accounting that this marathon IS Boston and the surrounding communities! It was mind numbing almost to physically feel the enthusiasm exuded by the masses. Everyone has heard the expression; "you can cut the tension with a knife." I felt that I could cut the exuberance of the entire city with a knife.

    Throughout the last few miles there were very small hills that I had to mentally conquer. With each of them the challenge seemed be to stay mentally in the race to finish running, not stopping for any reason. After all, I was RUNNING the Boston Marathon, NOT walking it! These hills, as I call them, were really nothing more than speed bumps to any kind of runner, even a flat lander such as myself. But today, these were hills to me! And with each one I thought to myself that; "this was supposed to be flat or downhill! Why am I running uphill?"

    I really lost any kind of sense to where I was on the course due to the pain I was experiencing. My watch was going long as I knew it would, so I wasn't sure if I had a half mile to go or more. I had tried to pay attention early in the race to how much distance was being gained as indicated on my Garmin at every official mile marker in a attempt to be able to track my location on the course. As the pain grew I tended to forget to check this at the upcoming distance markers.

    I could never hear the finishing line noise in the distance as I have learned to do at other races. There was simply far to much exuberant crowd noise for the last 3-4 miles to hear anything other than the audible pummeling that occurred almost incessantly.

    As I made the left hand turn from Hereford St. onto Boylston St. I had just crested one of the aforementioned "hills" and the pain was enormous as I made the transition from the increase in elevation to the flat ground. I can't determine what actually caused this but I clearly remember the pain being intense in my legs. When I made this turn initially I had no idea that I was merely a few city blocks from the finish, I was to deeply embedded in my anguish. The pain had moved beyond my legs and seemed radiate throughout my entire upper body. My arms and shoulders had begun to fatigue, likely caused by the high fiving throughout the course and now I was paying for it. Then I looked up and saw how close I was. My pain was almost over.....or so I thought.

    After I was able to see and know that I was almost done with the race I got out of my hurt locker for a moment and remembered that Lis and the girls, Niki included, were there for me. They had provided the encouragement throughout the days leading up to the race and now they awaited my arrival at the finish. We had discussed the location she would be the day before so I began looking for them. I was unsure that I would be able to see them due to the massive crowds throughout this area. I almost expected not to see them for this reason. With only a few blocks remaining I spotted them, on the right side of the street. It appeared almost simultaneous that we saw each other.

    It was here that I decided to make a determined stop to see Lis and the girls. This had never occurred in a race before. I was overwhelmed with the desire to stop for a moment and included her in this race. My time didn't matter at this race. I had determined earlier to make this a race to remember and I could think of no one better to share this moment with than Lis. As she has observed from the sidelines of so many race, in so many locations , in strange cities and some familiar she seemed to have an unrelenting desire to watch me compete. It's a support that I had taken advantage of for so long and it was time to provide her own sort of award in this, the biggest event I will probably EVER participate in, The Boston Marathon!

    As I stopped, the crowd surrounding them seemed to erupt in support of me to "keep moving" and "you're almost there!" Lis and the girls all tried to gather closer to me but the crowds were too large for them to move to me. Then, I looked at Lis, and seemingly she knew what I wanted. We simply embraced for a brief kiss. Then, almost as quickly as I stopped I told them I had to keep moving and I finished the last 3 blocks to the finish.

    As I crossed the finishing line my legs wanted to give way completely. I was thoroughly blown up! I paused for a moment to gather my composure and attempt to rest my legs. I must have looked pretty poorly because a member of the medical staff immediately came to my aid and asked if I needed anything. He offered a wheelchair or assistance walking. I turned down the wheelchair offer but allowed him to assist me walking for a few steps. His support allowed enough recovery for my legs to help me move on under my own power, or at least it appeared that way to me. The remaining walk to the family meeting area felt worse to me than the last few miles running. It was nothing more than a shuffle at so many points that my legs began to lock up. My walking stride became shorter and shorter until I felt like Mr. Whiggins from the Carol Bernett show from years ago. Now it seems funny to consider, but at the time it was far from it. It was excruciating!

    As I made what felt like a death march, the chill of the wind began to set into my sweating skin. At first I began to shiver slightly but it rapidly felt as if it was gaining control of my body. For brief periods of time I shook uncontrollably and almost violently, like someone having a grand maul seizure. I gathered my gear bag at the prescribed location and spoke to Lis on the phone. Apparently I sounded as badly as I looked when I stopped for our embrace. She asked if I was okay and I responded that I was fine but I felt like.....Hell. I remember having difficulty actually speaking similar to the way I was after the Marine Corps in 2010. I told her I would meet her at the family meeting area and I made my way there.

    Once we were all there I attempted to put some warmer clothing on and sat down. The girls covered me with a blanket they had been using during their wait for me to finish and I warmed up fairly quickly. We were talking and enjoying ourselves. Warren showed up to add to the pleasantries of the day and it felt so good to have everyone there. I honestly felt like a poor friend to Warren at the time because I wasn't providing a lot of discussion with him. I was simply too worn out to expend any more energy than absolutely necessary. And then..............

    When the bomb blasts occurred the streets feel eerily silent. To experience almost complete silence in an extremely large metropolitan area had an unnerving perception. The blasts seemed to be in fairly quick succession seemingly only a few seconds apart. As the streets feel silent everyone turned to looked west, toward the finishing line. Then a quiet discussion between all that were around. No one panicked! There was no rapid movement of any kind! Within a few more moments everyone, including us, seemed fall back into a normal pattern of recovery and conversation. Then a assortment of sirens began.

    Lis turned and asked me what the noise was and I expressed an explosion of a an underground transformer in a vault on the power grid. I thought maybe the transformer couldn't endure the increased load required on this particular day. When I made the statement I didn't actually believe what I was saying myself, but I was also not going to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. I was also thinking that inducing fear into my family would have been a poor act of fatherhood. We sat there conversing about what might have happened but things seemed somewhat normal other than the incessant sirens responding to the scene of cowardly aggression.

    By now my legs had begun to recover enough to be able to feel like walking. I wanted a massage and Warren went to find where they might be located as the rest of us waited. When he returned we promptly left so I could get the massage, still ignorant of what had actually happened. I went to get in line for my massage while everyone else waited for my return. Within a few minutes they advised us that they were going to evacuate the building and we would have to leave. As I exited the building to find Lis I knew there was something more dire on the wind.

    Lis met with me and in a position that the girls couldn't see her face. The expression of elation I'd seen earlier was gone. She now appeared distressed. She had heard, while I was inside, of bombs at the finishing line. At this point it was rumor but this obviously proved to be truth. With the look of fear, not panic, on her face, she broke into tears and began to tell what she'd heard. The girls at this point had heard and were beginning to be greatly unnerved and scared. I remember the looks on their faces. Now it was my turn to become more than the father I try to be, and become the protector that no father desires to become. It may sound weird to many people but I am VERY intentional and become frustrated and somewhat irritable if my back is facing a door when eating in restaurants or when in other public places. My preferred placement is to be able to see everything that goes on around me. To see the doors and exit points. Provide an emergency exit point should one be required. I believe it to be a God created instinct to be the protector of my family and one that I have taken seriously for 25 years.

    Lis expressed that we needed to leave and we gathered together to get ready to move. Again, I purposefully did not make any quick movements, provide any tension in my voice or give staunch, immediate orders that might induce more fear in Lis and the girls. The time I spent as a firefighter kicked in and that old training seemed to become important once again......Control! Not panic!

    We and Warren spoke for what appeared to Lis as 5 or more minutes but to me it was a minute or two at the most. I shook his hand and thanked him for getting me to the start line and being there when I had finished and all of the time we spent together and then we parted ways.

    As we headed toward the subway my thoughts were of the dangers that could await us in an enclosed space with explosives but it was something that I felt must be chanced to get us clear of the danger zone. As we walked back to the Orange train station at Back bay, I thought about the previous day when I was trying to get on the Green line at Copley Square station. The trains were completely packed with people. The station itself was crowed heavily as more people awaited another train to get out of town. I was thankful that we had NOT experienced this on any of the Orange line trains in the two days we had headed into Boston for the expo or Fanuiel Hall. In my mind I considered that we were taking the safest possible route out of the city. I was completely unrelaxed and on alert. Normally I place myself in the rear of our little pack when we are in public places to observe my family and others ahead and be at the back of the group to be the rear guard, so to speak. Today, I placed myself in front Lisa and the girls, which felt incredibly abnormal, to look for anything in front of us that may provide any dangers. I actually remember trying to create a little bit of space between us so I could look further ahead at the landscape and people walking and moving about, checking for any packages or unattended bags, etc. that could cause an issue.

    As I write this paragraph it feels odd to mention it. Normally I wouldn't talk to anyone about my typical actions because it sounds weird to me to speak of. I don't want people to think I'm some kind of paranoid maniac who considers everyone or everything a potential threat. I'm not "black helicopter" kind of guy. But in this case I think it was (hopefully) a normal reaction that any father or husband considers their duty.

    Once we were clear of the city I think everyone, including me, was able to breath a sigh of relief. I was still quite tense and I think at this point it became pretty obvious to everyone in my presence of the stress I'd been under. It was now that I became edgy and temperamental. I had been able to contain this while in town due to my effort to keep everyone under control but now, with the feeling safety, I was able to allow some relaxation of my control mechanisms.

    One thing that felt surprisingly great after I had some time to consider them were the immense amounts of text messages, phone calls, emails and facebook messages I received while downtown. I grew extremely frustrated and agitated by the incessant ringing and alerts. I was unable to hear people speaking to me on the phone because text alerts were coming through so quickly. When I was texting people, My phone was either ringing or alerting also, wiping my screen clear or shutting out the text I was trying to send. All of our phones were almost dead and mine eventually went dead from all of the activity. My phone seemed to blow up with all of the concern other had for my family and myself. As I had some time to clear my mind and settle myself down I became very humbled by this extreme amount of activity. Even now I am amazed that so many people tried to contact me and some in an unceasing manner. My responses were very brief and sometimes almost completely unrelated to the text I had received. I began to copy and paste text messages and send them off not caring if it was related to the specific comment or question that I'd received..........

  • ......We made it to Syracuse NY for the night and we were all ready to relax a little bit after such an unbelievable day.

  • (BTW, I had absolutely NO issues with my foot whatsoever during the race. I immediately after meeting up with Lis asked for the planned 2 tablets of Aleve and took them as a precaution. The plantar fasciitis I had dealt with for these month s leading up to this race were completely absent this day.)
    What would you do differently?:

    I would probably have been a little more attentive to the pacing early. I probably should have slowed more from the beginning and checked things later in the race.
    I may also have taken a fourth gel to make sure I was a little better fueled for the finishing miles.
    I also should have done more to hydrate myself. In the days leading up to the race we spent 13-14 hours in the car and touring the city and surrounding areas not giving a real serious look at the effect on my hydration. This was very likely a large contributor to my leg fatigue and calf cramps.

    Despite saying I wouldn't be disappointed in my race performance because I wanted to drink this race in, I am still disappointed. I truly think I could have performed better had I been more on my game and better hydrated and possibly fueled. My disappointment is minor however because I had made it to the largest running spectacle I could probably ever achieve. I cannot even imagine qualifying for something bigger. Overall I performed under my potential and therein lies my struggle.....Shoulda! Coulda! Woulda!
    Post race
    Warm down:

    I could barely walk when I finished. The last mile was pure will to finish so there was no warm down.

    What limited your ability to perform faster:

    Hydration - As mentioned above I should have been more attentive to something so important. It was foolish thing to not intentionally hydrate for something so long and demanding.
    Training on hills - It wasn't the uphills that killed me, it was purely the downhills! But in order to go up you must come down and training of this type is hard to come by here in northern Indiana. I could have done other things to provide better race day fitness but it was far to late when I learned of the course topography.
    Plantar fasciitis - This was the largest contributor to my lack of ability to perform as well as I would have liked. I had wanted to roll from HIM training directly into marathon training. When I took the time off to recover from the injury it robbed me of mileage and preparation.

    Event comments:

    Obviously my memories of what was to be the biggest sporting event I'll ever participate in has been tarnished. And not only that, but the murders that occurred there will forever be the first thing I think about when it comes to my Boston experience. I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for having these feelings after the loss of life and the physical and emotional struggles that hundreds of people will now have to endure fro the remainder of their lives. The families of the dead and wounded will have to relive those moments and the terror that ensued in those minutes after two cowards decided to commit such a dastardly act. These bastards, to scared of anyone to face me, or anyone else, and settle their differences chose to maim and kill innocents and innocence with careless discourse because of nothing less than pure cowardice.

    In the aftermath of the events of that day Lis made a comment to me; "I don't want to see the picture of the horrors....." And I responded to her comment in the same manner I did on September 11, 2001; "America needs to see the images in full graphic display to remind us and create a deeper resolve to hunt down and remove the threats to our nations security. We are a proud, sovereign land but our people are all too willing to forget, all to soon." If these images can create and stir a resolve to commit to hunting down and killing those who would kill us then the images should be displayed.

    My emotions run deep. Anger courses through my veins when I consider the spinelessness with which these people acted. This is all they have, to hide behind some protected location and murder at random any noncombatant they can find. We have tried diplomacy and failed. It is time to put it to the side and wage a war. A true war against these people.........

  • ........I'm done. I don't want to be labeled a warmonger or vengeful but if you were there maybe it would be easier understanding.

  • (This may be edited at a later time when I have a better emotional perspective.)

    In the days following the race I tweeted; "I completed the #bostonmarathon course yesterday and I would do it again today as an act of defiance to the terrorists!" I am now, less than a week away, giving consideration to trying to qualify again so I can run again, in Boston, to defy any foreign or domestic coward that would attempt to take away mt freedom!




    Last updated: 2012-10-24 12:00 AM
    Running
    03:24:33 | 26.2 miles | 07m 49s  min/mile
    Age Group: 1135/
    Overall: 6997/27000
    Performance: Below average
    Split Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR 1-7:43 152/ 173 2-7:33 150/ 160 3-7:29 151/ 161 4-7:24 152/ 158 5-7:42 157/ 166 6-7:22 158/ 168 7-7:21 159/ 164 8-7:33 157/ 164 9-7:33 155/ 159 10-7:34 157/ 161 11-7:38 159/ 162 12-7:22 157/ 164 13-7:38 159/ 167 14-7:27 161/ 164 15-7:37 162/ 165 16-7:31 157/ 166 17-7:54 162/ 167 18-7:50 162/ 167 19-7:46 158/ 166 20-8:01 158/ 165 21-8:08 160/ 166 22-7:47 159/ 166 23-7:57 156/ 161 24-8:07 155/ 162 25-8:16 152/ 155 26-8:25 151/ 159 27-7:56 150/ 153 Summary 7:43 157 173
    Course: This course was a point to point that has a net elevation loss. But the hills in Newton! Yeah!
    Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
    Post race
    Weight change: %
    Overall: Below average
    Mental exertion [1-5] 5
    Physical exertion [1-5] 4
    Good race? Yes
    Evaluation
    Course challenge Too hard
    Organized? Yes
    Events on-time? Yes
    Lots of volunteers? Yes
    Plenty of drinks? Yes
    Post race activities:
    Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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    2013-04-19 3:44 PM

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    Master
    3486
    20001000100100100100252525
    Fort Wayne
    Subject: Boston Marathon


    2013-04-19 3:49 PM
    in reply to: #4707511

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    Elite
    3683
    20001000500100252525
    Whispering Pines, North Carolina
    Subject: RE: Boston Marathon

    Nice run. Sorry that the event is tarnished for you. In a way, it is tarnished for everyone. That being said, I choose to remember the good. I think it's the only way to move forward.

    Smoking race! I am with you on the not knowing how to approach the race b/c it's so late. I actually liked it, though, b/c I got to sleep in a bit more than usual!

    2013-04-19 4:55 PM
    in reply to: #4707511

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    Subject: RE: Boston Marathon

    Hey Dirk,

    You should be extremely proud of all of the hard work you have put in just to get to Boston.  This race was truely a "unique" experience that may not have lived up to your original expectations both as in your finishing time and the aftermath of events, but I think you will be able to look back on it knowing you handled it they way you would be proud of.  You finished without giving up, and gave it all you had.  And followed it up by doing everything you could to ensure your family was safe afterwards.  It's just a race, but your dedication before, during, and afterwards is highly commendable.

    2013-04-19 5:06 PM
    in reply to: #4707511

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    Seattle
    Subject: RE: Boston Marathon

    You are absolutely allowed to feel all of these things. It's important that you are able to express yourself.

    I think once some time passes though, you should absolutely celebrate the accomplishment of getting there and completing the marathon. Of course there will always be opportunities to work on different aspects, but that isn't a bad thing!

    Great race!

    2013-04-19 9:59 PM
    in reply to: #4707511

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    Subject: RE: Boston Marathon

    Dirk I felt like I was there with you reading your race report. So many months of hard work, determination and focus and you put it all out on the course for race day. And to think your foot didn't bother you at all!

    There is a theme in your race report that I hope you will eventually be able to see as the biggest picture from that day and that is (I'm going to be sappy) Love and support every step of the way. From your family to support your dream, from your friends to eliminate the race morning stress,  from the spectators along the course, from the text messages and phone calls after the race and of course from all of us in the mentor group taking every step with you here in cyber land. Treasure the great moments.

    Proud to be a Junkie!

    2013-04-20 5:12 AM
    in reply to: #4707511

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    Expert
    1439
    100010010010010025
    Tallahassee
    Subject: RE: Boston Marathon
    Dirk, we are so proud of you.  This is a fantastic report.  I know it was hard posting but thanks!


    2013-04-20 7:03 AM
    in reply to: #4707511

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    Extreme Veteran
    868
    5001001001002525
    Racine, Wisconsin
    Subject: RE: Boston Marathon
    Dirk, this is an awesome read, I too felt like I was there with you! Congratulations! I think often of a comment I recall you had said that you and Lisa were ok but your girls were so shaken ( not your exact words) I am wondering how they are doing?
    2013-04-20 7:54 AM
    in reply to: #4707511

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    Extreme Veteran
    1123
    1000100
    Sidney, Ohio
    Subject: RE: Boston Marathon
    Dirk, great race. Like others have already said, reading it made me feel like I was there with you. I also agree it was disappointing the TEXt messaging wasn't working, I was sitting in a meeting thinking that I should be getting an update but Noo. Kept having to check the site on my phone for info, probably one of my least productive days at work in some time

    post race, strength and perseverance!
    2013-04-20 9:49 AM
    in reply to: #4707511

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    Expert
    2380
    2000100100100252525
    Mastic Beach, NY
    Subject: RE: Boston Marathon

    Dirk thank you for sharing your experience with us through your race report. I felt like I was there running it with you when I read it. Life is about chasing your dreams and there are very few times in life that we get a chance to do that and than actually be able to fulfill them. You were able to do that at Boston. You should be as we all are very proud of yourself for all the effort and hardwork you put into gettting there and finishing. You've overcome alot this year to get there and finish.

    I can only imagine how you must feel with how events unfolded there that day after your race and I don't think there is anything wrong with that as I'm sure I would feel the same way. I know running the marathon is not as important as what happened afterwards but don't let that diminish or take away from what you were able to accomplish.

    I'm rooting for you to qualify and get back Boston next year. You can do it.

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