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Boston Marathon - Run

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
70F / 21C
Total Time = 3h 52m 22s
Overall Rank = 14750/25546
Age Group = 60-64m
Age Group Rank = 416/1174
Pre-race routine:

Flew into the town on Saturday and immediately went to the expo. Soaked in the atmosphere, got some pics at the Boylston St. finish line and looked for a coffee shop that had somewhere to sit..not happening. My son joined me on Sunday and we did a Duckboat tour followed by sushi pre-race dinner.

I've been at this too long to have anything much in the way of pre-race jitters but I did feel a nice buzz of anticipation which turned into fully jacked-up after half a cappuccino while I was eating breakfast.

I had tons of time on race morning so I spent about 40mins in the hotel gym stretching and recumbent bike
Event warmup:

I did a shakeout run in downtown on Sunday and got completely turned around(lots of diagonally intersecting streets in Boston) and ran about twice the distance I'd intended

Athlete's Village in Hopkinton was crowded but not overwhelmingly so..light stretching before the 1k walk to the start line
  • 3h 52m 22s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 52s  min/mile

Made getting a BQ a goal in 2021. I'd thought my open marathon days were done after 2016 but thanks to injections in knees/toes I noticed I wasn't so miserable on long runs so I opened up to the possibility of making the commitment. With the help of a newly engaged coach(Phatknot from here on BT), I accumulated a level of run fitness I hadn't had in almost 15 years. Four failed BQ attempts and made it on what I figured would be the last one with enough buffer over qualifying standard that I got the bib.

The training arc to race day in Boston was just so-so and by the standards of my fitness during the qualifying attempts, I was a little undertrained. Once again and as per usual, I see that undertrained>overtrained. I'm making a(another) mental note about that..

Anyhoo, I knew what to expect about the course and its profile; many, many hours watching videos shot on GoPro and the like. My impression was that if approached cautiously on the front half, I could do an ok result and I made getting a qualfying time for next year the soft goal. 8:35/mi pace would get me past the standard with an extra five or so minutes of buffer. Game plan: start really slowly and save the quads/legs for the hills in Newton.

I think I executed pretty well; kept a close eye on pace through the early downhill miles, hit up every other water station, took a gel every three or so miles and generally kept the focus on the second half of the course. Crowd support was intermittently awesome early but after a few miles it's darn-near constant; the local communities are really supportive. Tough to overstate this aspect..thank you one and all for coming out.

I felt good past Wellesley(I freely admit moving over to the fence so I could high five the co-eds) and got to the Newton hills ready to run, not shuffle. I crested Heartbreak Hill and the next couple of downhill miles were close to my fastest of day. Felt awesome to be running at that point vs. the usual mile 22+ death march.

I faded the last 2 miles or so but kept moving forward and got a slight negative split. I missed the standard by a little more than two minutes and actually getting a bib for next year would have meant around seven minutes faster, so not really close to the A goal. I'm perfectly fine with that. The other goal was to feel like I'd done the day justice in terms of performance; I ran the whole thing, passed way more people than otherwise, and finished the run feeling like I was carrying my shield, not being carried on it. Crowd support dynamic; never seen anything like it. All course long but when you're in the last mile or so, it's almost deafening. Very, very cool and pretty much signature part of the day.

So the quest is ended. Except for the post-race fact that I'm seriously considering trying for a late summer qualifying race because I really, really want to come back..ASAP
What would you do differently?:

Shoulda/Coulda..I dunno, I would have liked to have qualified for next year and I can see the part of race where that got away from me, but not a single shred of regret..I really enjoyed the day.

Post race
Warm down:

Picked up drop bag and waited for my kid/sherpa.

As a completely unexpected fringe benefit, a musician I'm quite fond of, Matthew Sweet, was playing at a theater across the street from my hotel.

Last updated: 2023-10-15 12:00 AM
03:52:22 | 26.2 miles | 08m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 416/1174
Overall: 14750/25546
Performance: Good
Course: Point to point Hopkinton to Boston. Course has quite a bit of downhill early and uphill in the middle/late section..
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2024-04-18 1:56 PM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Silver member
Subject: Boston Marathon

2024-05-09 2:36 PM
in reply to: #5288478

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Subject: RE: Boston Marathon
Outstanding job, CM! You are an inspiration to all of us on BT. You never gave up on your goal and made it a reality.
2024-05-11 7:22 AM
in reply to: clarkar12

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Boston Marathon

Great job!  Love the comment "carrying my shield rather than being carried on it".  You ran a well-executed race and I concur a little under-trained is just fine.  Good luck later in the summer.

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