Thursday, April 23, 2009

3:22:36

This being my second Boston I was looking forward to experiencing all those things I missed last year because I was walking around in that “first Boston” fog. I was not disappointed.

Observations

• Man that expo is busy
• You have to be on the buses at 6:00 am
• Everyone is as nervous as you are
• Athlete’s village is huge, crowded and busy
• Bring “stuff” with you to Hopkinton. Next time, thermos with coffee
• The walk to the corrals isn’t that far, but it is down hill. Starts warming up those quads
• Holy man those first 16 miles ARE downhill.
• The Wellesley girls are loud. All the spectators are loud.
• I know every one of the Newton Hills now
• Boston College is beautiful
• I love running down Boylston Street
• The Boston Jacket – the most beautiful in the world (okay I knew that)

Preamble

Last year I had my “dream” Boston, so this year I did not expect to compete with my finishing time from last year. I had a couple of hard fall races, combined with the Goofy challenge and my legs were not in “A” race shape. Also, in getting prepared for the K-Rock 135km Ultra next year, I have run every day since Boxing Day, so no real rest either; Boston would be my 116th consecutive day. I entered this one with a goal/expectation of running a 3:25:21 (determined by taking my average long run pace and subtracting 20 seconds per km), in other words no real clue.

Pre-Race

We arrived Saturday around noon, checked into the hotel and headed to a very crowded race expo. After a couple of hours we were done, and mostly just relaxed for the rest of the day. Sunday morning, Justine, Kim and I ran the inaugural 5k. It was a beautiful morning and great for the girls to race in Boston and cross the hallowed finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Monday morning I was up and out to the buses by 6:00 am. It was cold; the wind seemed to cut through me. Arrived at the Hopkinton, blew up my air mattress and settled down for a 2 hour wait. No matter what I did I could not warm up and kept 2nd guessing my race attire, but in the end stuck with the plan. Walk to the start was as nerve racking as always, I doubt that will ever get easier, but I timed it well so I wouldn’t be standing around too long.

The Race

So this was it. What did the legs have? My plan was simple, 4:52/km pace, run as even as possible. I didn’t really remember from last year how much downhill the course was for the first 16 miles, maybe because last year I was running on fresher legs, but this year I sure felt it. As it turned out it was a blessing; those tired legs. It stopped me from hammering the first part of the course. I was running a little faster than planned, but not overly and had to slow down a couple of times to keep it under control. Hitting the hills in Newton, I was tired, but not too bad so I stuck with my pace and cadence through the hills, not losing too much time or energy on the climbs. The 21 mile marker just after the Heartbreak crest is one of the most wonderful sights in running I believe. I was still on a little faster pace, tired but moving well. From here I just maintained, checking my averages and speeding up ever so slightly when I saw my pace slowing. My one wish for this Boston was to run hard down Boylston Street to the finish. Last year I got a cramp and jogged it in, this year I wanted to kick it. So I made the turn cautiously looking for Justine and Kim, found them, quickly posed and then raced for the finish. My last .5km was run at a 4:11km pace – perfect end. Just as I had always imagined it. Smile

The Numbers

Time: 3:22:36
1st Half: 1:40:13
2nd Half: 1:42:23
Pace 4:46/km

Conclusion

Looking back on the race, I am extremely pleased with my result. I paced the race perfectly and had nothing left at then end. I was not as fast as last year, but it was a tougher race for me. Hope to be back next year if the legs are willing. Boston is really getting under my skin.

7 comments:

Kimberley said...

As in RM:
Huge congrats Strider, my love!!! You rocked it again as I knew you would. You're pretty damn good at this runnin' stuff.

I loved sharing the Boston journey again with you this year. It was pretty kewl being able to run the inaugural 5k with you and little J. Don't forget - the hotel is already booked for next year.... tehehehe.

Way da go love!

What a great picture. And, yes the Boston jacket is absolutely gorgeous..... just like YOU.

Derrick said...

Congrats again David. Awesome run! Sounds like you ran so smart.

....I don't believe you're wearing a Bruins jersey in that photo though!!!!

So, now the real question. How did the pipes feel on your Tuesday run;)

David said...

...it was hard to find any Bruins wear to wear. Had to go with the standard Dry-fit. I am sure it did cost me a couple of minutes.

Legs Tuesday were sore - 22:30 on the treadmill. But Wednesday on the road, a small downhill almost had me in tears. That hurt.

Sara said...

David, Yay for an awesome race!! Very even splits, you totally nailed it on that course where so many people blow up. You sound like you've got Boston figured out, race-wise and logistically too, so you may as well keep going back!

Do you find it tough doing a long road race after doing trail races? What's your secret? I want to do a fall marathon this year, but find it sooo tough to leave the dirt.

David said...

Sara,

The hardest part I find from going from trail to road is not stopping for walk breaks. Sounds silly but on the trail you walk uphills, over obstacles, for nutrition breaks, the pacing is different. But I think it is more psychological than physical. When I was running the marathon part of the Goofy in January, 2 months after Utah I kept thinking I'd stop but never had to, it was mental will power.

You do enough tempo and distance so that shouldn't be an issue, maybe just get some longer runs on the road a month or two before the marathon to become accustom to the longer stretches of pure running and you'll do great.

That said, I am glad to be heading back to the woods.

Sara said...

Ya, that's true, you can recover a lot in those little breaks on the trail and the body gets used to them. Which is good, but bad for road races! We'll see how it goes. Thanks for the thoughts.

Back to the woods you go, enjoy!!

Aaron Anderson said...

Man that is very inspirational!!! It sounds like you had a fantastic race, I would be happy with both your splits as my half time! We will make sure to touch base at Ktown 5 Peaks!! Again fantastic result!