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Texas, United States
Welcome to my blog. What is a triathlon? It's a swim, bike and run usually in that order. My goal is to give exposure and insight to triathlons along with encouraging living a healthy life style. My post will also contain my collective thoughts pertaining to my training experiences. Feel free to send an email to ej@trilifeblog.com with any feedback or questions you may have. facebook: www.facebook.com/TriLifeBlog

Monday, April 23, 2012

116th Boston Marathon Recap ..

In February 2010 I ran my first marathon, the Cowtown in Fort Worth Texas. I had a buddy post a congrats on my facebook account and asked if I had qualified for Boston. I had no clue as to what he was referring to. I ran the marathon because another friend of mine asked me to train to run it with him.
I checked my results and found that I had missed qualifying by 5 minutes. I had to run a 3:10:00 and I ran a 3:14:55. I was new to marathons and though my mind was focused on my second season of triathlon training I made a commitment to train for Cowtown again the following year with a goal to qualify for Boston.
It was now 2011 and I gave the Cowtown marathon another shoot. I went into the race hopping to get a feel for where my conditioning was at for the season. Unfortunately the course for the marathon was not the same as the previous year so I could not make that comparison.
I got through the race and was excited about beating my previous year’s time by about 10 minutes. I posted a 3:04 and some change for my second marathon. I was not qualified for Boston.
It’s only been one week since I ran my first Boston marathon. I went out there with the mind set to enjoy the experience. I arrived in Boston on Saturday only to find out that there was a heat advisory for Monday’s race. I thought no big deal how hot could it be at 8 a.m.? Well then I found out the race actually started at 10 a.m.
A deferment was offered to the athletes for the first time in B.A.A. history. A little over 4,000 athletes took the deferment. There were 27,000 registered and a little over 22,000 would make the start line.
Now I was a little worried. Sure I live in Texas and train in 90 to 100 degree weather at times. That’s training not racing and that’s what concerned me. I wanted to make sure that hydration was not going to be a problem for the event. I started hydrating on Saturday and made sure I hit up the hydration again on Sunday. I drank a few drinks high in electrolytes and tried to stay out of the sun as much as possible all day Sunday.
There was a 5K race Sunday morning which I was able to catch the finish. There was a purse on the line and there were many elite athletes going after the prize. The finish had 15 plus elite men crossing the line under the 14 minute mark for a 5K! Seeing these athletes doing their work can’t be described in words.
Monday morning rolled around. I found myself up later than what I’m normally used to for events. I usually get out of bed at 4 or 4:30 a.m. and here I was getting up closer to 6 a.m. We took a bus over to the start line from the hotel. The course would start in Hopkinton and it was a 26.2 mile shot to the finish line. There were thousands upon thousands of participants ready to run the roads and take back with them their own Boston experience.
I was in wave 1 corral 5. We were place din corrals like herds of cattle. I’m not sure how they made us all fit but, we did. All athletes were shoulder to shoulder with no room to stretch. The gun went off and we started walking every so slowly to the start line. I crossed the over the line and started my Garmin.
I was amazed with the number of athletes in the road. We were packed like sardines. You really had to watch yourself or you could get clipped from behind or cut off from in front. I decided the best place for me would be along the right side of the road. I had plans to go out and start at a certain pace but, due to the heat and the crowd that pace was impossible for me to hit.
Aside from the athlete masses I quickly noticed all the spectators lined up along the course. Adults and children lined up the course all cheering us one and most asking for high fives. I want to say the high fives for me was the best part of the race. I easily high fived over 1,000 kids during the race. I looked forward to seeing the next group of kids to high five as the race went on. It felt like I blinked and before I knew it I was on mile 3. I thought to myself this race is going to go by quick. Having fan support throughout the race makes a huge difference.
The first 4 to 5 miles were rolling hills with a descent. I wish I would have been able to go but, there were just to many people in the way. It wasn’t until about mile 8 that the crowd finally started to thin out a bit. The heat was coming on and I was making sure that I dumped water on my head at every station. I also made sure I was sipping on some water at every mile.
I crossed the half way point (13.1 miles) averaging about a 6:40 pace. I was feeling really good. I was out slower than I wanted to be but, I thought to myself that I could keep a 7 minute or faster pace through the duration of the marathon. Mile 15 came along and we were coming upon some runners who were walking through aid stations. It’s a common occurrence in marathons and especially in this hot event.
I was unfortunate and found a walker who decided to grab some water then try and walk briskly at an angle without seeing if anyone was coming up behind him. He cut off several runners including myself. I had to stop abruptly to avoid a collision with the walker. That quick stop and change in motion made my left calf cramp up.
I was near the end of mile 15 and had to fight off a cramp. I knew that this was not a good sign. As the race continued and I hit the hills between mile 17 and 22 my body started to break down. I could feel my hamstring wanting to cramp and I could also feel my right calf wanting to cramp. I ended up having to stop and stretch my left calf one time and I had to slow my pace down to avoid cramping on my right calf and hamstring area a couple other times.
At this point I was getting frustrated with my body. My repertory conditioning was fine it was the conditioning of my muscles that were keeping me from running. I was at mile 24 and out of the 22,000 runners thought I had seen someone I knew. I called out his name and sure enough it was him. Man did I luck out.
I told John thank you for showing up at this time. I was fading pretty quickly. I told him I was cramping up and I was going to try and feed off of his energy to get me through the last two miles. I was able to keep pace with John until we reached the home stretch. We had 600 meters to go and I told him if he had a kick to go for it. I wasn’t going to risk cramping again.
Crossing the finish line brought back memories of Ironman Florida. This was a huge first for me and I was excited and happy to get it done. I thanked John for helping me get through the last two miles of the marathon.
The event was very well orchestrated. Runner’s safety was their first and foremost concern. If I get the opportunity I will more than likely go back.
Here are some quick stats from the event.
Started                        Finished           Percent Finished
22,480             21,554             95.9%
My Finishing Time: 3:05:59
Overall Pace: 7:06
Temperature: High of 89 degrees
Overall Place: 787
Split     time of day      time                 min/mile          miles/h
5K        10:23:58AM    00:20:58          06:45               8.90
10K      10:44:28AM    00:41:28          06:36               9.09
15K      11:05:10AM    01:02:10          06:40               9.01
20K      11:26:28AM    01:23:28          06:52               8.75
HALF   11:31:02AM    01:28:02          06:42               8.96
25K      11:47:47AM    01:44:47          06:55               8.68
30K      12:10:29AM    02:07:29          07:19               8.21
35K      12:34:24AM    02:31:24          07:42               7.80
40K      12:58:35AM    02:55:35          07:48               7.71
Finish 01:08:59PM    03:05:59     
Thank you for reading this blog entry. As always feel free to email me any questions or comments you may have.  

..ej

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