Monday, April 18, 2005

Boston Marathon Race Report




















A PW but I gave it all I had ...

BAA Boston Marathon 12:00 pm

Temperature: 70-65F
Humidity: 9%
Bib Number: 18434

Background:

Originally, I had planned to run the Flying Pig in Spring. Then I got a chance to run Boston with an invitational entry. At first the idea of running Boston without a BQ seemed ridiculous. On thinking more about it, it started to make sense financially, logistically and practically. Getting in a training cycle with most of my training runs on the marathon course and running Boston once would only help my future BQ attempts. If I did ever BQ, having run Boston once would only help make my second attempt better after all we're all trying to run every marathon as fast as we possibly can.

Pre-Marathon:

I made it to the 3PM FE on Sunday at the Expo and it was great meeting the RWOL folks. Obviously this is not a complete list but some of those around were - Mike Anson, RunRonRun, JeffRuns, Brian44, Eric1970, Wiirachay, Bug'smom, Gary Radice, Woodman, Tomorrow Never Knows, runcam, ... I attended all the seminars on Saturday - the Johnny Kelly memorial, hydration etc. It was nice to see Allan Culpepper in real life. He seems like a really nice guy...

Goals:

I've run 2 marathons before this one: MCM '04 (3:27) and Philly '04 (3:25). In must have order:

1. Beat my number by atleast 10,000. I was starting in corral 18 so that pretty much meant I had no control of the traffic I faced and therefore my pace.
2. sub-3:40. Finish without walking.
3. sub-3:25:31 PR

The race:

So the race started but it was atleast 10 minutes before the folks in corral 18 began to walk :) I had expected this so I was not unduly perturbed. There were bandits jumping into the corrals all over the place. I was trying to see if I could find anyone with a "You have been passed by Ternoswki" sign. Maybe I could then get a few people to beat him up :) So about 23 minutes after the official start my race began. Pretty much what I had expected based on previous years. In fact it was nice that by the time the race started I had space to run. I was weaving all through since I had to keep passing people but that was to be expected. Mentally, I guess it gave me an illusion that my race was going well when I was merely passing people who planned to run slower than me.

mile 1: 8.04
I'm primarily focusing on ducking runners. I had be to careful to make sure that I did not suddenly jump in front of someone and disrupt their race. So I even excused myself before squeezing thought folks.

mile 2: 7:55
First offer of free beer. Briefly considered the offer.

mile 3: 7:51
From this point on I had seen every part of the course multiple times so none of it was new. Thoughout the crowd support was great. I was high fiving all the small kids since it really seemed to make them happy.
5K: 0:24:43 (7:57)

mile 4: 7:53
Continue looking at the crowds, swaying and passing. Eventless miles since I'd seen these before. The bottom of my shoe soles are beginning to feel hot. Reminds me of the 14th St Bridge at MCM '04 but atleast I have not hit the wall yet.

mile 5: 7:56
mile 6: 7:40
10K: 0:49:09 (7:55, 5K: 7:52)
The Framingham commuter rail station. I am always happy to see this since I know that I now have an easier option to get home. There's also an Indian temple opposite to this. So I guess I can confess my sins and hope that translates to being able to make it through the remaining miles.

mile 7: 7:56
mile 8: 7:53
mile 9: 7:42
15K: 1:13:28 (7:53, 5K: 7:50)
I like running though Natick and Wellesley. Nice buildings etc.

mile 10: 7:52
I am constantly reminding myself that you are supposed to feel good for the first 14 miles at Boston and that the worst does not come until mile 17.

mile 11: 7:50
mile 12: 7:46
Very disappointed by the effort put in by the Wellesley girls. I would give then at best a 5/10. Maybe this was so hyped up that I was expecting too much. 20K: 1:37:45 (7:52, 5K: 7:49) mile 13: 7:44 Half: 1:43:00

mile 14: 7:56
mile 15: 7:58
25K: 2:02:14 (7:52, 5K: 7:53)

mile 16: 7:48
Obviously, I know what this steep downhill leads to...

mile 17: 7:53
I find always find it ironical that the route 128 hill starts with the "Welcome to Newton Sign".

mile 18: 8:03
After the turn onto Commonwealth Ave it's more like "home territory". A majority of my training miles have been on this path.
30K: 2:26:56 (7:53, 5K: 7:57)

mile 19: 7:56
Usually, I always notice the Johnny Kelly statue on my runs but I guess today it was covered by the crowds.

mile 20: 8:03
Heartbreak hill: Our running club does their hill workouts here so whenever I run up this I start counting down from the starting point of our workouts 0-100m-200m...

mile 21: 8:24
35K: 2:52:17 (7:55, 5K: 8:10)
mile 22: 8:01
Entering Beacon St. I've run by here so many time I pretty much can associate street numbers with mile distances. Usually, that’s how I pass my time during some of my runs. Today my quads had started hurting so I had to just suck it up and go on.

mile 23: 8:17
There was a guy having a seizure somewhere around here. They were trying to get him help...

mile 24: 8:15
40K: 3:18:18 (7:59, 5K: 8:22)
mile 25: 8:43
I see the one-mile to go sign etc but I continue to have to play mental games to keep from walking.

mile 26: 8:31
mile 26.2 1:44 (2.195K: 8:28)
I can see the finish line. I had expected to raise my hands etc. before the race. Now I was just interested in passing that stupid thing and sitting down... Atleast, I never asked myself why I was running this marathon at any point.

Result:

Start Time Offset 22:47
Official Time: 3:52:38
Net Time: 3:29:51 @ 8:00
The rankings were based on gun time. So I had a 23 odd minute disadvantage...
Overall: 6922/18319(I beat my number by 11512 :) )
Gender: 5499/11342
Division: 2555/4165
Starters: 18319
Finishers: 17549

Reflections:

I think I gave this one all I could training-wise and in the race. Thinking about last year's Boston I guess I should be glad that even though the high reached 70F and it was sunny with little shade we did have a nice breeze most of the time. I had never run in winter before in my life. A little over a year back when I began running for the first time I could barely run a mile without walking. To keep up with 6mph and 6.5mph on the treadmill I would have to go for an all out sprint. So I am currently in a satisfied state :) Obviously, I will continue working towards a BQ and will never talk about this race again or wear/buy any Boston merchandise till I do so! I am signed up for VCM so possibly that will be my next marathon. I wonder if I will recover sufficiently to go for a PR there. Philly '04 was 3 weeks after MCM '04 and I could get one there. Here I have double the recovery time and have put in more miles in training this time around... I am now off to sleep (One thing good about running your home city marathon is that you get to immediately sleep on your own bed :) )

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