Andrea and I shared our weekend with debutantes Angie Ridgel and Meredith Hill, whom I've coached for the past few seasons. Angie and Meredith did well, both scoring PRs on the famed Boston course.
These random thoughts were copied/pasted from my running log. Below are splits and a few photos from the weekend.
- My timing device did not register and my results did not post. (Result finally posted to the web as of Wednesday night.) Disappointed my 5k splits were not available online for friends to follow along.
- Temperatures in Boston were cool all weekend and windy cold in the athletes village. But good for racing. Shed all my warm-ups and started the race in singlet, shorts, and gloves. Became sunny and slightly warm in the race but weather not detrimental.
- Started in the second corral and crossed the line about 40-45 seconds after the 10 a.m. gun. My outward goal was 2:58:00 but with the favorable wind and temperature conditions I walked to the start thinking a possible PR (2:54:58/6:40 pace) was not out of question.
- Always amazed at the vast crowds here. Even in the second corral it appeared as thousands of runners were ahead.
- Carried a 10oz water bottle that allowed me to avoid the water stations through the fifth mile.
- Followed a group from Cincinnati called the All-Stars for for first 10km. They sported Celtics gear and were a crowd favorite. Rondo broke away from me at the 23 mile mark.
- There is A LOT of ground to be lost in the tangents on this course. I noticed most people ran as they drove a car and I did my best to save ground by picking the line, which required a lot of dodging others to work it to the left and right side of the road.
- With the downhill nature of this course, I tried to maintain good form with feet landing underneath avoiding the breaking action. Even if it meant going faster at times.
- Used a garmin set to auto-lap every mile and no need to click the watch for splits. Wrote the 5-mile splits on my bib for a 2:55 and 2:58 finish. Did not write down splits for every 5km, but kept mind active by doing the arithmetic for a 20:45 per 5k pace. As I approached each 5km timing mat I did the math in head (20:45 x2 = 41:30 (10km) + 20:45 = 1:02:15, etc, etc, all the way to 35km) and thought about people at home following me online. Shooting for 20:45/5k pace for as long as possible. The mental exercise each 5k kept me occupied for a few seconds.
- Thoughts I kept close: "Smooth and efficient," "Today is my day," "Dig deep," as well as meeting the goal of breaking 3 hours at Boston.
- The line of girls in Wellesley was awesome and I slapped hands here as well as a few other places in the first half.
- Caught up to Matt Shaheen right after Wellesley and Beth Woodward nearing mile 15. Good to see Ohio friends and training buds.
- Kind of pushed the pace miles 14-15 knowing the Newton Hills loomed ahead. Ran gently down and up the 16th mile.
- Had friends at the Woodland T station. Looked, did not find, but that occupied more time. Next thing I know I'm past mile 17, the fire station and on Comm Ave. Did some quick math and figured I could slow to 7:00 pace for the 4 miles to Heartbreak and be okay. Mentally backed off up the hills.
- 21st mile up Heartbreak slowest of the day and only one north of 7:00.
- Quads on the verge of toast but able to muster my pace downhill in miles 22 & 23 into Cleveland Circle, Coolidge Corner. BC students were boisterous and loud. Happy to be still moving at the clip.
- 24th mile I feel first twinge in the hamstrings. Cramp impending. Significant because this happened to me in both previous Bostons. Had to run tentatively to protect against muscle spasm. Proceeded gingerly.
- 25m marker near Fenway Park, Beth pats me on the butt, says "lets go," and motors ahead. I had no response.
- On Sunday, my wife had our group take the T out to Coolidge Corner to run the last three miles of the course. A terrific idea as having that experience helped me to finish without fading completely.
- Two years ago while spectating my wife's Boston race, I ran the 10 miles out to Wellesley and 10 miles back. I learned a lot about the course without the pressures of racing.
- In-race nutrition: An energy gel 10 minutes to gun, another at 60, 95, 120, and 140 minutes. S-cap (electrolytes) at 0:20, 1:20, and 2:00. Gatorade at the stations after 20 miles. Carried water bottle for first 5 miles then took water cup(s) every other station.
650, 634, 635,
633, 644, 635,
634, 639, 639,
645, 643, 631,
639, 635, 639,
629, 646, 653,
639, 649, 716 (Heartbreak Hill 21st mile),
637, 635, 652,
648, 657, 2:22 (last 0.36)
Half splits: 1:27:20/1:29:18
Overall place: 1077
Male place: 1004
In my three Bostons, I've gone 3:16, 3:06, 2:56. Next time, 2:46?
Summary: Super conditions. Not an easy course with the downhill nature and felt that past experiences here helped. I wasn't completely ready for the hill profile and it showed with the lack of finish in the final 3 miles. But cannot complain about the result. I took a chance and went for it.