Monday, April 28, 2014

118th BAA Marathon

Well, I completed this year's Boston Marathon in 4:13:13. I had hoped to run under 4:00, but that probably wasn't realistic given the relatively warm day, my light training miles (average 17.5/week since 1/1/14), and the fact that it had been 10 years since my last marathon. Here is my race in Strava: A bit about the race: I was in the last wave, so I did not have to get up all that early. I drove in and parked at the hospital, then took a Hubway bike to the Green line, and the T to the Common. I got there about 8, so I stood around for a while talking to members of my team (BIDMC), and dropped off my bag of sweats for after the finish. Our bus didn't leave until about 9:30, and then traffic was heavy heading out to Hopkinton on the Pike, so I think we arrived there at about 10:30. By the time I ate a yogurt, used the bathroom, and drank a little water, it was time to head for the start. I had actually not quite reached my corral when the gun went off to start the last wave, but it didn't really matter - I got in it a minute or so late. It then took me a couple of minutes to reach the starting line. The initial miles were of course crowded (in truth, it never really got uncrowded), and I did have to expend energy in slowing & speeding up to get around other runners. My first mile was surprisingly fast, even though I thought I was going quite slow. I never really got in a groove. My plan had been to run 9:00 miles, which I kind of did for the first 17 or 18, but pretty early on I knew it would not be a great race for me. The crowds were amazing - very large and very supportive. Lots of signs. By the time I made the turn onto Commonwealth Ave, I knew it was going to be a struggle, although I knew I would finish. I started to take short walk breaks at water stops, and I had to duck into one of the medical tents because the toes on my right foot were rubbing and I had to put some vaseline on them to prevent a bigger problem. My pace slowed considerable from mile 18 in (walking breaks), but I made steady progress, and finally the welcome turn onto Boylston came. I crossed the line and made my way down Boylston to the Common for my gear.
While I was a little disappointed in my time at first, upon reflection I think I did all I could on that day. More importantly, my knee felt fine, and it's continued to feel good in the days after the race. So, maybe it won't be my last marathon after all...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

20 miler done

I ran what will be my longest training run on this past Saturday, a 20 miler.  I had originally been planning to run the Eastern States 20 Mile Race on Sunday, but the forecast was so ominous that I decided to run Saturday am, when the weather was really quite good.

It was quite a scene out there on the course, with literally thousands of runners doing their long run.  They actually had traffic cones and cops to direct traffic.  I ran from the Heartbreak Hill Running Company in Newton out to Natick and back.  Here it is on Strava:

I felt OK/not great.  I think I still had a bit of fatigue in my legs from the previous week, which I spent cycling in AZ (with a couple of runs added on).  The day after I returned from AZ, I went out to run 12 or 14 miles, and just felt it was too much and settled for 8.6 instead.  On the one hand, I'm a little worried about facing another 10K of running.  On the other, I have done it before, and I should be well rested on Patriot's Day.  Also, my knee feels pretty good.  I feel a little stiffness, but it hasn't been swelling.  I actually am more bothered by mild low back pain, but I have plenty of time for that to go away.