I Beg Your Pardum – Boston 2011 Pt2

Did you read Pt 1 yet?

Boston Marathon - Mile 25I want a ‘do-over’!

OK, before you all get up in my grill about how I should be happy I ran well in Boston, please keep reading and let me have my whine. Then it will be over and we can move on.

So, I have a bit of a obsessive-compulsive way to prepare for a marathon which is why travelling to one makes it difficult, and travelling with a group makes it even more so.

For one, travelling puts you off schedule and usually has you on your feet longer than you want to be. Whether it is out of necessity, or just touring around, we are always seemingly walking somewhere. This trip was no exception. Then there’s the fact you need to find meals , decent meals which we did, except for Race Eve where we ended up far from our hotel and eating later than normal. My most successful pre-race meals have been around 5pm eating time, allowing for proper digestion. On this occasion, we weren’t actually eating until after 7:30 which may have been a factor in my sour sore stomach on race day.

The rest of pre-race day went well, got to bed at a reasonable hour and actually slept ok. I thought that even after 22 marathons there would  be a bit of nervousness and excitement that would make it difficult to sleep, especially in Boston but no, this time, I was good. Also, I had Neo-Citrin helped the cause although that may explain why I woke up with a headache (Neo-Hangover?).

Race day morning logistics are just whacked at Boston. You have to wake at 5:30 to shower, dress in casual stuff, grab your bag of race clothes and other stuff you’ll need for the next 4 hours and then find breakfast. All of this went ok except breakfast was mediocre and had to last me 4 hours until the race and 3+ hours of racing. No, never, so snacks to eat between breakfast and the race were brought along. A banana, a 2 different kind of energy bars + a sports beverage and water.

I met with Nir and we walked to the buses which were about 1km away. We were lucky to meet up with Boston Bob and his friend David and that saved us about 45 minutes of waiting. An hour later we were dropped off in Athletes Village and the feeling there was good. Cool, but not cold. There were thousands of happy, nervous, anxious and fidgety runners waiting to be corralled. When we were told we better be headed to the start line, both Nir and I realized we had to pee again. Badly. And there was no time left to line up. DAMN!

We lined up, outside our corral as we were pretty much last ones there. When the gun went off, we wedged our way into the flow and winced in pee-pain. DAMN again! We knew it was inevitable we had to stop to pee so we did so as soon as we got to a clearing and it was the longest pee break in recent memory. BUMMER!

After that, we settled into a decent pace, a bit behind schedule but not too bad.

Now, here’s the best part of the weekend. This race is awesome to be a part of. I can’t say enough about it. The crowds again this year were amazing (ahmohhhzing) and our Canada shirts were a big hit, stirring up many many ‘Go Canadas’ and singing of Oh Canada. This of course leads me to weave in and out and high five everyone. It burns energy but hard to avoid. Wellesley Girls school, well, as crazy as ever. So loud, and so electric. Just wow. You could hear the screams behind us for about 5 minutes after passing by them.

At the half way mark, we were at 1:38 and feeling pretty good. A little more tired than I hoped and my first thoughts of having gone too hard at ‘Around the Bay’ and afterward crept in. I then stopped to take a gel. I had to stop because I couldn’t get it out of my tiny pocket! It was my 3rd gel on course and immediate felt the cramp in my gut, very low, almost where you feel the pain in your bladder when you’ve held pee in too long. I never managed to catch back up with Nir and as I tried to sprint to catch him the pain in my gut worsened and I had to slow. I finally succumbed and popped into a porta-potty where after almost 2 minutes, unsuccessful and frustrated I returned to the course and attempted to make up for lost time running the next 2 kms in just over 8 minutes which was a bit ambitious. I didn’t catch him but I must have got close because I recognized a lot of the other runners that we’d been grouped with.

Around 30k, I made a 2nd pit stop, this time successfully (tmi?) and although I felt much better, I knew I’d lost too much time. I strolled through the Newton Hills at a pretty decent pace and made it up Heartbreak Hill without slowing down and cruised down the hill hoping to make up time on the downhill. Unfortunately, although my stomach issue was sorted  I couldn’t push any harder without feeling nauseous. This is a recurring thing with me, either the heat, the gels, not enough of a taper and poor nutrition leading up to the race a combo of all 4 are causing me to have trouble finishing a marathon feeling good. More training miles might help but I need the complete package.

I got to 25 miles, the Citgo sign, still running, no walking yet and as  I crested the uphill bridge at Fenway, I stopped for a breather, knowing very well it might make it hard to get going again. But as I picked it up and got going, I actually felt good enough to surge for a while and passed a bunch of runners. Other strong runners were passing me as well but I at least finished fairly strong. I passed Anita, Julie and Sarah at 25.5 and made the infamous right on Hereford and left on Boylston. Boylston by the way felt like a mile in itself. I was dead tired and holding back vomit. It took a few minutes after crossing the finish line for that to subside but then the stomach ache came back and I had a hard time getting any food in me to recover. My 2nd half of 1:45 gave me a total of 2:23:25, my third best time of the 22 marathons so the end result was no slouch time. Just not as good as I am capable right now and that left me a bit disappointed.

I found Nir and was impressed to no end to find out he’d run a 1:34 2nd half for a personal best of 3:12:54. Pretty good considering his training was interrupted by a bad cold and some leg issues. He’s a beast. Everyone else in our group started strolling in with some great results and a lot of smiling faces, especially on the first timers. There really is nothing like finishing the Boston marathon.

Part 3 coming soon

Check out Pt 1 here




Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner
Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

  • http://Www.myrunshorts.con Runshorts

    That sucks, as they said in the 80s, big time. A three pit stop race and you still posted your third best time … you are definitely in shape for your goal time, should you get your do-over.

  • http://www.beachesrunner.com/ Beaches Runner

    I do deserve a do-over. The timing of it is an issue. I wish I hadn’t agreed to 3:40 pace the Goodlife marathon! Anyone out there want my 3:40 Pace Spot for Toronto in 3 weeks? Free entry ;) ;)