Tuesday, April 20, 2010

pick the beat up and kick your feet up

I'm not even sure to begin with my Boston experience. I guess I'll start with my finishing time for those of you who dont know:
3:41:07. (8:26 pace). That's a PR of almost 4 minutes!
Now those who read regularly know a lot about my journey so I'll spare everyone the entire story.

This was an amazing weekend. I was very excited about going and meeting so many of my BQ Babes that I had yet to meet in person. Oh yea, I was excite about the race too, but also rather calm. I didn't feel any huge pressure since all the pressure was just getting to Boston.
I got in Sat. after noon and met Kat and Flo to hit the expo and number pick up. After, Flo, my roomate for the weekend, and I grabbed dinner just the 2 of us. Later that night, it was off to Beerworks for more mingling with interweb and real life pals.
Sunday morning, Flo and I did a nice and easy 3 mile shake out run. The weather in Boston had been cool bordering on cold and off and on rain. Later that morning, another get together. Let's face it, this weekend is one big runner's party. All the girls got together for brunch. I had the afternoon to relax. My mom and Ruth decided sorta last minute to drive up to Boston (about a 5 hour drive) so I got to hang out with them for a while. By the evening, Loren and my BFF Tracy showed up. We ordered take out from a local place and ate at the hotel. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the hotel and getting everything ready. Rocky was on TV (though very poorly edited). I watched the whole thing.
Monday morning, up at 5. Eat, get dressed, get it together. Met a crew in the lobby and off to the buses. Since Boston is an out and back, it's a long trip on a school bus. A school bus packed with runners. Once at the Athlete's Village, there's time to kill, portopotties lines to wait in, and people to see. Since I was in the 2nd wave, I had even more time. As the first wave went to line up and start, most the folks left behind were women. I was hanging out with my BQ Babes from wave 2 just waiting or the start of the thing we'd all been waiting so long for!
Nina and I had talked about starting together since our goals were similar. We both wanted to requalify but really wanted to go under 3:40.
For my pace band, I used Greg's pace chart set for 3:39. He's figured out elevation and effort/fade into his formulas. On my other wrist, I had hill locations, up and down and length. I have Flo to thank for that idea. It was very very helpful.
Here we go, mile by mile. First I'll post my actual split then what my pace band said
1 8:31 (8:51) ooops. I bit fast but feeling relaxed. Which I should. It's MILE ONE
2 8:14 (8:30) ok, still a bit fast. Trying to keep it under control. This race does pretty much just go downhill to start
3 8:18 (8:09) that's better
4 8:08 (8:03) it's still fairly crowded here, but not insane. Racing in NYC all the time, I'm use to crowded.
5 8:26 (8:20) first gel. Had also been thinking about peeing but only if I saw an open portopotty
6 8:12 (8:11)
7 8:15 (8:12) still a little ahead, still with Nina. Feeling pretty good. I think I saw Paul here.
8 8:16 (8:19) Saw Tracy cheering!!! Or she saw me!
9 8:38 (8:14) I decided to pee. It was annoying me and figured I'd just keep thinking about it if I didn't. Bolted off to a portopotty just as someone else went in so I said screw it and went behind. I was joined by 2 other women and we looked like a little row of ducklings just peeing behind the portopotties. Yes, runners do this kinda stuff. I lost Nina for a mile or so but then found her again. This stop put me exactly on pace. Every time Nina and I crossed a tracking mat, we joked about our pals following along online and if they'd figure out we were running together.
10 8:04 (8:20) this I was a little hyped off from having stopped
11 8:05 (8:20) um yea. Now ahead. I think this is when I rejoined Nina. Gel 2
12 8:09 (8:07)
13 8:16 (8:18) still feeling good. Still on pace or a bit ahead. 2nd half coming! Since most of the down hills are in the first part of the race and the ups in the 2nd, most people run a positive split, meaning the run the first half faster than the 2nd. My pacing was set to have me do that by 1:21. I came in half way at 1:48:33
14 8:16 (8:17)
15 8:26 (8:21) I'm starting to notice that I'm running.
16 8:11 (8:00) The Newton hills start just after mile 16. I was starting to feel tired. Then I heard someone SCREAM my name, I turned to the right and saw the cheering squad of Cheers Beers and Chowdah going nuts. It was just the boost I needed at just the right time. Not 100 yards later, I saw the young and pretty boys of FRNY cheering as well. I was totally reenergized. Sometime around here, I lost Nina again. She said she was going to use a the bathroom and I didn't see her again. :(
I was hoping she'd catch me again.
17 8:32 (8:38) Let the hills begin. They go from 16.7 to about 21. OH GOOD TIMES TO BE HAD! I felt pretty good. I was running them well. I was passing people. Gel 3
18 8:43 (8:38) um. Hills? Ok, still moving well. Not worried about my time.
19 8:32 (8:11) My goal's slipping. I dont feel terrible.
20 8:50 (8:31) The thing is...it's WHEN the hills come! I'm still running them pretty strong. I'm still passing people, some who are walking, I just don't have a lot of power and my legs feel like cement blocks.
21 9:01 (8:51) my only 9 minute mile. Remember when I use to say no 10 minute miles? Now I say no 9 minute miles. CLose enough. Gel 4. Heartbreak Hill is mine, and the cherry on top, I see Loren, my mom, and Ruth. I give a big wave.
22 8:23 (8:10) even going down hill hurts. I know at this point I'll pretty much have to completely blow up to not get under 3:45 even if I'm just pulling away from 3:40.
23 8:39 (8:16) I'm really having an are we there yet moment. I pass my pal Miranda who I rode the bus over with. I hate passing my friends, esp when I know their goals and they're not having the best days. I shout out encouragement.
24 8:33 (8:26) From here you can see the ginormous Citgo sign, it's looming in the distance. And that distance...it is a hill. The last one.
25 8:51 (8:18) I hear someone scream my name, and I see Todd cheering like a madman. Thanks so much Todd, great boost for the last mile. And the famous words....left on Boylston. The crowd is huge and loud and crazy and holy crap there's the finish line will it not come soon enough.
26 8:50 (8:24) I think I hit my watch late for this split. I'm really moving as fast I can can to get under that huge banner.
.2 1:34
And scene.
Holy crap, I PRed and I BQed. By a lot. For both.
I am so happy. I feel actually pretty good. I waited to a few minutes to see if Nina was behind me but was hurried along (Nina finished in 3:44:29)
I have to say now a day out, I dont feel that bad. I certainly have felt worse. I think I felt worse after Steamtown.
I had an amazing weekend with friends old and new. I plan on going back next year and bring some friends along...you all know who you are!
Thanks to everyone who came up to Boston and who cheer from afar.

Friday, April 16, 2010

wicked little town

Welp, the time is almost year. YEARS in the making. I'm leaving for Boston in the morning. I did my last real work out yesterday, 7 miles with 2 at marathon pace. It felt great. This is the most relaxed I've been for a marathon in a long time, since this is the big pay off.
I'm so excited to get up there and hang out with all my real and imaginary friends. I'll be rooming with Flo which if our past experiences together are any indication, will be a total friggin blast. Loren is away for work so she'll joining us on Sunday.
I wanna thank all of you out there who read this for your support through this journey. It's been amazing, it really has. I know some people, most people, never get to Boston. I'm happy to share this experience with all of you.
And a big thanks to everyone who is coming up to Boston: Loren, my mom, my SIL, my BFF, the FRNY who are making the journey, and the special group of insane girls known as Cheers, Beers, and Chowdah.
Oh and if you want to track me, my bib #18236.
Full report when I get back!

Monday, April 12, 2010

mad world, mad world

Taper madness. It's real. Really. Someone should study it. I thought I was going to escape it this time around since I was coming off an injury and wasn't sure how my running was going to go. Also, my last few races have been trying to GET to Boston. This one IS Boston.
Well I was wrong. I came down with TAPER MADNESS.
To keep the voices at at least a whisper, I went on a planning spree.
Loren and I planned 2 high point trips. First one is a early summer road trip hitting PA, MD, and WV. Bea gets to come on this one too! The next one is in early Sept, hitting NM and CO. I also hope to hit VT and NY since Loren has both of those already and they're easy enough to get from here.
I've also been thinking about another ironman. It's been 6 years since my last one. And I fully admit the sport has changed and gotten douchy. I try to ignore all of that because I'm a pretty good triathlete and I like it. I just ignore all the dick measuring. I'm also curious to see how I'd do after years of just focused running. I was trying to decide which race to do. Do I do something new? Do I go for a course I know? These things are crazy, you have to sign up A YEAR a head of time. As I was looking things over, I had an idea:
Next year marks 10 years since my first IM in Lake Placid. I got to thinking that might be the thing to do, return to the scene of the crime. Not only should I return to the scene, I should take the people with me who got me there in the first place. I shot off an email to my pals Les and Claudia. We all did LP together and it was a first for all of us. I shot off an email to them saying let's get the band back together and do a 10 year Lake Placid reunion. With in the hour, I got 2 replies, both saying yes.
I have insane friends.
Of course I'm getting ahead of myself, I still have to run this little race on Monday, but it is fun to plan.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm taking time out in the name of love

I'm taking a time out from talking about my own running for a moment to acknowledge the loss of a great running mind.
The man behind the name Jim2 passed away on April 1st.
Anyone who frequents the runners world forums knows Jim2 as he has helped countless runners become more knowledgeable about running and taught us how to train smarter and hit our goals. His web site is a cornucopia of information and stats that is a must read for any geeky running nerd. (a fave is the Boston Qualifying statistics ).
Even through out his illness, Jim had a way of making his stories of treatment for cancer interesting, informative, and often hilarious. Having lost my own father to cancer almost 9 years ago, his recountings of his treatment rung familiar to me and I was saddened to hear of some one else going through this battle. His strength though his illness was an inspiration to me and something I will take with me from Hopkinton into Boston.
Rest in peace Jim2, you will be missed and remembered on roads and trails everywhere.

Friday, April 2, 2010

under my thumb

Remember I told you all about the idiot who stepped in front of me to have his picture taken?
Well here he is!
Thumbs up and all!
And this was the first time he did it, as you can tell by the look on my face I am not pleased or impressed. (he's in the red jacket)
He did it again and then I left him in the dust.
Dude, if you can do this while racing, you're not running hard enough.