Friday, April 25, 2008

Boston Marathon

Well, what a cool race. Everyone saying "you got to do the race", seem to be right.

I'm pretty sure this is the first marathon I actually trained for and put in long runs and such for. The distance was no problem and I was on pace to run my goal of under 3 hrs through 14 or 15 miles then things went down hill, literally and figuratively. I had a little goal of attempting to be around Lance Armstrong for picture if it worked out but not to mess up my race to do it considering he was shooting for 2:45 or something faster.

The race - I had picked up from the folks we were staying with that it was in my best interest to go out easy and really quiet a bit slower than my goal pace for the first 10 miles and then work the second 10 miles. I went out at what felt very slow and very easy, that got me 6:30 at the mile. Hmmm, if I hadn't held back I probably would have been sub 6. I stayed relaxed and tried not to work the uphills to hard from there on. The 5k was right on pace (maybe not a good thing, but I thought so), the 10k was getting 40: something, which was right on pace or lets say within my capabilities. To run under or around 3 hrs it was.....lets just say a little fast.

Oh, so about 3 or 4 miles everyone I was running with just seemed to slow down, almost stop. Yup, they were all running behind Lance or next to him. Long story short, I ended up being near Lance til 12 or 13 miles, at one point I was one person away. I'm pretty sure I didn't get any pictures with him, since everyone else knew the pictures were at 15k and I didn't and positioned themselves accordingly, I was probably 20 feet behind him. So no pictures.

Anyway, I hit the half mark in 1:27, which I was happy with. Then the downhill at 15 was brutal. I ran the uphills after that just fine and felt fairly strong, now I wasn't sprinting up them, but I also wasn't going to be negative splitting the second half. The downhill after each uphill just killed me and by the end, my quads were really sore. I think I may have been just trying to conserve and not blow myself out, like at the start, but I think that ultimately just translated into going slower.

Well, I didn't make my goal but did manage to still get a qualifying time, so I'm thinking I may try it again next year. Leslie usually rights her own little race reports and did one for this even though she just spectated so enjoy her perspective.

Drew and I headed to Boston on Saturday so he could run the Boston Marathon for the first time and I could chill and have fun... And I did!
We arrived late Saturday after some plane issues... missed the big dinner but met up with Joe Bator and his most lovely wife Julia and the rest of their house guest clan. They have a beautiful place just a few miles from the marathon finish line... and I must say if you ever get an opportunity to be their house guest... DO IT! I met a new breed of people there... Marathoners. Now, I've run my share of marathons, but I am not a marathoner. These folks have their spring races, their fall races, (and in one guy's case a marathon a month for the last some 60
moths). They can compare and contrast the courses, the schwag, and the
feel of races across the globe. I guess I have met a few Ironmaner's, and maybe my hubby is one now, who are the same but different. It's not will you do an Ironman this year, but which one(s).
WOMEN'S OLYMPIC MARATHON TRIALS/ SATURDAY So, the plan was to wake up Sunday and run over to see the trials. I was a bit nervous about this (running with Drew who knows how slow I am, and Joe who suspects it) but they were nice to me and we did a scenic run over to a point on the trials course where they passed by twice per lap. First lap they went by and some gal was off the front, then there was a big pack (with Deena Kastor in it), then a second pack and the dribbles off the back. I spotted my now new idol who we call "T-Shirt Girl" about third from last. This gal was running strong, but was wearing a plain white tshirt and a pair of shorts and looked like someone I would line up next to at a 5K and think "ah, maybe... we'll see how fast she is". Here's her pic:
Second and third lap they came by and things were about the same. The gal off the front was pulling away (up to 2 minutes at one point), Deena and the fast pack were together, the second pack was breaking up, a few women dropped out, and tshirt girl was slowly picking people off the back.
Fourth lap Deena put her foot down and broke up the field. She was slowly reeling in the lead girl and carnage was happening behind her.
Tshirt girl was hanging strong and still looked solid. We moved to the finish line and Deena made the pass and finished first. The lead gal got second. Tshirt girl finished strong, looked like any old runner girl, and would have put Drew in a hurting if he was trying to beat her (Drew is my measuring stick for fast... There are really fast people who can beat him, fast people like him, normal people after that, then people like me in my runner speed categories).
We jogged back (well, Drew and Joe jogged and I tried not to redline) to Joe's house afterwards and they hosted a gorgeous brunch for an interesting and diverse group of runner types. Star of the lunch was something Julia made called Strada... this egg and bread, cheese and bacon casserole of heaven. Then Drew and I headed to the expo (HUGE!
With much fun stuff) and came back to a fabulous dinner that Joe made (meatballs to die for were the star of this meal...). Lemme tell you, these guys can just plain cook! An early evening because the marathon is the next day.
Drew headed out race morning to catch the bus and I caught a few extra Zzzz's and then got in a really nice 4'ish mile run. I love the combination of hills and lack of altitude in Boston. I actually felt strong running and enjoyed it. Joe, Michael (another spitting spouse) and I walked down to the finish to watch the race. Very cool! My cheeks were sore that night from grinning as I soaked in the atmosphere, watched the pretty runners, winced for the ones who struggled at the finish, and generally had a blast. We found a spot on a grass mound where we could see both the TV and the road. This was great because we saw the coverage of the Women's and Men's fields on TV, watched the wheelchair athletes come in, and then saw the sprint to the finish as the lead pair of women came in. Then the first place male. The finishers started as a trickle and turned to a steady stream. Joe kept track of Drew and Mary (Michael's wife) and Lance on his blackberry.
First report Drew and Lance were running close together at the half...
2:50 projected finish. Lance came by (looking quite buff in the chest and arms) with his crew of pacers. Drew's finish time slipped a bit (he said it had something to do with the up and downhills...) and at final report was to be something like 3:12. We scanned the crown from 3:10 on looking for a red shirt. There were a lot of red shirts! Finally he came by and we screamed an yelled. 3:19. What a great and fun day I had!
The difficulties began there and I won't bore you with the details but Drew forgot where to meet us and we missed a flight (the only on time flight of the weekend). Of the 7 flights we dealt with 1 was cancelled,
1 was on time, and 5 were late. Hmm...
But, that cannot quash the fun weekend we had. I'm motivated to run, and Drew requalified for next year so we get to do it all over again then and I cannot wait!!!
So, I was supposed to go do this 340 mile mountain bike race in Iowa this weekend, but the 13 hours each way drive, and the forecast which calls for rain and cold wussed me out... so it's a training weekend instead and I'll be racing solo at the 18 hours of Fruita (MTB) the following weekend instead. WUSS!

Ciao for now
Drew & Leslie

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