Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Marathon

Yesterday, I ran the 111th Boston Marathon. The Nor'Easter ended up giving way just a little bit for the race, so we didn't end up having to run in pouring rain (although we did run in some rain). We had a 30mph headwind, but most of the race it wasn't too noticeable because of the thick crowds of people along with some trees and houses, although we started to feel the wind pretty heavily once we hit the Newton Hills, so it was a tough time for the wind. I was running with my college teammates Ben and Jonathan and we were running with a few other people that we met up with as well, although we weren't all able to make it to the finish together. It was a lot of fun along the course, although everyone said that the crowds were incredibly thin because of the weather. I'd love to see what it's like when the weather is good! The Wellesley girls lived up to the reputation of being amazing cheerers at the half marathon, though; you could hear them for almost a mile before you could see them.

We were running 5k's just right around 20 minutes the whole way (right where we wanted to be for a 2:50 marathon) until everything fell apart for me at the end. My quads started hurting pretty heavily around mile 12, which made me a bit nervous setting in that early, but I held pretty steady through most the race until the last 10 km. We lost a lot of our crowd in the Newton hills around miles 17 and 18 and I was running with Jonathan (pictured in the second picture at mile 24 of the race). With 0.8 miles left to go, I had already been slowing steadily, but my hamstrings completely locked up and I literally couldn't even walk. I was leaned over to stretch out my hamstrings and couldn't even stand up straight for a good 2-3 minutes (it felt like forever with the crowd yelling wildly and runners zooming past toward the finish). I looked at my watch and said, "Okay, you have 20 minutes to run 0.8 miles in order to qualify for next year's Boston. You could crawl it if you have to. Just relax, take your time, and get moving." I managed to stand up and then start to walk very slowly. I was able to increase it to a shuffle and then finally a very slow jog. I had to stop once more to stretch out a hamstring cramp with less than 0.5 miles to go and one of the spectators was going nuts encouraging me. Once I started walking he was shouting "That's it...you're moving now! You can do it!" and when I just barely started jogging I thought he was going to jump the barrier with excitement yelling "You've got it now!!! Go!!" It was really pretty hillarious and--despite the insane pain--a lot of fun. I finished in 3 hours, 46 seconds. Well off my goal, but meeting my during-unbelievable-muscle-cramping revised goal of qualifying to come back next year. Perhaps I'm insane that I want to do this again already even though I can hardly walk right now.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

In Boston

I flew to Boston yesterday morning from Chicago and met up with my parents who were also fling into Logan. We spent the day checking out Boston and met up with my friend Jonathan. This morning, Ben will meet up with us and the Davidson trio running tomorrow's marathon will be complete. Last night we ate at the Warren Tavern in Charlestown, which was a really neat spot and was apparently Paul Revere's favorite watering hole. Yesterday was a little chilly and breezy and would have been the perfect weather for a marathon. Even still this morning it's really nice out, but it's the calm before the storm. Within the next couple of hours it's supposed to start raining and then get really heavy, putting down 2-4 inches. There are flood watches in effect. Right now, they're calling for the rain to lighten up right as the marathon is starting (although the wind will still be in our faces at 20+ mph). With any luck it will ligthen up before we start running so that we don't get soaked early on and be no better off. No matter what happens, I'm sure it will be an adventure. We're going to take it easy today, go to the expo this afternoon, get dinner, and then try to get to bed fairly early because we're supposed to board buses to head down to Hopkinton between 6:00-6:30am tomorrow morning, although the marathon doesn't start until 10:00.


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Friday, April 13, 2007

Boston

Tomorrow I fly out for Boston for the 11th Boston Marathon. Some forecasters have been calling for a "100-year" storm. There's no doubt that we're going to have lots of rain, a strong headwind, and temperatures in the low-40's. It's definitely going to be an adventure. In the history of the race, they've never delayed or canceled due to weather, so hopefully that's not about to change.

The race starts Monday morning, April 16 at 10:00am Eastern Time. You can keep up in the following ways:

The Marathon Website - You can track me on race day: Bib 2111
Weather
TV Coverage on the Versus Channel

Here goes nothing!