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SOSH Running Dogs

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by Catch Me Bruno, May 27, 2007.

  1. BroodsSexton

    BroodsSexton Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,628
    Paging @drleather2001 -- I'm in again for New York in November. You guys were awesome in 2015 when I started training with 7 weeks to go. This year, I want to break 4 hours, which will require me to drop another 10 minutes -- I finished my last one just under 4:10.

    It's early, but I promise I'll be better this time. What do I do?
     
  2. drleather2001

    drleather2001 given himself a skunk spot SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,713
    Here's what I would do (and a spin on what I'm doing this year for my October marathon):

    1) Sign up for a 10K that's sometime in mid/late April.

    2) Sign up for a 10M or Half Marathon sometime in late May/June.

    3) Sign up for a Half Marathon sometime in September/early October.


    Do that today.

    Then go out and run 12 miles this week (3/4/5).

    Then focus primarily on building mileage. Don't worry about speed too much, that will come. You can get below 4:00 (or, hell, even 3:45) simply by upping your weekly mileage on a regular basis and gradually increasing speed over the summer. For the 10K, be running 20-25 miles per week for the month leading up to it. For the summer race, be running 30-35 miles per week, and for the fall half, be up to 40-45.

    This is all in addition/in conjunction with a regular Marathon training plan that would typically start sometime in early July, I think.

    Also make sure you stretch and foam-roll after your runs. I also recommend doing some glute/hamstring workouts (glute bridges are good enough) twice a week; it only takes an additional 3 minutes or so and it helps. You want to avoid getting overpowered quads and weak glutes because that will cause hip pain, overworked hip flexors, or IT Band syndrome.

    Your official pace for a 4:00 Marathon is 9:09/mile. In reality, you'll have to run about 5-10 seconds faster than that to account for bad tangents and the annoying fact that you'll end up running closer to 26.8 than 26.2. So say 9:00 minutes/mile.

    I would try to run your races at about 8:30 minute/mile pace, but just do your 10K at a comfortably challenging pace and see how you do.

    And above all else: don't get discouraged. You have tons of time, so even if you are churning out 10 minute miles this week, it's ok. The first two weeks are brutal, but it gets easier. I kept running 12-20 miles a week over the winter after my 3:25 marathon last October and I'm still grinding a good 20-30 seconds slower per mile than I was back in September. It's just how it goes. Doing body-weight squats helps a bit, IMO, because your legs don't get strong as fast as your cardio does simply by running.
     
    #3102 drleather2001, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  3. BroodsSexton

    BroodsSexton Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,628
    Thanks brother--I've actually just recently joined a gym, so I've been doing some weight training and light running (3-4 miles) a couple times/week. My fear is that if I start trying to increase mileage too soon I'll get bored. I'm pretty goal oriented, and want to break the 4 hour mark because it's a challenge for me, but if I'm running 30-40 miles per week for the next 8 months I'm pretty sure I'll throttle someone.

    That said, I'm on the Leather program, so 3/4/5 it is. Starting next week :) What's the point of signing up for the other races? Just race day experience? Not just as good to do my distance on my own?
     
  4. drleather2001

    drleather2001 given himself a skunk spot SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,713
    Races provide bench marks to measure progress, race-day experience, and (most importantly) a purpose. Like anything else in life (career, retirement savings, climbing a mountain), it's a lot easier to set shorter, interim, goals on the way to a larger goal than it is to just set the end goal a long time from now and just hope things take care of themselves.

    Speaking for myself, I am far more likely to get out and actually run those 10-15 mile runs between May and August if I have the specter of a race coming up. Otherwise, they have a nasty habit of turning into 4-7 mile runs because "I've got plenty of time!" Contrary to your assertion that running more will make you bored, I think the races keep me interested. The prospect of a kinda-crappy 13 mile training run is one thing, but running a crappy half marathon race makes me pissed off.

    Also, and with no disrespect, if you aren't committed to running 20-25 miles a week before you start a typical 18 week marathon training program, you should reconsider why/whether you want to bother with the marathon. That's a recipe for getting hurt. It sounds like you want to limit your training to be just good enough to get under 4:00, which is backwards. Train and run the thing as best you can, the time will take care of itself.
     
  5. MB's Hidden Ball

    MB's Hidden Ball Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,614
    drleather: what do you recommend for nonrunning leg exercises? I'm not as young as I used to be and I've lost a ton of leg strength; I'm comfortable with weights but I am worried about over use. How do you balance running versus regaining leg strength?

    Thanks
     
  6. drleather2001

    drleather2001 given himself a skunk spot SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,713
    You don't even need weights (although I'm not advocating for their non-use).

    For me, glute bridges and body-weight squats (or with a 15 lb weight) are enough (which, again, isn't to say you shouldn't do more, but I'm realistic about how much time/energy people have after already devoting tons of time running). You don't need to bulk up or kick the shit out of your legs, just need to compensate for any imbalances, which usually occur in your glutes, hamstrings, and psoas.

    Twice a week, do 3 minutes of glute bridges (30 seconds with both feet on the ground, 2 x 30 seconds with one leg on the ground, alternating, 30 seconds with both again).and 25 body-weight squats, and it will make a substantial difference in being able to maintain your running form. That's the key.

    If you have specific recurring issues, I can't really help. I'm just saying what I find quick and effective.
     
  7. MB's Hidden Ball

    MB's Hidden Ball Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,614
    Thanks; I don't have any specific issues, I just think I need to work on my leg strength, but I want to avoid the kind of injuries associated with over use.
     
  8. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,444
    Yeah, stretching, foam rolling and also balance stuff! Leather covers the prep really well. The key I've sort of learned now after fucking myself last year with an overuse injury and dealing now with a little achilles thing which wasn't overuse, I rolled it on a trail, but healing it while still running becomes a matter of overuse avoidance style training.

    I really suggest at the outset hitting up a physio who is a runner for a consultation - because cadence and form are the other massive issue on overuse, especially through overstriding. That person will give you the guide going forward on overall things to do with your form going forward. Well worth it.
     
  9. fiskful of dollars

    fiskful of dollars Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    950
    I agree with sprinkling in a few shorter races throughout your training program. It keeps you fresh mentally to have a race to shoot for. It's also an opportunity to experiment with race strategies (just the logistics of race morning can be challenging), nutrition/hydration/electrolytes (huge in the marathon distance) and gauging your progress. Racing is really important to arrive at the start line with a realistic goal in mind. For example, if you're running a 2 hour half marathon at max pace, a sub 4 hr marathon is probably unrealistic. I usually plan an "A" goal - pie in the sky, stars align,PR, etc., a "B" goal - good,solid effort and a "C" goal - I'll take it. That way if things aren't going well in the middle of the race, I still have a goal to shoot for. Last year at Shamrock I was trying for a PR and a BQ. Unfortunately there were monsoon conditions and it was not a fast race for anyone. At mile 15 I realized that I was not going to PR but still had a shot for a BQ and that was my mental stake in the ground.

    Regarding strength training...I think it's underutilized by most runners. Core strength and functional kinetic chain training are essential to maintaining good form and reducing injury risk. Everyone has their favorites but I think as long as you are actively strengthening your core/glutes/proximal hamstrings and your upper body, you should be fine. I like planks, lunges, squats (with or without weights), Burpees (barf), wall squats and some light plyometrics. I also do a 30 minute yoga routine 3x a week. I think core strengthening and foam rolling are much, much more important than stretching, especially for older guys. I'm 50 so managing injuries has been a big deal for me over the past few years. Good luck!

    I'm tapering for the Shamrock Half now - going for a sub 1:30 - but that's a stretch for me. Hope everyone has a great racing season!
     
  10. sonofgodcf

    sonofgodcf Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    486
    I agree with most of this (I'm not a big fan of races outside of marathon distance, but I get that it keeps people motivated) but I would caution to not get so caught up in mileage. I usually "train" for 16 weeks - and for the first six I rarely crack 25 miles/week. Aside from the weeks I do really long runs (15+), most weeks I'm averaging less than 35 throughout my training. Quality over quantity, and feeling strong for my runs is more valuable to me than crushing mileage. It's a fine line, but you can just as easily hurt yourself over-training as you can by under-training (with the added wrinkle that you normally hurt yourself in the race in the latter, in the former you more often miss out altogether).

    Fully endorse the idea of not training to run a 4:00 marathon. That typically leads to doing just that, at best. Train to be strong and as fast as you can (somewhat uncomfortably) run a marathon and you may just surprise yourself with a much different number.
     
  11. MB's Hidden Ball

    MB's Hidden Ball Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,614
    Thanks this is a good idea; I actually have access to one where I am now so I will set up an appointment.

    Yeah thanks; I lift 3-4 times a week for upper body and do planks/core exercises, but my only leg workout is running. I'm going to start ramping up the distance soon, but my concern is that my weak legs are going to limit my ability to improve my running.
     
  12. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    13,444
    They won't be weak legs if you add miles to them at a reasonable, sustainable rate.
     
  13. BroodsSexton

    BroodsSexton Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,628
    This is the advice I was looking for, and so I will follow it :)

    It's not so much that I'm training for 4:00, but that's the goal I've set for myself (arbitrarily, of course), and it's what's motivating me to do this. Why does it motivate me? Who knows. Bragging rights aren't really that valuable. Maybe it's mid-life crisis. I am also lifting a bit, and cross-training with other sports right now. So I think what my plan is will be to get up to 15 miles or so per week into July, and then start a 15-20 week training program. If I start now, I will burn out.
     
  14. GreenMountain

    GreenMountain Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    97
    Does anybody know if/when B.A.A. is holding their Boston prep training run this month? I did it a couple of years ago and it was great. It should be the weekend of the 25/26 but I can't find anything about it online.
     
  15. MB's Hidden Ball

    MB's Hidden Ball Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,614
    I took everyone's advice and went out and bought a foam roller today; my left hamstring has been a bit tweaky ever since I pulled it playing softball (!) this fall. Thanks again for the advice.

    GreenMountain: good luck. You've been killing it recently.
     
  16. GreenMountain

    GreenMountain Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    97
    Thanks MB! I have been rolling, stretching, and strength training (especially hamstrings and glutes) throughout this marathon training cycle and it's made a huge difference so far. Up to 60-70 mile weeks and feeling pretty good.
     
  17. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    5k today in 20:23, normally I'm well under 20. Weird feeling where my legs were dead but I was barely winded at the end. Chalking it up to both being on the wrong end of 40 and first race of the year, being in only so-so shape (bunch of 20 mile weeks, no speed work).
     
  18. drleather2001

    drleather2001 given himself a skunk spot SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,713
    Ran a 10 mile race yesterday at 7:18 pace (7:11 on map my run). So-So, but I'm still tuning up for the running season and it was cold out, so I'll take it.
     
  19. fiskful of dollars

    fiskful of dollars Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    950
    Shamrock Half today. 25 mph winds with cold driving rain. Missed my goal but did set a PR. 1:30:45. Nice bit of tailwind for the last few helped a lot.
     
  20. TallerThanPedroia

    TallerThanPedroia Civilly Disobedient SoSH Member

    Messages:
    10,637
    All the teams do their last big long run this Saturday out on the course. The Newton police even come out and close a lane on Washington St (Wellesley PD do not, however) and direct cross-street traffic on the Comm Ave carriage road. Most teams bus out to Hopkinton and run back, but my team at least starts at BC and runs out and back. I don't know if there's an official BAA training run for it, but I know the Heartbreakers and Nike have one that's free to join. I wouldn't be surprised if there were one associated with the Adidas RunBase but I haven't seen anything.

    Anyone else besides GM running Boston this year? I'm running my fourth for Dana-Farber:

    http://www.rundfmc.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1162260&supid=328875475

    And I've got a free pair of New Balance shoes I won that I've got no use for (I run in Vibrams or Luna sandals) so I'm looking for a $100 donation in exchange:

     
  21. GreenMountain

    GreenMountain Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    97
    Thanks for the info TTP. Unfortunately I will be driving to and from VT on Saturday. Looks like I will be doing my last 22 miler solo during a snowstorm on Sunday. Fun!
     
  22. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    13,444
    Jesus you guys. Running in that weather is something I've yet to experience.
     
  23. MB's Hidden Ball

    MB's Hidden Ball Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,614
    Congrats; great time!
     
  24. fiskful of dollars

    fiskful of dollars Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    950
    Thanks! Lots of good times this week on this thread. Excited to hear about Boston this year.
     
  25. drleather2001

    drleather2001 given himself a skunk spot SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,713
    So advice wanted:

    I've run the same fall marathon the past three Octobers, with the following approximate times:
    4:20:xx
    3:40:xx
    3:25:xx

    I have seldom cracked 30 mpw in training for those. In fact, last year I only did it twice.

    Is simply upping my weekly mileage to 30 mpw+, starting in April, and 40 mpw+ in July-September, with most of that increase in the form of "easy" (30 sec below race pace or so) miles the best way to continue steady improvement? As discussed above, I've been adding some lower body strength stuff, too, to ward off injury.
     
  26. TallerThanPedroia

    TallerThanPedroia Civilly Disobedient SoSH Member

    Messages:
    10,637
    This is essentially what I did back in the day, before I went for my first BQ attempt, though I was sticking to half marathons because fulls took too long to recover from. I never did any speedwork (apart from two or three 5Ks a year), just lots of quality miles.

    My half times went like this, over three years: 1:52, 1:45, 1:41, 1:35, 1:32, 1:29.

    I needed 3:05 to BQ back then so I figured 1:29 plus a summer of training was good enough. That summer I started using a modified Hanson's method, adding both intervals (up to 10 Yasso 800s) and a tempo run (warmup and then up to 10 miles at marathon pace).

    That made me faster, at a quicker rate of improvement than I'd seen before, but I also injured myself four weeks before my first BQ attempt while doing intervals. I ran the race anyway but only ran 3:29 (really, 1:32 + 1:57). It took me two more tries to BQ (the second was at Boston itself, which isn't a good place to try it, I've decided).

    I've largely given up on intervals - every time I try to reintroduce them, I hurt myself (as recently as last summer because I am dumb). I replaced them with lots and lots of hills, which I think have made me tougher without the injury risk. But I've kept the tempo run and it's a great workout.

    Training for this Boston, the only change I've made is to do my long runs as sort of 80/20 runs, where I run the first 80% at a comfortable but not lazy pace (7:45 or so) and then the final 20% at marathon pace. So for a 20 mile run, 16 @ 7:45 and then 4 @ 6:45. That's been working well.

    TL;DR - just adding miles will make you faster. Doing speedwork may make you faster more quickly but at increased risk of injury.
     
  27. drleather2001

    drleather2001 given himself a skunk spot SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,713
    Yeah, thanks. That makes a lot of sense.

    I know I am not going to BQ this year, but have an eye maybe on next year, when I get the sweet extra five minutes because I'll be 40 for the 2020 race (3:15:00). So...yay?

    I am cautiously optimistic that I can do it, primarily because I've never really done much more than a Novice Higdon plan, and I've (IMO) shown big time improvements simply from sticking to that. So this year my goal is to simply run more, do some light strength training, and see if I can shave another 5-10 minutes off my time.

    My last Half was in April, 2016, and I ran it in 1:35:54. My 10 mile race this past weekend was at the exact same pace, but with 6 weeks of training to go before I run the same HM this year. So that will be a good barometer to see how much faster I am this year over last, early in the training cycle.
     
  28. TallerThanPedroia

    TallerThanPedroia Civilly Disobedient SoSH Member

    Messages:
    10,637
    I'd feel pretty good about that BQ. You're already on the cusp, and it sounds like you've got a mellow training plan.
     
  29. dixielandbandana

    dixielandbandana Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    161
    Has anyone run the Marine Corps Marathon? General registration opens today, and I'm trying to get in. I've heard it's great as a first marathon, and exceptionally well-run by the organizers, which sounds pretty good!
     
  30. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,053
    I'm looking toward a BQ for the 2020 race, too (fall 2018 or spring 2019).

    Current half marathon PR 1:36:44 - going for something around 1:32 this spring (Cox Providence on May 7th). Looking to eventually get under 90 minutes for the half before I try another full marathon.

    Doing a track workout once a week (usually ranging from 400m-1600m intervals), a tempo or progression run once a week (6:50-7:00 per mile pace), 40-45 miles total, and max of 16 miles long run.

    I'll be interested to hear more about your progress, drleather.
     
  31. drleather2001

    drleather2001 given himself a skunk spot SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,713
    Yeah, same!

    On that note: anyone ever get this issue where, after you ramp up mileage a bit, the front of your ankles/shins start to get tight around miles 3-4 during runs, and then it kind of dissipates? Never to the point of pain, but to the point of discomfort and a slight burning sensation. It's not shin splints.

    What's odd is that I get this every year, but then it never seems to bother me during my races. I wonder if, when I've been running a lot, my form changes ever-so-slightly and it causes me to put more pressure on my lower leg, somehow.
     
  32. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    13,444
    That doesn't sound good and I would get it checked out before something explodes and the physio looking at you asks you why you ignored all the warning signs from your body?

    ie What I did when I got real bad ITB last year despite, in obvious hindsight, my body screaming at me for over a month to fucking stop doing what I was doing.
     
  33. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,444
    I have 6 weeks to go before UTA50, my first Ultramarathon. I went up to the mountains on the weekend and ran the course; did a leisurely 4 and half hours 30km of the back half plus a little more on Saturday in beautiful weather and then a leisurely three and a half 25km of the front half yesterday in pouring rain. Almost 2,700m in vertical gain. Have come out of it physically and mentally all good and I can't wait to toe the line.
     
  34. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,053
    Impressive training runs! Good luck with the race, keep us posted.
     
  35. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,444
    Thanks!

    You guys hear about the Barkley's this year? A guy I have met a few times who is pretty elite, Gary Robins, finished... 6 seconds over the cutoff and was DQ'd.

    Here's Gary at the end:

    [​IMG]

    I've heard the guy who won sat down to change his socks at some point on the last lap and fell asleep and was woken by the extreme cold and has no idea how long he was asleep (no technology so no watches etc).

    Insane.

    edit: He's not Aussie - I thought he lived here but I'm told he just trains here.
     
    #3135 SydneySox, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  36. johnmd20

    johnmd20 voice of soccer Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    29,524
    Probably better off he finished 6 seconds over the time, and knew right there he didn't make it, because even if he finished under 60 hours, he would have been DQ'ed for taking a wrong turn and coming home on the wrong side.
     
  37. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,444
    Yeah from what I understand he knew that he'd come in from the wrong direction but still wanted to get in under the cutoff.
     
  38. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,444
  39. Tokyo Sox

    Tokyo Sox Baka Gaijin Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    3,498
  40. sonofgodcf

    sonofgodcf Member SoSH Member

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    486
    My former boss ran Barkley this year. I can't find any info yet on how he did, except that he wasn't listed as one of the few completing the "Fun Run". The guy is a beast, so I can't imagine how hard this course must be. Very excited to hear his thoughts on the race.
     
  41. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    13,444
    Thanks Tokyo, I should definitely check that out because there's no way we have heard of it.

    Also sonofgodcf - I'd be more super interested in hearing how he even applied ;)
     
  42. pedro1918

    pedro1918 Member SoSH Member

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    3,209
    Did you get in?

    I'm running it for the third time this fall. It was my first marathon back in 2009. As they say, it is run by a bunch of Marines, so it's about as organized as it gets. The course has changed since the last time I ran it, but my understanding is that it's still pretty flat.
     
  43. TallerThanPedroia

    TallerThanPedroia Civilly Disobedient SoSH Member

    Messages:
    10,637
    I watched this steaming on Netflix somewhat recently - looks like it's still there. It gives you a good idea of how ridiculous it is.
     
  44. dixielandbandana

    dixielandbandana Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    161
    I did! It was at the top of all of the "best first marathon" lists I could find, so I'm really excited! Here's hoping the weather holds out!
     
  45. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    13,444
    Awesome - good luck guy.
     
  46. pedro1918

    pedro1918 Member SoSH Member

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    3,209
    Great. Good luck and see you at the (uphill) finish!
     
  47. MB's Hidden Ball

    MB's Hidden Ball Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,614
    Good luck to everyone who's running tomorrow.
     
  48. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    29,571
    ESPN did a piece yesterday about the Barkley, probably on their website.
     
  49. SydneySox

    SydneySox A dash of cool to add the heat Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    13,444
    For sure, hope it went well for everyone! Let us know your stories, how your races went, it's always great to hear.
     
  50. rbeaud

    rbeaud Member SoSH Member

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    276
    First, and likely only, Boston completed, 3:30:41 (qualified in 3:19:23). I found it to be an unusual experience.

    The BAA is a well organized crew, as they should be with 120 years of experience! Lots of helpful information is sent by email to get a runner sorted. Even with all the people, the Expo went smoothly for bib pickup Plenty of vendors with running goodies or new destinations. Grabbed supper at one of my favorite North End spots, La Famiglia Giorgio's. Smartly showed up early, around 4 pm, to beat out all the other folks that forgot to make reservations (booked solid 1-2 days after 2016's marathon). I hydrated often given it was hot Sunday and planned to be slightly cooler Monday. Spent most of the day frustrating my wife because I wasn't "excited yet".

    Bedded down early, even having the kids with us (thank goodness for Marriott upgrades!). Woke up early, got my traditional half bagel and banana before walking from Long Wharf to the pickup point on Charles St. Busses were plentiful and I just walked into one. Around one hour later arrived at the athletes village in Hopkinton about 2 hours before my wave (W2). While the space was crowded, I could still find a spot for some dynamic stretching. There was food and fuel (Cliff/Gatorade) if you hadn't planned ahead or wanted more. The port-o-let lines moved well. Which is nice because my hydration efforts over filleth my cup! Spent time piddling around and stretching plus pre-fueling at the appointed times (I didn't know or expect to meet anyone at the race). When the announcement came for my wave, off I went the 1M or so to the start. The F-15s for the start blasted overhead as I walked...always fun! More toilets (and water) just before the start corrals which was good (hoped to make it my last visit...). Periodic bib checks kept people moving to the spot designated for you by BAA.

    There was little shade at the start. The heat that made me nervous in the village was more apparent waiting for the gun. Cool deal: one of the runners in W2 hoped to be the first completing 50 consecutive Bostons (he did). Once the gun went off, it took nearly 2 minutes for me to cross the mats (corrall #3). I was amazed at how many runners were in front of me. The road was jammed side to side and as far as the eye could see. Due to this press, there was little fear of a jack rabbit start running downhill and ruining my quads for Newton. That said, some runners had to bang and barge through. What really surprised me was the number of runners that were markedly slower than the "throng"...can't call thousands a pack. I had imagined that the wave/corral system would keep like runners with like. Yet I saw my first walker before 5k, several more before 10k, and the aforementioned slower runners. Given my first mile was nearly 7:50, it struck me as odd to have people unable/unwilling/whatever to go faster.

    I was very fearful of the first 5k with the big downhill plunge. The shear volume of people made it nearly impossible to be overly quick (without pushing through). Spent lots of energy dodging runners with different paces for nearly 10k. The 8M/1hr mark still saw me with a solid crowd of folks and running the pace I had planned (7:15 mpm). And the first inkling that something might not be quite right. Somewhere around 12M, my right side cramped. I didn't shake it until mile 24. Thus I spent most of the race managing discomfort verging on pain which made enjoyment impossible. The Newton hills were the worst and I slowed to nearly 10 mpm pace. I compressed my stomach muscle to compensate for the cramps. That made breathing difficult just as I needed more air. The flat spots helped to mitigate the cramps though didn't last long enough to fully eliminate them despite all my efforts. What seemed to help were the popsicles kids were handing out along the hills. By the time I got onto Cleveland Circle, the cramps started to dissipate though my body was fragged. I was able to pick up the pace into the last 1.5M and did have a big smile for my family about 1/4 mile before the finish (my beautiful wife parked herself on Boylston around 7 AM with the kids to get her view!).

    Sadly, my tale is rather boring (nothing like the works of art from @Kremlin Watcher). Boston certainly is a historic race and I am both proud and happy to have finished. The course is tough and even a mild spring day like Monday cranks up the degree of difficulty. I'm not a people person so while the crowds were cool, it wasn't an energy builder for me. Spending the majority of the race in discomfort probably clouds my ability to enjoy the moments. I never could have appreciated 30k runners in one venue before Boston. I simply never ran anywhere near alone at any point; a singularly different experience from any other race. My biggest complaint about the crowd size was water stops...they don't really mean stop people!!! Despite hydration every mile of the race, both sides of the road, folks would crash into the line and sometimes stand still. I would have thought experienced runners would be taking hydration on the run.

    What I take from Boston is the need to work on fueling/hydration. I think my concern about the heat led me to take on too much water and wash out critical electrolytes. Hell, I used the port-o-let like a crack addict for the two hours before and one hour into the race. None of my training runs (up to 23M) were hampered by cramps. While the days were cooler (40/50), I didn't go crazy on pre-hydration and had none of these race day issues with only one water stop during training.

    Hope any other runners had a great time and that all of you get to run a favorite race soon, be it Boston or other.

    Cheers,

    Roland
     

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