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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Training time doesn't stop!

I will start by saying how happy I am with my post Boston recovery.  Last night when I went o bed my body was hurting, this morning I seemed to have beat a good deal of it away and I am feeling great physically.  I actually can stand on my own without holding the chair and make it down the stairs without feeling my legs are going to give out!  So, that means one thing!  Time to get on my bike for my turbo workout!  WAhoo! SO tonights workout was great, a lot greater than I thought.  Although my quads were still sore I am pleased with what I got out of them today.  The physical recovery has also been a good mental boost, it is proof of the base that I am building is working.  Todays workout was a bike turbo workout:
Avg Speed:  35kmh
Avg Watt:    216
Avg HR:     139
Avg Cad:    84
Distance:    29k
Time:          49m33s
In summary, after one day recovery from the marathon my rides is equal or better than the last ride I had!  I did skip the T-run tonight to allow my run muscles to recover a little more(and my toenails are beating like my heart) Stupid race move in wearing new shoes!
So, my race report!
Monday AM started with a great luxury.  Rather than hop on the school bus to go out to Hopkinton to the start, I was able to get on a luxury highway coach to get to the start line.  The opportunity came up for me to travel with the Boston Police and Mass State Police in their buses.  We proceeded from the Boston Athletic Club with a full highway patrol escort that stopped all traffic as we moved down the highway.  As we past on ramps on the freeway, the traffic was lined up for dozens of cars that were stopped  by motorcycle police who travelled ahead to stop them for out convoy.   As we made our way down the highway we were also being filmed from above my a police helicopter so that a souvenir video of the travel and start of race could be produced for the people who travelled on these buses.  As we approached the town of Hopkinton, cars and buses were lined up everywhere, we proceeded to a parking lot right next to the start coral.  At that point out 'tailgate' party was set up.  We had all the luxuries you could enjoy.  Coffee, Gatorade, water, fruit, bagels, name it, it was out for us to enjoy.  As much as travelling on the school bus would have been surreal, this was absolutely over the top as a way to get to the race for my first time.
As it was my first time at a big race, the start area was over the top, so many people.  Both ahead and behind it was awesome the see the tons of people lined up.  As we started to move, it was like a massive wave moving forward together.  It was so full of energy it was incredible.  As we past the start line and headed down the first long hill, it was amazing watching so many people moving at the same pace.  everyone there was a qualified runner, so there are no people blowing past you in the race.  As we got to about 3-4 km it hit me that I was running a marathon.  Here is a summary of my training:
1 marathon 4 years ago
1 half 3 years ago
1 20k run this winter
buch of 5-10 runs over winter
1 30k race a few weeks ago
tons of short <10k runs over past 2 months
A lot of miles but no real distance to talk of.
I started to wonder how I would manage later in the race.  I remember at 34k in the marathon I ran, I hit a wall that was huge!!  ALl that was going through my head was hitting that!  Then, I said forget it!  I decided to accept the bib as a training run, go out and have fun and learn from the experience.  So, I pushed the bad thoughts out and moved along enjoying the run.  I was blown away by the support.  At no point along the entire route was it empty. People were everywhere, having tailgate parties, giving out water and fruit, offering beer if you were so inclined, they were everywhere!!!  In the small towns they were lined up 2-3 people deep on the sidewalks.  They gave so much energy to the race it was incredible.
Along the route, there were some great memorable events.  The Wellesley girls who give out kisses for no reason at all.  I took advantage of it.  As I gave high fives all the way down the line of them(100's of them) I figured I was not racing so I would stop for a quickie, it was fun!  they are so high spiritied and added a lot of fun to the event.
Shortly before the kiss stop, I started running with a lady by the name of Donna from ThunderBay, Ontario.  It was her first Boston as well.  We seemed to be at the same pace and moved along the road keeping each other honest and sharing stories.  It was great to be able to enjoy the race with someone who was as thrilled to be enjoying the excitement of the day.  After a lot of downhill we finally hit a couple of bumps, a couple of small uphill section, but they were nothing to speak of.  I felt great as I moved along the road.  A couple of times I slowed myself down a bit as I was getting under 5 min'k which was not what I had set out to do.  SO Donna and I kept the pace in check to make sire the whole day was enjoyable.
I seemed in no time we arrived at the famous HeartBreak hill.  It is aptly name being at 34k being the symbolic WALL!  Earlier in the race I wondered how it would treat me.  I knew at the top the LULULEMON group has a cheer dance going, so I focused on getting to that spot with a smile.  The hill was less than I expected.  In little time and a few oranges from spectators I felt great arriving to the great cheers of hundreds of people.  Seeing the LULULEMON group and all the others put shivers down my back.  I was at teh top of Heartbreak hill, that meant the rest of the course was downhill.  I still felt like a million dollars!
Donna and I kept moving along having a great time.  I passed the symbolic wall and stuck my tongue out at it because I felt so good!  I felt like I was dancing along.  As we got to bigger crowds, I rallied to get them to make more noise to feed some energy!  They always responded with loud cheers!
When we got to mile 23 Donna started to hit a bit of a wall.  We had run together for the whole race and I was not going to let her give in to that feeling.  She was still looking physically strong, so I knew her mind was taking over.  She suggested I run ahead, NO WAY!  We had gone that far and I was sticking with her to the end.  SO we moved along a little slower, I kept telling her she was doing great and to stay with me.  She stuck by me the whole time.  I know she wanted to see me fall away, but, at teh same time I know she was wanting to keep moving ahead with giving in.  And she did move long with me, we turned left onto Boylston Ave and saw the finish line, and with a last surge we moved down the road.  I stopped along to smile for my friends who were close to the finish, and then with head held high, I finished my second marathon ever with a 10 minute improvement, tons of fuel in the tank and a new running friend from Thunder bay!
What a day!  Beyond any thought that I had about the race. It is one that everyone should enjoy one day.  It doesn't matter from what side of the fence.  If you like running and seeing victory, this is the place!  Boston is an awesome city, they put on a wonderfully organized event and this was a day I will always remember in my sports memory!
My run served as a great momentum for me as well.  A post IM goal is to qualify for Boston.  Feeling the way I did on this run without any serious distance training, I know with miles and training I can take the 40 minutes that I need to off my time.  I know, a lot of you may think I am nuts, but guess what!  That makes you crazy as well, did you ever think you would do an IM, no!  So, here I go, a quat to become a better runner, a better athlete and to enjoy another day on the racer side of the fence at Boston!
I am tired now, sleep is calling!  Cheers and Happy Training!


  1. What an experience! and what a great run...way to go accepting the challenge with your previous marathon 4 yrs ago I'm very impressed. Solid showing with the time improvement and powering thru HB Hill!

  2. that's an honest report! good stuff by keeping with our mate. thanks for sharing

  3. J, AWESOME!!! Good on you man. What an experience and you did great to boot. You are one lucky man.

    Haha about the legs. You reminded me of what it's like to run a marathon and the post pain. Congrats on getting on the bike so early.

    Again, great report.