Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Patriots' Day 2007

This satellite Boston marathon was to start at the same time as the men’s elite back in Boston. It started a few seconds behind but it was pretty nice nonetheless. The Star Spangled Banner was played. Two Apache helicopters flew over us and all 40 or so runners were ready to go.

The course was one small loop of about 1.1 miles, and four identical larger loops each measuring 6.1 miles and which included the infamous MOAH . This race was not in my plans. It was my intent to run half and call it a day, but I was pressured into running the whole thing. Now I use the term running very loosely because I knew I would walk the MOAH every single time. I knew it would cost me at least 90 seconds each time, but the enrgy conserved was much more than worth it.

I started slow, about 8:30 pace. This place is quite hilly and the course was brutal. My goal was just to use it as a long training run, particularly knowing well in advance that it was .8 miles short of a certified marathon. The first 8 miles were more like a warm-up; i knew I was in business ;-)

I was probably in 15th place when we approached MOAH for the first time. Two or three runners run it and passed me at the same time. I pay no attention, for I respect the distance, even when is short. The weather was in the low 50s with winds 10-15 mph and gust up to 22 mph. It was not bad at all. While the headwinds were a bit tough, I ran through them at the same perceived effort I had been running.

It is worth mentioning that I had always wondered how being well hydrated would feel like. I have tried in years past to drink enough the eve and morning of the race without much success. I have always felt a bit of tiredness during the early stages of ‘thons. Of course, it has not helped that I usually have three to four drinks the evening prior. So how could I ensure to be well hydrated? A thought crossed my mind [it doesn’t happen too often ;-P] what if I have a lactated ringer’s solution IV (1L)? So I had one three hours before the start of the race. And, drum roll, never have I felt better. The last two loops were run in 8 mpm pace. And the perceived effort running this course is about 30 secs slower. Oh and the elevation is 1800 feet above MSL. With the exception of knee pain for about two miles (12-14) I felt stronger as the race went on. Sure I felt fatigued after 22 or so. But I was able to pick it up the last .5 miles. I finished third over all in a time of 3:30:45, or 8:17 pace.

Once again, the day after the race (today) found me feeling fine. I will be doing some easy runs for the next couple of weeks and then start building up the volume.


Sempre Libera said...

Wow, running that long of a distance over a small course and with very few people - impressive! I'm not sure I could have made it through NYC without the crowds and the changing scenery.

Quinto Sol said...

You'll be surprised what the body can do. It actually was not bad at all. The miles just clicked. Next thing I knew I had ran 20 miles, and the rest is history. :-)