Saturday, May 2, 2015

No Boston Magic

I wanted to share a few quick thoughts on the Boston Marathon. It's been about 12 days now and I'm glad I went, but I likely won't return. The downhill pounding didn't treat me well despite my specific preparation and strength work going in.

The weather was tough too. High winds (headwinds) and some rain. Even on a perfect weather day, I just don't think this course lays out well for me.
I made a conscious decision not to adjust my pace or race plan for the weather. Even 10 days later, I still have no regrets about that, especially considering that the uphill (slower) part of the race in Boston is the 2nd half.  I ran my first half marathon in 1:16:23. That's 2:33 marathon pace, which I believe I'm capable of running (just need to put it all together).

I had trouble finding a good rhythm at Boston. I was fighting the wind and looking for a pack to settle in with for the first 7 or 8 miles which just cost me too much energy. The wheels started to come off around mile 17. My pace slowed enough that I was getting passed by way too many runners in the last 8 miles. Even my college teammate Doron Clark from Minneapolis passed me about mile 25!
I finally finished in 2:41:53 which put me in 353rd place. Out of about 30,000 runners that's not so bad I guess.

I was shivering and suffering the entire walk back to the apartment with my buddy Ryan. But luckily, a hot shower and a meal seemed to cure most of my suffering. Of course, there were sore hips and quads for the next couple days. But that's expected after a downhill race.

I'll hold off on doing an in-depth analysis of the race organization, expo, and so forth. In short, I wasn't impressed by the logistics, "27th Mile" after-party, or security (why are so many people passing through security and boarding the bus to the start line carrying bags and extra pairs of shoes if there is a no-bag policy in place??).

The bottom line is I just didn't feel the magic at Boston. Maybe it's because it wasn't a struggle for me to qualify, maybe it's because I'm a midwestern guy and Boston doesn't feel like home to me, maybe it's because I hate the 10am start time, maybe it's because I don't like the downhill pounding of the course and just didn't run well on April 20, 2015. Maybe all of the above.

All that being said, I had a good time riding the city bus and exploring Boston by foot. My Lincoln Running Company teammate Ryan Regnier and I stayed in a studio apartment in the South End area less than a mile from the finish line. It worked out really well because we had many restaurants and a nice neighborhood lined with brownstones and historic churches right outside our door.
I also got to spend a little time the airport with another of my teammates, Austin McKillip and his family. Even his mother and mother-in-law were there. Yeah, he's totally whipped.
Oh, and the JFK museum was worthwhile. That's about the only touristy thing we did that weekend.

Hope to add some pics from Boston here soon.