Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Boston Marathon- What the hell is there to say?

Well I have been putting this blog post off for a while now and have actually written it twice only to delete it.  I think just because I exceeded my expectations so much that I have been pretty much lost for words on how to explain my feelings and my experiences, but mostly explaining my feelings which I suck at.  So with that I don't think I am going to really try because honestly I would not be able to do it any justice.  I still have people telling me, "Heard about your Boston,  good job!" and I just sort of grunt "Thanks" embarrassingly because I honestly don't know how to react. 

I did not expect that performance but others saw the possibilities based on the work they saw me put in the 16 weeks leading up to the race.  It is always something special to have friends that believe in you and push you to achieve things that you would not have done on your own.  For that I am very grateful.  Yes I worked and trained harder than I have ever done before, even harder than I did for a 100 miler, but I would not have been able to do that without the support of my friends and having them hold me accountable, especially with all the stuff going on in my personal life at the same time.  They know who they are.  All I can say is a "Thank You" from my heart.  I have learned how to get my head out of the way and just do what we train to do.

Anyway with all this emotional mumbo jumbo you may be asking, how the hell did he do if you don't know already.  So I am not going to do the normal race report and break it down mile by mile but just give you the result.  The main goal going into Boston was to try and improve my road marathon PR from 3:11:44 that I ran at Colfax Marathon in 2015 while training for Leadman to just break 3 hours.  I have always wanted to say that I am 2:xx:xx marathoner.  Well now I can, below is the outcome.  Not bad for a guy who runs mostly ultras and is now a master runner. 

Yes you are reading that correctly, 2:44:18 or almost a 27 minute PR.  So that is why I am lost for words as I talked about earlier in the post.   So that is all I am really going to say about that, if you want to see the mile breakdown you can see my Strava data here.  Below are some photos I copied off the website, yes I am to cheap to buy them.  These were all taken in the last mile of the race or so.

Shawn my college roommate from Colorado State who I stayed with the whole weekend ended up taking me to a classic Boston bar (don't remember the name) for a pitcher of Samuel Adams Boston 26.2 Special Release Lager straight from the finish line.  Hit the spot.

Am I going to go back in 2017?  Right now I am leaning that way but not sure if I am willing to train the way I did this year again.  It was a lot and took a lot out of me both physically and mentally but at the same time it helped me work through a lot personal stuff also.  Of course I am playing with the idea of going and actually enjoying the experience instead of being laser focused like I was this year, drinking beer the whole way and just having fun.  We will see.... 

Oh yeah, I did stop and get a kiss from one of the girls at Wellesley College so that did cost me 10 seconds but it was worth it.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Almost Go TIme

In 24 hours from when I am typing this I will be crossing the start line of the Boston Marathon.  Almost go time. 

Been struggling with the race plan as far as pace and goals all week.  My left ankle and achilles have been flared up all week.  This is not new by any means, I have been dealing with this on and off since last spring before Leadman.  Just bad timing with it flaring up this week.  So with that said the plan is to go out at about 1:22 to 1:25 for the first 13.1 miles and then see what the second half gives me.  If the achilles is barking hard at me then I will pull up and enjoy the jog into the finish line and chug a few beers along the route.  If all systems are a go and everything feels ok then it is on for time.

Ran a quick report from the log to see year to date on the training, hopefully it is enough.

Some photos I have taken the past couple of days down in Dartmouth MA where and I am staying with my college roommate Shawn along with a few photos from Newport RI where he took me yesterday to hang out.  Kind of nice not to be in the craziness of the city.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2 Weeks To Go- Boston Thoughts

Think this is a great theme song for me leading into Boston this year considering everything that is has happened the past 4 to 5 months.  It came on the radio as I was driving home from my last long run today before the taper and just reminded me of everything I had to push through leading up to this upcoming adventure.  I could have easily just scrapped the whole thing and wallowed in self pity but that is not who I am and I'm very lucky to have good friends that remind me of that when it is needed.  This song just seemed right in today's reflections.

Anyways onto the reason for this post, trying to come up with a race plan/goal.  When I signed up for Boston the whole goal was to just break 3 hours, yes I used the word "just" and you will see why here in a second.  Based on workouts the past month or so and input from the GOMs, I've had seed planted in my head that maybe I am short changing myself a bit like I did last year if I am only shooting for a 2:59.  To me 2:59 is hard enough to wrap my mind around considering my marathon PR right now is 3:11 yet alone 2:50 which is the time the discussion has been around.  But based on a long run I did on last weekend (3/27) where on tired/sore legs from running/lifting all week I did 1 mile warmup/ 18 at marathon effort/ 1 mile cooldown so 20 miles total and ended up with a 6:33 average pace including the warmup/cooldown in that average (Strava data).  That has me wondering, am I short changing myself?  Are the GOMs right?  My biggest fear is going out to fast for my fitness and slogging in over 3 hours. That fear was reaffirmed on today's last long run where I was supposed to do a "Steady" 20 miles.  In my mind a "Steady" pace would have been 7 minute miles or so but my average was only 7:26 (Strava data), yes I did get in 1500 feet of vertical, yes it was hotter today than I am used to, and yes it has been a big week for me mileage wise (just shy of 80) with throwing in a lot of intensity work but those are all just excuses in my mind.  It could be hot on race day, it is a hilly course, yadda yadda yadda... excuses. 

So with all that rambling you can see where my head is right now, swimming in BS.  I could go on and on and on but I will spare you that internal talk that I am having with myself right now.  At least the work is done and now I have two weeks to get my head straight, come up with a pacing/fueling plan, and maybe not feel so lethargic every time I run or workout.  Hopefully I will turn the corner this week sometime. At least I am really looking forward to the trip and seeing my college roommate Shawn and his family.  No matter what happens on race day it is going to be a fun and exciting weekend.

That is it for now, at least until I come up with my strategy.  Then I will be back.  Until then, as Donald always says, Peace!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

March Check In

Not quite the month I was shooting for leading up to Boston but I will take it.  I was hoping to be more in the range of 340ish miles instead rolled in at just under 300.  There was 4 complete days off from running that were not planned and a few days where I shortened the run that I felt that I needed to otherwise I would have easily been over 340.  Oh well, better to come out with a little less mileage uninjured instead of hurt which I was flirting with a few times.  I had a 3 scares this month, a shoulder from a hard fall at the Salida Marathon, lower back from deadlifting, and currently struggling with either a bruised heel or plantar (can't tell which it is).  Also been struggling with energy levels and motivation in general.  So this has made me become a lot more conservative over the past month than I would have liked.  Think it is good that the taper is almost here.

One thing I was thinking about was even with my lack of doing vertical and trail running the past few months I was able to have what I thought was a very successful race at the Salida Marathon which is a trail race with almost 4000ft of climb and mostly single track.  Maybe just doing quality running and not just putting in the miles on the trail is the way to go.  This will require a little bit of a shift in my thinking after Boston as I try and figure out the best way to get ready for Bighorn 100 in June.  Do I keep up with the quality runs?  Scrap the quality and just focus on vertical and trails?  Do a mixture of both?  Lots to think about, one thing for sure, the bike has to come back into the mix more.  Lucho has my saddle right now doing some custom leather work on it so I am excited to see what the final product is and get that back.

Oh got this in the mail this past week also.  Maybe he is not such a douche after all.  Thanks bud.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Salida Marathon

Awesome day!!  First time running this one and I plan on going back.  Great course with lots of fun single track and great company.  I can't believe that this race has been on the to do list for so many years and I am just now getting it done. 

The plan was just to use it as an easy long run in my Boston plan but ended up running it more like a tempo, not the smartest plan but hopefully I get a small fitness bump from it.  End up 11th overall and 4th in the age group which is not correct, should have been lower but in the overall picture of things it does not matter.  Talking to Nick Clark after the race he stated this course runs 15 minutes slower than the old course so that is promising.  Strava data.

One month to Boston.  Spent this week doing all easy runs to recover from this race then it is back into full swing training for a few more weeks until the taper.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Check In

Quick check in and thoughts on February's numbers.  First the numbers.

As I have said in the past, the first 4 months of 2016 is all about getting ready for my first Boston in April and actually following a hard marathon program with the thought riding that fitness for the rest of summer.  I have been using a plan from a Brad Hudson book making modifications to it based on how I feel day to day and input from the GOMs.  Seems to be working so far.  Solid month even though I felt like crap through most of it.  Funny how hard training works.  The harder I train the worse I feel but the faster I get.  Where is that point of no return?  Even though I feel like I am starting to slide backwards, on my Sunday long run this past weekend with BTC while feeling low energy I ended up having a half marathon PR in the last 13 miles of a 18 mile run.  That was not planned, not even a little.  I am a little confused on where to go from here.  Even though I have been feeling like I have been sliding backwards since Redhot 33K a few weeks ago, I keep putting up stronger numbers while feeling low energy and like shit in general, almost to the point of not wanting to do anything but lay around the house.  Am I dancing with the line to much?  Do I keep with the plan and see where it goes?  I want to push this as far as my ability will let me but at the same time I don't want to "run" my Boston in a training run.  Lots to ponder for the next 4-5 weeks before the taper. Also signed up  Salida Marathon on March 12th and that should be interesting also.  I have been racking my brain trying to decide how to approach that race and not ruin Boston.  More to come on that.  Had some input today from a few sources and still pondering that.

On a different note, actually got out and did something fun that was not running or racing related thanks to tickets from my work Medtronic.  Awesome seats and company that joined me, nine rows up from the floor at half court.  We spent half of the game trying to figure out how tall the female ref was.  Of course the Nuggets lost again which would explain why the Pepsi Center was only half full but at least they sell Dale's Pale Ale on tab there now so all was fine.

Fan winning the halftime slam dunk contest.