Friday, April 27, 2012

Post Race Blues

I read in a few places that post race blues is a real thing and is similar to postpartum depression. Not sure if I really had the blues, or was depressed, but I have been having a hard time getting motivated over ever since the race. The house is so messy and laundry is piling up. Today is the first day that I woke and felt invigorated so hopefully this is the start of getting back on track. Thinking I might get back to running over the weekend too, we'll see.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Did It!!!

The Boston Marathon goes down as one of the most amazing things in my life following closely behind marriage and the birth of my kids.

The unfortunate weather made the race a completely different endeavor than what I had trained for. The heat was unbearable, stifling. For example, during my 16 weeks of training I walked a total of two times, once during my first long run and the other when I ran when I had a fever. On Marathon Monday I walked twice within the first five miles! On top of that, I walked every mile after that too. The marathon turned out to be a test of will and perseverance instead of a test of endurance and strength.

My final long training run was 20 miles which I ran in 3:30 so my goal was to finish the marathon somewhere in the 4:40 range. By mile 5 I knew that would never happen and mentally I was in a bad place for a few miles. It was not until mile 8 where I finally hit a groove and got comfortable. My plan for hydration and fuel was to drink every two miles and have a PowerGel every 4 miles. This changed pretty much immediately after the race started. I drank at every stop, a Gatorade and a water.

Generally I am the kind of guy that avoids people that spray water on the runners. I do not like it when my feet get wet. I can say with some certainty that if it were not for some fire hydrants that were opened up I may not have finished the race. The cold water showers were key in cooling down my body. Twice during the race I doubted whether or not I could keep going. Shortly after the first time was a water stop and the waters were poured over my head and down my back. The second was at mile 20 and thankfully this is where there was an open fire hydrant, the water was cool and it was a nice thick spray that coated my entire body, this helped get me over heartbreak hill.

My family was amazing as they were actually able to see me at four different times during the race, miles 7, 13, 18 and 26. To me, this was almost as impressive as running the marathon. I have no idea how they were able to pull that off.

Wellesley College was just what I expected and more. College girls lined up for about a quarter mile with "kiss me" signs. I considered finding the hottest girl and giving it a shot as this might be the only time I could kiss another girl and get away with it, but I decided against it and just used their enthusiasm to fuel my running.

5 hours, 30 minutes and 58 seconds. This was my final time. A good 45 minutes longer than what I was expecting and hoping for. As the last couple days have gone by I have continually gotten more proud of the accomplishment. My training had worked, muscularly and cardiovascular-wise I ran the race fine and I was prepared. There was no way to prepare for the heat. I think about my buddy Glenn who was on track for his personal best time of 3:45 and he finished in 5:45. I also think about last years Boston marathon winners, both of them did not even finish the race this year. Thousands of people dropped out of the race before it even started, and another couple thousand started but did not finish. I saw multiple people have to stop and puke and even more people get carted away on stretchers. I think about all of this and then know that I finished and that was my ultimate goal. Worrying about time would have to come some other time, some other race.

As of right now, I am tentatively planning on running the Cape Cod Marathon in the Fall. Originally the thought was that if I did this race it would be to improve upon (or even worry about) my time. Now, hopefully, this will be the race that I actually prove to myself that I can run a marathon and run it the way that I trained for it without having to deal with severe heat.

I would like to thank all of my family, friends and coworkers that helped, inspired and donated during my training. This was all a part of the experience that I will never forget.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Almost There!!

Crazy stuff, can't believe it is only 5 days until the marathon. I feel like I haven't been running lately even though I have been running almost every other day for two weeks. The longest run I have done is 9 miles since the last 20 miler. Who am I to argue with the experts? It better work!

My excitement is turning into a bit of nervousness as the day approaches. I will be fine as I am generally a laid back type of guy, but I can't help some butterflies that are creeping up.
mIt is going to be a warm day, fine with me. My plan is to drink every two miles and have a PowerGel every 4 miles. This is all in addition to forcing massive amounts of fluid the previous day and a prerace Gatorade and water.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why so Hard?

Why is it so hard to wake up in the morning? Obviously we all love sleep, but waking up an hour earlier than normal should not be such an undertaking. I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed yesterday to do 8 miles. I knew that I better get up today and get it done or I would be going down a slippery slope that would end up with me not being prepared for the marathon. This week has been particularly tough in terms of time because I am playing a show and balancing the sports and practices that the kids are in. Evenings are out of the question. On top of that the days are so busy that I am tired and need sleep. However, I set myself up to be ready to go this morning and got it done, 8 miles. I feel great. I have a ton of energy which has also spilled over into my work. I am teaching effectively today. So, why is it so hard to get up? Frankly, I feel this good just about every morning I wake up early and run. Why would I not want to feel this way more often?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

20 miles!!

Well, I did 20 miles last night. Good news- I was able to get it done. Bad news- it didn't feel as good as the 18 felt last week. In the big picture I guess that really isn't bad news. There were wind gusts up to 40 mph from the North yesterday so whenever I was heading North I felt as though I was running in water. Today I am sore, nothing major, just tired and sore. I am probably kidding myself to think that I would ever be able to do such a large distance and actually feel good. Perhaps the fact that I felt so good last week was the fluke? There are two positives that I am going to take away from yesterday. 1. I finished 20 miles. Even though I did not feel great, I did it. I powered through and got it done. 2. Even though I did not time myself with a watch I do know that I started running a little after 3:30 and got back a little after 7:00. 20 miles in three and a half hours a little faster than my typical time. Perhaps this had something to do with how tough I felt as well.

The next few weeks before the marathon is the taper. Everyone says that the taper is key, but I am a bit concerned. No more long runs? Apparently the thought process is that as long as you keep running and do not put too much stress on your body it gives your muscles a chance to recover for the big day. Who am I to argue with the experts?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Did I Mention, I am Going to do it!!

18 miles last night. Ran the Falmouth Road Race course out and back and tacked on an extra 4 miles to get the eighteen. Felt good and finished in a decent amount of time. I have not been wearing a watch and do not plan to in the near future, but I estimate that I did it in around 3:15. I'll take it. I also took the time to get in some good stretching afterwards which is key to avoid next day soreness, I feel great today. I really do feel that the marathon is in my sights and that when April 16 comes around I will be able to get it done.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Two more long runs!!

Well, before the big day anyway. Just two more long training runs. The weather is amazing and I generally enjoy running in the cold. The temperature is well over 6o degrees today which will be nice, I guess. Saturday I did a medium run of 8 miles and it was the worst run I have had since the first week I ran. Two things against me:
1. The day started out at 30 degrees and the wind was howling. I dressed with layers on top and bottom and wore a winter hat.
2. My body is working very hard at trying to fight off this head cold that TJ has had. I do not have it as bad as him, but I got it. I might be a little feverish.
About 1 mile in I wanted to start walking, but I just unzipped and took off my winter hat and I was fine. I ended up walking for only the second time in my weeks of training. To be honest I wasn't even upset because I knew that I was battling the elements and my sickness. I was pretty proud too that the only time I walked was after the 6 mile mark so I lasted 5 more miles after my first feeling of wanting to walk.

I am most nervous about 18 miles this afternoon because I have a nice headache going. I have been taking ibuprofen and drinking lots of water and I am just going to battle through this. Even if I suck I will get it done!!!