Kick Runners banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,140 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<b>How did I get here? (Skip this section if you just want to hear about the race)</b><br><br>
In November of 2006 I was out of shape and overweight and rarely ever ran outside of the months of April and May. I decided after a particularly marginal and embarrassing turkey trot with my brother-in-law, who is a naturally gifted runner, that I would resolve to get in shape and run year round. Started out with just a few miles a day a couple times a week, and slowly worked my way up to about 30 miles per week. I was feeling good and started browsing CoolRunning and eventually KickRunners in 2007 where I hooked on to the Running Moms and Dads crew. I got a lot of motivation there and started thinking about doing a Half Marathon and maybe even a marathon. It had always been on my list of things to do some day, so why not now? I trained up, completed my first half in September 2007 and signed up for the Buffalo International Marathon in late October. I completed that marathon in 3:47 and change. I was thrilled.<br><br>
I heard lots of people on the running boards talking about Boston, but I knew I was well short of the qualifying standard by 27 minutes. I just assumed I’d have to age up to 50 to ever make it in. But I kept at the training and kept signing up for races. The following Spring my friend Paul (Sudsy) from the RMAD group encouraged me to sign up for the Mt. Washington Lottery and amazingly I made it in. Wow, that was brutal to train for and to run, but I was on a roll. I made it into NYC lottery that year, and after a brutal 85 degree Rochester Marathon implosion in September, I bounced back with a 3:27 at NYC. I was ecstatic. Blood was in the water…I began to believe that yes, Boston was a possibility now, not ten years off.<br><br>
In 2009 I ran two winter race series, running a race every weekend from January through March. Then at Buffalo in May I shocked myself with a 3:17. Holy shit! I just qualified for Boston with a vengeance after only 3 previous marathons. In September I ran Wineglass in Corning. No particular goal. Just set out to run hard and see what I could pull off. Well after a pretty blazing first 2/3 of the race, I started to falter a bit. By mile 21, I just couldn’t hold the pace and fell back to 8 minute miles for three of the last 4 miles. I somehow PR-ed again with a 3:16 but learned a lesson in pacing and hydration, neither of which I did well there. But still 2009 was a year of PRs in 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathons. I also completed a series of trail races. I was ready for Boston training to begin in 2010.<br><br>
So I began my Boston training in January, running my own short and medium runs and occasional tempos during the week and long group runs on weekends. Boston training is tough in the NorthEast. Since I refuse to run on treadmills, I was forced to take whatever mother nature could dish up. Probably the toughest run this training cycle, one of my fellow group runners and I ventured a little off course on our own and ran nearly 19 miles in brutal 6 degree temps and wind. That was harsh. But my thoughts were always on Boston. Suffer this crap and I can take anything. I trained at a harder pace for most of my runs this cycle, running many of my training routes as progression runs, starting easy and working down to a sub marathon pace. I also made a point to hang with the fast group for my last few long runs to challenge myself, and they never dropped me. While I only ran three races this Spring, I was particularly pleased with a hilly 15K where I was able to beat about a half dozen locals who have always kicked my ass. I was ready for Boston.<br><br><b>OK, shut the hell up already and take me to Boston!</b><br><br>
We arrived at the Westin on Friday evening to a cold windy rainy welcome. Shit, I hope at least the rain subsides by Monday. I ran a few easy pace miles Saturday and Sunday just to stay loose, both under 4 miles and at an easy 8:30 pace. Very windy and cold. But the forecast for Sunday was good, and it delivered.<br><br>
Monday I hit the T before 6AM to meet up with my local running crew at the Marriott Copely. Also saw my college roommate who was running with his wife and ran into another guy from our Saturday group.<br><br>
The three guys I headed for the bus with are all IronMan triathletes. And while I have no designs on that, I love the energy and enthusiasm these guys bring to a race. Two are sub 3 Boston runners and one has run 3:10. Good company to keep on the bus. It took forever to board and to snake our way to Hopkinton. In fact by the time we were within walking distance to the Athletes village, it was 9:10. I had to hit the bathrooms and hopefully get some food. I jumped off the bus and opted for the woods. Throw away sweatshirt was a casualty, but bathroom issues out of the way, I quickly jogged with my drop bag over to the athletes village. Keep in mind, I’ve never been to Boston so its all foreign to me. Announcements are crackling over the PA, people are streaming out of the village in chaotic fashion and heading for the chutes. But screw it, I had only a kid’s cliff bar, a banana, and a Gatorade three hours ago. I need food! But it was hopeless. Even if there was food left, I’d never get to it and get to my corral on time. So I followed the crowds to the corrals, ditched my toss away sweats and got some water. I prayed I would not bonk.<br><br>
I had only a handheld gel flask with 6 ounces. I took about an ounce with the water but my hands were all sticky which I couldn’t deal with, so I washed them off as best I could with the water and the inside of my shirt and headed to corral 7. I spotted TimR and his brother and we chit chatted for a few minutes before the start. Tim was going to play it by ear and maybe run a few miles with me, but we quickly lost sight of each other. I was so psyched taking it all in. The crowds, the great weather, the excitement of the other runners. It was amazing. I had originally set a goal of 3:20, knowing that Boston is tough and not having any experience on the course, but my training paces and recent 15K race gave me the confidence to adjust my goal down to 3:15. My plan was to run 7:25 pace if that felt comfortable until Newton, survive the hills, and then turn on any jets I had left for the last 5 miles.<br><br>
Through mile 5 the miles were popping off very comfortably between 7:15 and 7:20 on my Garmin so I decided to keep that up as long as it did not feel like a struggle. Oddly, I ended up long on the course on my Garmin by about .25 miles. And about a half dozen people I talked to later all had the same data. I made little attempt to run tangents in Boston. I was here to enjoy the experience, run smart and do well, so if that added a little distance, that’s life. In fact knowing that my mile chimes kept going off further and further before the mile signs, I knew I would have to run a slightly faster pace on the Garmin to make my overall time goal for the course. So I started focusing on maintaining a 7:20-ish cumulative pace.<br><br>
1 - 7:18<br>
2 - 7:13<br>
3 – 7:15<br>
4 – 7:12<br>
5 – 7:35 (stop for pic)<br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9E9B3GTWhI/AAAAAAAAA6A/eXNtrpQk7GI/KyKyMile5.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
My friend Ky from RMAD group snapped this pic with me and her son at mile 5. I was feeling great. She offered me Gatorade but I was well hydrated. I was not going to under-hydrate like a did at Wineglass. I was being religious and taking both Gatorade and water and occasionally some gel from the flask at nearly every mile, with maybe three or four misses. I was high fiving kids all over the place. I had to nearly go parallel to the road a couple times to get them, but it was so fun.<br><br>
6 – 7:17<br>
7 – 7:20<br>
8 – 7:21<br><br>
I didn’t really notice a hill but RunDalel mentioned mile 8 being hard and I did have to focus to keep that mile on pace.<br><br>
9 – 7:17<br><br>
At mile 9 they were playing “The MessAround” that funky song from Planes Trains & Automobiles where John Candy is boogying in the car while driving. I put my arms up and waved them around to the music, what a rush. That was so fun.<br><br>
10 – 7:24<br><br>
Quite a few college kids having beer parties along the route here. I heard a group of them start screaming and as I look up the road a bit, two guys are running back against the route in shirts that said “Beer Me!”. They proceeded to chug one down to the roars of the crowd. Sweet.<br><br>
11 – 7:20<br>
12 – 7:14<br><br>
Holy shit, they weren’t kidding about Wellesley. “I majored in kissing” was my favorite sign, but I was feeling a little distraught here and passed by without participating. I could still hear the screams as we climbed a little hill about half mile past the college.<br><br>
13 – 7:15<br><br>
I think this is at the half way point because I don't look very tired and I remember raising both my arms up.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9E5Gi20TRI/AAAAAAAAA5U/hfhltLUnnvg/Arms.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
OK, hit the half at 1:36, feeling tired but not more than I expected to. I remember reading two things from experience Boston runners in the weeks leading up to the race: one, if you get to the halfway point feeling like you’ve done anything other than hold back, you are done. I def felt like I had a conservative half. And also that short jogging breaks for hydration would more than pay off in energy gains on the hills versus avoiding them, getting to the hills quicker, but then crashing. I was determined not to do this and hydrated vigorously.<br><br>
14 – 7:21<br>
15 – 7:26<br><br>
Some fatigue setting in here, but still loving the huge crowds greeting us and taking energy from them.<br><br>
16 – 7:16<br><br>
Some nice downhill and got my mojo back on 16.<br><br>
17 – 7:33<br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9E9B3AG_YI/AAAAAAAAA6E/Be28i1VvTaM/s720/P4192202.JPG" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Stopped here briefly to see my wife and kids right at the gel station. I was feeling good and ready to tackle the hills.<br><br>
18 – 7:34<br><br>
I looked ahead of me, put it in auto-pilot and just started cruising. First hill, no problem. I started passing tons of people here and did not feel labored in doing it. Just stay focused. Not knowing really what was coming, feared I might get half way up and burn out, but I was pleasantly surprised with more than a mile of downhill through the beginning of 19. I had no idea we had such a long break between climbs, and my hill training had prepared me well. I get through the next hill just as well as the first.<br><br>
19 – 7:17<br>
20 – 7:23<br><br>
Only heartbreak to go now, though I’m not really sure where it ends. I guess I was expecting some big signs to let me now.<br><br>
21 – 7:45<br><br>
Ok, that wasn’t so bad. They are going nuts at BC and I am charged. Up over the top of Heartbreak and the downhill race begins. I was so happy to have endured the hills much better than expected. I was wary that I still had 5+ to go, but half expected to be really shot at this point or gasping for air, neither of which happened.<br><br>
22 – 7:10<br><br>
Yeah, baby, cruising now, but holy shit, what the hell is in my quads? spikes? Chili peppers? Broken glass? Damn that hurts! But keep it rockin’. I’m not bonking and I keep it rolling. This is Boston baby! People are imploding everywhere and it is a minefield. But I’m winding around other runners in total tunnel-vision.<br><br>
23 – 7:19<br>
24 – 7:21<br>
25 – 7:18<br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9E9CSSst7I/AAAAAAAAA6I/Z82neOmS31c/s640/P4192204.JPG" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
DW catches me at Beacon and Park, but I am totally oblivious. If I stop concentrating, I will lose it. Slight twitches, getting really hard to lift these legs. "What? We have to go down and then up again?" Oh Sweet Jesus no! That is the hardest tiny hill I ever had to climb in my LIFE. My quads are screeching at this point.<br><br>
26 – 7:30<br><br>
C’mon baby, get me there. Finally we are on Boylston. It is frigging bedlam. Huge crowds screaming. It seems like tons of people are barely moving to the finish and that makes it so hard to try and get any more juice out of my legs. But there are the blue finish arches, a seemingly impossible distance away. Do I have anything left to give? Yes bitch, you do! This is Boston! Time to rise up and knock this one out of the park. I give everything I have left and push down Boylston @ 6:45 pace pumping my right arm as I drive through the finish, <b>Boston! Goal! PR! BQ! Yes! Yes! Yes!</b><br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9W_EqyJhTI/AAAAAAAAA7Y/MTTl5sxq57c/BostonFinish.JPG" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
They got some nice course pics. I'm thinking about ordering one of those plaque things to commemorate my first Boston. So psyched to be surrounded by people with 3000, 4000 and even a few 2000 bibs at the finish. I think religiously hydrating and taking gel even when I wanted to do neither was instrumental in getting me to the finish under my goal. I even comfortably met the qualifying standard for the 35 – 39 age group. Not bad for a washed up 43 year old who once told his track coach that 400 Meters was too far to race.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9E5Gx62JfI/AAAAAAAAA5g/DJKV8L9Zmo4/Medal.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Holy hell, my quads have never been so sore before a race was over. That usually takes two days. DAMN! But what an incredible experience it was. Just amazing. It was an amazing journey and I am already looking forward to next year!<br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9E9Ci7LvZI/AAAAAAAAA6M/1dfkOdbyKY4/s720/P4192206.JPG" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9E9DKrXoDI/AAAAAAAAA6Q/2v33owd2Wmw/s720/P4192209.JPG" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
It was nice to catch up with my family and hug the girls in the family meeting areas. We met a few of the guys I rode the bus with and had lunch at the Cottonwood. IPA never tasted so good!<br><br>
Final stats:<br><b>3:14:26</b> Official Finish Time (7:25)<br>
1:36:42 First Half<br>
1:37:44 Second Half<br><br>
OA: <b>3424</b>/22540<br>
M: <b>3102</b>/13072<br>
M40 – 44: <b>552</b>/2114<br><br>
All the <a href="http://connect.garmin.com/activity/30963346" target="_blank">Gory Garmin Details</a><br><br>
The next day we toured Boston on a gorgeous day. I kept laughing to myself as all the people wearing Marathon apparel, myself included, hobbled up and down stairs and proudly limped down the street.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_WGC9oujgSDo/S9FA1EGLShI/AAAAAAAAA6g/AUgwHUXdmBw/s720/P4202224.JPG" style="border:0px solid;">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,393 Posts
Dude you knocked it out of the park. That is one very very impressive race. Well done my friend. After we crossed the start line, everything was crazy. I was stuck between you and my brother and I was trying to keep in there between the two. I quickly decided that your pace was a touch too quick for me. My brother and I both stopped prior to the 1 mile marker to pee again, in the woods, on the right side of the course. About another mile into the race, I pulled away from him.<br><br>
Way to stay tough and not falter in the hills. That's the hardest marathon course that I've ever run. And my quads are totally trashed too. The post race beers were very sweet. Enjoy!<br><br>
Congrats again!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,954 Posts
Congrats on the PR at Boston!!!!<br><br>
I was probably just as excited running it for the first time, your race report was awesome and brought back some fun memories!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,968 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana"> YAY .... awesome race! I was smiling reading your report .. and you got some great pics on the course (I'm jealous) ... in '07 I ordered one of those ones with 4 choices on a boston skyline background ... like it better than the plaque one I got for my first thon at columbus in '06 .. the multi one is a pictorial history of your race and seein the different spots along the course makes me happy (even though I was physically miserable most of my first boston, lol)<br><br><br>
very good race!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,064 Posts
Awesome job JB - your enthusiasm makes me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,855 Posts
Wow, I love reading stories like this - amazing what you've accomplished in 3 1/2 years. Big congrats on nailing both the race and the BQ!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,963 Posts
JB..you are truly an inspiration to me and I know many others at RMADs! I am happy I could be a little part of this journey with you! YOu kicked Bostons ass and I am so happy for you that you were able to give it your all that day! I know this will be an experience you will never forget! Loved all the pics...esp the one at the finish line! YOu are looking quite like the Johnny Badass we all know & love! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">KUDOS<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"> & <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/occasion14.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="occasion5">CHEERS<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/occasion14.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="occasion5"> to a Wonderful Boston and many more to come!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,963 Posts
btw tell col that i love her vera bradely hipster <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> a girl just notices these things! (or is hers the messenger bag?? hmmm) I have several vera bradley styles , but really really love my hipster!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,652 Posts
A PR while grab-assing on othe course to pose for photos?! I smell Sandbagger!<br><br>
Nice job - you ran the course like a grizzled veteran!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Wow, another great race report in here. The best part is all the hard work you put to get there and seeing how it paid off. I loved the part about the spikes in the quads - I thought it felt more like knives. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
All this reading of Boston reports is making me freakin' stoked for my attempt to get there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,647 Posts
You've come a long way since that Turkey Trot in 2006 !!!! Really enjoyed your RR and photos (finishing photo is priceless). Congrats on running a strong (and smart) race, John. You rocked it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,485 Posts
dang, what a freakin' awesome report!! If your writing conveys this much energy, I can only imagine what you were really like on race day! Congrats on a great Boston experience - you really captured it all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,638 Posts
Hey superstar! What a great report to sum up a great race! Isn't Boston just the bomb? I love being there every year to see the pure joy on people's faces! And this year was special because I got to see your enthusiasm and wonder! Nice race - there are many more meetups for you and I at mile 5 baby!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
Wow, what a great race! I love reading reports like this. Congratulations on owning the course, and getting a PR in the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,641 Posts
Great planning; consistent, focused training; smart hydration; speedy running; awesome support; fantastic pictures; energy & enthusiasm to spare; an almost perfect first Boston; and a spellbinding RR. JohnnyB, you did it!!! You are an inspiration!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_salut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="salute"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
Fantastic race and report! IMO, nearly perfect pacing for the course. Inspiring, Johnny. You make me want to go back.<br><br>
Cherish it always.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,786 Posts
The finish line photo says it all. You owned it!
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top