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(Reprinted from Boomers and Beyond at Cool Running):<br><br>
Whenever I have a mediocre performance I don't really feel like talking about it but some of you said you looked forward to reading my report, so here goes...<br>
Forgive me if I ramble and don't follow the usual Boomer format.<br><br>
Since getting my PR last October and running Philly in November I never got fully motivated to train hard this winter and spring. So going into this my third Boston Marathon I only had about 420 miles YTD compared to +/- 650 in 2002 and 2003. I didn't do any speedwork since November and haven't lost the 10 pounds that I gained over the holidays. Then after doing a 20 mile race on March 25 and a hilly 24.5 miler seven days later I came down with the flu on April 2. Since getting over the flu I managed only three short runs to make sure everything was working and see if I could breathe normally. So with my training lacking I had already decided to use Boston as a training run in preparation for VCM on May 27.<br><br>
I drove down to Boston early Sunday morning beating the snow that was forecast for northern New England. Arriving at the expo I was disappointed that they had already run out of large teeshirts but the medium they gave me seems pretty big. The Hynes Convention Center is clearly too small for the expo and the place was a zoo. I walked around the hall once and left then headed up to Cambridge to meet some Coolrunners and some people from that other website for lunch. At 5PM I headed over to Milford where I had a hotel reservation. I prefer staying near the start then riding the free bus back to the Hopkington parking lot after the race. It's much quieter outside of Boston and the hotels are cheaper. After a big pasta lunch I wasn't very hungry and had a turkey sandwich for dinner.<br><br>
Race morning: Up at 6AM and down to the hotel lobby for a bagel, OJ and coffee. I went outside and checked out the weather: still raining and very windy but not too cold. I decided to wear shorts.<br><br>
Clothing: Double layer long sleeve blue Coolmax mock T, Mizuno singlet over the top, blue Race Ready shorts, RRS Coolmax boxer briefs (for extra insulation and to keep my hammies warm), Mizuno Elixir's, thin wool socks, Coolmax cap, cheap cotton gloves (and a dry pair of knit gloves in a plastic bag in my back pocket), and a genuine Maid 'O The Mist blue plastic rain poncho.<br><br>
I rode the bus from the parking area outside of Hopkington to the race village. The ride took an extra ten minutes and I heard somebody say they were looping the busses around from the south so they wouldn't go through downtown Hopkington and upset the residents. What a change frn previous years when some people used to use resident's front yards as open air latrines!<br><br>
It was raining hard when I got off the bus and I followed the crowd to the high school entrance. I was the last person to get in before secuurity guards said they were full. After that they would only let people in when some people went out. This was a very welcome dry warm place. I settled down on the floor on top of my spare plastic poncho and spent an hour there chatting with people. At 8:50 it was time to go out and get on the porta potty line. I have never brought so much extra clothing to a race and my official orange gear bag was bursting at the seams. I finally decided on the clothing described earlier but I wore an old pair of running shoes and socks when I went out and carried my race shoes, socks, Bodyglide, Vaseline and some napkins in a plastic bag. The athletic field where the large shelter-tents and porta potties were located was a conbination of mud and grassy puddles. The porta potty line was short but took forever. The potties were too disgusting to talk about. I was in the first wave and got out of the porta potty about twenty minutes before the start time. I looped around to the gear busses and dropped off my bag. It was very hard to hand in that bag with all the warm clothing but I think I had made the right decision. Then I walked around to the front of the school looking for a dry place to change into my race shoes. It was raining sideways and I made my way over to a covered doorway and squeezed my way in among the people cowering there. I managed to grease up my feet with Bodyglide and Vaseline without freezing them or getting them dirty. I put on my race shoes and threw the old shoes and socks in a garbage can. The time was 9:50 AM. I jogged down the street and got into corral #10 and two minutes later the gun went off.<br><br>
As the race began the rain had mostly stopped. The wind was in our faces but light so I settled in to an easy pace remembering to reel back my pace on the downhills. At about mile 3 I took off my plastic poncho but scrunched it into a ball and carried it for three more miles thinking it would rain and I would get cold. Finally I tossed it off to the side. I saw Jensparks at the 10k mark and almost knocked her over when she came out on the course to give me a hug. Somewhere around mile 11 there was a lake on the right and the wind picked up big time. It seems like from there to the finish the wind was in our faces with some big gusts occasionally slamming us. You could hear the girls at Wellesley College screaming a half mile away. I reached 13.1 in 1:54:04 and guessed if I was felling good I could maybe do a 3:48 which would make a very good training run. The headwind and occasional light drizzle was making me a bit cold and I wasn't in good enough form to ramp up my speed. I took it very easy down that big hill at mile 14 before the uphills started. My feet were soaked and cold in my thin Mizunos and all that Vaseline was squishy between my toes. I was no longer running 8:30's and had slowed to around 9's. I made my way up the Newton hills welcoming the extra work that I hoped would warm me up. Just before the top I reached the Boomer aid station and was handed a Gu and a bottle of Gatorade by Dtoce. This was great! From about miles 22 to the finish my feet were very cold and sore and I really wanted to walk but I knew that I would risk hypothermia if I stopped running. I was crawling along at about 9:30 pace and was estimating a finish just under four hours. That's what kept me going, foolish pride and stubborness. As I saw the final turn before Beacon Street my watch was at 3:57 and change. On the final home stretch I saw the finish banner in the distance and finally knew I had a 3:59 in the bag and crossed the line in 3:59:27.<br><br>
So it looks like I'm 0 for 3 in Boston weather wise: 2003, 75 degrees and wilting sun. 2004: 85 degrees. Then 2007, probably could have done much better if I was in shape.<br><br>
I won't post my splits since they're so pathetic. After a few days to let my quads recover I'll be determined to work hard for three weeks to be ready for VCM. I don't ever want to run another marathon undertrained.
 

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Walt, you're down on yourself a bit too much here. From my perspective you managed to prepare for the day. Don't second guess your mileage.<br><br>
I'm interested on how you're going to recover for Vermont! A day like yesterday is a bit of a shit-kicking, and I hope you get enough time to rest before pushing hard for the home town race.<br><br>
At any rate, you both qualified for the race and gave it what you had in the face of some rather crappy weather. Good job.
 

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Great report, Dr. Thanks for sharing it with us.<br><br>
I'm really looking forward to reading a lot of the Boston reports since the conditions were not so ideal. It's interesting to read how everyone dealt with the weather.<br><br>
I felt bad for you guys on Sunday night as my windows were rattling from the wind and you could hear the rain beating down all night long. The conditions weren't the best for you guys, but I shudder to think how awful they could've been if the storm was later or the temperatures were a bit lower.<br><br>
Great job under the conditions. <img alt="icon_cheers.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_cheers.gif">
 

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Dude! Nice job Wu! I hope your recovery goes well. Take care of yourself b/c your immune system is probably gonna be low this week.
 

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AGH, you were so lucky to get into the school!! I had to stand at the edge of the tent and hold the plastic out over me! At least I stayed dry!<br>
It was a tough day weather wise, don't beat yourself up!! Is the VCM Vermont City?? Good luck there!! If you feel you were 0 for 3 at Boston are you going to leep trying for good weather??
 

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Discussion Starter #6
VCM = Vermont City Marathon, May 27. VCM 2000 was my first marathon and I've run it seven consecutive years.<br><br>
My BQ was last October in the time period which makes me eligible to run Boston again in 2008. But I'm hoping for another PR this fall which would lower my entry slot. I really want a bib number under 10000 (was #10186 this year).<br><br>
Except for the wind the weather really wasn't that bad this year but I used it as a convenient excuse. Of course having wet feet for 26 miles was no fun.<br><br>
I will probably keep coming back as long as I can stay qualified. After running in 2003 and 2004 then not requalifying for 2005 and 2006 I really wanted to make it back. It's a love hate relationship for many Boston runners including myself. The course beats you up, it's logistically difficult, the crowds can be annoying, and you can't train effectively in the winter living in northern New England. But the aura and the history and the experience makes you want to be there every year. The three times I crossed the finish line when a volunteer put that medal around my neck were the best feeling in the world because that medal represented so much sacrifice, time and effort. If it ever stops feeling special that's when I'll stop coming back.
 

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Dude! Especially the 'aura' and 'history' part. I want to go back, no matter the weather.<br><br>
Congrats, Wu.
 
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