Tag Archive | Boston Marathon Race Strategy

Guess my Finish at the 2014 NYC Marathon and win a prize

Just like we did before every single race I’ve done in the last two years (link to last one, and the NYC Half guess) it’s time to place your bets again… There is always someone who hits it right in the head! (always unbelievable! look at this one: guesses here, winner here)

Rules:

Pick a finish time and write in the comments below. Whoever gets closer, wins, If there’s two identical times, the first poster wins! Make sure if you include seconds in there too, and post before Saturday November 1st at 7 pm EST. 

As usual, there’s gonna be PRIZES… you can 2 pick from these:

  • a clip-on running metronome
  • a  brooks flat vapur water bottle
  • a Garmin FR70 watch
  • BodyGlide minis (set of 5)
  • SLS3 Compression race sleeves, white, S/M
  • Craft Compression socks, white, M
  • Zensah Compression socks, black M
  • Injinji socks, Lightweight ultra thin performance, mini crew, gray, M
  • TCKSports socks, Topo and Talus, grayishs, size M
  • a NYC Marathon rain (knee-length, orange and white) poncho

Ok, the data…

Recent:

Grete’s Great Gallop on October 5th in 1:44. Staten Island Half on October 12th in 1:43.

Marathons:

My PR is from Berlin 2012: 3:27:44, the last marathon I did was Boston 2014 in 3:49 and NYCM 2013 in 3:49.

Running Calculators!

 the jackdaniels calculator says the SI half 1:43:39 gives me a 3:36 marathon
the macmillan calculator says the SI half 1:43:39 gives me a 3:38 marathon
the  runnersworld calculator says the SI half 1:43:39 gives me a 3:36 marathon

I’d add a few minutes to those as those estimates are for a flat marathon.

My guess:

No PR this year! I am guessing between 3:39 (my A Goal and a course PR) and a 3:46, because I did NYCM last year in 3:49 and I am in a bit better shape this year.

GO ON! Place your bets below!!! Good luck to us!!

Prizes shipped only within the US, but you can have me send it to someone in the US.  / Comments with guesses will only count if they are posted here (not on facebook, not on runnersworld.com, HERE) before Saturday Nov 1st 7 pm EST.  / If there are two guesses with the exact same time, the first one wins.

Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time

Before this one:

Guess my Finish at the 2014 Boston Marathon and win a prize
We are shipping up to Boston…!!! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 
2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  
 

We all know the “no new shoes on race day” and hydrate before and all that. I decided to write this down because I KNOW I will forget… and if you ask me, it’s here:

Train for the course. Do long runs that are hilly. You need ups and downs: BOTH. Training on a flat terrain will not work. Build your eccentric quad muscles by running down a steep downhill, increase your turnover, and work on hill form (up and down).

Hotel: if you can, get a hotel that is close to the finish area. If not (because they are a tad expensive), NOT to worry, pick one on the red or orange line, avoid the green line, it gets CRAZY busy the whole time you’re there. We got a place in Charlestown, and it was perfectly close.

Expo: handle with care. In my opinion it’s the biggest/best one but it’s SO crowded, I tend to get really crazy stressed out. Keep an eye out on your excitement level. Don’t forget to get the poster from Adidas: YOUR NAME IS IN THERE! Do go to the Runner’s World seminars, mostly the Legends one, to hear the most inspiring stories you couldn’t even believe! If it’s your first or second time, DO watch the video of the course a couple of times, will get you super prepared for what’s ahead.

If there is a bit of a hint of sun in the forecast: SUN protection on the back, shoulders and the right side is a MUST, visor or HAT, and sunglasses. The sun will be on your back/right side 98% of the race. It can get quite annoying.

Name on the shirt, ALWAYS. Music: you will not need it. If you have it, you won’t hear it because the crowds are SO loud. I couldn’t even hear my silly watch yelling my splits at me even covering my ears!

Get on the portapotties before getting on the bus, as soon as you get out of the bus, and then wait for the portapotties going into the corrals: they’ll be on your left and they’re almost empty!!!

Go out slow. No, slower. Not, slower slower. We ALL fall pray to this course, no matter how slow we “think” we are going.
If you have issues staying on pace in the beginning, start a few corrals back. That helped me a few years ago (when I got to the Start super late!) to stay put behind “slower” people. Couldn’t have dreamed of better pacers! Weaving NOT allowed!

What else?

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2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times

Before this one:

Guess my Finish at the 2014 Boston Marathon and win a prize
We are shipping up to Boston…!!! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 
—————————————————————————–

and here we go!

Wow, I stared at that for two days until I decided I had to write this post. That took a while…

If I had to sum up this race, it’d be easy: it hurt like HELL, I suffered every step of the 26.2 but OMG was it worth it… it was FANTASTIC and during the whole race I had to deal with my uncontrollable body and the crowds making me cry and dry-heave all the way into Boylston… it was pure insanity in the streets!!!!

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Early, sleepy face! Ah, shoes!!!!!

As I was on the 2nd wave, bus loading was 7 to 7:30, I met some friends and team mates at 7 in Boston Commons so we could all get to the Athletes Village together (once there it’s so hard to find anyone!).

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I know, I know: SO SECSY

Boston Commons was quiet and super organized, we even went to the portapotties before loading. The main thing though was that you had to check your bags there, so you wouldn’t be bringing anything to the AG, so strange. So, for the first time in my life, I had to decide what to wear very early before the race and I would run a marathon (my 9th, or 11th if you count the ultras) with a phone… So weird. But I have photos!!!!!

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Francesca and I. Francesca pretty much won the race.

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Roll Call front left: Tessa and Andrea. Second Row, from left: Tommy, Sky, and Emily. Last Row, left: Katie, Kara, and Francesca.

Anyway, we all hopped on the bus and just made sure we talked about everything! We ate, got our gear in order and tried to stay loose. I was freaking out a bit. I knew it was going to hurt. NYCM in November had HURT and now I was in worse shape and a *bit* heavier… I was really scared…!

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The Athletes Village was bopping!!! It was sunny and WARM out!!! We sat down and could feel the warm sun in my back… I started to worry I had worn the wrong stuff. I had shorts and the Argentina t-shirt I always wear and I have always been fine for all my marathons but the forecast said 60s…  I figured I’d be okay but who knows. Nothing to do now!!!

We tried the portapotties again and lines were LONG. Like… you’d miss your wave long! And we were being called by waves, and then by corrals. The corral area is small so they call you in, when you’re ready to go, and there you just go…

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Security EVERYWHERE. I felt soooo safe all along the course, the expo, the AG, everywhere you turned there was police, HS, it was fantastic. And they were ALL SO NICE!

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towards the corrals!

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Loved this shirt!!!

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I took many of these pictures because, if you haven’t run Boston, you wouldn’t know how suburban this race and its start is. You are in someone’s front lawn most of the race.. these are people’s homes and they are ALL OUTSIDE!!!! It’s such a town-party… They all come out to celebrate, put signs up, hand you SOMETHING. Seriously, everyone had something, whether it was tissues, orange slices, cups of water, beer, kitchen rolls, vaseline, ice in plastic bags, Twizzlers, or high fives… The town was out there to help the runners. And they ALL had a sign. Boston  Strong was on everyone’s t-shirt, banner, tattoos, and balloons. I was walking to the corral and I was already crying. I knew I had to start controlling my emotions now or it’d be a mess!!

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Note to remember (because I always forget): there is an amazing amount of portapotties  right before the corrals. EMPTY. EMPTY!!!!! Heaven…

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And that is what most of the first 24 miles looks like!!!! small town vibe, friendly folks handing out stuff and celebrating us, trees, some trains and fire trucks and a lot of blue and yellow love. Which, btw, was freaking me out, because my team’s colors are blue and yellow!!!!! So… it was hard not to think it was someone I know as soon as I saw ANYONE! It really drove me mental.

Time to put the phone away… em, I was right at the start and forgot to turn my GPS on!!!! FFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!! So… I waited for a few minutes (seconds? hours?) and decided to go! Run NAKED yeah… (emm, I wasn’t ready for that! Dumb idea!), which is why at no point in the race remembered where I was and my splits looked like this:

messed up splits

pace is around 22… okay then!

So, I went! About a minute later, FREAKING KID YOU NOT, I was too hot to live!!!

I couldn’t stand it. I considered dropping out and going back. Seriously. I was so upset!!! I decided to drop the shirt, somehow, unpin all the bib stuff, somehow take it over my headband, headphones, watch, pace bracelet and what not, and bunch it up inside the back of my bra. That pissed me off, and it wasn’t an easy task, while running, while in such a crowded start, while being SO hot. I could have done this 5 minutes ago when I wasn’t running!!! Ugh, I tried to repin the bib in the shorts and made a few holes on my fingers. Eventually I went to the side, stopped and took care of it all. Still, my first mile was a ridiculous 7:57!! Major OY.

The plan was to go easy, and last. I estimated anything between 3:50 and 3:55 so I had a pace bracelet for 3:50 (which is 8:47 pace), and oooooops, I messed up BY A LOT. CRAP. I am the one telling EVERYONE to go slow and I do this. PFFFF. Of course, I am also a twice certified coach and decided to do this marathon (and my last one!) without any training whatsoever too, but okaaaaaay. So, people, stop reading. Or, better, PLEASE DO LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES (you’ll see a lot of screaming in this post, I am upset at myself!).

Took the shirt off: still hot! WTF?? I then realized I’d have the sun at my back for 4 hours and I had no sunscreen on… UGH. BAD. And my heart rate was high… I tried to relax and go easy. It didn’t work. Mile 2 and 3 were 7:57 and 7:56 and my first 5K was 24:42, which is a 7:58 average. NO NO. CRAP. Okay, let’s not freak out!!!

Besides that mess I was doing… the course was quite entertaining… There were TONS of people cheering, spectating, with banners, with stuff, all the houses were decorated on some form… I saw a big house on the right all decked out by Skechers and Go Meb signs… It was pretty cool. I am going to blame them all for making me too excited and going to fast. Hopkinton, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!!!!!

I was hot and drinking like I had just finished the marathon… I was taking Gatorade AND water at every mile. And then I’d drop a cup of water in my head. I was burning up. I realize it was a lot hotter two years ago and 60 to 75 (people can’t seem to agree on what the temperature was) is not the worst it could be (Ironman husband kept telling me later all his Ironman marathons are over 80! ugh!) and, most important, I always DO GREAT in the heat… I just couldn’t handle it for some reason, maybe it’s the lack of training, maybe it’s the extra weight I put in, I de-learned how to sweat efficiently.. I don’t know. I was sweating and melting all over the course. I was a hot mess!! I was drinking and I couldn’t drink enough. It was painful the whole way. My legs felt like jelly, my feet were hurting, my lungs were burning. I wasn’t just undertrained… I was just NOT trained. AT ALL. I shouldn’t have been there and I knew it at mile one, with the heat, the legs, the course’s ups and downs, my quads, my lungs, my burning skin… I was a mess and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I think I run too fast to just get it over with. I was exhausted, I was tired, sore, even hopeless at some points… I did the unthinkable: I walked. Twice. I had never walked in a marathon, even in NYC when I was a lot slower and in more pain than this. I walked. I had given up. I was so upset at myself for putting myself in that situation. Why would I just not be willing to do the long runs anymore? Why did I care so little??? I love running but the marathon love is slipping away but I keep signing up for them as a tick I have. I swore I wouldn’t do this again, please help me!

Anyway, I told you how amazing the crowds were? I kept focusing on that. But only a little. As soon as I’d go to the side and see people, I’d start crying. People were AMAZING, I had never seen anything like that!!!!! So I was in and out of the crowds to keep myself from dehydration from tears!!!!

At Mile 10 I saw the Hoyts and peeled my phone off my fitletic (which, by the way, was SO comfortable!!)… I HAD TO!

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So amazing… I saw more signs for the Hoyts than for anything else!!! Things like these, so fantastic, were ALL OVER the course… how could I give up??? I didn’t, I was enjoying this love-fest and ignoring the rest!! I knew I’d see Juan at mile 16 and that is all that kept me going. I’d finally hand out the t-shirt and lose 3 pounds there! Wellesley was loud and then see a gentleman getting lots of smoooches, then I realized I knew him… (no, won’t name names!!!!). I passed Sarah Reinertsen around there too… Soon, I saw Juan… in his amazing yellow wig that helped me spot him a block away!!!

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too cute!

Apparently, the wig had gotten him in all sorts of trouble, but he made it… I waved, handed the shirt, he got a couple of shots and stopped for some kisses too!!!! Ah, well, gotta stop for the hubs!

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He’s the best… it made me feel so good to see him!!! And then, I just had 10 miles to go! On top of this, I had no clue what my pace was but I had an idea I was under 3:50, more like 3:45, but it was quite strange to not see the exact numbers…

Then the hills happened, and they sucked the life hope out of me. They really felt like dementors. That is when I walked. Luckily, at 17 I hear someone scream my name. And after a second, my fuzzy brain realized I wasn’t wearing my shirt with my name on it (which I missed so much… doing a marathon without your name on your shirt makes no sense people!!!), it was Simon!!  I stopped for 1 second again for a hug. I shouldn’t have hugged him. I wanted to stay there so bad…  thanks Simon for running up the hill like a maniac with me! And he got this pic:

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my right arm can’t possibly be that much longer, right?

I kept chugging. Every mile felt like forever. I walked twice, I drenched myself in water all I could, at mile 16 I had an s-cap, and was having a gel every 5 miles. I was hot, tired, sore, lifeless… but gosh the crowds… and then…!!!! My FAVORITE PART OF THE RACE..!! Yes, sorry Juan… Boston College ALWAYS takes the cake for me. I said it before and I’ll say it again, they’re louder than the girls at Wellesley and way crazier… I LOVE THEM.

Eventually, I see the Citgo sign. I know Juan will be right there. I turn from Beacon, spot him a block away again with that wig! He takes more pics…

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That’s me blowing kisses to him so I wouldn’t stop this time. I knew that if I stopped… I might not care about the remaining mile… One more thing you might be noticing is I’ve put on some weight (ooops just weighed myself, there’s 10% more of me! ). If you didn’t notice, then unread this. I did though, I know what I weigh, and what I look like: it’s not pretty, but I am ok with it. It is not ok, but I am ok with it. I will burn it off in a few weeks now that the weather is nice enough again to run. It’s stoooopid, I know, but I never cared about the abs and how vain all that crap about being lean is. I just can’t run well like this and it’s unhealthy but I really don’t care about my weight and what I look like. I don’t. I can’t. Life is too short and I like food.

Then the underpass and then there is turn on Hereford and we’re on Boylston, and you see the finish line. With just the .2 to go, it seems like it’s 2 miles or more. I always feel like they’re pushing it back away from me…! Why does that stretch feel SO LONG???? Every time.

But, I lost it.

All that emotion and love and tears I had held on to during the race… I let it all out. I started crying. I started dry-heaving. I run by the two explosions sites. I started screaming at those people standing there, telling us they weren’t afraid like we weren’t afraid. To those people standing right there, on the same block, telling me with their eyes, this is OUR CITY, and in my heart screaming THIS IS MY SPORT , no one is going to mess up with something as pure and free as running… to those people I shouted, I cried, I screamed this is for you, and I am sure I looked crazy, and I cried all the way to the finish line while looking all of them in the eyes, this is for you, I kept screaming, just like you’re here for us, we’re all here running for you, for Boston, for the innocents, for the kids, for the freedom of the sport, for the history of this race, for the love of your people you came to support, to take back the city, to take back the marathon. We were all together on Monday, runners, spectators, volunteers, police, neighbors, everyone was getting this race up to make the city move past the horrible acts of last year. We left our fears on the door on April 15 and we all took on this race as if all had a part on helping the city heal. I swear, I felt like everyone in the city was holding my hand through the race. I really needed that, but I know they needed it more. That’s why I, and pretty much everyone racing on Monday, were there… It got done. We all walked away with a lot of love, with a sense of community you don’t see too often, with a sense of accomplishment: we are stronger together. We are. Adidas had the perfect slogan: We All Run Boston. On Monday we did. We all did. Everyone in the city did. You all reading and tracking and stalking from work did run Boston too. We all felt it there. I have to stop crying now. again.

7

I finished. I cried some more… I was SO HAPPY TO BE DONE. And, all of a sudden: nothing was hurting.. WTF! Of course.

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LOVE. Kissing the finish line. ❤

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I instantly had 6 cups of Gatorade, two bottles of water and a protein shake. And then I heard Meb had won. I was in such shock… I was SO SO SO SO happy about that! Then I grabbed the poncho and headed out to meet the hubs, having the phone makes it all SO much easier!!!!

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I was walking soooooo slow it was funny… The poncho was actually warm for the train ride –I was in a soaking wet bra, not fit for train rides!

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Our landlady had given us a really nice exception to let us check out at 4, so we rushed back to the apartment (SORRY EVERYONE!!!!!!) to shower before we had to rush back to our transportation back… I was in PAIN already…

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weirdo. how long until I can wear a backless dress and not look like THIS?

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BLOOD EVERYWHERE. THE F!

We dressed and headed out for food before rushing back to the city. NOW I can wear my jacket. Had the best burger, and fries, and pizza.

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Results…! The official time was….

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baa splits

My splits, as sent from my sister as soon as I finished… (she is very well trained…!!!!) ARE HORRIBLE. DON’T LOOK. boston marathon 2014 photos (67)

Pretty much the same crap I did in NYCM2013. I am starting to think that it’s not that I start fast (I don’t!), I just 1. can’t hold it (because I am not trained), 2. have no idea what marathon pace should feel like (because I am not trained), 3. I have no idea what I am doing (because I am not trained). All those. Plus the heat. I blame the crowds for getting my excited to keep going instead of dropping (!!!) and the orange jacket (which looks like the hot-sun-drenched-road, and MY BACK!). Adidas, this is on YOU!

Well, so another marathon in the books. Not the slowest, but around there… and 21 minutes slower than my qualifying race…  I really can’t keep doing this to myself, it’s NOT enjoyable to run like that. I’ve had marathons where I run fast and enjoyed it the whole way, next one is gonna be that way or NO marathon!!! deal, elizabeth?? Sign here, you lazy fair-weather runner!

—————————————

And the giveaway winner is…!!! SO CLOSE!!!! 6 seconds close!!!! there were so many of you close but Whippets! takes the prize!!! Pick one from the post and email me!

prize winner

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After this one:

Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

2014 Boston Marathon: in the books!

Before this post:

Guess my Finish at the 2014 Boston Marathon and win a prize
We are shipping up to Boston…!!! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
 

Guys, I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL YOU!!!! I have no idea how I could ever put this whole weekend in paper. I am still overwhelmed and overhyped. The crowds on the race there the most amazing thing I’ve seen. I had to work hard to run the 26.2 but also to not cry through EVERY SINGLE STEP. I was completely moved by the city. My race was PAINFUL from mile 1, I was hot, tired, slow, I didn’t have any training and my legs were not happy up or down, but I pushed through and had a great time (and finished sooner than I thought!). I have sooo much to share, for now a couple of pictures while I stretch, ice-bath, hydrate, put a gallon on lotion on my sunburn, and look at my bloody blisters in disgust. This was a race for the ages… more to come soon!

2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (1) 2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (2) 2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (3) 2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (4) 2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (7) 2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (8) 2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (9) 2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (10) 2014 BOSTON MARATHON  (11)

if you still want to read something AMAZING, here, an amazing story of teamwork and looking out for your colleagues! Ryan Hall and all the americans worked together to let Meb build a bit of a lead… amazing story!!! http://www.letsrun.com/news/2014/04/untold-story-american-teamwork-ryan-hall-helped-meb-keflezighi-win-boston/

If you’re obsessing after yesterday’s race this is a good account of how the race evolved: http://www.runnersworld.com/boston-marathon/meb-wins-the-boston-marathon

After this post:

2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  
Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

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2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday!

After this post:

2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 
2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  
Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

We are shipping up to Boston…!!!

it’s a song… quite a good one for your marathon playlist I would say… and I think I am running myself a marathon on Monday…

You might know by now that I am in NO shape to run a marathon, or even a half! I haven’t trained, I haven’t done more than 1 long run since the NYCM in early November, and since I have logged a miserable amount of miles, so … why am I going? Well, I wasn’t thinking I’d do Boston a second time, even though I really enjoyed my 2010 Boston. I think it’s a race that is cool to do once, but after what happened a year ago, I had to find a way to shake the anger off. I was really really really upset, and decided I’d sign up come September. I kept my word, but I wished I had taken the training seriously. I am just really not feeling the marathon distance anymore. I am not loving the long runs (mostly in the cold winter we had) and mostly, I have decided to move away from the full distance. Of course I DID sign up for NYCM 2015 (I am a walking disaster that can’t resist!!!!!!!) but my plan is to just run it…

Anyway, I realized today how amazing it’d be to have a great marathon on Monday. I kept pouring over every up and down and grade and length and steepness of the course and realized it’s a great great great course to run on… if you have trained!!!!! I really got upset that I’d be wasting it. And, not being in marathon shape means I might be suffering a bit and not really enjoying the experience as I would if I had a nice trained pair of legs. Let me write this so I can learn this lesson for the next time… I am a bit sad and upset with myself right now. I am wasting a precious opportunity and doing myself harm for no reason. I know I should have trained, or I shouldn’t be going now. Coulda Woulda Shoulda. IT IS WHAT IT IS.

Changing the vibe a bit… I got some cool stuff online:

boston marathon race gear

new boston marathon race gear

The jacket was SOOOOOO freaking cute, but ENORMOUS. It got a Small (there was no xs) and it was HUGE. like, it fit Juan… GR. The same with the shirt, which was cute. the singlet OMG, it’s AMAZING, it’s SO hot… I love the back…

boston marathon singlet

I am sure I’ll find more cool stuff at the expo. Last Boston I run, I SWEAR, so I might as well get some cute stuff, IF IT FITS!!!!

Then… I just sorta did my nails, they ARE NOT FINISHED YET, still need to fix them and put a top coat (but it’s a good time to post… so…)

2014 boston marathon nail art

Now I am going to pack everything in my fridge, in my kitchen, and all my clothes and running shoes and should be ready to go in 2 days. Like I am moving to Boston. I have no idea how I ever did a race in Berlin. I have a packing list curated over the years and I still stress about this and need to bring one of everything (or two if colors can be an issue…!). Okay, if you see me, make sure I am not stressing about how much Monday is gonna hurt and slap me if I am. See you on the other side. Hopefully.

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After this post:

2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 
2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  
Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

Guess my Finish at the 2014 Boston Marathon and win a prize

Just like we did before every single race I’ve done in the last two years (link to last one, and the NYC Half guess) it’s time to place your bets again… There is always someone who hits it right in the head! (always unbelievable! look at this one: guesses here, winner here)

Rules:

Pick a finish time and write in the comments below. Whoever gets closer, wins, If there’s two identical times, the first poster wins! All guesses have to be in this post. Make sure if you include seconds in there too, and post before next Sunday at 7 pm EST. 

As usual, there’s gonna be PRIZES… you can pick from:

  • a biomechanics session (in NYC)
  • a clip-on running metronome
  • a  brooks flat vapur water bottle
  • a NYC Marathon rain (knee-length, orange and white) poncho
  • a Garmin FR70 watch
  • SLS3 Compression race sleeves, white, S/M
  • Craft Compression socks, white, M
  • Zensah Compression socks, black M
  • Injinji socks, Lightweight ultra thin performance, mini crew, gray, M
  • TCKSports socks, Topo and Talus, grayishs, size M

Ok, the data…

Recent:

NYC Half, 13.1, March 2014, in 1:50:10, average pace: 8:25

Scotland 10K, April 2014, in 47:41, average pace of 7:42

Marathons:

My PR is from Berlin 2012: 3:27:44, the last marathon I did was NYCM 2013 in 3:49:34. My last Boston was in 2010: 3:51: 21

Running Calculators!

  • Mc Millan says… Based on the 1:50:10 half: 3:51 – 8:51 pace. Based on the Scotland 10k: 3:43 – 8:32 pace
  • RunnersWorld says… based on the 1:50:10 half: 3:49 – 8:44 – . Based on the Scotland 10k: 3:39 – 8:22 pace

My guess:

I am sure I won’t PR, get that out of your heads!! Goal A is to stay under 4 hours (never gone over 4 hours and don’t want to start now!) or, Goal B, break the course PR (3:51). I would love to shoot for 3:50 but I did 3:49 in NYCM and I was better trained there. I am just hoping I can stay within 4: anything between 3:50 and 3:59 is more realistic if the weather cooperates!

GO ON! Place your bets below!!! Good luck to us!!

Prizes shipped only within the US, but you can have me send it to someone in the US.  / Comments with guesses will only count if they are posted here (not on facebook, not on runnersworld.com, HERE) before Sunday 7 pm EST.  / If there are two guesses with the exact same time, the first one wins.

After this post:

We are shipping up to Boston…!!! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Saturday! 
2014 Boston Marathon Pictures – Sunday
The day before the Boston Marathon…
2014 Boston Marathon: in the books! 
2014 Boston Marathon Race Report: The Best and the Worst of Times  
Boston Marathon Notes: what to do/not do next time 

Boston Marathon Race Strategy

(just because a few of you asked me lately, I figured I’d put it up here!)
(also, I wrote these “Boston Marathon notes: what to do/not to do next time” after my last Boston, which might be helpful. More links at the end of the post)
People sometimes complain or talk about how hard the Boston Marathon course is. I don’t agree. I believe (KNOW!) that
–      if you have a strategy,
–      and stick to it
you can do well.
I certainly believe Boston is easier than the NYC Marathon, without a shadow of a doubt.
The thing is you have to be really smart, cold headed, and great at pacing to be able to race it well. You can’t just go out and go by feel.
Umm, no.
But no one does that, right?
So, here is what I used to get a strategy ready!
The course elevation is here, and the highlights:
Length Gain/Loss Average Steepest
Mile: Up/Down: (Miles): (Feet): Grade: Grade: Comment:
0.0 Downhill 0.60 -143 -4.5% -5.7% Starting line
0.6 Uphill 0.14 36 4.9% 5.2% Very short uphill
0.7 Downhill 3.00 -187 -1.2% -4.3% Very long downhill section
7.6 Uphill 0.13 31 4.5% 4.6% Very short uphill
7.8 Downhill 0.18 -30 -3.2% -4.2% Very short downhill
15.3 Downhill 0.60 -118 -3.7% -5.2% Just before Newton Lower Falls
16.0 Uphill 0.60 75 2.4% 3.2% Just past Newton Lower Falls
17.6 Uphill 0.30 74 4.7% 4.9% Just past Newton Fire Station
19.2 Uphill 0.40 63 3.0% 4.5% Newton City Hall
20.3 Uphill 0.40 97 4.6% 5.2% Heartbreak Hill
21.0 Downhill 0.50 -87 -3.3% -4.4% Boston College
22.0 Downhill 0.50 -57 -2.2% -3.9% Cleveland Circle
23.1 Downhill 1.00 -95 -1.8% -2.9% Beacon Street
Basically, in VERY BROAD terms:
DOWN for approx. 16 miles
UP for approx. 5 miles
FLAT/DOWN for approx. 5.2
So, really, not so scary broken down, right?
Well, hopefully you trained specifically for the course, which means rolling hills, up and down, up and down. People tend to focus on prepping only for the uphills and forget the dowhhills. And if you’re not prepared for all those 15 miles of down, your quads are going to be trashed very early on and you’ll suffer throughout. Just because downhill seems easier doesn’t mean they don’t have a lactic price! So, hopefully, you’re properly trained for the demands of this course.
Very important note: the massive drop in the first half mile. If you start very excited and go out too fast, YOU ARE TOAST. Curb your enthusiasm. Or start a few corrals back if you can’t (at least two or three corrals). I repeat: DO NOT start too fast or you’re donzo.
Breaking down the plan:

Part 1: DOWN for approx 16 miles

Ease up on the quads and take it easy on the downhills, at least for the first 5 miles. DO NOT think that you need to store up time now. Do not; there will be time for that. Remember BANK = BONK. You can speed up in the flat parts, and the subtle ups/downs but if you take these downhills as your chance to PR you WILL regret it later.
Now, make sure you’re running downhill properly or it’s gonna cost you. How do you do that? Make sure you let gravity adjust your body position as get as close as possible to being perpendicular to the hill. Short steps, increase your turnover. Do not overstride, do not break, do not lean back. Stay relaxed.

Part 2: UP for approx 5 miles 

This is not a constant climb, so it is not as scary, there are long flat stretches where you can gain some speed. There are four climbs, the last one being Heartbreak hill. I didn’t think they were such a big deals as they made them up to be, but that might be because I was prepared for the course, and because I run NYCM every year, and because Harlem Hill exists. This was not that hard and I actually had to ask around to know I had climbed Heartbreak… I really had no clue I was done with it, I barely noticed it. So, I would NOT be scared. Can I say it again? the hills are NOT BAD AT ALL if you run a smart race. Take them easy and go wild in between. Your goal and motto should be to get to the top of Heartbreak in one piece and in good spirits, because that is when you can break lose.
In case you care, here is the info on the uphills:
Mile 16.5:
Length=.6 miles
Elevation Gain=60′
Grade=2.8%
Mile 18:
Length=.3 miles
Elevation Gain=60′
Grade=4.8%
Mile 19.5:
Length=.4 miles
Elevation Gain=60′
Grade=3.8%
Mile 20.75:
Length=.4 miles
Elevation Gain=80′
Grade=4.3%
As a reference, in you are a NYC Runner, Harlem Hill is 0.32 long but it has a 84′ rise, with a 4.4%. As you can see, Heartbreak hill (the last of the 4) and Hill 2 resemble HH. Hill 1 and 3 are a bit less steep.

Part 3: FLAT/DOWN for approx 5.2 miles

You go wild. You hit the gas and run like you’ve never run before.
If you run the previous parts of the race smart and paced well, you’ll be ready to set yourself on fire here. This race is basically a loooong tour towards a 10k, use the 10k up and really get some smoke going. There are not more than 3 turns in the whole race (no need to worry about tangents at all!) and they are in this last part, so you’re really clear to go ahead and sprint like a maniac. It’s still a few miles but you can really recover a few minutes here. Also, you’ll have a lot of cheering and support to wake you up and go, if you slept most of the previous miles…

Other notes:

* For overall pace, I’d recommend running Boston the same pace as your qualifying race, and then, if you have any more speed left at the end, go for it and PR.
* Because most of the course is exactly on the same direction, don’t forget to apply sunscreen, mostly on your shoulders and back, and if you’re wondering if you need sunglasses, you don’t. Sun will be at your back 80% of the race.
* If you still don’t have a pace bracelet, and you want one, I really like these, they’re customized to the Boston course and you can set it up based on: effort vs pace, slow start/fast start, min vs max fading, etc.
* Race Day, arrive at the shuttles early, you don’t want to stress in the lines and when there is traffic. Use the portapotty before, the drive to the start can be over an hour long.
* At the finish, pretend your last name starts with C or D, otherwise you’ll have to walk a lot longer to find your family/friends.
* Wear your medal proudly: you’re amazing.

Other things you can check out if you want more info (or are THAT bored or OCD)

Boston Marathon notes after my last Boston, which might be helpful
Boston Marathon pace bracelet, customized with the specific race course hills and stuff
My Boston 2010 race report, with lots of info you could use
My Boston 2014 race report, lots more info and pics
Boston Marathon 2010
Good to go? Think you can hold your horses? Questions?