Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boston Marathon 2008

3219 Swanson, Darin R. 37 M Tigard OR USA CAN
Checkpoints 5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:22:31 0:45:15 1:08:32 1:32:56 1:38:12 2:00:28 2:32:54 3:07:05 3:38:18
Finish Pace Projected Time Official Time Overall Gender Division
3:50:43 12181 8474 3422

The numbers tell (most) of the story. I started out attempting to run a 3:15 marathon and finished with running my second worst marathon time of 3:50:43. My overall pace from Monday I have often beaten while running 50km races :-(

Going into this race I was less than confident in my preparation but I am not really sure if that was the real reason I did not make my goal. I had scaled back from attempting to run a 3 hour marathon to 3:15 based on my training. What really failed me on race day was my gut. It is possible that with my lack of long runs my stomach had forgotten how to work properly while running?

I started out in corral 4 and had little trouble establishing the correct pace in the first few miles. I consciously backed off on the downhills while attempting to not brake with the quads. It was great: not working too hard and hitting about 7:25 minute pace (need to average 7:30 for 3:15).
Running as it was meant to be: exuberant exertion :-)
I have a great memory of running with literally hundreds of people at close to the same pace as me. If you focused you could feel the beat of the in sync pounding of all of those shoes with the pavement. (The early part of the Boston course is really the only part that is not lined with a cheering crowd) Totally cool. Almost made me want to stop and listen but that would have broken the trace (and the pace).

I believe I took my first gel at 6 miles. And then I took a gel every 3 miles after that. I was drinking from my handheld water bottle with the gels and later taking water from the aid stations. Some Gatorade as well.

After the mid way point, I was hit with bad gut cramps that forced me to walk on several occasions. 2 days after the race I still feel bloated with gas and cramps (sorry for the gory details). My web research has not turned up anything definitive and I plan to ask all my ultra-running experts what could be up. Did I not drink enough with the gels? I did not seem dehydrated at the end of the race.

Once I knew it was not going to be my day, I really tried to focus on Trisha's recommendation to enjoy the day. I was doing Boston and I was going to make it fun! I agree with Sean that Wellesley seemed less this year... I think some of the town crowds were almost as loud.
I tried to cheer on the thousands of people who passed me. I tried to smile to the crowd and use their encouragement. I tried to pick up the pace in the last miles as my legs felt strong and good. But whenever the pace got too fast the evil gut reared up. At least my last 5 km was faster than the second to last :-) I know as well that I did not push my body to what it could do: my legs simply are not as sore as they should be after running a marathon. Silly stomach.

Boston is a great town and Trisha and I really enjoyed hanging out together sans children and we liked the hotel we stayed at: Hotel Marlowe. They had bikes we used to head to the marathon expo and a ride around the Charles River.

Boston is a great marathon. I love the course and I believe the course does play to my strengths. I do plan to go back. I feel the need for a speedy fall marathon :-)


saschasdad said...

Oo, sorry about the bloaty/crampy tummy, Darin. That sucks. I've gotten bloated many times in ultras; usually I just puke and it goes away. Yeah, I'm not sure, though if it's too much of something or not enough. I can use the exact same nutritional plan in 10 races; it works in 5, and doesn't work in 5. Sorry, that doesn't help you solve your mystery, but at least I can empathize.

I'm glad you enjoyed Boston, the city. It really is cool - especially for a big city.

Rooster said...

Bummer Darin, you could have nailed it with not enough water. The concentration level of carbs to liquid need to be below 10%. I have formulas in fuel plan that calculate the amount of liquid I need to digest the required calories in a race. If you were drinking gatorade (more carbs) as your liquid and still taking gels the stomach will just protest badly, bloat, not digest and create a lot of gas. I did this to myself at WS100 last year from about mile 40-72....remember.

Good to know your legs are fine....back to training for that sub 3 fall marathon!

mtnrunR said...

i had fun "watching" you, jerry duncan and sean on the internet that monday morning. it was fun seeing how you were doing during the day. it's a PR course i think. i got a pr on it years back and so did meghan at the time. of course meghan and i had great weather that year. and by the way... it was the only time i ever beat Jeff in a race, ouchie mamma.

great job man. see you on the trail soon.
tom riley

Steve said...

Hey, at least you were there to soak it all in. My stomach is a constant source of frustration for me.

Great job!