2011 Boston Marathon

 2011 Boston Marathon Training, Race Reports  Comments Off on 2011 Boston Marathon
Apr 292011

 I am very happy to report that I was able (barely) to complete the full 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston in 5:42:55!   It was a gorgeous day, with a light wind at our backs, partly cloudy and reasonable temperature.   The first half of the marathon went extremely well and I was well on my way to finish in under 5 hours with a 2:28 half marathon time.  As those of you who have been following my training know, I have been having trouble maintaining pace after 16 miles and unfortunately it was no different on marathon day.  By mile 21 I was in pretty bad shape and ended up walking and jogging the remaining 5 miles as best I could, stopping every half mile or so to stretch the cramps out of my legs.  I have to admit that there were times in that last hour that I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to finish, but the energy of the screaming crowds, the support of follow runners and the encouragement of my team coaches (who ran with me part of those last miles) made the difference.

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 Posted by at 5:21 pm

Week 23 Training Update for Boston Marathon 2011

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Week 23 Training Update for Boston Marathon 2011
Apr 032011

This first thing I want to mention is that you have so far raised $10,300 for Children’s Hospital by sponsoring me in the Boston Marathon.  This is an unusually high number for a charity runner to raise and it is due entirely to the generosity of all of you.  If you have not had an opportunity to register your sponsorship and feel you are able to contribute then you can do so here

Several very cool things have happened since my last update.   I received a letter from the Boston Athletic Association officially assigning me bib number 24795 and a corral assignment in wave 3.  This year the BAA changed the starting times a bit for the runners, putting the charity runners in wave 3 which will start running at 10:40, forty minutes after the gun goes off.  With 26,500 runners they have to release them in waves or else the roads will be choked.  I also received my Children’s Hospital singlet in the mail.  All the team members were very excited to get the singlet and I really like the design.  I will proudly wear it come race day representing Children’s.

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 Posted by at 3:09 pm

21 Mile Long Run

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on 21 Mile Long Run
Mar 272011

Yesterday was the day of the big 21 mile long run from Hopkinton to Boston College in Boston.  The Boston Athletic Association assisted in organizing the police, water stops and the staggering of the start times so that everything would go smoothly.

All the charity teams met at Boston College at 7:00 and were bused to Hopkinton around 7:30.  There were a *lot* of buses and I heard from several people that there were over 500 charity runners registered to partitpate in this last and most important training run.   The mood on my bus seemed pretty low key, even though one of the coaches tried a couple of times to rev everyone up.  After a few half hearted cheers in response to “IS EVERYONE EXCITED!!!!” the coach settled back into his seat as the bus took off.   The bus ride took a long time, and considering a lot of it was spent on Route 90 west it started to sink in just how far we would be running today.

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 Posted by at 7:30 pm

Week 20 Training Update for Boston Marathon 2011

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Week 20 Training Update for Boston Marathon 2011
Mar 122011

Today marks the end of my 20th week of training, which I started in October.  My total training miles is 468 miles so far, with 5 more weeks to go.  I frequently asked how training is going and it is sometimes very hard to answer that question.  “It is going great!” is my usual response, but truth be told training is a roller coaster of highs and lows.   This part of the training schedule is the very hardest because the miles you run each week are at the highest they will get (40+ miles) and your weekend “long run” is at the very max (18-21 miles).   15 people on my marathon team are down with injuries and it looks like most of them are out completely for Boston 2011.

Newbie mistake of the week: “Going out too fast”

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 Posted by at 11:34 am

Week 19 Update

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Week 19 Update
Mar 072011

All in all a good week in training (for me):

Mon: 7 mi recovery run easy pace
Tue: 6 mi Fartlek run
Wed: Rest day
Thu: 6 mi tempo run
Fri : x-train 11,000 meter row + strength training
Sat: 17 mile on marathon course (natick, Wellesley, Newton)
Sun: 10,000 meter row

Total miles: 36

The long run was challenging since I ran down through Wellesely, then up heartbreak hill, on to BU and then reversed it all. Other than the hills I ran to keep my HR very low (for me) but let it drift upward on the steeper hills but never really pushed it. Finished feeling very tired. The reverse hills coming back up rt 16 really suck but it is good practice since I will be hitting hills around 16 miles on marathon day. I will say the traffic is really bad on rt 16 is really bad and ice is still a problem. The carriage road on Comm Ave is great though.

Once thing that was nice is I had someone to run with on the first 7 miles since one of my team members is recovering from a hip injury and was running nice and slow like me He turned around at 7 and I turned around at 8.5. I was last team member back to starting point (out of 50 runners).

 Posted by at 10:03 am

Being the “Turtle”

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Being the “Turtle”
Mar 042011

I am 7 weeks out from my first marathon! That seems so close now!

I have something weighing on my mind as I write this.

I just need to express my frustration at my pace. I cannot believe how many runners who look much more out of shape then me can sustain far faster paces than I. I see a lot of men with bear bellies and heavily overweight ladies moving at 9:00 paces for their training runs, while I (whose MP is 10:00) am doing long training runs at 11-11:30. Out of the 100 members of my charity I am the slowest, by a far margin. When weather is bad and I use a local indoor track I have occasion to see a lot of runners and observe them carefully. I just can’t figure out why they are all moving so fast except the obvious… their cardiovascular system are in far, far better shape than mine. This of course undermines my own pathetic reasons for running slowly (I am 45, I could still lose 20 pounds, etc). I watched one older guy (60ish) running in regular cargo shorts. He looked to me to be about 245, 5’9 with that tight as a drum beer belly that implies a lot of visceral fat around his organs, and he ran with this shambling, bouncing step… for 6 straight miles at a far faster pace than me. I found it really disillusioning to me since I am 5’10 175 pounds, running 40 miles a week with a smooth efficient stride. I do my fartleks and my tempo runs and my long runs. I read tons of books on running (just finished Hal’s how to run fast) The only thing that seems to hold me back is my Vo2 max. Yes, I had 20 years of no exercise, and I was 70 pounds heaver a few years ago and I only started running seriously in October, but should I not be further along at this point? Someone please tell me it takes 2-3 years to get to a pace of 7mm-9mm no matter how hard you try so I can stop trying to rush it!

 Posted by at 7:42 am

Week 17 update

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Week 17 update
Feb 222011

This first thing I want to mention is that you have helped to raise $8,174  for Children’s Hospital by sponsoring me in the Boston Marathon!   I feel very blessed to know so many generous and giving people.  If you have not had an opportunity to register your sponsorship and feel you are able to contribute then you can do so here.

Today marks the end of my 17th week of training, which I started in October.  As most of you know, prior to October the most I had run in the last 20 years was 3-4 miles.  Last week my family and I were on a Disney cruise to the Caribbean and as relaxing as vacation is supposed to be, this would be a bad time to suspend my training schedule.  Thankfully the ship we were on had a 1/3 mile track on deck 4 and I was able to log some mileage.  What I was not counting on was the heat, humidity, heavy winds and the pitching and rolling of the deck!  My heart rate was up 10 bbm and I had to take it slow and run no more than 6 miles at a time.  I think the effort was more like 12 miles though!  Since we were traveling back to Boston on Sat, I moved my long run to yesterday (Sunday) and successfully completed my first 20 miler in 3 hours and 48 minutes.  Following the instructions of my training program I ran slow and steady with 30 second walk breaks every 4 minutes.  I stopped once per hour to thoroughly stretch and drank 7 ounces of fluids every 20 minutes.  I finished feeling very tired but in fairly good shape.

That brings my total training distance to 372 miles so far, with 8 more weeks to go.  My confidence is building, but the fact is that the marathon itself is much harder than any individual training run I will do and there is always the variable weather conditions, injury or illness that can make race day extremely difficult for a newbie runner.  On March 21st I will be participating in a training run on the last 21 miles of the Boston Marathon course, along with many other charity teams.  That’s when I will find out if the hill training I have been doing was enough.

Thanks again for everyone’s support and encouragement!

 Posted by at 9:06 am

Week 13 update

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Week 13 update
Jan 232011

I hope that everyone had an excellent holiday and is enjoying our snowy January!   Today marks the end of the 13th week of training, which I started in October.  Prior to October the longest I had run in the last 20 years was about 3-4 miles, so I had to take on a 6 month training program to (hopefully) bring me to a point where I can complete the 26.2 mile run in under 6 hours without injury.  I have had a number of people ask me what training consists of, so I will take a brief moment to explain that.  You run 4 days a week and cross-train 2, with 1 rest day each week.  The four running days are a mixture of easy running, speed work and one “long run” a week.  The cross training can be rowing, swimming or cycling.  The “long-run” increases from week to week with occasional “set-back” weeks to aid in reducing over training fatigue.  The total number of miles you run each week increases steadily until a couple of weeks before the marathon, when you taper off in order to be as strong as possible for the marathon itself. 

At just a little over half way through the training I am running around 30 miles a week, which is about right for someone of my age and relative lack of training compared to elite athletes who run vastly longer distances and much higher paces than I could hope to do.   That brings the total to about 265 miles I have run since I started training.  I have been doing many of my long runs with the rest of the Miles for Miracles charity team on the actual Boston Marathon course through Wellesley and Newton.

Yesterday, however, I did my 15 miles long run solo through the towns of Lynnfield and North Reading.  It was a brisk 12 degrees and within an hour my water bottles had frozen solid.  I guess I need to figure out a better solution for liquids!  The 15 miles took me a little over 3 hours and I finished feeling extremely tired.  I have confidence that the next 3 months will get me to where I need to be, but sometimes it is hard to believe it!

I leave you with this thought:  If you are driving and see a runner on the road please slow down and move to the left.  The life you save might be mine.

 Posted by at 9:09 am

Week 10 update

 2011 Boston Marathon Training  Comments Off on Week 10 update
Jan 032011

This weekend I finished week 10 of the 26 week training schedule for the Boston Marathon with a total of 200 training miles run so far.   Yesterday I completed my longest run to date at 13.1 miles which took me 2 hours and 30 minutes.  This brought last week to a total 31.15 miles of training runs.   I have been doing part of the training on the actual marathon course in Wellesley and Newton to acclimate myself to the course.  I wish I could say that progress on the training is raising my confidence and optimism about being able to do this, but to be honest I am finding this a monumental struggle.  I sure wish I was 25 and not 45!

So far you have helped raise $6,537 for Children’s Hospital and I am really amazed at everyone’s generosity!  If you have not yet had an opportunity to register your sponsorship you can do so here.

 Posted by at 6:27 am
Dec 112010

Today I finished week 7 of my 26 week training schedule for the Boston Marathon with a total of  126 training miles run so far.   Last Saturday I completed a 11.2 mile long run without even having to call my wife to rescue me!   I met with the team coaches and the rest of the Miles for Miracles marathon team last week.  It was nice to put some faces to the names!   Next week the long run bumps up to 13 miles, so wish me luck.

So far you have helped raise $4,137 towards my goal of $6,000 for Children’s Hospital and I think that is great progress at this point!  If you have not yet had an opportunity to register your sponsorship you can do so here.

 Posted by at 4:11 pm