Sunday, April 28, 2013

Post Race Recovery

Two weeks have passed and I am starting to finally get my legs back. The first week was one of rest and no-care nutrition. Good timing as I had another birthday mixed in there and birthday treats are the best! My quads were pure hell for 4-5 days where walking down stairs was quite the act to witness. I wasn't brave enough to have a massage and my lovely finally worked out some kinks on Thursday, Friday and Sunday the week following. Since then I haven't received massage and my running has resumed quite well. I do have a massage appointment for next week and that will be the true test to see how things have progressed.

This past week I ran 20-25 miles, mostly at the end of the week, and those miles felt better with each passing day. I look forward to the next week and hopefully get the green light to resume regular training after another warm up week.

Here are my two week following Boston:

April 15-21st
M: 26.2 miles race
H:0 *very light massage
F:0 *a bit more massage
Sa: 2 miles 17:45! ouch!
Su: 0 massage
Total: 28 miles with race Monday

April 22-28th
M: 27:00 5K Boston Run down lake walk
T: 0 *massage
W: 23:00 3 miles
H: 28:00 3.5 miles
F: 48:00 6.2 miles
Sa: 2 miles with Lucas 21:05
Su: 49:30 5.7 miles with Jignesh
Total: 23 miles

Years Total: 901 miles

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Boston Marathon 2013

2013 Boston Marathon
*it beat up my quads, but it didn't get my heart

I've been delaying this entry for many reasons. Mainly the time allowed me to process the experience and really, to allow for some serious reflection of the entire weekend that found a tragic and powerful ending on Monday, April 15 2013 @ 2:09 pm.

I've wanted to take part in America's finest, most history-filled marathon event for many years. I finally made the commitment in 2012 and followed through with it. I can honestly say it was by far my most memorable marathon to date. I didn't run a personal best as I desired but, there is so much more to Boston than a PB. The B.A.A. is a first class organization and, with the assistance of the fine volunteers and the people of the greater Boston area, they gave me an experience of a lifetime. From the expo, packet pick-up to the shuttle buses and staging/starting areas, nothing was left undone. They have thought of it all and do it right. Once the race got underway the citizens that lined the course to cheer were simply amazing. Near constant fan support from Hopkinton to Boylston Street kept me running, as walking just wasn't an option. Again, simply amazing.

As I crossed the finish line I felt deflated more than any other marathon I had previously ran. It wasn't a feeling of overall exhaustion rather, my legs (quads) were left somewhere back on the course near the base of the Newton Hills. The amount and degree of downhill running was beyond any thoughts I had going into this event. I had read numerous articles on how to race the predominantly downhill course. I scoured the internet for tips on how to train so those hills wouldn't get the best of me. I talked to others that had ran the race in years past. Nothing prepared me for what I experienced that day. People told me, "there are a lot of downhills" quickly followed by "don't worry about Heartbreak Hill, it's not that bad." They were right about that, the uphills were a blessing after all the pounding that left my quads rubberized and soon had my IT Bands locked tight so running down the backside of Heartbreak was near impossible. Once I got to mile 23, I stopped and used someones cell phone to call my wife to explain to her I was not going to be on Boylston as we discussed. I wanted her to wait for me and not head to the family waiting area until I had passed. (she never got the message, but did wait to see me turn down the famous Boylston off of Hereford Street) After I had called her I had a moment where all I wanted to do was slow to a walk. That happens in a marathon and it's easy to do. It's immediate relief from the agony you are feeling at that point. Human nature says, stop. But, I knew that it would be extremely difficult to get moving again and even if I kept jogging at the slow, painful pace I was doing, it was still TWICE as fast as a walk. So I kept running. The fans would call out my number and scream, "come on 813, you are going to make it. You look great, keep it up." Liars. But I knew what they were trying to do, and it worked. The finish line came a bit later than I wanted but I can say, the final 385 yards were as amazing as I thought they would be. Looking back at my Garmin results I can see the last bit and how much I picked up the pace just on adrenaline.

Boston took a bite out of my quads. I will get revenge as I am planning on returning to Hopkinton in 2014 and racing that same historical course in hopes to conquer those hills. And when I do, and when I turn off of Hereford Street and on to Boylston Street, I'm sure there is going to be a different feel. The energy I can image is going to be nothing short of ecstatic and the victims of this years disaster will be honored as I go bye the two sites. I'm hooked, and now Boston has me the third Monday in April for awhile.

*I am not going to address the horrific, selfish act of two individuals that took so much energy, exhilaration, honor, strength, courage, and good ol fashion fun from some 27,000 runners and their families and friends that day by ending the race in the 4:09 hour. There is plenty of media to read, and at this point most of us has had their fill. I still lay awake at night thinking of that day and I am so ever grateful. But I am also still angered. I will go back and celebrate with my peers the way we were supposed to. I hope to see you there!

Here is the GARMIN data for the race: CLICK HERE

April 8-14th
M: 0 rest/ ice foot
T: 7 miles, ice foot
W: 0 treat/ice foot
TH: 0 ice foot
F: 33:00 4.5 miles, 4 X 30 sec at 5:30 pace
S: travel
Su: 3 miles on treadmill plus strides

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Not The Taper I Wanted

The one thing I can say is the last 15 weeks have gone quite well and relatively uninterrupted, until this past week. I was to have one final week of mileage and one last MP workout to finish out the "plan", then taper slowly for one week and race on Monday. With the continual right arch discomfort I've been having, and not really mentioned it too much in the past because it hasn't kept me from training, I decided to take a stand and really attempt to get that arch feeling better and try to increase my odds of a good race come April 15th.  What that meant though was a forced taper earlier than I would have liked but getting my foot feeling as good as possible was/is number one priority. I have had a decent training plan and now realize I am not going to get any fitter, and quite honestly I could risk further injury, so I made the decision to take every other day off this past week and aggressively treat my arch. It's working. I have run the last two days and felt pretty good. As long as things don't get too ugly on the course in Boston, I still feel like a new PR is possible.

I'm sure I will have a moment to write a few words this next week but just in case I don't I plan to run easy every day this next week except Saturday, which is a travel day. The legs felt good today and so it continues for a week. That feeling of bottled energy, anxiety, excitement, and often feelings of self-doubt. It is all too common to sit around and feel like you could have done so much more and that one workout should have been this pace, not that pace, but really, if you get to the starting line healthy you just increased your odds of having a good race. The last marathon I ran, including my Boston qualifier, I ran so much less than what I have done this winter and I ran very respectable. I hope to repeat that.

My number for the race is  #813. I'm in wave 1, corral 1. The elite women have a 25 minute head start and I will be lining up right behind the elite men for a starting time of 10:00 am EST. (that's 9:00 am in Duluth Hypo)

Here is the rest of the past week:

M: 0, therapy
T: 53:00 7 miles
W: 0 poor sleep, head cold persists, therapy/sleep
Th: 1:15:00  11 miles with 8 at 5:56 pace
F: 0 miles therapy
Sa: 36:00  5 miles easy *foot better
Su: 1:10:00  10 miles w/ 3 X 3 minutes at 5:52 as test

Total: 33 miles  *let the taper begin

Years Total: 836.4 miles

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

End of Week and 2 Weeks to Go

The rest of last week looked like this:

Th: 1:10:00 10 miles, loop out to Enger and back
F: 1:25:00 13 miles w/ 10 @5:56 mi. *legs tired but good
Sa: 1:00:00 8 miles easy, park point
Su: 1:58:00 16 miles, country roads, hills, neg split run 6:20's w/ Hypo

Total: 65 miles (6 runs)

Years Total: 803.4 miles

This week I have been really trying to behave and get my right leg and arch under control. I have been ignoring a bit of a nag in there somewhere and I figured I need to get things under control very quickly.
I took Monday off of running and tended to a sore arch and it was worth it. I ran this morning and felt good and had just a bit of residual soreness. I also ran in new shoes and that had to help a bit as well.
The rest of my training is going to look pretty boring so I may not post until after the weekend and then just because I am going to be all jazzed up next week with the taper I figure I will be blogging a bit more.

Week April 1-7
M: off  am/pm work on arch/legs
T: 52:00  7 miles *feeling pretty good