Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “Boston

Recap 2013…

Short summary on how 2013 went…

Figures first: Races: 4 marathons, 3 half-marathons, 4 10K.

First race of the year: Dubai marathon. New PB by 10min 35sec and year objective reached by 3minutes… Great start for the running year and this despite a really bad January (with possible light strain of calf done early January during stretching… and impossibility to eat normally the days prior to the race… all for the carboloading, right?). Continuing with Semi de Paris. New PB by 6min 37 sec. Great race and feeling. A bit sour due to the time being incorrect… But no rest for the warrior: this makes it all even more challenging 🙂 Two weeks later, woke up on a Saturday morning and aimed for a 16km Spring run and got a PB on it (as first time running this distance!). Boston marathon came then. Nice race, not fully satisfied of the time (or most likely the last 4km), but after a few days of reflection, it did sink in that it was a great race as well. Shortly after followed the sunny-hot-sweaty Göteborgsvarvet, which stood as well for Swedish Championship this year. Terrible time, but considering 1) the way-too-fast-start-in-the-elite-group and 2) the weather-far-from-ideal-for-running, this race was quite ok. 18th in Swedish Championship 🙂 Two weeks later was time for Stockholm marathon. New PB by 1min 34 sec on a route harder than Dubai. Really good first half and really bad second half 🙂 All was in the smile at the finish line! New PB as well on all distances measured (5, 10, 15, 20, 21.1, 25, 30, 35 and marathon) and 20th in Swedish Championship 🙂 a nice race indeed! Åsaloppet was the first 10K of the year. Took a bit on the strength for the finishing km but got a new PB there as well. After this race, followed summer months. Heavy and hot training in France, unfortunately stopped by a misstep which made running impossible during two LONG weeks. Used the bike wisely as well as eccentric heel raises. Skipped two summer races I planned in order to ensure I would be able to run Berlin marathon. This race was with Dubai the cherries on the race-year-cake 🙂 Two weeks before Berlin, my achilles heel was still painful, which was not a good sign. So when Berlin marathon ended with a new PB by 6min 38sec, no need to say the satisfaction and happiness afterwards. The feeling during the race was extremely great and definitely hoping to experience this again! After Berlin, the plan was… no plan! But got a spontaneous 10K race – Sävedalsloppet which gave a new PB closer to 40min and a nice 2nd place and less than a month later new spontaneous 10K race – Kungsbacka vintermilen, done under the rain and completed with a new PB sub40 (and 3rd place). So this was a good warm-up for Helsingör semi-marathon one week later which ended with a new PB by 2min 9sec and a victory on the race 🙂 That was the end of the season apparently. Resting a bit, and then increasing slightly the volume and intensity (?) in preparation for 2014. December was the month of all-time-high with 477km run including a final (spontaneous) 10K race Sylvesterloppet on the last day of the year.

So, all-in-all a great year for running. In figures: 3873,5 km and over 312 hours spent on the road (or approx. 3,375,360 steps done pounding the pavement on 3 continents (with an average of 180steps/min 🙂 ). Lots of travelling, food checking (ok, not THAT much!), lots of long runs followed by massage, core exercises (probably not enough), biking, training through all type of weather and sunbathing (yes, there is some times where even the warriors have to rest…). Good shape all year long, with small discomfort (calf pain in January due to extra stretching, heel problem in July due to walking (!) down stairs during my day off-training (!) and the recurring thigh/bum ache (when cold weather arrives?)), cannot recall taking a sick day neither… Keep the fingers crossed and let’s get off 2014 to a flying start, shall we?


Recovery day 3…

And so it was Thursday… It feels that day has been passing by without being noticed. In bed by 7pm, probably sleeping by 7:02pm (!), my eyes woke up at 4:30am, my ears hearing the dancing sound of… the rain on the roof (Yaaa, welcome home!). Body feeling fine. A bit aching at first but as soon as food and shower are taken, much better. Well at least for the thighs and the arms. The calves are painfully reminding the run of Monday. No need to take any painkiller as it would not work. Better going through it and understanding that for next hilly race, a THOROUGH preparation with hills should be done 🙂

Work all day, and then aimed for a short run w/E running by my side. His pace. Cool. My pace was 6:01min/km (yes, you read correctly!). Had my compression socks (if not helping for real, at least the placebo effect was there for my calves and my brain!), long tights (no kidding! I thought I had only short shorts left after a week in the US!) and of course a raining jacket. Drizzling rain falling – so nice. E was running without any problem when I kept for myself the pain in the calves, keeping smiling and talking. The most difficult part was when E stopped running and turned to me (who had continue RUNNING) telling me “Look! I am POWERWALKING”! and indeed, HE WAS!!! Yes, beside me who was RUNNING… I wonder where he got those genes from 😉 A bit of stretching, lots of laughing and then headed home again. 5km in 30minutes – best company ever! Finished with buying sweets for the silver coin I had in my pocket. HOT shower on hurting calves (I KNOW! it should be cold, but seriously.. it was raining outside!).

Now finished answering all the outstanding emails (almost), prepared for tomorrow’s heavy meeting day (Yes, it was easy day tomorrow until 2pm this afternoon, where it became pretty busy!). Time for bed. Not too tired, but should really get some sleep to get to the CET-zone…


Recovery days 1&2…

(Not that) long night’s sleep but deep. Up around 4 am, checking sms & emails from closest ones and less close ones. Ask asking about the terrible happening on the finish line of the Boston marathon in Monday. Feeling ache in the body and the mind nit registering really what has happened. The race, yes. The ache and soreness are there to remind the wonderful race, but the rest…

7 am – up & getting ready. Then breakfast time. Canceling my work arrangement and tried to change my flights home.

9:30 am – deciding for a tour to Harvard with my roommates, so throwing everything in my suitcase and checking out. Taking the “T” to Harvard. Body is fine, got bring in after-race day. Quite ok to climb up or down the stairs, but far from being able to run up & down the same stairs… Drinking chocolate milk and water, walking a bit. Time is short so leaving my roommates at Harvard for the campus tour and aimed back to the hotel.

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Feeling quite bored actually, empty. Getting an old-fashioned didn’t at Dunkin Donuts, and throw half if out. Not good at all. Been there, done that, got the donut! Not good.

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Find some presents for the small ones and go for a walk towards the square where we took the busses yesterday. What a different sight! Sun shining, warm, no runners’queue… Meeting a strange man while I walk down who tells me to sing until the end if three path along the park as it brings happiness and I can make a wish at the end 🙂  Stopped by a cool older black man on a bench asking me to leave whoever I am with to stay here in Boston with me 😉

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Then stupidly my steps bring me to the street of the finish line. What a sight… Nothing from what I remember after the race. It was then full of runners with their warming cover, busses to get back the belongings that had been left before departure at the Athletes Village earlier the same day, joy, tears, happiness…without talking about the crowd in the other side of the fences, awaiting for the people they knew just crossed the line… This morning it is empty, sad, dirty, blocked and grey… Too much for one to get in, get to the hotel as fast as my aching body brings me and get to the “T” to the airport.

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Getting a new ticket and time to go home. Stopping by Seafood restaurant and get a clam shouder (special from New England), a roll with shrimps and brandish and water. The stomach ain’t happy to get that but it is necessary to fill in the energy.
Waiting at the gate and meeting E, who is getting back home as well, sitting 2 rows behind me 🙂 Getting my stuff to my place, looks it will be quite empty flight. Talked to the seat-mates behind me as they also are from Sweden. Cool to finally meet “Snabba fötter” who did a pretty nice time at the race. Now all set and I sleep before even the take off.
Drinks, food, movies, sleep…the usual of a long flight. Lower back is painful, until I take of my belt. Still aching, but much less.

Arrived home under a shining sun. a bit of rest, unpacking, food, massage (OUCH on the legs but rest of the body “OK”), lots of laundry to do, and then working a bit to catch up. Then time for bed @7pm and there was two days gone already.

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Race Report – Boston Marathon 2013/04/15

Planned: Confirm time from Dubai – second objective: down to 3:10

Actual: official 3:12:20 (corrected from Garmin:3:12:23) – Confirming the time form Dubai – Jan2013! Not directly satisfied of the result especially due to 1) knew the start of the race should be taken slow and did not follow this and 2) the use of a pace-maker did not work as planned so to be reviewed really.
Quite “slow” race from the elites runners, when considering the weather conditions for the race which were optimal.

Race Results:
place (M/W) 409
place (ag) 349
age/grade: 72.19% (Dubai:66.6/ London:66.47/SF:65.66/Berlin:68.29/Dubai13: 72.35%)
time total (netto) 03:12:20
time total (brutto) ??

Official splits:

km per 5K sum Dubai 13
5

0:22:03

0:22:03

0:22:47

10

0:22:14

0:43:56

0:45:01

15

0:22:28

1:05:59

1:07:28

20

0:22:22

1:28:30

1:29:51

25

0:22:36

1:50:48

1:52:27

30

0:22:57

2:13:58

2:15:24

35

0:22:46

2:37:55

2:38:10

40

0:22:58

3:01:58

3:01:08

43

0:10:49

3:12:20

3:11:58

Splits (from Garmin watch):

km

per 5K

sum

5

0:21:53

0:21:53

10

0:21:42

0:43:36

15

0:21:51

1:05:27

20

0:22:22

1:27:48

25

0:22:08

1:49:57

30

0:22:45

2:12:42

35

0:23:39

2:36:21

40

0:23:49

3:00:10

43

0:12:13

3:12:24

Official results: Splits

Split

time

diff

min/km

km/h

HALFWAY 01:33:21 01:33:21 04:25 14.12
netto 03:22:20 01:38:59 04:41 13.60

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5:00am – alarm clock planned to ring – not even doing it as the day started much earlier…

In bed by 10pm or so, took a little while to settle the brain and body to sleep, but slept pretty deeply after switching of the light. Then work up at 1:43am, checking the clock – too early. Back to sleep, up @2:43am, same procedure as earlier, up @3:53am, the brain really does not to keep some rest (checking the video of the marathon route on youtube once more…), up @4:43am – let’s go up then, as it appears that it won’t work to sleep more. Long hot shower to wake up the body and the brain. Creaming well the body as the skin has felt pretty dry since arriving to the US last week. Add some sun cream as well. Just in case! Fat cream on the face and my broken lips – not fun to start this way! But the cream helps. Fixing my hair – decided for two pigtails as usual also I change color for holding them J So much for the Swedish colours this year in the Boston marathon so yellow/pink it became for my hair instead. Getting my gear on – UNICEF singlet, ASICS Vesta, blue Kalenji socks and my flying ASICS Gel DS Skyspeed 2. Add to that my long SOC easy pants and my Boston marathon jacket (so glad I bought it!). Receiving impatient (!) sms from S and aiming for breakfast. Already some activities in the common kitchen. Nice to meet so many who will run. Cool experience. A bit too much talking for the little asocial inside of me who would like some quietness. But experience is so worth it. Preparing my porridge with banana, gojji berries and cranberries + oat milk. Cannot finish half of it – belly feeling a bit heavy. Water drinking as planned (on the top of the C-vitamin+iron and allergy tablet taken at 5am). Back to my dorm for finishing my running bag and then meeting S again. Forgot my gloves in the room but decided to skip them. Cannot be THAT bad outside!

Morning of the marathon - breakfast room

Morning of the marathon – breakfast room

Breakfast for champion?

Breakfast for champion?

6:15am – Walking to the meeting point for the busses and there, my friends… what a sight! Had read about this meeting point but seriously it is priceless to BE there. A long queue of yellow school buses leaving the square when we reach it (and little impatient me starts to get worried we missed our spot – I know, worrying too much… will work on it!).

Queue to the buses

Queue to the buses

Queue to the buses

Queue to the buses…

Still Queue to the buses to get to the Athlete Village

Still Queue to the buses to get to the Athlete Village

 

Placing ourselves in the first queue when a gal is yelling to all of us (yes it IS 6:20am in the MORNING and she IS yelling very loud!!!) that there are 5 queues and indeed – the whole side of the park seems to wait with a bus queue. Meeting Stephanie and her friend from Minnesota – they ran last year their first Boston and therefore cannot really compare to anything else (but the weather is chillier this year they say J). Reaching the bus pretty quick. Getting a seat close to Stanley from Canada (Quebec) and chat a bit with him. Crazy group-feeling in this bus.

Finally IN THE BUS! Yippie!

Finally IN THE BUS! Yippie!

Concentrated runners over here...

Concentrated runners over here…

Very tired runners over there!

Very tired runners over there!

6:30am – 2dl water down – Takes a while to reach the Athlete Village (are we REALLY going to run back to the start to the city?!?!? Seems REEEEAAAALLLLYY  far away – yes, answer Stanley: 26.2miles exactly 😉 Talking to the girls behind and one of them is from New Zealand but living in Abu Dabhi, Christina. Cool, I say – have you run in Dubai? Yes, this year. No way, me too! How fast? 2:58. Oooooh you were one of those fast ones… She also was in Berlin last year and planned Stockholm 2013 but was discouraged by her coach as it was too close to Boston. Yapp, heard the same from mine, I answered. Soooo…. Are you running it? Yes I do. The other girl is from Canada and first-time Boston marathoner like me.

7:00 and 7:30am – same procedure of water drinking. Finished with my bottle by the time we reach… the Athlete Village.

Arrived at the Athletes Village

Arrived at the Athletes Village

Athletes Village: first tent

Athletes Village: first tent

 

7:45am – Well, all descriptions I read are so correct and so far away from the reality at the same time – the feeling there is nothing that can be described really. People sitting all around, gigantic tents with water, coffee, energy bars and drink,… pretty cool! Would I come back in the future, I’ll prepare some stuff to sit on and keep myself warm. The ground is humid and not too nice to sit on it. We walk around and get to the second tent. More tape on my running bag as it is going to die soon. Sitting a bit while S walk around. Not really wishing to be social from my side. Want to keep for myself, even though I embrace really the moment and feeling of the place. Smiles are on everyone face and this is contagious!

Athletes Village: center - runners resting

Athletes Village: center – runners resting

Athletes Village: some energy to start the day?

Athletes Village: some energy to start the day?

Athletes Village: looots of people continue to arrive

Athletes Village: looots of people continue to arrive

9:00 am – in my previous marathons, have always been able to do the whole preparation from “breakfast” to “stop eating/drinking” with sleeping in-between each moment. But now was not possible. Still, feeling fine. We have to leave the Village by 9:20am for our corral.

Athletes Village: OK, I look tensed but was not really (what happened???)

Athletes Village: OK, I look tensed but was not really (what happened???)

Athletes Village: NOW I look more relaxed!

Athletes Village: NOW I look more relaxed!

So start to go to the loo… with loooooong queue. 20 minutes to go, nothing really moves, starting to get stressed really. The gal behind me is from Brazil and tells me to get to the front of the queue and asked nicely- would they say no, she’ll keep my spot! Two nice guys let me pass in front of them – last minute recommendation: Take it REALLY easy in the first half – at least 30sec slower than race pace per mile (!?!?!).

Athletes Village: entertainment while waiting to the loo

Athletes Village: entertainment while waiting to the loo

Athletes Village: Queue to... the loo!

Athletes Village: Queue to… the loo!

OK, all set – aiming to the busses to drop my bag. Have taken off my extra clothes and now painting Swedish & French flags on my thigh (stupidly on the side… next time will be on the front so all can see it 😉 ) – meeting two Swedes and cheering a bit. Last minute photo before leaving all behind.

Athletes Village: Ready to give it all?

Athletes Village: Ready to give it all?

9:30 am – OK officially late on my little schedule – starting to walk to the start. 0.7mile said the two Minessota girls and that was good info to know. Getting rid of my extra t-shirt under my singlet – a bit cold but my home-made arm warmers are helping big time! Walking downhill (already!) and slightly uphill (!) to reach our corral.

9:45 am – in the corral – sun shining, still a bit chilly. No possibility to warm up. Cheering Anna who also runs with UNICEF colours (got them as well in London last year). Meeting Norwegian S-O from the forum. Cool just before the race to get some more good luck. One guy beside me is unsure whether to use Virtual racer on his Garmin or not, so I kindly propose to be his Virtual-real racer instead J  The corral feels pretty full but still ok. Mainly guys as usual, but cool to see women as well – fast ones they look like. Listening to the American anthem – cool feeling, like in San Francisco (apart from the fact that it is light and sunny today!)

9:58 am – fixing my shoe lacers for the third (or fourth?) time. Hope they will be fine. S asked why not my Saucony, but seriously my ASICS flying Skyspeed 2 have brought me to great times since last year, so no way they’ll be replaced so easily! Aaaaaaaaaaaand GO! …. Well, for the Elite men and first corral, because for us it takes 4 minutes to reach the start line. Which I almost miss! Strategy is 1) to get a confirmation that Dubai was not a single event with a great time and 2) get to the finish slightly faster and why not close to 3:10/08. It is inside of me and I know it. Virtual trainer set to 4:27/km but really not using it. S is planned to be my “pace-maker” J

First half:

Slow it is… definitely! Starting from Hopkinton, must look like a pack of cows starting to run to get to the grass on the other side of the street! Or maybe more like eager horses leaving the stable feeling so free to run outdoor! (yes, I prefer the latter comparison!). Cool with so many people on the side – same feeling as in London. Being quite outside the big city, would/might expect a few spectators, but here! You get what you deserve! Cheering and yelling and you’ve run only 0.5 mile !!! Downhill takes a new sense in the Boston Marathon – down down down. Turning right, then left and left and right and straight. Not seeing S, but he is behind. We’ll find each other anyway. Not wanting to look too much behind, I expect he is catching up as he is anyway faster than me. No need to start any chase: still 25.2 miles to go! First km passed in 4:29 and second in 4:26 – still reasonable…Good to have heard somewhere that there is a little hill during the first mile (yes you can see it on the elevation chart of the race, but the overall you can see is a big downhill from start to mile 4 (which is untrue! There are “fake hills” – not much to talk about, but good to know, I think). Km3 is however too fast @4:18, and 2 km later I hear the pip of my watch indicating 4:15 and 4:14… Seriously, WAY too fast! I yell that in a way to S, but really the feeling is that the body is fine. I do not follow the HR as for the first km my wonderful-less-than-smart-Garmin is detecting all the HR of the other runners around me… Still in a pack of runners not really possible to pass easily. Taking first Dextrosol @km5. Good because a hill is coming 1mile later or so… had forgotten this one! Looking at my pace bracelet and we are following a nice 3:07/08 tempo, and the feeling is good. We pass the “mile-signs” with steady pace, 4minutes after the gun time. Great! Drinking water from second water station and probably every second station after that (more or less). Body is OK, not fully fine. Thigh/bum backside on the left start to feel after first km and seriously my brain is telling me to stop this as it cannot bring anything good to run with this feeling. Sure! Like I am going to listen… Getting S to run either behind me or slightly ahead of me. Passing a lake, nice scenery really. Recalling the places we are going through after having checked the video of the route this morning (I KNOW! This is NOT what should be done on the morning of the race, but had nothing to do and could not sleep!). First gel is taken a bit before km9, as the water station is there. Good pace, body fine. From time to time, slight ache on the side of right knee (or behind, not really sure). Passing so many places with people cheering. Not giving too many “high-5” as I have my 2 gels in my sweatband on the right arm – do not want to drop them. Soooo cool to hear them cheering with my name, feeling like a star and it really gives wings to the feet (well, for me at least). Passing lots of runners, and lots are passing us. Apart from km17, all km-pace of the first half of the race are under 4:30min/km (some way faster!). So while reaching the half-way mark it feels great. As in Dubai, checking quickly the minutes ahead I (we) have and knowing that it will be a tough cookie-time when reaching the hills. But seriously at this time, they are NOT in my head (well, yes, Heartbreak hill is as this is the only one we have checked and apparently the only one people “fear”). For energy-gel, same strategy as in Dubai: km9-18-27-36. Slightly before or after here because the water stations are placed every mile or so and therefore not falling when I want L and the water is distributed in cup not bottle so not possible to take some and drink later. Will have to work on this drinking. Passing the 10km mark (close to a train station?) in 43:56… more than a minute ahead than Dubai, and this continue until half-way. Keeping my fast pace but actually by this time it does not feel “fast” any longer. OK-pace I would say. Contrarily to Dubai where I did find time and energy (!) to talk to other runners, it did not happen (at all almost) in Boston. Shouting at S to get him back to me, yes I did (and once again, was not meant to be yelling even though might have sounded like it…). Lots of people outside, handing over oranges, water, aso (and this will continue all the way to the finish line!!!) The “cruising” first half did not feel like cruising, as said earlier – “faster than should have been”, even though the flat parts felt like cruising (so much for looking alike Dubai route J) – The pulling from S was not needed as expected during this first part. Even though would have needed some support, the cheer leading squads all over the places we passed were way enough. Quite nice from time to time though with no cheering so the mind can get some rest… from the noise! Keeping myself well-hydrated (although a bit tricky with the “mile” thing instead of the “km-thing” for getting water. First gel “lemon taste” (9K) once again was not really good (have to get rid of them during next long run!), but getting the orange one at mark 18km or so was great. The part now is pretty flat (mil 7 to 9 – if there were any bump on the route, did not feel them!). Felt like more energy in the legs (which were pretty much starting to send signs of fatigue or of not too happy-feeling-of-running-downhill… but who listen to legs talking really!?!). After light and easy uphill (not really feeling you are going uphill), reaching soon the crazy place of the girls yelling (Wellesley College). GOSH, what they are loud! Could not recall to have seen the equivalent with guys on the road… could it be fixed for next time I come? J High-five all the way, smiling, yelling, but seriously I am counting not the km but the meters left to the half way now. Still feeling like a rock star! Reaching the mile 13 and my mind wake up… this is half of the race already done! Reaaaalllly?!?!?
Passing half way in 1:33:21 (New PB for a half-marathon in marathon race!!) Time ahead of planned. Perfect! Happy, slightly tired, smiling and even taking time for some high-five then! Quick check as well calculating that the elite would reach the finish line in an hour or less… Yaaaa, should work on this as well 😉 aaaaaaaand can start counting down to the finish mark!

Second half:

OK, this second half is definitely not like the first one (No kidding! And not just because they are called differently…). Same strategy: keeping well-hydrated and well-fuelled with carbs. Have already started to take water, drink a bit and throw the rest on my legs. The sun is pretty high and warm. Sweating is no longer an option, it is just THERE! Niiice with cold feeling on very hot muscles. Not sure really that I can maintain the hydration correctly during this second half actually. Even though drinking on almost all the stops. Taking 2 Dextrosol every km, and when water available a gloups or two with it. S is leaving me now (unsure he notices it), running ahead of me between 10 to 60m… Pretty tough as the mind is telling me that my pace is fine, but having him so far is triggering and the legs cannot respond correctly. Reaching the stiff downhill @km24 (I think) – No my legs do NOT like this! And NO downhills are NOT easier than uphills! A bit concerned from time to time – mind is drifting away, but the cheering is there to keeping up the smile on my face. Cannot take my gel @km27 as planned as no water in sight after this downhill from another world! Taking the gel around km28 and not happy about it. Exactly (I think?) when the route to a sharp turn right. Feeling ok, but not fine. High? definitely!!! Transported by the crowd, this is incredible. This km27 gets me the slowest pace since the start of the race – looking quick on my bracelet and I should be indeed slower than race pace but not that much (and at this point my ability to calculate without the help of my phone is pretty reduced… so unsure really what the min/mile pace indicated means in min/km… NOT HELPING HERE!!!). We must be in Newton, meaning this corresponds to the first hill towards Heart break hill. Great, I think! One done, 3 to go!!! Getting a better stride and pace after this one, and succeeding in speeding a bit, but seriously slower than what was done in the first half. Second hill is passing by without (almost) noticing it. Km32 is DREADFUL! Third hill and way to close to 5min/km, unsure why as it does not feel difficult route at this point, but fatigue is definitely here to stay and my mind is NOT saying anything else! WHERE IS HEARTBREAK HILL?!?!? Yelling a few times to S to keep up with my pace, but seriously I wonder whether I did not let him go ahead so to concentrate better. I like uphill (more than downhill) so know I will need more help on the downhill at the end (strange but true, you’ll see later!) Second hill disappear and it is soooo warm – cool posters saying funny stuff which the brain does not record any longer – keep on smiling, probably not enjoying much, but pain is not fully there – feeling it is coming though! YES I KNOW when seeing the poster “Pain is inevitable, glory is forever”! NO KIDDING!?!? Gave me some extra strength (did it? Yes I think I even thank the gal holding it!). Aaaaannd here it comes. I see one more turn on the road and a coffee place (? Whatever it is) called “Heartbreak Hill something” is there – we have reached this terrible (?) part. The crowd is just BRILLIANT there. And seriously the hill AIN’T that difficult if taken intelligently. Seeing people passing me fast at the bottom of this after all not that-long hill and I pass them shortly after as they are now walking. Reaching my km with pace over 5min/km but SOOOO PROUD, hard to describe. The brain is telling the rest of the body: “Great job, now you may rest…” – Well, Hmmmm, actually, there is still 10K to go, so… STOP TALKING TO THE REST OF THE BODY AND KEEP IT UP! Turning right in the downhill – as expected S is getting way to much ahead, and downhill is killing me – I should know better, should run slightly slightly faster but no more strength in the legs (feels like!). Mixing everything in the head, thanks to the crowd, the legs are continuing to move (yes, by then, they do not listen to the brain any longer – which I believe is no longer getting any oxygen-fuel-idea-whatever-that-can-help-to continue-this race…). The little time ahead that I had in first half is soon eaten by the overall fatigue. Downhill after downhill, I rather slow down than accelerate, which is pretty the contrary I should do… Seeing the CITGO sign and cannot recall what was said about it. Does not matter! Quick count: @mile 23, will be 3.2miles to go, meaning a bit more than 5K, although adding to that the difference of sync between the km marks and my watch which has reached 700m or so already by half-race (i.e. when it says I reach km40, I am actually at km39.3 or so…). Counting down, counting down… noticing after a while that I just have 5K to go, 5K to go in my head, even though have less than that to run. Just do not want to have my mind set to less than that just in case there would be a larger difference later in the race. FINALLY seeing the little tunnel and the sign “1 MILE TO GO” – YES! 1.609km, ridiculous, little, minimal, nothing (oooh, and yes, you run DOWN in the tunnel and UP again… just to be sure your legs are DEAD by the time you reach the corner of the last street before the finish line street. Does not matter, have repeatedly said to S that I was not feeling good – since half way stomach has been cramping, probably due to the stupid idea to throw water on the whole body and then lift the singlet and having the tummy in the wind. WHATEVER, just want to stop and vomit really since km38 I think. And yes, now I remember as well that I WALKED at km38… TWENTY LONG AND NICE SECONDS (remember this number for later…). But the start again went well. Reaching km40 or so and definitely not enjoying it any longer, want to stop, want to continue, cannot make up my mind really (well, yes, I can and I actually chose to continue! But this mile 24 felt MUCH longer than the other miles before!!!). I am bored despite all the cheering all around. I see the Hynes Convention center of what it is called now I DO NOT CARE! Sweeeeet I am thinking. I turn and S grab my hand and… PULL ME, crazily fast. Feeling like the fastest 600m interval with my hand attached to a car full speed! (not that I have tried this, but seriously must feel this way…). He even smiles and turns to me several times during this final stretch on Boylstin Street. SERIOUSLY, HOW CAN IT LOOK SO EASY ON HIM, when my whole body and mind just yell (and I do it as well I think…) to stop and lay down on the ground – juuuuust for a little while). Got caught on picture on the way. Soooo really cool to have this external force pulling me to the finish line. I DO NOT CARE that I cannot reach my planned finish time (well, at this moment), just want to have a smile on my face when WE cross the finish line together. IT FEELS LIKE CHRISTMAS (minus the snow – But I can ensure you I saw Santa on the side of the race…)!!!!Hope they got LOTS of good shots of us on this one (as I will probably NOT do it again!). This is the type of strength that I am trying to get outside my guts during intervals, but surely not pulling that much out of me when I do it all on my own. Running mate for intervals is DEFINITELY to be found! (and yes, A, you are on the top of my list for that!). Stopped my watch @3:12 (crap! Missed it!) aaaaand….

On the Finish Line:

Falling on the Finish Line, tough to breathe, a medic gal (?) comes and asks if I need help, just seeing S smiling saying that I am fine!!! Just want to lie down and rest, not realizing that I am in the middle of the path. Helped by a strong guy, I can get up, but seriously short in breath. Took a short time for getting it to normal.

After the Finish Line:

Walking, stopping, bending on my knees feeling to cry (or crying?), standing straight again, smiling and ready to cry again – all over again. WOW, what a race. MY MEDAL! WOOOOOHOO. It looks pretty cool! Walk walk walk people- in- front- of- me, otherwise you’ll have to carry me. I am sooo ready to fall down. My legs hardly carry me toward the busses – we get water, Gatorade, banana, goodie bag and a nice warm blanket. Indeed with all the water thrown on myself I do not realize (yet… it will come!) that I am soaking wet! Getting my bag, finding S again and aiming towards the hotel. Lots of smiling faces, happiness or pain or both together… really mixed up! Leaving the finish area, passing the fences and walking. S topping for getting the blanket as a “skirt” as I am REALLY freezing my legs. Have put on my “proudly-worn” Boston marathon jacket – now I understand the hint on Snabba Fötter blog regarding the jacket.  Something special about it. By the first street reached, my feet heart bad so decided to take off my shoes… FATAL & STUPID THING TO DO! Soaking wet, remember? My socks are wet wet wet and walking on the pavement with cold air does not help at all. On the contrary. But it is definitely too late to get the shoes on again (and even though I would like to do it, I would not be able to!!!). One must have heard my teeth hitting each other from a mile away probably – FROZEN! Getting my first congrats on the phone by G J Coool indeed! Even though not happy about the time of finish. Disappointment it is (at this time).

Finish line: Happy runner with her medal :)

Finish line: Happy runner with her medal 🙂

 

Time on the watch

Time on the watch

My medal :)

My medal 🙂

 

Getting to my room, quick to the shower and looooooong warm shower. I KNOW, should have taken a cold one bla bla bla, But seriously freezing so much that had no alternative, and I really did not care. Creaming the body which was salty and white when I arrived to the room. And lying down on the bed with legs up. Texting/emailing to closest family/friends and resting on my bed until a new roommate arrives. Congratulates me on the race and tells me it is great I reached the hotel safe. Which I did not get really until she told me about the terrible happening on the finish line…    

Weather: 9ºC (feels like 9ºC (!), 0 km/h N wind (meaning no wind?!?!?), Humidity 46% (well on me it was close to 80%!) according to Garmin – well felt warmer to me! Chilly in the morning while waiting at the Athletes Village – Sunny and warm for the race. Windy from time to time. Warm/hot enough to require throwing water on the head and legs!

Food:
> carbo-loading on natural food – Indian buffet the day before the race (might skip it next time – rice but not Indian, a bit too spicy for this moment).  Morning before race eating oat porridge/oat milk/banana/cranberries @6am (1/2 portion)
> during the race: 1 vitargo @km 9, 18.5, 27, 36. Dextrosol tablets: 2 @5&10K and 2 @every km (almost) from km22 (except when gel taken)
> just after race: water, banana, gatorade, crisps – not feeling good for eating right after.

> later on: Evening ate at Vietnamese (soup with noodles and spring rolls – Yummy!)

Gear: ASICS Vesta shorts, UNICEF singlet – super-flying-lightSkyspeed perfect shoes for this race (once again they DELIVERED!)

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Then a bit of a shock really to hear about the explosions on the Finish Line. Really concerned for my roommates as one started in Wave 2-corral 2 and her sis and friend were to check on her at Heartbreak hill and finish line. Luckily she had passed the line and was waiting for the massage when it happened. They left the area immediately and reached the hotel safe. Looking at the footage from the race and finish line, which I passed an hour or so earlier was surreal. It was not at all like what I remember. Rest of the afternoon to call and inform closest ones about the happenings and getting information on what to do and not to do. Decided with my running friends and roommates to get to a close-by restaurant as we really needed to eat. Vietnamese restaurant as during carbo-loading. Watching the news, not really understanding what happened. Back to the hotel after a walk to an ice-cream bar and time for sleeping after checking up on the news once more.

Mums in Vietnamese!

Mums in Vietnamese!

Theatre close-by

Theatre close-by

NOTE: Hydration did not fully work I think. Have to check this “mile”-thing. Either drank too often or not enough. More likely the latter one. Especially as water served in mugs and could not really check how much was drunk… After the finish line, felt pretty empty and this could be the result of “poor” or not optimal hydration, on the top of those downhill and uphill of the route. Not really hungry in the evening, but that can happen. Energy went down anyway!

NOTE: unsure of the benefit of taking 2 dextrosol each km (and this is highly individual). Will work on this to ensure I get the correct fuel and hydration for this 21-32km part (it worked fine in Dubai, although did not have to deal with hills there!!!)

Summary of the race: GREAT experience, route ain’t that difficult or tough if taken intelligently. Time not fully satisfactory of 3 HOURS 22 MINUTES and 20 SECONDS!!! (yes I did WALK during 20 seconds at a point in the race…). Congrats really as this is an achievement J Boston will definitely be on my list of “marathons to run again in the future”!

 

>> All thoughts and deepest sympathies go towards everyone involved in this wonderful race that is Boston marathon and who were affected by Monday’s tragic event.


Boston M Day: 3:12:20

Finally arrived, painful second half after a blessed first half. Very disappointed of the final time, so will rest a bit, eat a lot, get some blood flow back in the brain and see what happened during thus race.
One thing is sure: for the experience of running in Boston and for all the spectators on the side yelling my name, I would probably have a much worth time. So before writing my official thanks to this incredible public, here it comes: HUGE THANKS for all of you who were cheering along the route! You made the whole thing so worth coming!

Now rest with legs up for a while.


Boston M Day-1…

Cold night in a dorm room with 4 other girls. Ventilation turned all night long blowing what I would call cold air… Got an extra top, bonnet and scarf for sleeping! Welcome to Boston!!!

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Lower bed, closest to the floor if you fall!

Up a few times during the night due to the noise in the street. Not to fun! Then 6:45am, got ready for morning run and check with S. Aimed for Charles river. Nice place to run and nice weather too. Lots of runners running there.

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MIT on the other side of the river

Back to the hotel, took some times to get a restroom available for showing. It will be interesting tomorrow to see when all runners wish to shower at once! Breakfast in the common room: oat porridge, gojji berries and cranberries, banana and oat milk. 3 small wakes with syrup and honey and a tea. A bit more than regular breakfast (!), but a marathon is to be run tomorrow!

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Breakfast, yummy!

Chat with my roommates, coming from Wisconsin.  Andrea is running and qualified at an Halloween marathon 🙂  She is in Wave 2, corral 2. A fast gal too! Diana her sister will be cheering around Heartbreak Hill, so I took the opportunity to ask her to cheer for me as well!

Aiming to City Support, got a short shorts from Adidas, Boston marathon branded as well as a jacket from the marathon. Tram to Boston college to check out the famous Heartbreak hill.

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Full tram to Boston college

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Welcome to Newton!

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Nice house

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Les than 5 miles to go!

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Finally on the top of the downhill

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Last hill up to mile 21

Enough of walking. Back to downtown for late lunch at Indian restaurant.

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Last minute shopping of fruits and juice. Now finishing preparation of clothes for tomorrow.

Time to switch off the connection to the outside world. Hopefully more info later on tomorrow…

Boston, less than 16 hours from the start…


Boston M Day-2… AWESOME!

So it was now time to leave hot and humid North Carolina for… cold & gloomy (?) Boston! Travel morning ahead of me and relax afternoon hopefully B-)

Up at 6 am this morning after a good night’s sleep. Aimed to the pool and got a nice and cool 30 minutes easy “workout” (not much of a workout really, free style back & forth). After a quick shower and throwing in the suitcase all the stuff that remained spread around the room, I aimed for breakfast… OMG! SO many people there… Long queue for getting eggs, but ultimately I got my 2 eggs, 2 pancakes with hot syrup (double Yummy!) as well as fruit plate, orange juice and my soy milk with chocolate (which I drank directly from the bottle… Shhhhhh! Don’t tell!). Quick back to the room and missed the shuttle to the airport by 2 minutes (Yeah!), long queue at check out, starting to stress me out, but ultimately got to the airport.
Lovely ladies checked me in and then waited for my flight.

AWESOME day really! As my running friend E would write in his race report from Boston 2012, the word “AWESOME” was on everyone’s lips. Did not have any at my arrival in North Carolina, had one day without on Tuesday and… it started then to RAIN awesomes during the rest of the week. Did not count how many times it was said to me on Friday, but the words “Boston marathon” seem to appeal for them! Sun is shining, feeling liked smiling to everyone (& everyone I smile to might think I am high in something…), tummy is happy, body feels great.
I AM GOING TO BOSTON TODAY!

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My destination is... BOSTON! (and this is apple juice, nothing else!)

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That high I feel right now!

Finally New York… Last time I was there, they canceled the race… So this time, just flying by 😉
One apple in the go and reaching my gate. Soooon Boston! Have spotted already a few runners for the marathon. How? Pretty simple: running shoes, runner’s passport of the Boston marathon in the hands, bag from other marathon on their back, reader of RW, wearing tshirt with “More than Sport”, drinking an insane volume of water.. or all that together! AWESOME to be there! Almost feeling like belonging to a secret tribe…which come in all shapes and flavours!

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30 minutes to go!

Yes, here comes one runner with Brooks Green Silence. SAVE BGS!!!

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Brooks Green Silence! Please do not disappear!

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BOSTON!!!!!

NOW we are talking!

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What a welcome!

Eager to get to the hotel already! Took the Silver line, then the Red line, and the Orange line. Starting at Hostelling International Boston. Sharing room with 5 other females, maybe some will be runners…
Meet S as planned and direction to the expo. Lots of people.

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Entry to the expo

Pickup of the number and then tshirt (had to change size as CA was way to tight).

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Marathon route

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Thanks!

Saw Kathrine Switzer, first woman to have completed the Boston marathon, and who was running there illegally (yes, women were not allowed then to run marathon…). Cool!
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Tried some clothes from Adidas, but size not fitting, so no purchase! Went round the expo, stored st Brooks, but no Green Silence… Watch a film in the Boston marathon route and then crossed the finish line 🙂

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Finish line! Yippie, what a sight!

Aimed with my guide S to a Vietnamese restaurant and took chicken with vegetables and rice.
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Mums!

Then direction hotel. Discussion about planning for tomorrow Sunday and back to my dorm room. Meet Andrea from Florida who has been here this week in a tea class. Cool! Now in my bed, two girls just took the middle beds. Have prepared my running stuff for tomorrow AND now time to sleep.

Boston, less than 36 hours to the start!


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