Sunday, April 27, 2008

Boston Marathon Weekend Recap +3 mile recovery run

I didn't really get to write a full recap of the weekend yet so here it goes.

I got into Boston at 6 am on Saturday which was 6 hours earlier than expected to do a last minute flight change. I sat next to an off duty flight attendant who gave me some tips on how to get into Boston from the airport. With the good advice I was downtown Boston by 6:40 and it was a beautiful morning. They were setting up the finish line which hadn't even been repainted yet. I got some coffee and a bagel and had breakfast at Boston Common.
The expo opened at 9am so I was one of the first inside. The line to get your bib number was already long so I just went in to the main floor area. I happened to walk by the Jet Blue booth where Bart Yasso was signing his new book and I was one of the first 50 people in line who got the book for free. I also got in line early to meet Ryan Hall, men's olympic trials marathon winner, see picture.

I also heard a panel speak that included Amby Burfoot, Katherine Switzer, Dick Beardsley, Greg Meyer and Joan Benoit Samuelson and got a few autographs there. I got the souvenirs I wanted, which included two unexpected size 13 pairs of Asics Gel-Kayanos for $40 a piece. I barely made the commuter train out to Framingham and got picked up by my hosts, Dave and Camille Foster. Their hospitality was unbelievable. I got everywhere I needed to be on time and we had a great time sharing stories. Dave ran the course about 18 years ago as a bandit.

The next day Dave got me to the airport shuttle at 6am so I could get into Boston early enough to see the US Women's Olympic Trials Marathon which started at 8am. I got down in plenty of time and bought a collapsable chair at a drugstore (the best 6 dollars I spent the whole trip). I just parked myself on the side of the road and got to watch the start and see them run by 4 other times. It was an incredible race as the top females in the country battled for 3 spots on the team.

The winner Deena Kastor is in the middle of the picture in the white hat. After she won she ran back onto the course with an American flag in hand, like a victory lap. She happened to be on my side of the road and happened to sign an 8x10 that I printed before I left. She signed it "Dreams Come True, Deena." I also got Joan Benoit Samuelson to sign a photo after she set an American record for the marathon for females over 50 years old (2:49:08). I spotted Alan Webb near the athletes exit an he signed my cap that I wore on race day.

Afterward I went back into the expo to hear a few other quick seminars. One included Grete Waitz (9 time NY Marathon winner), and Jen Rhines (US 5k 10k hopeful). The other included Andrew Carlson (15k national champ), Todd Williams (former US 10k Olympian), and Coach Greg McMillan out of Flagstaff, AZ who I was most interested in hearing from. I asked Greg what is the one thing I could do to take my training to the next level and his answer was, "Consistency."

I got back into the expo one last time and got to meet and get autographs from Frank Shorter (1972 Olympic Marathon Champ) and Bill Rodgers (4 time Boston Marathon winner). See pictures below.
I was able to swing by Fenway Park for a quick photo before barely making my train back to my hosts house for the evening. We had some great chicken and pesto pasta that night and I went to bed early.

I got to sleep in on race day! What a concept! The race didn't start until 10am so we left around 7:30 to get to the bus pick up at Hopkinton State Park. I was not rushed at all and even had time to sit and relax in my chair for a few minutes before the start.

I got to my corral about 20 minutes early, too early, and once the race started it only took me one minute to cross the starting line. The rest is history.

I was right on my goal for 30k but after 23 miles, a left hamstring cramp, three black toe nails, and some hydration issues due to the unexpected heat, I had to walk a few times the last 5k, but ran the last 1.2 miles to finish in 3:13:56. I talked with plenty of other people afterward that dealt with similar issues that ended up not requalifying, which made me feel a little better. Overall it was an incredible experience, and I accomplished a goal that I have been thinking about for many years. My time was my third fastest marathon time yet. It makes me hungry enough to want to try it again some day to better my time.

The trip home was uneventful except for sharing a flight from Phoenix to Burbank with actor, Jim Caviezel.

Yesterday I got to be a spectator at a 10k at CSUN that my wife Andi and her friend Dawn ran. The two of them ran 49:21 and got 2nd and 3rd in their age group. See Andi's Blog.
Two of Clay's children also did well in the 5k. See Clay's Blog.

Today was my first recovery run since the marathon. I ran about 3 miles with Andi and the boys taking turns pushing the jogger. My hamstring and calf on the left are still pretty tight and 3 miles was about all I could do. I did some good stretching afterward. My right leg feels great.

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