I was lucky enough to make the trip to Boston last week and be a part of the marathon weekend. The energy in the city was positive from the moment I landed on Friday afternoon. Tyler, Pezz, and I checked into our hotel and proceeded to do a run along the Charles River. The sun was out and there were already throngs of runners filing into the city ahead of the marathon on Monday morning. One of the reasons I love going to Boston is because the running culture is so strong there. It seems as if everyone is out on the Charles getting in their runs. Even when I have visited in the icy and cold winter months, those same dedicated souls can be found along the Charles getting in their miles. It is refreshing to get in a run in freezing temperatures without getting weird looks from passersby! The city understands that it is built on running, it is built on toughness, and it is as gifted as any city at putting its head down and pushing through anything that is thrown at them. With that sentiment, the 2014 Boston Marathon proved to be a very special affair with the bombings of 2013 fresh in everyone’s minds.
But before Marathon Monday, the B.A.A. 5k took place on Saturday morning starting at the Boston Common. Tyler ran a great race finishing 6th in 13:42 (track and road personal best) while Pezz had a solid day on the women’s side finishing 16th in 16:10 (near road personal best). I was a cheerleader on this day and ran around the course yelling at my teammates as they valiantly fought off their competitors and the mounting lactic acid in their legs.
(I know that I usually structure my blogs around the week that I just completed but with my trip to Boston fresh in the mind I am going to skip ahead and talk about the rest of my week!)
The following day Tyler and I did our long run around Boston with some friends of ZAP. Because there were many ZAP campers, donors, and friends in town for the marathon we invited any and all to start their runs with us on Sunday morning. Most people were only doing short shakeouts with the marathon looming large the following morning but it was nice to start the run with the friendly faces of Robin Rogers, Jackie Parsons, and Tim Meigs to name a few! Once the group turned back Tyler and I proceeded to get lost and ended up running for 2 hours and 14 minutes! We were doing great, tooling around Harvard, until we made the decision to head back towards our hotel the wrong way on Massachusetts Avenue. In the end it was a funny story but we were both worn out afterwards as the run was originally scheduled to be 1 hour 45 to 50 minutes.
Because of our late finish to the run we had to rush to get over to witness a WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT! A women’s treadmill half marathon world record attempt to be more specific by none other than former ZAP intern and current High Point University(!) track and cross country coach Jenna Wrieden. Jenna had teamed up with Pro Form treadmill company to attempt this world record at the marathon Expo in the Hynes Center. Pro Form committed to donate a dollar for every second Jenna broke the previous world record of 1hr and 34min to the One Fund. As expected Jenna smashed the record, running 1hr 20min 40 seconds as a large and boisterous crowd cheered her on. It was a very cool scene and I was happy to be able to make it out to cheer her on over the tough last few miles!
Following the world record, Ryan, Tyler, and I jumped on the T and headed out to the Washington Square Tavern for a ZAP/Reebok party. Patrick Joyce, head of Reebok running, teamed up with Pete and Zika to put on a get together the night before the marathon with any and all ZAP people in town for the weekend. Once again, it was nice to see old faces and talk with them about their goals for the marathon. I find that talking with other people about their goals in running motivates me a lot! Whether they are trying to break 3 hours in marathon or simply finish I feel inspired by their hard work and dedication to the sport as they balance all their other priorities in life.
Oh yeah, and on Monday Meb won the Boston Marathon!!!! In doing so, Meb ended the drought for American men that had lasted since 1983 when Greg Meyer won the laurel wreath. Tyler and I ran backwards on the course and were able to see Meb at around 24.5 miles as he was valiantly fighting to hold off Wilson Chebet (2:05 guy). Much has, and will be written about his historic win but I think Tony Reavis did a fantastic job of analyzing the race on his blog. Bottom line: racing makes great theater and increases excitement. Time trialing leaves a lot to be desired!
And last, but most certainly not least, I was able to cheer on Esther as she ran an AMAZING negative split, finishing in a 1:17 second personal best of 2:33:15. She cautiously ran the first half in 1:17:20 and then proceeded to close the second half of the race (much harder half with all the hills, mind you) in 1:15:55! Prior to 2013, Esther had never run an OPEN half marathon in under 1:16 so it was truly a great day for her. But as it often happens, the rest of the women’s field ran faster than ever too! She was 20th overall, 7th American in a time which would have placed her in the 10 top overall many, many other years. I was very proud of her and happy that I was able to run next to the barricade for almost a mile cheering her on towards Bolyston Street. I cannot wait to run the Boston Marathon one day. No question in my mind about that! Til next week!
Last week of training (4/13-4/19):
Sunday: AM: 17 miles
Monday: AM: 9 miles PM: 6 miles
Tuesday: AM: 10 miles PM: 40 minute elliptical
Wednesday: AM: 13 miles
Thursday: AM: 14 miles PM: 5 miles
Friday: PM: 12 miles
Saturday: AM: 10 miles PM: 5 miles
Total: 101 (slow) miles, 10 runs, 1 cross training session