Yesterday was an interesting experience. Although I’m glad I was able to get through the race without an injury I didn’t run nearly as fast as I wanted. And while some will look at the result and think I had a terrible day, I think many positives came from my Boston experience. In short, I’m healthy, I’m more experienced, and I’m motivated for L.A. 2016 more than ever.
At the Elite Athlete Technical Meeting on Sunday afternoon race director Dave McGillivray said the weather for Patriots Day called for light rain, temperatures in the mid 40’s, and headwinds ranging from 10-20 mph with gusts of up to 25-35 mph!
This information was met with some audible sighs from the assembled athletes but I was honestly excited about the development because Monday would now become more about place than time. In many ways the stress and pressure about hitting a specific pace could largely be secondary and finding a solid group to help break the wind with primary.
The first 10 miles of the race flew by. I felt very comfortable and had found a good group of 8-10 guys to run with. Although my splits varied my effort was very even the opening half marathon. I didn’t really notice the wind until between 10 and 11 miles when I took off on my own after a few slow miles in the 5:20’s. From here to the finish I was largely on my own and the wind was pretty rough.
After easing through halfway alone in 1:08.48 (2:17.36 pace) I focused on getting to the Newton Hills ready to climb well. I climbed I-95 and Firehouse hills fairly well and tried to hold back a little knowing that the last 10k was the most important part of my race.
Unfortunately, around mile 19-20 and just as I was approaching Heartbreak Hill my left hamstring spasmed a bit. I hopped up in surprise and it went away a few strides later. This development was disconcerting but I hoped it would be manageable when I really started to wind up my pace the last 6 miles. Sadly, my other hamstring spasmed on the way up Heartbreak and this on and off cramping happened for the remainder of the race.
I hemorrhaged 45 seconds per mile the last 10k and struggled home in 2:23, positive splitting the 2nd half by 5:45 with almost 5 minutes of that coming after my hamstrings began cramping. What could have been a very solid 2:17-2:19 race in poor weather quickly bloated to 2:23.
It was a disappointing end but I am very proud that even though the cramping slowed me down a lot it could have been much WORSE. I think I managed it quite well all things considered. Moving on!
Here are my splits:
13-5:17 (13.1 in 1:08.48)
19-5:35 (hamstring cramping started)
Finishing time: 2:23.21 (2nd half in 1:14.33), 27th overall, 14th US
Here is my last week of training (4/12-4/18):
Sunday: AM: 13 miles (6×45 sec, 6x 15 sec within run)
Monday: AM: 7 miles PM: 6 miles
Tuesday: AM: 11 miles (8×20 within run)
Wednesday: AM: 12 miles (3 mile, 2 mile workout)
Thursday: AM: 7 miles PM: 6 miles
Friday: AM: 9 miles (9×20 sec within run)
Saturday: AM: 7 miles (6×30 seconds within run)
Total: 78 miles, 9 runs