Sunday, April 14, 2013

2013 Boston Marathon Preview


Runners are an interested breed.  We’ll do all sorts of things that most people would never dream of.  Pee in full view, wear spandex that leaves nothing to the imagination (praise the lord), blow snot rockets – and that is all when we’re not running!  To that, everyone has a different view of the Boston Marathon.   Runners themselves seem to fall in 3 categories:


  • People who want to qualify and will put in hours and hours of work to get there, trying and failing as many times as it takes (20% of people?)
  • Haterz who have zero desire to ever run Boston, don’t see what the big deal is, and probably won’t even read this post (5% of people?)
  • Runners who realize how hard it is to run that fast, respect those who do, but either aren’t able to run that fast or don’t want to put in the work to get that fast (75% of people)


Either unfortunately or fortunately, I’m in the first class.  I.want.to.run.  I’ve taken 55 minutes off of my marathon time. I took 30 or so minutes of that (3:35 --> 3:04) after having run 10 marathons.  So, it wasn’t just beginner’s time slipping off.  It was a LOT of work.  Why is a harder question I suppose.  Maybe to see how far I can push my body?  I run until my vision goes blurry and my hands tingle, I run until my lungs burn and I can taste blood.  Hell – I run to the point of breaking my own legs (oops).  It is totally cliché, but I don’t run to live longer, I run to live.


The History:
The Boston marathon is often called the people’s marathon.  I can only hope that is because of the massive amount of condoms and EPO used!  Being the longest running marathon in the United States, it has set itself as the golden standard for elite marathon races.  There are harder races to get in to (NYC marathon has harder “guaranteed” standards) but either through longevity, marketing (second only to the super bowl for media coverage), or it’s massive size (33,000 marathon runners) Boston has set itself apart.

I’ve found that Boston is the marathon standard for non-runners as well.  While I’m never the douche that says “Oh hi, I’m Adam, I run marathons”, when people do find out they often ask if I have ran Boston.

I’m sure a lot of the Boston mystique has to do with the qualifying standard.  Quite simply, not everyone gets to run.  I feel like there is a bit of a fraternity, both good and bad, of people who have qualified.  I’m bringing my ass-whooping paddle to the expo to swear in the new pledges.


My goals:
So, here is the thing. I qualified for the Boston marathon by running a 3:04:00 marathon. That is running 105 second (1:45) 400m laps around the track the whole way. I’ve since ran a 3:07:29.  But, I’m also 4 weeks off of a two month stress fracture recovery.  I quite honestly can’t run a sub 3:10 marathon right now.  That.is.humbling. I would imagine it is a lot like a Rottweiler dog who has to wear one of those head-cone things. The dog KNOWS that he can bite things, but the stupid cone only lets him get his head into his food bowl and MAYBE lick his private parts if he tries really really hard.  I KNOW that I can run fast, but my legs just aren’t strong enough to do it.

I’ve battled extreme muscle fatigue and now pretty bad shin splints as part of my ramp up for the race.  I’ll admit it – it hasn’t been fun.  At all.  BUT..... I will also admit that the Boston marathon is important enough for me that I would walk the thing if I had to.  So, in true A (unicorn pissing rainbows), B (normal average day), and C (finish at all costs) goal setting fashion, here is where I want to end up:

A Goal: Sub 3:20
B Goal: Sub 3:30
C Goal: Sub 3:40

The truth is that I would really like to run a sub 3:30.  That would put me about a minute slower per mile than my qualifying time of 3:04 which I think that I would be okay with. (Truth: I’d be less frustrated with.)

My strategy is to start out at my previous long run pace of 7:30.  Essentially hold that as long as I can.  If I hold that for the entire race – awesome.  If I can’t, which is likely :(, I’ll start to walk the aid stations which should hopefully still get me through to a sub 3:30.  The downhills the first 5 miles will really test my patience with the slower pace – and I’ll admit I’ll probably go out too fast.  But, hopefully I can hold back and float all the way in to Boston.

So, that is where I hope to end up!  I’m bib number 4596 so you can track me online if you want – I am not sure when I’ll get a chance to post the results. For that matter, the BAA (Boston Athletic Assoc) has a mobile app where you can track real time.  Since I’m going to be taking it easy, I’m running with my phone and plan to take more than a few pictures along the course. Yes, I’m going to be THAT guy.  Should be a blast!


34 comments:

Chris said...

Good luck tomorrow! I know how hard and important Boston is, but I'm A. never going to be fast enough and B. never was one to do what was popular. LOL! But, I truly believe it is incredible to qualify and those who do have every right to brag. Run strong!

Sweet and Savory by Sarah said...

Good luck tomorrow. Remember to look around and enjoy everything too. You don't want it to be over too quickly anyway ;) so try not to stress out about your time. You've made it and that's the most important part.

SMK Photography said...

Good luck!!!!!!!

Nikki Scott said...

Sending big good luck vibes your way tomorrow but most importantly enjoy it! It's going to be an amazing day for sure!

Missy said...

Gooooo Adam!!! Good luck!

Jeff Irvin said...

Good luck Adam!

Flaming June said...

I'm in group #3 - Although this post did prompt me to look up my Boston qualifying time (3:55) I might be able to manage that in a couple of years if I really worked at it - but I'm pretty sure my body could not tolerate the training, I've already had so many injuries just training for a half.
But I do respect those who put in the long hours and dedication to qualify - and I wish you much success tomorrow!

Kate Geisen said...

Good luck, Adam!! I'm firmly in group C, but I have nothing but respect for you guys in group A.

Betsy Lutz said...

Good luck tomorrow!

Betsy Lutz said...

Good luck tomorrow!

inspiREDtorun13 said...

This.Is.Happening!!!!!!!!!!

Get it!!!!!!!!!!

Sue's Ramblings said...

Go for it Adam but pls don't push your luck with your feet. Know something...I think you'll surprise yourself and the rest of us with your results. Sending "good luck", "best wishes" your way.

Jamoosh said...

You should always have an "Other" group for people like me when it comes to Boston. Just sayin'.

Have a great run out there today. And by great run, I don't necessarily mean meeting your A, B, or C goal. Take it all in, enjoy the moment, take your pictures, and be Boston.

Running Librarian said...

Good Luck! Have fun! Enjoy the day :)

Brian said...

Good luck, Adam. I'm not fast enough to give you boston advice, but I just hope that beyond any goal times you have set that you enjoy the moment and have fun, too.

It's a race, yeah, the most famous race of all, but it's also your victory lap for all the hard work and rehab you've done.

Evolving Through Running said...

You earned this one, and I for one applaud you and your determination. Best of luck to you!

M Stone said...

Woohoo! Good luck!

Flaming June said...

If I am reading the results correctly, looks like you finished under 3:30. Congrats!!!

Running On Candy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Running On Candy said...

I read it wrong the first time but either way you did freaking awesome!! Way to go!!!

Pat said...

Hey, we are watching the news. I'm thinking of you. Stay safe

Rebecca said...

I'm watching the news and hoping you are okay. And is it insensitive to say that I hope this doesn't totally ruin your Boston experience?

KayBee said...

Praying you and your family are ok Adam. I'm waiting for your new blog post anxiously and hoping it is only good news.

KayBee said...

Praying you and your family are ok Adam. I'm waiting for your new blog post anxiously and hoping it is only good news.

Elaine Oliver said...

Hope you are okay. Be safe.

Sarah said...

I really hope you're okay. :(

Alisha Lilly said...

Thinking about you and the other runners/spectators. I hope you are okay and in a safe place.

Ernie said...

Praying that you and your family are ok! Anxiously awaiting your next post!

Rachel said...

I've never commented on your posts before but I've been reading for a while. Your posts showed me just how kind and accepting runners are, even ones who are faster than I can imagine.

I hope you, your family, and your friends are all safe. I know this will sound creepy, but I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that you had finished before the attack. And I know it sounds petty, but I'm sorry your Boston experience had to be tainted by such an event.

M Stone said...

I hope all of you are ok. I'm sorry you have to experience any of this tragedy. Wishing you and yours well and safe!

glasshalffull83 said...

Watching CNN sickened and saddened. I'm running the London Marathon on Sunday and will be dedicating two miles to the two who lost their lives and one to the Boston Marathon itself. Adam, you, all Boston runners, spectators and organisers are very much in my heart tonight

Nelly said...

hope that you are okay, makes me sick hearing about the boston marathon news

Mistydawne said...

I heard about it at the Chandler mall today, and instantly thought of you. Glad to hear you were ok.

Al's CL Reviews said...

It's weird to read this after all that happened. I question whether I want to run Boston every year it happens although I know I am too slow. Nothing that has since happened has changed that.

And now I'm going to have to go tag you in the Rott in the Cone of Shame pic.