03 May 2014
Boston Baked Bits
After the story of the race is told, there are always ancillary tales to enjoy. So enjoy!
Dazed and Confused: Did I mention it was warm? (Of course I did!) It was a glorious day to watch a marathon, but a surprisingly tough day to run one. With the sun at full strength, the sixty-degree air temperature was considerably magnified. I sure felt it, but worse stories poured in of others’ difficulties, especially those in later waves enduring even more warmth.
But even in my wave it was tough. Rival bud Bad Dawg EJ, so immensely capable as to have smoked me last year with a white-hot two-forty-eight (at my age!), wrote how he literally stumbled through mile twenty-five in something close to twenty minutes. Clubmate Joe, who caught and passed me at seventeen, later succumbed, though in my numbed reality state I never realized that I passed him back. But best (or worst?) had to be Lloyd from Alaska, with whom I shared a mylar-blanket campsite at the Athlete’s Village, who trundled up alongside me somewhere around twenty-three on Beacon Street. Surprised – and pleased – to see and recognize him, I called out to him. No reply. Louder. Nothing. A third, a fourth, perhaps even a fifth time before I could pierce his catatonic stupor. I was getting seriously worried about him until he finally grunted back (which was about what I was capable of at that point), indication consciousness (merely running, late in a marathon, does not always qualify as such). Based on our conversations at the Village, I think he ran a personal best, but he certainly paid dearly for it.
The Price of Poor Training: I ran some numbers afterward, numbers I didn’t want to know beforehand so as not to further upset my tenuous mental state going in. By April 15th last year, I’d logged over nine hundred miles since the year began. This year, even with the later date of the race, only five-seventy-five, and that of wildly varying quality. Thus running fifteen minutes slower than last year was no surprise; indeed, it was a gift to get away with that.
My training weakness had nothing on clubmate Jon, though. Suffering from a nasty bout of plantar fasciitis, Jon racked up a mere one hundred and fifteen miles spread over only ten workouts, seven of which he tagged as “crushingly painful”. And turned a two-fifty-four. Granted, he’s a mere kid in my eyes at forty-three, and granted, he’s a sub-two-forty guy, but still! It was gutsy for him to even step on the line, let alone to gut out the run that he did.
Commiserating pre-race on our respective conditions, his was the quote of the year, when he wrote, “I think we would both regret it if we weren't in Hopkinton this year. I'm worried we might also live to regret the decision to go to Hopkinton this year.” So far, sore knees, but no regrets. Jon’s excellent recap of his race can be found at this link.
Closer to Home: Training partner Issam, starting three corrals behind me but far better prepared, ended up a minute and a half behind me when the dust settled. But sorting out the vagaries of starting time offsets, mid-race splits, and so on, left us quite convinced that he’d been within about a hundred feet of me at the mid-point, and not much further behind for the duration, but we never met up. Ships almost passing in the daylight…
GBTC clubmates Anthony and Eric made the biggest splash with a truly awesome photo that appeared on Sports Illustrated online, replicated with due credit here. Sadly, it didn’t make the print issue so far as I know.
Maybe it Wasn’t So Stupid, After All: Last week I wrote how my attack on the Boston course, though subdued compared to last year, was a bit reckless at the least, and rather foolish by most standards. But being the true OCD type, I later ran my usual post-marathon analysis, and found that it really wasn’t executed all that differently from usual.