All downhill to Boston
Written by Codfather
Friday, 30 April 2010
I just don't get it. Why I would train 60-80 miles a week then race a course that made ground-chuck out of my guads but never taxed my cardio, upper body, lower legs and my cerebral mantel. As a first time runner of Boston I just don’t get it. I like to think a marathon is an all embracing spiritual event, one that tests every level of training leaving the results to speak for itself.
One could dress-up a race and say it’s the oldest in the world, the most historic, safe to day it’s got the best race director that ever walked the planet, the best fans, the best volunteers, posts the fastest field, sponsors through tons of cash on enfistructure and comforts at the start and finish and top it off with unprecedented support on every level on the course. Strip away Boston’s accolades and adornments and measure the course against ones past marathon training and expectations learned from other marathons and what is left at its purest form? Are we left with a one dimensional downhill bombshell that taxes only one muscle group? Counter point: one could say BayState is a one dimensional marathon: all flat never taxing our up and down training. Let’s face it, Bay State doesn’t stand in Boston’s shadow, it’s a race for us locals who want to sleep in our own bed and be home to make lunch for the kids.
Could I be whining about my lack of experience with the course? Should I have followed David Hall’s advice and trained hard on the course on 80% of my long runs. Would that have helped me with the downhill portions? Should I have gone from 10.1% body fat to 9.1% to help relieve the cumulative impact the quads took running the first 16 miles? Let’s face it; the fleet-footed and thin runners are much better equipped to handle the rigors of Boston than “us”, with average runner’s body mass. I’m going out on a limb here so why bother being PC, might as well hang myself fastidiously. I wonder how the Clydesdales handle this course. Ouch! Moving on to cardio. I plowed my way through endless speed and tempo runs only to have my cardio hover around the 142 range (with exception of the last ½ mile at the finish). What about my upper body and lower leg conditioning – that too was never taxed and my mental state was clear and focused the whole race. Heck, I can tell you what Dan Frank and my good friend Robbie were wearing at the top of heartbreak and the horror in Dan’s eyes when he saw me in red, hey Jay, you look great in Blue and yellow the color suits you. The real key in determining metal fatigue is the ability to quantify race completion time at the 40K mark, I computed it exactly: 37 seconds off pace minus my mat time at the start.
Never again ~ I’m done with Boston.
Humm. Guess I’ll miss being home in my ice bath 1 hour after Boston. If I run London next year; I’ll just have to suck up the lousy food and terrible hotels. If I run Paris I’ll have to buff up on my French and not shower for 6 days to fit in. I guess I’ll miss the bus ride to Hopkinton. I’ll miss meeting of my entire group 1A: Frank, Brian, Glenn and Tina at the start in our own corral talking smack and relieving ourselves under the cloak of Market Basket leaf bags and seeing #2 son Ryan at 17 right before heartbreak. I did enjoy chatting up a few auslander aus Deutschland auf Deutsche und wishing them a great stay in our fair city. Will I miss the inordinate masses of the well traveled, the foreign body types and colors? Made me long for world travel, felt like I was on a world tour. I did kind-a-really-like the eye candy at Wellesley and the noise they had piped-in from a prerecorded Patriots division win. I will miss tipping the message person a 20 and seeing the look on her face when I said, “You complete me”. I will miss the women’s elite start which if you were lucky enough to see was real tear-jerker, the best of the best sporting game faces that would comfortably scare the Winter Hill Gang. Ok, I’ll miss Al P. insisting to accompany me to the bus at the finish with his infectious smile and warm demeanor and knowing that the bus will have me home 1 hour after my finish. Who was the genius to have stocked Budweiser on the bus back from Boston? Yummy.
Well maybe next year if I do run Boston I could do my long runs on the course, loose just 1% of body mass and give Frank and Brian something to think about, and if I work on strengthening my quads with light weights just a bit, perhaps I could challenge one of them in a foot race at the finish completely winded, running a runners race; mentally incapable of thinking, heart rate red-lined at 280 BPM, breathing as if I was on deaths door, muscles starving for all manner of glycogen, body drained of every once of feeling and begging for and ice bath and a cold Bud on the slow ride home from my beloved Boston. Yea, I’m differently done for now………but maybe I’m all in for next year, this town owns me now and forever. Yea, I’m done with Boston just not yet.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 May 2010 )