Sunday, April 25, 2010

The hills really are alive!

Driving round New England is a great way to recover post marathon - last 2 nights in Vermont at the Trapp family lodge - where the real van Trapp family settled after fleeing Austria.

I had intended not running for the rest of the trip, but the trails beckoned. There are a bunch of Cross Country Skiing trails ( no snow currently) and Mountain Bike Trails which were great to jog around. 10k in TB style with plenty of walks and exploring. My legs have continued to be very sore after this marathon compared with most, but they warmed up nicely.

Today the right thigh/stress reaction is aching pretty badly, so I might need to go back to the plan of no running for a few weeks.

Meanwhile the diet of 3 cooked meals a day and plenty of wine should leave me needing to drop a few kgs when I get home. Back to the gym I guess.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boston Marathon

3:01:06 - have to be happy with that!

Rob and I got on an early bus and chatted nervously for the 45 min drive to Hopkinton.
Had a bagel, muesli bar, coffee and gatorade before the run. The 3 hours at the village went fairly quickly as we tried not to freeze and took turns going to the toilets. They must have improved on last year as the longest I had to wait was 5 minutes, and that was just before we left.

We split at the clothes drop-off and made the long walk to the start - got to the corral 20 min before the start, just in time for the anthem and flyby. Two guys next to me peed on the ground in the corral - just as Sugar described last year.

Suddenly we were off, and I was surprised to be on a good pace within a few hundred metres. My thigh was aching on the initial downhill kms, but there was too much going on to notice.

I ran at the pace of those around me - and before I knew it it was 8km. There had been a continuous wall of people lining the roads. The kms kept coming fast as I looked out for the various landmarks described by others -Ashland, Framingham, Natick, the mirror to check out your form.

I have to thank Sugar and B'man for their suggestion re putting my name on my singlet. I had large clearly printed Craig/Australia on my singlet and had pretty much continuous callouts and cries of AussieAussieAussie. Initially I was calling back OiOiOi, later just Oi, later just raising my hand, towards the end just grimacing. I think I gave out more high fives than I have in my entire life. Especially at Wellesley - where I didn't stop for a kiss, but did high five continuously for about 500m.

I knew I was likely to hit the wall in the second half, but decided to enjoy feeling good for as long as it lasted. Initially that was to do a decent half, then 25k, then 28k, then get over heartbreak hill. I managed to do all these, to my great surprise.

I ran into Newton xpecting 3 hills, and thought they were a long time coming. Finally there was a decent hill and I got over it OK, expecting 2 more. But someone on a microphone called out that we had got over heartbreak hill! They really were little hills.

After 35k is when I started to really stuggle - and it was my quads that went. I was kind of hoping that it was all downhill from here and I had enough in the bank to go sub3. But there was enough flat and uphill to make me struggle. First I walked through a drink station and started cramping up as I got runnng again. Then over the last 5k I stopped 3 or 4 times. Each time the crowd would scream at me - dont stop Craig! another advantage of my labelled singlet, and when I started shuffling again they would cheer. I suspect if this was Perth I would have ended up doing 3:05-3:10. I still held out hope of scraping under 3hrs until 40k, but the little underpass around that part was too much for me and I walked a little again.

As Clown described, turning in to Boylston I felt a surge of excitement, but the finish line seemed to be like a mirage until I finally passed it.

At the finish I realised how cold it was, and started to shiver. I went and sat on one of the chair in the medical tent before getting my gear and meeting Rob and the girls. Had a quiet afternoon and a fun dinner. Have to say that my legs are the sorest they've been since my first marathon - driving is going to be a challenge.

Congrats Rob on a PB, although it wasn't quite what you hoped/deserved, it will happen!
Personally I am ecstatic I ran as fast as I did on the prep, and have no regrets. With that little training in my legs over 4 months I knew I was going to hit the wall and am only amazed I got as far as I did in good time.

More holiday for me now - hope to see all in the coming weeks. Many thanks for all the support.

Boston Marathon - preamble

First of all, my apologies for my 'radio silence' of the last 3 weeks. This came down to two things. First - I spat the dummy to some extent. Having used all that emotional energy to get back from the knee surgery, to then injure the other leg was pretty gut wrenching. But I knew if I was going to get to run Boston I needed to take the last 3 weeks pretty much completely off running. The way I am, if I was to continue posting, looking at other's blogs and strands updates, I was going to be sucked up into training more than I should - trying to keep up with the Jones's, as it were (or keep up with the Clowns).

So I stopped logging and blogging and actually did what I intended - ran very little.

3rd week out I did elliptical trainer every day, and tried a couple of runs. An aborted Sunday run with Rob was the last straw - had to walk back at 3k because the thigh was so sore.

2 weeks out I did 4 days elliptical, one day running treadmill.
Final week 4x treadmill runs total 20k - the thigh hurt, but was bearable

We were lucky to have 9 days in the US prior to the run. I didn't focus on it at all and enjoyed New York, and food/wine with my brother an his family. Only when we made it to Boston and caught up with Rob did I start thinking about the run at all.

The expo at Boston was huge, and I think I carbo loaded quite well just on the energy bar samples. We also had pasta dinners the two nights preceding the run.

I had no idea what to expect - I had run less than 20k each of the last 3 weeks off a short base. But I knew from Darlington that I had the ability to run well off little training