2018 Boston Marathon

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Welcome runners, today you will be running 26.2 miles with temperatures ranging from 38-45 degrees,  rain with some downpours and 25-25 mph headwinds the entire race.  Enjoy your run.

Monday was the worst conditions for the Boston Marathon since 1908.  It was so bad that 23 out of the 45 elite runners dropped out.  Not my wife,  she was a trooper and finished the race.  Not the time she wanted, 4 hours and 5 minutes – 21 minutes slower than last year, but considering the conditions, she did a wonderful job.

Then consider that it seemed everyone was 20 minutes slower. Last year, the women’s winner finished in 2 hours 19 minutes. This year, 2 hours and 39 minutes. The men’s winner was seven minutes slower than last year and the winner from last year, who finished second this year, was ten minutes slower.

Congratulations to Des Linden, the first American winner in 33 years.  She was even ready to drop out at one point but she kept on going.

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For all those that withstood the elements and finished, you are very tough and should be very proud of yourselves.

My wife wrote a post on her thoughts on it so I will share those with you now.

Last year for Boston I finished 3:44. My training this year for 2018 all shows I COULD do 3:30. That is what I was aiming for. No issues with my back or foot during my training since the start of December 2017. Fast forward to a week before the marathon and one begins to look at the weather app daily just to know what to pack. Didn’t look like it would be too bad for shorts. Think again… Friday before leaving ( left on Saturday) I packed more warm/ dry gear and rain coat and poncho. I prayed and prayed every moment I had that God would change the predictions for the weather…guess He was not having any change of mind. Why??? Let’s just get to it.. race morning… it was raining just sprinkles at first and the wind was not so bad. Get to the Commons to catch the bus to the start and it starts to rain more and the winds gust. My friend and I while on the bus kept saying we can do this we will do it. She is just so awesome! We knew our goals would be shot, we just wanted to cross the finish. Athletic Village was a mud pool. Have never seen so much mud in one place. Still raining and winds blowing. Never seen so many ponchos and umbrellas and garbage bags as coats in one place. Even plastic bags over the shoes. Anything to keep dry. Before the start runners are in the elements. We did have big white tents to stay under and this year they had the sides covered as well. Once you got in you didn’t want to leave. Standing room only. Lucky to find a piece of land to sit on ( if you dare). Before the start I had on 2 pair of running pants, 2 pair of socks, 2 dri-fit fitted running shirts ( long sleeve), 2 pair of gloves with surgical gloves over them ( to stay dry), had a plastic bag over my head with a beanie then a visor ( to keep rain out of my eyes) and 1 running rain/ wind jacket then an OSU rain jacket and poncho. Oh and plastic bags over my shoes as well as duct tape on my shoes. Yes you read right– duct tape. What did I end up shedding? I got rid of the blanket, poncho and plastic bags over the shoes. The duct tape came off during the race. All I wanted to do was finish. I ended up stopping at one point after the half way mark because it was either vomit or use the potty.  The hills I made up, I tried to dodge puddles of water on the course but it got to the point there was no way of doing that. My visor stayed on the entire time which surprised me due to the 25-30 mph winds at our faces. The rain at times pounding down on us ( from either side). When the rain would fall harder the crowds got louder. So many wonderful spectators braved the windy, wet, conditions with us. So thankful! Each mile I just thought of those I was running for and the words that stayed in my head of encouragement. I won’t lie, I questioned myself, thought about just stopping but God had other plans for me. Plans to show that through tough, uncomfortable, out of control situations not only was He there but I could do it! Sure I questioned my attire, my hydration, the food I ate prior, my gels all of that ( shows the competitive athlete in me and the heart for the sport) and the stopping to use the potty. My spirits were crushed after the race for sure because I had a plan and goal in mind and it did not happen. I felt as if I failed. I won’t lie I had s good cry at the end and even in the airport waiting my flight home. Then I heard God and read ( truly read) the texts coming in from my loved ones.. I did do it. I battled the toughest weather conditions for the Boston marathon since 1908 ( for the record this was worse), 23 ELITE runners dropped out! I may not of hit my goal but I did it— soaked to the bone I did it. I finished this year in 4:05. That is roughly 20 minutes over my time last year. So with the weather conditions I faced on Monday I will truly take that as a win in my book. I want to thank my family, friends, volunteers and spectators for this year at Boston. My family is a huge supporter in what I love to do and I know Kylie and Rob have to put up with a lot from me during training. None of this would not have been possible without them, without the love and support from family and friends. At first I felt defeated crossing that finish line but as I sit back and take full perspective of the days events God taught me so much more. He wasn’t laughing at me, downing me He was praising me for fighting the course and staying strong! Sorry no pictures but Kathy and I were in another state of mind and taking pictures was the last thing in our minds. I love Boston and I will be back. I have other halves to look forward to this year as well as Columbus full ( where maybe I can get my 3:30 finish) Boston Strong! Kim Strong 2018!

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Boston Marathon 2017 and Daddy/Daughter Date Night

With the busy schedule I have had, I am way behind on personal posts.  I will try to get out my next few posts to get those all caught up on my life over the last month. ( I am sure I am not the only one that has been extremely busy but…)

The Boston Marathon on April 17th.  My wife ran again and finished in 3:44:11, which is 2 minutes and 35 seconds faster than her time in 2016.  She was on pace for 3:29 at the half way point but the heat caught up to her.  She did an amazing job and qualified to run again in 2018.   Way to go Kim!

We did not go with her this time to try and save money so no new pictures. (Here are pictures from last year The Boston Marathon- The Race  and The Boston Marathon – The Trip .) She met up with one of her good friends from Florida and they had a girls weekend together.

While she was gone, Kylie and I had a daddy-daughter date night.  While the cat is away, the mice do not eat healthy.  Kylie had the sampler appetizer and I had the Boston Lager burger, in honor of the Boston Marathon of course.

After dinner,  we had to stop at Kroger and grab us some ice cream.  Yum Yum!

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Daughters and Diamonds by Aaron Watson –  

The Boston Marathon – The Trip

Let me just say I-80 across Pa is one long, boring drive.  It seemed like I was the only car on the road for most of it.  I didn’t come up with any new poems or thoughts to write about because I was so bored. I figured my mind would be going everywhere but it went to sleep while I drove.

 

Saturday was just check in day and Expo day.  We went to the Expo to get Kim’s running bib. Of course if you go to an expo, you have to spend money. We bought a few Boston shirts.  Spent less than two hours there and had to pay $40 for parking garage. Seriously, $40 for two hours. Let’s take advantage of the runners and their families. I don’t know, maybe parking is always that expensive in Boston.

We went to a place called Fire & Ice in Harvard Square to eat dinner. Interesting experience and the food was yummy. We actually ate there Saturday and Sunday night. Basically, the food is set out raw and you go pick what you want to eat, take it to the middle where the cooks are and they cook it up for you.  Look here, after I was up for forty hours, with only a 30 minute nap, look who bonked out at nine, not me.  I was out shortly after.

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I know Boston is east and I know the sun rises in the east, I just didn’t expect it to be coming in our hotel window at five am. I was going to get up at six anyway to go for a run but wasn’t expecting to be woke up at five by sunlight.  I went out on my run to conquer Heartbreak Hill, which I mapped to be five miles from our hotel. Being in the zone like I was, I went down Beacon Street to Chestnut Hill Ave Reservoir to Commonwealth, but I went right like an idiot instead of left.  Just running along and not paying attention, saw a sign for Commonwealth and took it.  See the pic below where I made a right,between miles 3 and 4,  I should have went left around the reservoir. Interestingly enough, there was a big hill exactly at the five mile mark and it was exactly half a mile long, just like Heartbreak Hill. So I didn’t actually go to Heartbreak Hill but I did run a pretty nice hill that was the same length as Heartbreak. This was the best I felt on a run in a long time.  Only stopped to take a few pics below.

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I did go home and ran the Newton Hills and  Heartbreak Hill on my treadmill.  Wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t run the 20 miles before it either. 🙂

 

The rest of Sunday was just Kylie and me day. Kim stayed at the hotel to rest for the race. Kylie and I went to the Museum of Science, she loves stuff like that.  We had a good time. Spent three hours there then took the subway to Boston Commons.  We then decided to walk the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail.  Lots of history and places to see. We didn’t actually make it the entire way. Once we crossed the bay we decided to go left back to the Museum of Science and call Kim to come pick us up.  Our legs were hurting.  Mine probably more than hers but she was tired also.

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Monday was race day which I posted about Wednesday. The Boston Marathon- The Race

It was a great experience for our family.  I don’t know if I could live in downtown Boston area but Cambridge, Harvard area, oh yeah. Loved where we stayed. I could run by the Charles River and over to the path by the river by The Museum Of Science  or can run to Heartbreak Hill, the right direction.

Kim did qualify for next year so maybe we will see Boston again. I won’t drive next time, be cheaper to fly and avoid all the parking garage fees.

 

No music today, will just leave you with some pics.

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The Boston Marathon- The Race

IMG_1356I will post about the race today and our trip tomorrow.

First off, I want to say how proud I am of my wife, Kim.  She completed a marathon that most runners can only dream of being able to run. She didn’t get the time she wanted, 3:30, but it was warm for running and there was a head wind.  Even the winners had slower times than expected.  The commentators kept asking experts why do you think the pace is slow today.   The winning male was 2:12 and female 2:29. Pretty slow to me lol.  However, her time of 3:46 did qualify her to run it again next year if she decides to.

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Most of my comments will be from my wife obviously, since I did not run it, but I will add my two cents here and there.  Kim loved the athlete village and the corals.  She felt like it was much more organized than NYC. Maybe that was because there is half the amount of runners as in NYC.  She felt the course was more congested than she thought it would be. Since a lot of it are on two lane roads going through neighborhoods, she felt for the first half she was constantly having to hold her arm out to keep from running into people or them running into her.  Several times her feet were clipped by other runners but, luckily, she did not fall.

Apr 18, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; A Boston Marathon sign is displayed at the start line in Hopkington MA. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-265182 ORIG FILE ID: 20160418_sal_ad7_172.JPG

(image credit Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

 

(image credit Bill Greene/Globe Staff)

A quick recap of the winners before I get back into Kim’s race:

Below are the winning push rim (wheelchair) for male and female.  The men’s race came down to the last few feet.  What an exciting finish.  The male winner,Marcel Hug, defended his title by less than a second. The female winner, Tatyana McFadden, won by a minute and fourteen seconds.

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Below are the winning men and women about 100 yards from the finish. If you did not see the race it was crazy.  The winning women, Atsede Baysa, was 37 seconds back at 35k. In the last 4.5 miles or so she made up that 37 seconds and passed the two leading women at mile 24 and won by 44 seconds. Do the math, in the last 4.5 miles she was running about 19 seconds per mile faster than the leaders. Crazy.

The men’s winner, Lemi Berhanu Hayle, was equally impressive pulling away in the last two miles.  Mile 24 was a 4:56 pace.  Only in my dreams. Put your treadmill on 12 and try to run as far as you can. He was going faster than that….. for longer.

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Back to Kim:

The congestion affected her time first 5k time (8:06 per mile) was about a minute off where she needed to be to finish at 3:30.  Her 10k split time was a little better. Through 10k (6.2 miles) she had improved to 8:03 per mile for this 5k section. She kept improving and her 15k time she was 8:01 per mile.  She slowed down for the next 5k and her 20k time she was at 8:08 per mile for that 5k section..  At the half way point she was at 1:45:42. ( 8:03 pace) and was only about a minute and half off her goal for 3:30. Not bad considering the congestion but she still had the hills to go. Might I add she was also pretty consistent for every 5k.

 

She said the crowds at Wellesley College were crazy.  The crowd noise was so loud she couldn’t hear her music but it was inspirational. A good pick up of encouragement.

Apr 18, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Marathon fans from Wellesley College cheer on the runners along the course during the 2016 Boston Marathon. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-265182 ORIG FILE ID: 20160418_sal_sv3_280.JPG

(image credit David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

She slowed down for the next 5k section and  averaged 8:26 per mile at the 25k mark.  She then hit the hills of Newton for the next 5k and averaged 9:02 per mile. She then hit the section with Heartbreak Hill and averaged 9:34 per mile for 30k to 35k. She said by that point it felt like her quads were going to fall off. She stopped and applied leg cramp creme that they were passing out.  By this time they were running into a head wind and Kim was sick of running in wind. For training it is all we had. I think she mentally checked out and walked some.  Her next 5k time to get her to 40k she averaged 9:43 per mile.  She picked it up to the finish line and did the last little bit at 9:16 per mile and had an overall pace of  8:39.  This was 40 seconds per mile off what she wanted to be at to finish in 3:30 but she is happy with her time. She finished and wasn’t injured.  And still qualified for next year.

Kim, in the pink,  finishing strong :

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She really isn’t hurting or sore now.  She seems to be in good shape and knowing her like I do, she is probably itching to go for a run. It is hard for her to stop and rest. I have to keep reminding her  that even the best like Meb and Shalane and Amy Kragg all take two to three weeks off after running a marathon. I can’t imagine Kim ever taking three weeks off, she would go bonkers.

Overall, it was an enjoyable event for our family. We had beautiful weather.  I wish there were more places we could have seen Kim during the race but that just isn’t possible with Boston Marathon course.

I know this was a lot of running jargon with pace per mile and split times and all that but I hope you enjoyed reading about Kim’s race experience.

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The Definition of a Champion – 

The Champion In Me by 3 Doors Down – 

Hall Of Fame by The Script – 

Centuries by Fall Out Boy – 

Firework by Katy Perry – 

What It Takes It Takes To Win by Journey – 

We Are The Champions by Queen – 

 

 

Look Out Boston, Here We Come

 

Now that I made you cry for three days with sad poems, let’s end the week with a picker upper. A rare two posts in one day from me.  Look out Boston, here we come.

This will be our first trip driving east, we flew to NYC. We always drive south where it’s warm.  At least the weather forecast looks to be about perfect for all the runners.  I plan on running from our hotel Sunday morning to Heartbreak Hill and back.  Which, if I mapped it correctly,  looks to be five miles or so to Heartbreak Hill so ten miles total.  Of course it will be mostly uphill on the way there, downhill on way back.  Maybe I will take the train to Boston College and get closer to Heartbreak Hill.  Hmm. Oh, be tough and just run it all.  That’s what my mind is telling me. Our hotel is on the other side of the water by mile 25 so if you check out the elevation chart below, it’s all uphill from the hotel until mile 20.5 of the race and it’s about a mile from our hotel to the 25 mile mark of the race so maybe it will only be like 4-4.5 miles uphill.  I can do it. I have to keep plugging away to get where I was three years ago before I tore my meniscus. I have lost the weight in the last five months since I started running steadily  again but was hoping muscle memory would kick in and not take this long to build up my endurance and speed but it is what it is.

Also have to get some locals advice on where we can see Kim, other than near the finish line. Since it’s like a straight line we would have to be able to get a train or bus from x to x to be able to see her multiple times, like we did in NYC.  If not, we will be waiting at the finish. I know we can take the train, as mentioned above, to see her around Boston College/ Heartbreak Hill, but don’t know how fast we can get back to the finish area.

Of course our hotel swimming pool is under construction so Kylie won’t be swimming indoors. I am sure there will be plenty to do to keep us busy while Kim rests Sunday and runs Monday.  Look for a post next week on our travels and the race.  With that being said, I doubt I will have a post on Monday, race day,  or Tuesday, after driving back all night Monday.

Anyway, we would appreciate prayers and thoughts for safe travels and an awesome race for Kim.  Let’s pray she doesn’t hurt her hip like she did during the New York City Marathon.  Let’s also pray for all the other runners, spectators, volunteers, the police and security, and all those involved for a safe weekend.

Hay is in the barn, trust in your preparation and run your race. Be strong, Boston strong.

Running On Pride by John Voci – 

So Good (The Boston Song) by Vincent Sneed & Eyton Nicholson – 

Boston (You’re My Home) by Kenzie – 

Boston Strong by Steve Balsamo – 

Keep On Running by Carly Tefft – 

Strong (Boston Anthem) written by Amanda Carr feat Charlie Farren – 

Run Run Run by Michelle Lewis – 

Run – Inspirational –  

The Champ by Nelly – 

You’re Going Down by Sick Puppies – 

Always Remember by Stereoside –