Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I ran the Boston Marathon on Monday in 3 hours, 35 minutes, and 12 seconds. That was 25 minutes faster than my public goal and 10 minutes faster than my semi-private goal.

My splits were as follows:

mile split total
1 8:37 8:37
2 8:20 16:57
3 8:23 25:21
4 8:12 33:33
5 8:18 41:52
6 8:13 50:06
7 8:09 58:15
8 8:25 1:06:41
9 8:19 1:15:00
10 8:28 1:23:28
11 8:24 1:31:52
12 8:18 1:40:11
13 8:17 1:48:29
14 8:17 1:56:46
15 8:25 2:05:12
16 8:18 2:13:30
17 8:42 2:22:13
18 8:41 2:30:55
19 *

20 16:43 2:47:48
21 8:35 2:56:14
22 7:41 3:03:55
23 7:51 3:11:47
24 7:09 3:18:56
25 7:05 3:26:02
26 **

finish 9:09 3:35:12

*I missed this split, but I would guess that I ran mile 19 in 8:22 and mile 20 in 8:21
**I missed this one too, but I would guess I did mile 26 in 7:37 and the last 0.2 miles in 1:32

The start of the race was very hectic and the first three miles couldn't have been run at any other pace due to the press of all the other runners. After that the field started to thin out and Lisa, her sister Aimee, and I were able to average about 8:15's all the way to Heartbreak Hill (about mile 17). We were obviously slowed by the hill and sometime around here we lost Aimee. This was also the time that both of my quads started to hurt rather intensely. My cardio was great and my legs didn't feel fatigued, but my quads felt very very tight.

At the top of Heartbreak I was feeling great and started pushing the pace (mile 23 and 24). Somewhere near Washington Square Lisa told me to go ahead and I pushed the pace down to almost 7 minutes per mile. I flew through Coolidge Corner and South Campus, but started to slow down on the last mile.

The final push down Boylston was the hardest part of the race. All of the runners I was with had condensed to make the turn from Commonwealth Ave. to Hereford St. and had maintained that tight formation for the turn onto Boylston, but when we arrived on Boylston the formation broke apart and everyone spread out. The sensation was bizarre, because it was the first time all day there had been any sort of clear space in front of me. I had a clear sight to the finish line and the huge banner above it, but it seemed so far away, and the pain in my legs made it feel like forever before I got there.

After I crossed the line, my legs nearly dropped me on the ground. The moment I stopped running whatever had been keeping me upright and moving stopped working and the best I could manage was a slow, shaky walk forward. I received a space blanket, some water, and a banana before making my way to the Commons where Laura and my family were waiting.

Laura and my family were really supportive during this entire ordeal and I don't think I would have been able to do it if not for them. My parents drove out to Natic with signs to cheer Lisa and I on, and Laura made countless cups of tea and scheduling concessions for my training. I gave my mom a kiss in Natic and it was wonderful to see them all at the end of the race.

The after party was delicious and a ton of people came to say that they had seen me, or tried to see me, or just to say congratulations; it was a great way to top off a day that had already been phenomenal.

Including the marathon, here is the final tally of runs, miles, and time from my 128 days of training.

Total number of runs: 85
Total number of miles: 573.81
Total time: 79 hours, 22 minutes, 41 seconds

That averages out to 6.75 miles per run and 8:18 per mile (which was about what I averaged for the marathon).

Overall, the experience was phenomenal and I can't wait to start training for my next marathon. I don't know where it will be, but my goal is to run a 3:10 or faster and qualify for Boston in 2009.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Total number of runs: 80
Total number of miles: 535.85
Total time: 74 hours, 11 minutes, 21 seconds

This tapering nonsense is more difficult than the long running. I'm having a really hard time taking it easy on these runs which is adding more stress to the upcoming marathon day. Over the course of these week I will be running 11 miles total - this is not nearly enough miles to eat up the boundless energy that I have.

I've been trying to make plans in the evenings to occupy my mind. Lisa and I are going shopping after our run tomorrow to find some shirts to wear on race day, on Thursday Steve and I are going to get burgers and watch a Red Sox game after work, and Laura and I might go to a Red Sox game on Friday night. Lately I've sat on the couch at night with so much energy that I almost want to get up and start pacing.

I e-mailed a girl this morning who may have a number that Lisa can use. If that's the case then I will fill out the application Woodrow gave me and we'll both be official runners. If not, we'll continue our plan of being bandits.

I've worked my way through three of the Wardancers. They all have good spots and bad spots but overall I'm happy with how they're coming out. I painted the skin of two more last night but found myself rushing through and didn't do anything else. I've also noticed that the paint has been rubbing off of some of the models, which is a bit disturbing.

I miss climbing. I haven't climbed anything since I was in San Francisco, which was over a month ago.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Total number of runs: 75
Total number of miles: 511.85
Total time: 70 hours, 57 minutes, 31 seconds

Woodrow knows some people and yesterday when I came into work he had a number for the marathon if I wanted it. I don't want to run officially if Lisa can't, so I asked him if he could find a second number; he said he'd take a look.

The taper is pretty interesting. I feel like I'm not running nearly as hard (which I'm not) and it is difficult not to tack on a few miles. This past Saturday I ran 4 miles, which is a distance I haven't run in six weeks.

My parents and sister are going to be in town to see me run which is really exciting. My dad was at every soccer game and track meet that I ever competed in until I graduated high school, but almost never got to see me play ultimate in college. I miss having him there, and even though it is unlikely that he'll actually see me running the marathon, I'm excited to know that he's there cheering me on in spirit.

The other night I build Laura's desk and tonight I'm going to build a dresser for her. I enjoy building furniture and had a blast assembling stuff when I moved into my new place.

Over the weekend I had the good idea to take new pictures of the models I have painted for my Wood Elves (you can see them here). At some point during the evening I put one of my trays full of Dryads on the ground to make space on my desk. The chair I've been sitting in has been broken since I got it and it chose that night to break. When it broke, it dropped me on top of my figures, literally crushing 11 of the 24 Dryads on the tray. I believe I can salvage most (if not all) of them, but it is a bit depressing to see them smashed up and broken after all the work I put into them.

I also started painting a Wardancer and pretty much finished him up last night. The models are gorgeous and I had a ton of fun painting him, but I'm not really happy with how he came out. In general he looks drab and uninteresting, and I know that the way I painted his hair is really letting the model down. I'm going to take a stab at the hair again and probably re-highlight his leather pieces to try to get some brightness on the model.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Total number of runs: 71
Total number of miles: 483.31
Total time: 67 hours, 08 minutes, 14 seconds

Before this is done, I'll have run over 500 miles over the course of more than 3 full days.

This past Sunday, Lisa and I ran 22 miles (check out the route) at an average of 8:30 pace per mile. Around the 16 mile mark my legs started to feel pretty bad, but some gel and water (from some very friendly people who set up aid stations on the course) got me through. We stopped at the top of Heartbreak Hill, but both of use were confident that we could have maintained pace and finished the whole thing. Hot damn! My confidence is through the roof and there are still 3 more weeks to get some miles in.

These last runs are part of our three week taper. I'm supposed to be taking it easy and letting my body recover from the precious 15 weeks of punishment, so come marathon day they have all of the strength and none of the damage. My understanding is that this is very hard to do, considering we've done nothing but ramp up the miles for the past 3.5 months. I think I can do it, and I'm excited to have some extra free time now that the runs are decreasing in distance.

I helped Laura move into her new apartment last night. She doesn't have much in there right now (just a futon and some clothes) but the place has a lot of potential. Over the rest of the week she'll be moving more of her stuff in, and her parents are coming up on Friday to help her finish it off.

Her moving (and subsequent furniture search) has motivated me to try to finish furnishing my room. I've been working on a wobbly table with a stolen hutch for a desk since I arrived, but that solution becomes less and less viable everyday. I would also like another book case / display case for my little men, and I really need to get a real chair since the piece of crap I have now is starting to hurt my back.

I finished painting my Spellsinger, which means I only have two more Glade Guard models to paint. I can't wait to never have to paint those models again. I was excited about the painting on this model after the skin (especially the face!) and lighter green went on, but the dark green and brown didn't turn out as well as I would have liked.

I continue to lose at chess, although recently I've been encouraged because I'm no longer losing so badly.