My miles are low and I am not as fit as I have been in the past; however, I have elected to run what might be my last Boston Marathon. I have not trained well for this one, but I will do what I can do. With low expectations comes very little pressure. That said, I ran into one of my favorite pro female runners today in Susan Loken. She is a fantastic person. I love her story and attitude toward Believing.
I need to hit a BEST this year. Looks like I am headed back.
Dear Edward Carson,
This is to notify you that your entry into the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, 2014 has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate.
A Confirmation of Acceptance card will be mailed to you via US Postal Service mail in October.
In early April 2014, an official Number Pick-up Card and Welcome Booklet regarding the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and related race week activities will be mailed to you via US Postal Service first class mail. If you do not receive your Number Pick-up Card (required to claim number) and brochure by April 9, please contact our Registration Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration related inquiries may also be directed to 508-435-6905. Throughout the year we will issue email communications to remain in contact with you, providing race-related information as it becomes available. You may also want to follow us on Facebook to get regular updates from the B.A.A.
Note that bib numbers will not be distributed on Race Day. Your travel arrangements should take into account picking up your number at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, on Friday, April 18 from noon to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., or Sunday, April 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
JetBlue is proud to be the Official Airline of the Boston Marathon! Travel to Boston on JetBlue and save money with a promotional travel code available on our travel and accommodations page.
For additional tourist information, please visit www.bostonusa.com.
At the request of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, The One Fund Boston was formed to assist victims and families affected by the tragic events at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 and in the days that followed. To donate to The One Fund, click here or on the image at left.
We look forward to seeing you in April! Best of luck in your training!
Boston Athletic Association
I am interested to see how my running will continue in North Andover. I accepted a residential faculty position in the history department at the Brooks School, a well-established boarding school just north of Boston. I believe I will be okay, though the new faculty position with my coaching and residential responsibilities will force me to be even more disciplined. I am pretty good about getting up very early to get my AM miles in; I am also good about my PM miles on days in which Karl scheduled a double. I suspect the new challenge will be fine. I am looking forward to it as I hope to up my miles to an all-time high. My body is ready for it.
As for the Boston Marathon 2014, it will be my 4th after qualifying in Dallas and again in Boston. And living up the road from Boston makes travel simple. I am – 4 min 52 sec in my qualifying time. I ran into problems in both of my last two races. The big question will be winter training. I am set to log a number of miles on the treadmill. No worries there. I already log a number of miles on that darn thing at times.
I ran my 3rd Boston Marathon in what I thought would be an ideal race. My training went well. I was not tired nor fatigued. The temps were ideal though not perfect. As I ran this race, all I could think about were my splits — as noted below.
However, after hours of thinking about what transpired at the finish line yesterday, my thoughts turned into anger regarding the bombings. The picture above was no more than 75 yards from one of the explosions. Janette was about 100 yards from the explosion, though we had left by that point; I had crossed the line and was already cleaned up and at the airport when I heard of the attack. I suspect this was the work of amateur domestic terrorist. Maybe right-wing members of some anti-government group. It is very strange in that all I could do after the race was reflect on how poorly I ran. I wanted to go out slow before dropping the pace — which I did, but I just did not have the strength to wrestle my way through the last set of (Newton) hills. I suspect the cramps were indicative of my training; it is very hard to simulate Boston when you live in Houston. But, in the end, no one will really care about how they performed in this race… not even the winners. The 117th Boston Marathon will be placed in the same category as the 1996 Olympic Village bombing that transpired in Atlanta.
Below are my splits at each mile marker. My goal was to start slow then drop the pace. In the end, I could not negotiate with the demands of a course that operates like one big roller coaster ride. And once you survive the first part, you have to deal with the Newton Hills. By then, if you are me anyway, your legs are trashed.
21. 8:16 My first set of leg cramps.
22. 8:01 I was still recovering from cramps.
23. 7:54 I thought I had a gear left in me but I was done.
In the end, I was frustrated with my performance. A 3:14 does not cut it, especially when one looks at my other times. I will regroup and bounce back for my next shorter distance race sometime this summer. Until then, I will reflect on my fortunes and the shameful event in Boston. I do appreciate the number texts, calls, and notes from everyone.
Like so many people, the above image is now planted in my head. I hate cowards!
I got this data from coach Karl; it was part this article regarding the heat and times at the 2012 Boston Marathon.You will notice how much slower the field was this year in comparison to 2011.
|1000th place||3:09:37||2:55:41||3:17:51||approx 3:24|
|3:00||530 runners||1,519 runners||320 runners||415 runners|
|4:00||8,646 runners||16,209||5497 runners||na|
|Avg Time||4:18:27||3:49:54||4:13:02||not known|
|Starters||22,426||98.1% of above||virtually all of above|
|Finishers||21,554||96.1% of above||97-98% of above|
With temps approaching record highs for Monday’s race, the B.A.A has implemented a deferral policy for 2013. I suspect their concern is that 20% of the field consist of runners who did not qualify and hence may not be fit for the conditions. I see this race now as an interesting challenge.
CBS Boston even put me on the news and quoted me a bit in this news piece. Click here and then hit play.
From the B.A.A:
BOSTON MARATHON WEATHER UPDATE
Due to warm weather in Monday’s forecast, a deferment option has been introduced.
Due to the unusually warm weather forecast for the Boston area on Monday, the B.A.A. will defer the entry of those official entrants to the 2013 Boston Marathon for participants who decide not to race.
This applies to official entrants (including charity runners or other waiver runners) ONLY, who either have claimed or will claim their bib number packet at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo through Sunday evening at the Seaport World Trade Center in South Boston.
RULES FOR DEFERMENT:
- Runners must claim their bib number for deferment to be an option.
- In order to receive a deferment for 2013, race participants may NOT start the race.
- No refund for the 2012 entry will be given. All entry fees for 2013 must be paid.
In addition, the B.A.A. will keep the finish systems open an additional hour on race day. Whereas the finish systems generally cease just prior to 5:00 p.m., this year the finish systems will remain open until approximately 6:00 p.m.
Once you have fulfilled these rules, you will be notified after this year’s event regarding how to claim your position in next year’s event.
Note, this is NOT a free entry into the 2013 race, but simply a reserved spot in the field. You will have to pay a 2013 entry fee.
The B.A.A. thanks all participants for their cooperation in this matter.
I am not sure what to think or what to say. I have struggled a bit with a high degree of frustration. I am highly fit and aimed to run the best and by far the fastest marathon ever. That was my thinking two weeks ago; however, that has changed. Monday’s Boston Marathon race will take place on what will be a record day temperature wise. Currently the highs are at 87 degrees, which means the temps will already be in the 70s when the gun fires. Thus, my aim to run in the upper 6:40s per mile pace have changed.
My new goal is to head out in the first half (13.1 miles) at 6:52 per mile pace, which will give me a 1 hour and 30 minute half-marathon time; I will hit the second slower. I am thinking between a 7 min to 7 min 8 sec per mile pace. If I can run faster I will. But, the second half will be a challenge. I am still excited to run this race. I have worked past my disappointment.
Last year I greatly looked forward to buying my first Boston Marathon jacket. In running circles, it is like a rite of passage. But I must confess, I did not like the jacket as much as I the ones of old. This year, however, I like the colors. Mine arrived in the mail yesterday. Mediums tend to go very fast at the expo, thus I thought I would order one. I think I wore my jacket 3 times this past winter. I am in Houston. What winter???
One month from today I will be running my 2nd Boston Marathon. I am looking forward to this event for so many reasons. It is the biggest stage race I will compete on unless I get crazy fast(er) and can qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trails. Even then, much like that of the Boston Marathon, most runners are competing but not to be among the top 10 – 20 finishers. The pros win races like Boston. And, among the pros, the vast majority of them are bystanders to the top 10 like the rest of us. Thus, if one cannot win this race, why bother? Because there are still a number of secondary goals to be had. Case in point: I aim to finish among the top 1,500 runners and to re-qualify with a time between 2:59 and 3 hours. This means that I will need to run in the 6:48 to 6:52 per mile range. I think I can do this; however, the course is pretty tough which adds to the Boston mystique.
It must also be noted that outside of the Olympics and the Olympic Trails, this is the biggest stage. Most people are not knowledgable marathon fans. But, they do know Boston. Even at the level of training and racing that I am at, I will occasionally get asked if I am “hoping to finish” the race (any marathon that is). My response: sure, finishing is a goal (stated with a sarcastic grin on my face). I did learn yesterday that my seed/ bib number is 5970. For the most part, that is a pretty low number. I am happy with that. However, I was hoping for a higher seed. Bid numbers are allotted according to qualifying times. I wanted a number in the 5,000s. Why? Because it is very important that I do not get caught up in traffic early in the race. I do not want to go out too fast, but as I learned last year, it is easy to go out too slow. And that did happen. I hit mile one at a pace of 7 min 19 secs last year. My 5k split was 7:09, though I was running around a 7:03 pace to make up some ground.
The BAA organizes transportation to the start line according to one’s bib number. I elected to pass on the transportation since we got a hotel close to the start (note: Boston is a point to point course). Here is how the BAA organizes transportation and waves/ corrals. I am in the first wave sixth corral based on my seeding. Each wave is denoted by color: wave 1 red, wave 2 white, and wave 3 blue.
100 – 8,999
2 9,000 – 17,999
The Boston Athletic Association recently released the invited pros that will compete to win the 116th Boston Marathon. You will notice that there are only two men and no women in the pro field. I figured this would be the case with many just competing in the Olympic Trails.
Name (Country) Personal Best
Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) 2:03:02 (Boston, 2011) CR, WB
Gebre Gebremariam (Ethiopia) 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011)
Levy Matebo (Kenya) 2:05:16 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Wilson Chebet (Kenya) 2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (Kenya) 2:05:52 (Boston, 2010)
Laban Korir (Kenya) 2:06:05 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Wesley Korir (Kenya) 2:06:15 (Chicago, 2011)
Bernard Kipyego (Kenya) 2:06:29 (Chicago, 2011)
David Barmasai (Kenya) 2:07:18 (Dubai, 2011)
Dickson Chumba (Kenya) 2:07:23 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Josphat Ndambiri (Kenya) 2:07:36 (Fukuoka, 2011)
Peter Kamais (Kenya) 2:07:37 (Xiamen, 2012) CR
Mathew Kisorio (Kenya) 2:10:58 (New York, 2011)
Frankline Chepkwony (Kenya) 2:10:59 (Nairobi, 2011)
Jason Hartmann (USA) 2:11:06 (Chicago, 2010)
Michel Butter (Netherlands) 2:12:59 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Antonio Vega (USA) 2:13:47 (Boston, 2010)
Name (Country) Personal Best
Aselefech Mergia (Ethiopia) 2:19:31 (Dubai, 2012) CR, NR
Galina Bogomolova (Russia) 2:20:47 (Chicago, 2006)
Mamitu Daska (Ethiopia) 2:21:59 (Frankfurt, 2011) CR
Caroline Kilel (Kenya) 2:22:36 (Boston, 2011)
Sharon Cherop (Kenya) 2:22:42 (Boston, 2011)
Ashu Kasim (Ethiopia) 2:23:09 (Xiamen, 2012)
Firehiwot Dado (Ethiopia) 2:23:15 (New York City, 2011)
Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia) 2:23:19 (New York City, 2011)
Rita Jeptoo (Kenya) 2:23:38 (Boston, 2006)
Agnes Kiprop (Kenya) 2:23:54 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Caroline Rotich (Kenya) 2:24:26 (Boston, 2011)
Georgina Rono (Kenya) 2:24:33 (Eindhoven, 2011) CR
Alevtina Biktimirova (Russia) 2:25:12 (Frankfurt, 2005)
Genet Getaneh (Ethiopia) 2:25:57 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Tatyana Pushkareva (Russia) 2:26:14 (Boston, 2010)
Diana Sigei (Kenya) 2:26:53 (Dubai, 2011)
Nadezdha Leonteva (Russia) 2:31:57 (Moscow, 2011)
Karl suggested that I consider running the 3m half-marathon as a training run on January 29th; I was unaware of this race until he brought it to my attention. It is a good size race with a very competitive and fast field. I must admit that this 3m course, though not as difficult as Boston’s course, are similar with their down hill sections. Boston of course pounds your quads with its roller coaster approach; however, its hills from miles 16 – 21 are killers.
I am spending the entire week in the very COLD state of Nebraska; we left earlier this week. It should be interesting getting my runs in here.
Below 3m course
This past Sunday, I had a very nice and easy (slow) 16 mile run on the treadmill. Why? It was pretty wet outside and I really wanted to watch the Texans’ football game. This week starts my first week of training for the New Orleans half-marathon on March 4th, and the Boston Marathon on April 16th. As with any new cycle of training, it is important to list a few goals.
- Increase my weekly miles.
- Stay consistent in training. That is, if I have a workout schedule for Tuesday — it is my goal to do it on that day rather than have my trainings shifted around.
- More 20 milers. I hope to do many of these in Austin, where there are plenty of hills.
- Stay focused on the tempo runs. Hit my pace and watch my watch. Often, I tend to zone out rather than concentrating on my pace.
- Aim to make a 6:45 pace feel like a jog. Thus, I need to teach my body how to acclimate to the various paces.
- Run the recovery run slow. Avoid the temptation of running fast.
- Alcohol — no more than a glass the night before a tempo or long run.
- Diet — I am going to reward myself with my favorite snacks after I have finished a great week of training. Thus, I will limit my special treats to once a week. This does not include wine.
- Fueling — drink more while in the office. More nuts and health snacks throughout the day. On my long runs, refuel with GU and water every 3- 4 miles.
- Make New Orleans a primary goal race. It will tell me a lot in terms of what I can run in Boston. Thus, it is too early to set absolute goals for Boston.
- Sleep — my number one enemy. Get more of it.
- Weights and core work — I am doing well here. It is my goal to do 3 focused core sessions per week; however, I will do some short ab workouts daily. I am focusing a great deal on my trunk. More squats and other resistant leg sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Once a week I will publish my training log. That is the purpose of this blog. I got lazy during my last training cycle.
After each race, I do my best to add some type of post-race reflection. Though I have added some commentary already here, I wanted to reflect and generate a few more thoughts about this race. First of all, I must say that I think it sucks that the new course record will not count as a world BEST. 2:03.02 is just and unreal time. Congrats to the male winner, Geoffrey Mutai, for shattering the previous best of 2:03.59. By the way, that record was set on a very flat and fast course. And, it was set by a runner who was allowed to use a rabbit to pace him. Boston, on the other hand, is not a fast course; it is not a slow course either. One would be hard pressed to find a runner who thinks Boston is not a challenge.
For the weeks leading up to this race, I had been adjusting my goals; I wanted to have a great race, but I also wanted to be realistic, too. As I left the athlete’s village, I felt a sense of panic creep in. My Garmin GPS watch would not turn on; it was dead. I was very confused at this point; I knew it was fully charged. My friend and buddy, Jeff Le, told me not to panic; he advised me to find another runner who was aiming to race the course within the confines of my pace goal. Sure enough, as I approached my starting corral, I could not find anyone seeking to run my pace. However, one of the runners told me (note: 2 minutes before the gun) that he also had problems with his Garmin. All I needed to do was reset it. I had no clue how to do that; he showed me how, and boom — it came on. Wow!!! That was a close one. I would have run that race without any sense of pace. One might compare that to flying a plane without any navigational instruments.
The start was very crowded. Though my goal was to run a conservative pace for the first mile out of Hopkinton, I did not anticipate running mile 1 at 7 min 19 sec. In truth, I had little choice unless I wanted to be really aggressive towards the other runners; I decided to use mile 1 as a warm up. By time I reached mile 2, I was on cruise control. I knocked off both 2 and 3 at 7 minutes 4 sec per mile. Once I reached the 5k (3.1 Mile) mark, I was easily running a 7:05 pace for that mile, but was clocked officially at 7:09 per mile pace. Much of that was due to the slow first mile. As I expected, all felt very easy. The crowds were amazing. And, they were very loud.
Mile 4 7 min and 3 sec pace
Mile 5 7 min and 6 sec pace
Mile 6 7 min and 3 sec pace
Once I reached the 10k mark in Framingham, I kept thinking that I am holding back way too much; it was feeling very easy at this point, as it should. In my head, I kept hearing two voices. One voice stated, okay Carson, it is time to push the pace a little more. This is nothing. The other voice stated, be very careful Carson, it is early and you do not want to struggle to finish this race. I listened to the conservative voice. Thus, it was at the 10k mark that I elected to run a very conservative race. Though the weather was great and we had a tail wind, it was still warmer than I wanted. I dropped my hat back at mile 2, but kept with the gloves. For some strange reason, my fingers tend to remain cold far longer than the rest of my body.
I am still feeling great as I head toward the 15k mark. My confidence was high, though I knew the Newton Hills were still in front of me.
Mile 7 7 min 3 sec pace
Mile 8 7 min 6 sec pace
Mile 9 7 min 4 sec pace.
The thing that most amazed me about Boston were not the Newton Hills, but the hills or inclines that defined the course throughout. As I raced into Natick, my legs were felling a bit heavy; in part, some of that was in my head. I started thinking that I had not tapered enough. But once I moved past my anxieties, I settled back down. I do recall reaching mile ten and saying, wow this race is going by pretty fast.
Mile 10 7 min 8 sec pace
Mile 11 7 min 12 sec pace
Mile 12 7 min 6 sec pace
Mile 13 7 min 9 sec pace
As I headed into Wellesley, I could not help but note what seemed pretty fast and flat turned quickly into a nice long uphill run. This came just as I approached the “so-called” hot girls of Wellesley College. Many of them were lined up screaming and holding signs that stated “kiss a Wellesley girl.” I did not see that happen. And I can assure you, the last thing on my mind was to kiss a co-ed the same age as many of my students.
I hit the half-marathon mark at 1 hour 33 minutes and 47 seconds. I was okay with that. And, I felt like I had much more to give. But, things went bad as I approached miles 14 and 15. I believe it was at mile 15 in which I had no choice but to make a stop. Number 2 was calling my name. I thought, this sucks big time; I cannot believe this is happening. I trained to deal with digestive matters. I always stated that I am willing to go number 1 on myself, but not number 2. This stop cost me a good 2 minutes. I was pretty frustrated, but I did not let it get me down. I thought to myself that I would just try to make it up later in the race.
Mile 14 7 min 9 sec pace
Mile 15 7 min 6 sec pace
I gained some speed after mile 15. There was a nice descent, but it left my legs screaming some. After the mile 15 descent, I headed toward the more difficult part of the course. From 16 to 21, there was a total net gain on the course. And it was at this point in which the real racing started. In essence, I hit 3 nice size hills before the infamous Heartbreak Hill. I did not think it was too bad. I reached the top of it at mile 21, but man my paced slowed a great deal.
Mile 16 6 min 49 sec pace
Mile 17 7 min 14 sec pace
Mile 18 7 min 18 sec pace
Mile 19 7 min 7 sec pace
Mile 20 7 min 20 sec pace
Mile 21 7 min 40 sec pace (ouch!!!!)
It is clear that I am struggled just a bit by mile 21; however, just when many start to wonder if the wall is near, I was feeling pretty good; I honestly felt strong as I headed toward Brookline and past Boston College. I must say, those folks at BC can cheer. As I raced forward, I could tell my legs were heavy; still, I knew I had plenty left to finish strong. I could hear the cheering as I entered downtown Boston. And, I could see the Citgo sign, thus I knew the end was near.
The last stretch was tough, but nothing I could not handle; I wish I would have run the last few miles faster, but I was a bit tired.
Mile 22 7 min 11 sec pace
Mile 23 7 min 14 sec pace
Mile 24 7 min 7 sec pace
Mile 25 7 min 13 sec pace
Mile 26.2 7 min 20 sec pace
I raced to a finish of 3 hours and 10 minutes; I ran roughly a 7:14 pace. In truth, I wanted to do better. But I am left full of energy and emotion from a race that I know I can build upon. I cannot recall a race in which I finished with so much energy. Janette told me that I look like I could do a few more miles. I doubt that. I suspect with more training, and some adjustments, I have no doubt that I can get under 3 hours and push toward a high 2:40 low 2:50 time. I did requalify for Boston 2012. I think I have a chance at getting in under the new rolling system.
As you can see, I am excited about achieving this goal just 13 months after aiming to reach it, dating back to the Little Rock Marathon. Here, I ran a course time of 3 hours and 42 minutes. That is about 8 min 30 sec per mile pace.
I am still in recovery and thus, I am not in any rush to start training again. I will continue to run but I will not exceed 50 miles per week for another 4 weeks. I am going to rest and do some moderate running. My legs still feel a bit heavy, though much of that is in my head; if anything, I am enjoying a mental break of no training expectations. Also, I hope to use the next 4 to 5 weeks to sort through my running schedule for the fall, winter, and spring; I do expect to run Boston 2012. But, that might change my plans for Chicago. I have registered for the Chicago Marathon which is set for October 9th; however, I might make that change due to expenses. Darn that trip to Boston was expensive. And, I suspect the same if not more for Chicago seeing that hotels add up fast. Further, the nice thing about Boston was that we were able to stay outside of Downtown; I am not sure that will be the case regarding Chicago. So, my goals are still the same which I will post at a later time. I did get in my second post-marathon run Sunday. It was a bit faster than my last run.
Total Miles today: 7
Total Miles for Post-Race Recovery: 15