See 2008 Boston Marathon RR part II: The Thon
Subtitle: “My White Whale”
I have spent the last 2 marathons searching for him. In Chicago ’07, he bite me and took out my calve muscles. He didn’t appear at Disney. Or Boston. I may be doomed to search the world marathons for my salvation.
Where is he? I need my revenge. I have to slay this beast before I can return to normal marathoning.
I have adjusted, tinkered, hydrated, studied, stretched, rehydrated, realigned my running form, modified nutrition, re-rehydrated, practiced voodoo, and done the hippy-hippy shake. My calves! My calves! Why have you forsaken me??
I don’t get it. My calves are pretty attractive too if I do say so myself. A nice blend of manly muscle tone, light hair covering, and the perfect amount of vein protrusion. Anything you could want in a calve.
The thing that gets me is this:
- I ran a 19 & 20 mile training run in similar weather conditions as Boston at almost a similar pace with no cramping whatsoever in the weeks prior.
- On those training runs, I probably only drank 8-10 ounces of water total.
- I have NEVER experienced cramping in any sport or activity EXCEPT in my last 3 marathons!!!!
So, what is going on? I hydrated very well. I took Tylenol (which I never did previously) and I ran at a comfortably hard – but not overexerted – pace.
Cramps at 15-16 miles? WTF? I ran at least that distance 6-7 times in preparing for each of the last three marathons without any problems. The only thing I have done differently on race day is stop for a quick walking break.
Somewhere in the Newton Hills, I had this epiphany: I have started cramping up within a mile after taking a walking break. I first stopped to walk a bit in Chicago ’07 at 14 miles. By 15, cramps! In Disney, I stopped for a quick walk at 18.5 miles. By 20, cramps! In Boston, I stopped just after 15 miles. By 16, cramps!
I never stop running in training.
I never stopped to walk in my first 2 marathons predating this problem.
Am I destroying my race by thinking I’m doing the “smart” thing to stop and walk to recharge? Maybe I’m a shark.* If I stop moving, I die.
Whatever. I’m going to continue introspecting the hell out of this situation until I find my white whale. Then Queequeg and I can go all harpoony all over its ass.
In a completely unrelated matter, I’m going to go back to wearing shoes in my marathons. I did that in the first 2 but haven’t since. My feet get too calloused if I don’t wear them.
Boston, by Bullet Points
- Nice city. Clean. Well groomed.
- Everyone wears a Boston Red Sox hat. Everyone. I'm not kidding.
- Has anyone seen a Dunkin' Donuts? (1:2 block ratio)
- How 'bout a CVS pharmacy?? (4.5:1 block ratio)
- Best dressed panhandlers I've seen to date in a city. Some dressed better than me.
- Managed the entire city over 4 days using only 1 cab ride. (Hooray for the "T"!)
- Despite being a "big" city, it feels so much smaller than Chicago.
- The race spectators are tremendously enthusiastic. You can tell they love this event.
Conclusions, by Dashed Lines
- I am thrilled to participate and complete this event. Make no mistake about that.
- However, I am very annoyed at my finish time. Real pissed….like ridiculing orphans pissed. **
- The course was a bit tougher than I thought it’d be. I’ll modify my training for it the next time.
- There will be a next time.
- This experience has only motivated me to refocus, regroup, re energize, re-----,*** my efforts towards the marathon. I think I’ve been coasting a bit. I need to get back to Boston now to set my time right.
For now though, it is a couple of weeks off. No running at all. I’ve done 3.5 marathons in 6 months and 4.5 in 11 months. I’ve been on a training schedule of some kind now for over a year. It’s time to relax. Run without purpose for awhile. And then dive right into more training. I see you Mr. 5k PR Time. I’m coming for you this summer!
Thanks, by Regular Paragraph Formatting
I want to send a huge thanks out to all the well wishers and supporters that have posted comments here or just stalked the site, left, and thought ‘what a loser’. I appreciate that very much. Not the people who called me a loser, of course. You’re assholes. The others, though, are very much appreciated.
We didn’t get many of the race itself believe it or not. Here’s the ones where I’m not looking like a real jagoff.
Steers LDP permanent tattoos. Regret!
Crossing the finish!
Growing increasingly lobster red post-race back at hotel.
Next week: Back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans. Don't think I wasn't serious about that upcoming Mr. Roper post.