COOKIN’ IN BEANTOWN

After checking the weather forecast before leaving for Boston, my bags got lighter since I would not be needing anything other than a fleece vest for additional coverage. Predicted to be in the 70′s, I was excited enough to shave down. My plan was to do a long training weekend in my prep for Ironman Idaho, so I brought my bike for a 100m ride on Sunday, and cap it with the marathon on Sunday.

Training has been going well in specific triathlon type workouts, but now I get a chance to test it in some heat. Last time I was able to do this was in Florida almost a month ago. My co-pilot this weekend was Regina Paoloni who has never been to Boston, so she was reved up too.

It was great! We arrived in the afternoon Sat. and made our way to the expo center. We got to check out all the new gear, free-bees, etc. that go along with this race. Boston in general was hopping due to the Yanks in town, hockey playoffs, and the Patriots’ Day holiday weekend for New Englanders. It was good also not to have that “race-mode” mentality and enjoy walking around and soaking up the great weather.
We ate at Cheers (they now have 2) and I showed her the usual sights in the goverment center-market area. The transit sysytem now costs $1.25 and I remember when it was 85 cents!

Sunday I hit the bike and it was a great workout. Gina was able to do her deal: workout, walk around the area, read/relax, while I spent 5+ hours training. What patience (wait, it actually gets funnier)! We then spent the rest of the day at the local mall window-shopping near the finish line and “village-type” streets. Here is a TEAMMC trick to recovering from a workout like this morning and knowing you have 26.2 to run the next day: if in the mall, find a Shaper Image store and sit in the massage chair for 15 minutes! It’s free! We saw a Sugar-Land candy store where I got the BIG HUNK bar: a huge taffy-like candy that I last saw in Hawaii! Gina got her favorite red dollar chews.

Bertucci’s is the place to dine for the pre-race meal indeed! We ate early and made our way back since I wanted to stay off the feet the rest of the evening. I felt fine, but it IS a marathon.

Race morning for Boston is different than that of Ironman. You wake up later, and the day’s anticipation just seems to fill the air for 6 hours before you even go! It can be nerve racking for the first-timer. I was ready for I had Martin in mind. My eyes would be his as I planned a long-run pace to soak up all of the course for him. He must have been watching from above since it was 80 degrees and a hot 20 mph tailwind to our backs. Just the way it is during an Ironman marathon. I was well prepared in hydration, fuel, you name it, from lessons learned in the Miami race and Ft. Meyers training. I left Regina at the bus boarding and called her several times from the athlete village just to update her on everything. Not to worry, she got to the finish line area and was up front already! Yes, she was going to wait there for 5 hours or so!! She was determined to get a good view.

Some funny observations: 2 guys dressed as Superman and Capt. America were running. Best shirt: EAT RIGHT/EXERCISE/DIE ANYWAY

And if you see a person carrying an empty 32 oz Gatorade bottle into the line next to you, know they aren’t running with that, and it isn’t going to be filled with Gatorade!

The race was off and I had a nice pace. After 2 miles I latched onto 5 guys who were running together but at a comfortable pace for me. We ran the next 8 miles together before some fell back and separated due to the pace (6:30′s) and heat. I held the next 2 miles with one of them before ducking into a port-o myself for 30 seconds. At least I knew I was hydrated and with the Wellesley girls at 13 miles – Yo! It was nice from 14-18 because I tuned in to feeling like a tour guide for Martin. “This is what its’ like”, or “check this out” I kept telling him.

Now it was warm! Deceptive since the tailwind pushed you faster, but also no way to get back the fluids you lost. People were hurtin! I had 2 salt tablets which came in handy at 10m and 20m. I caught my solo friend at 20 miles and he was fading at Heartbreak Hill (which is overrated).

The last five miles I picked it up pac-manning alot of folks (even an elite Kenyan!) Turning onto the street to the finish I “flew” with the next gust I felt and gave a look above as I crossed the line in 2:56! Awesome. I felt great. I had my best placing ever for Boston and the heat required 800 runners to seek medical attention, while only 17,000 of the 20,000 finished. The terms “my time sucked” could be overheard in the war stories of many afterwards. But I was elated the next few hours, got a post-race massage (and BioFreeze), walked a bit and celebrated with Gina in what was a great weekend. I am happy to have got a medal for Martin and know he was with us this day.

Gina is such a great TEAMMC coach (you’ll have to ask her I’m not revealing the secrets), I recovered well enough to bike an hour before we left Tuesday. It actually helped loosen up, but I will hit the pool and get “back into the NYC groove” the rest of the week. It was a positive test for Ironman and May will be big in putting it all together.

Next up is the Long Island Half Marathon (a bike-run test on the same day) and in late May the 120 mile bike tour out to Montuak.

I want to thank the Macapugay family who get the offical long-sleeved Boston shirt and finishers’ medal (and other items), also GrammerWiz who receives an authentic Boston t-shirt, and DaddyPops who nagged me to take Gina to Cheers so I got him an offical mug!

Feel free to drop me a line at mc@markcarbone.com for the latest info. Thanks again!

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