BOSTON: TESTING..TESTING

So here I am in the third and final week of my max phase, after 2 weeks of 24+ hours of training in each week, and I am looking to finish the weekend by going to Boston to complete a 100 mile bike ride followed by a 3 mile run, then do the Boston Marathon at near Ironman race pace the next day.

Yes, this is typical of a serious triathlete looking to compete in an Ironman some 5 weeks away. But this is also Boston. For the second year in a row, warm temps were the topic, but hey I wasn’t complaining. Neither was Gina who loves this town, and by now, we have our weekend down to a science. She’s a vetern on the art of this race business and there were plenty of moments where her coaching helped ease the tension. Over 20000 runners were on hand but it didn’t seem like it.

We did our usual Saturday: unpack at hotel (we stay at the same one), register, hit expo, go to Mass, then dinner. We mixed it up by going to Legal Sea Foods, but we hit the 2 Bertucci’s which are a must for pre- and post-race dinners! Best thing is we did that all in the same vicinity which means less travel. Only walking and train. We only use their MTA 9was free t all runners this year) and don’t drive from the time we get to the hotel till we leave.

Sunday I did the long ride and run which took 5 hours. Gina does her thing so we designate a time and begin our day then. We walked (yes we did alot of that today!) along Newbury Street (Emack and Bolio!) thru the main parks (duck boats) to the Goverment Center and the marketplace there. We had an early dinner and did yet some more walking before going to the hotel. I kid you not, the weather made you WANT to stay outside (a trick to relieve all the walking I learned is to stop in Brookstone and sit in an iJoy massage chair for 20 minutes).

After planning how we were going to approach Monday, we called it a night. We made sure we got plenty of sleep this weekend too!

The morning of the race is pretty routine by now. After eight times, you chuckle when you see first timers and the war stories of other racers. I keep quiet, focus on how I am going to run (after all, I have to plan this around Ironman Japan), and make sure I stick to it. I hopped on the bus at 9am and Gina went and did her thing. Turns out she shopped, had breakfast, walked around and STILL found a good spot to watch the race at the finish line.

By now the weather was at 70, small wind, but deceptive in making you feel like you weren’t sweating. I got to the corral 5 minutes before the start which was great. No standing. I must have walked 2 miles, and stood another 30 minutes over the course of the morning. The race went off and finding real estate was easy. I battled my mind for about 6 miles before I settled in to a good pace, although a bit faster than I wanted. My goal was 3:10 or lower, to simulate a 7 minute mile pace. I was hitting 6:40′s and purposely hit the portosan at mile 4 and mile 10 to “relieve” myself for going out too fast. It worked. By mile 16 I was cruising and watched the miles click by. The crowds were great as always and you do see some funny characters (Santa, Drag-queens, drunk BC students). Best tshirt was a guy who had “Will Marathon for Food” on front and “This vehicle makes frequent pit stops” on back.

By mile 22, I hit the pedal slightly to see if I could force my mind to charge the engine and maintain a fast finish. Nothing hurt at all. Just made a game of it. I could break 3! turns out I just missed it but had splits of 6:30, 6:20, and 6:00 the final 3 miles. I also negative split the 13 miles despite the hills in the second half of the course. I was fine and confident that with a lighter version of the sneakers I was wearing (Loco), a few nutritional modifications, and a full 3 week taper, Ironman Japan is going to be a great race.

After getting a quick post race massage from volunteer students – they use the race to get part of the hours required in their certification – I met Gina and we strolled around recapping the day. She was tracking me on the computer thru Lisa, her office command in NYC. It was still warm and comfortable out. We went back to the hotel, I stretched, showered, and relaxed a bit. Then it was off to Bertucci’s to celebrate a great weekend. After dinner, we walked around the finish line and watched them take the grandstands down. Several runners were taking pictures but soon a police escort came down the street with the final 5 runners together. Yes, as cruel as it seems, Boston only gives you about 6 hours to finish.

I was able to bike for an hour this morning before leaving and have no problems with the body OR mind. I have to thank G for the massage treatment each night (no other details here sorry) and the roles she continues to play during these road trips. We both had a great time again here and she got to keep the finishers’ medal. The long-sleeved tshirt goes to GrammarWiz for his donation towards the race expenses.

I am pleased with the tactics I used to complete this weekend. With the past 2 weeks and one to go, I look forward to the taper leading into May and the Ironman.

Next up: a Montauk ride and the LI HalfMarathon on May 1.

Congrats to Team member Brian Casatelli (Thailand race) who is getting married this week.

MC

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