NOREASTER THIS!! – BOSTON 07

Such was the phrase on a runner’s shirt during this weekend at Boston. Gina and I packed for the worst, and drawing from our travel experience to races like Ironman Japan and recently in Ironman Lake Placid, I think we prepared extremely well for what to expect. This year we decided to fly into Boston. We accumulated miles to get a great deal and stayed at the new Marriot hotel, which is next door to the Holiday Inn which we always stayed at. Ironically, the first year we both came to Boston as a “couple”, they were building this hotel! We tried to make sure we got everything done on Saturday, since it looked like Sunday was the brunt of the storm. So as soon as we landed, we took the hotel shuttle and checked in, headed to the expo and did our “shopping”. Some cool new nutritional products out this year at the expo. Gina is becoming real good at collecting more goodies than I am!!!!!!!! We did buy 2 jars of a new soy nut peanut butter spread since we planned to do our dining at the hotel for two days.
I did a Tanita Body measurement on their latest Ironman Scale. Here are the facts:
 
Wt: 130 (fully clothed)
Body Fat 5% – (women said she never had someone that low)
Calories needed to stand upright: 1600
Bone Mass Density: 6.2 lbs (avg 5.8)
Visceral (abdominal) Body Fat rating: 1 (lowest)
Body Water %: 66% ( avg 45-55)
And get this feature: Calculated age comparable to current metabolic rate: 12!!!!!
I’m still a kid!!!
After catching a 4 pm Mass service at St Francis Chapel which is located next to the expo, we hopped on the T back to the hotel and did some food shopping both at Target and Stop and Shop which is in the mall across the street. Then it was glued to the TV as we monitored the storm.
Sunday was horrid. Luckily we got here Saturday and did all the expo stuff then. Sunday we woke up and it was raining hard, winds up to 40-50mph. I worked out in the hotel gym and we only went to the mall across the street to break out of the hotel. Honestly we didn’t go anywhere Sunday and had the TV glued to Weather channel. I must have looked through several clothing options since you have to wait in the village for 2 hrs before lining up. Having done a marathon in the rain (get this fact – our first trip together was the Miami Marathon which it rained) gave me an idea of how to pack/dress. Plus having done this race 11 times helped me just work on the mental aspect of the day. But it would be tough. I prepped my mind to simply pace myself and draw on the energy around me. Sure everyone else was in the same boat, but I had to just make sure to dress warm, comfortably, and focus on finishing. We didn’t go anywhere except for 2 walks to the mall just to get out. The hotel was lovely in that it had a fireplace in the lobby, we had a couch in the room, and one of the most comfortable beds we ever stayed in – plus a pool, watch cable (finally!!!) and snuggle ( the bed faces towards the window!!! ) We knew people were in trouble when they were only ARRIVING on Sunday evening. Many were planning to not show or drop out.
 
Woke up this morning to the following: heavy rain, 45 degrees (wind chill 35), and an ESE wind at 35 mph. I had dressed in an UnderArmour long sleeve as base, the black Polar long sleeve tech shirt, Polar Visor, long tights, and the Polar Shorts. Plus my adidas sneaks wrapped in plastic bags. One top of THAT, (since that was race gear), I had mittens, waterproof jacket (discarded at mile 5) and a poncho. After getting dropped off at the village where it was all mud, I found a bench and waited over an hour to line up. Yes, it continued to rain and the wind was still bad. Everyone tried to have a smile on their face. And everyone was bundled up even up to the start.
The tents were packed with people and it was no use trying to find a warm spot. By 9:00 I was starting to get cold and shiver, but it was time to take the mile walk to the start and get loose.
The rain was still coming down and everyone wore their clothing right to the gun. I think they collected the most clothing ever this year.
As the race went off, I had my windbreaker and mittens still on, with intentions of tossing them by mile 5. A very slow first mile, but picked it up into a groove and steady as I go. Once I tossed the gear and was “warmed up” I felt fine. My mind was so focused on my body and the weather that the first 10 miles went by real quick. Not many crowd wise – but Wellesley was still loud as usual – but a good turnout nonetheless by weather standards. It stopped raining by mile 16 and I gave myself till 20 to pick it up. Once I hit the hills solid, I knew it was a matter of time before I just let it go on throttle. It got windier the closer you came to Boston, but once you see the CITGO sign, just crank it. Sure enough my last few miles were in the 6:30 range. I felt good with all this compression gear but my mind is exhausted. Sprinted the last mile as I knew I was doing great. Stopped to give Gina big kiss just before finishing – our new tradition after Florida.
Finish in 3:01, in the top 5% overall!!! Number 12 in the books and surely the toughest I’ve done. Over 3000 people didn’t START and 300+ dropped out. Still 20,000 runners finished.
The plan originally was for a sub 2:50, but with all this gear and making sure I got to the finish, I evenly paced everything. With my Polar RS800, here are the stats:
 
A 6:55 average, faster second half (of all they say about Heartbreak Hill- its nothing believe me) and evenly spilt 5k checkpoints. Keep pace. Keep pace.
Avg heart rate was 139. Mostly in Zones 3-4. Last 4 miles were under 6:50.
Cadence 91. Stride length of 4 ft 2 inches. Simply listening to the body.
Burned 2550+ cals. 
 
No problems post race since Gina had fresh clothes at the finish once we managed to find each other (Boston has a way of making it a bit difficult for family to meet up), and we headed quickly back to the hotel because it was freezing at the finish – lots of runners were shivering like crazy due to the wind. A big warm hug surely made things easier to cope with too. I stretched, showered, and we both had brunch sharing stories while watching the coverage on TV – while BIOFROZEN of course.  
The energy was there if you just focused on the race regardless of the conditions by modifying your race plan. I am more than pleased (and that Gina was able to deal with conditions too). She actually met someone whose husband was running but she didn’t know her way around. Gina took her on the “tour” of where to catch the action, relax and have a coffee, and find a spot where they waited near the finish for over 2 hrs! What a woman!! I also agreed to a pre race bet that if I finished well, I would eat a chocolate glazed Dunkin Donut. Had no problem with that one.
It was nice to have a few hours once we got back to the hotel to regroup. We rested up and then headed to our favorite post-Boston dinner at Bertucci’s!! This year they were handing out $5 coupons and surely enjoyed a relaxing dinner since no one was there! People stayed in I guess but we didn’t mind one bit -just the two of us, conquering yet another trip and enjoying every minute of it.  
 

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