I went to the Expo on Saturday to pick up my packet and shirt. There were 20 or so vendors at the Seaport World Trade Center and at 2PM the crowd was still pretty strong.
Finding a parking spot was a challenge and I may have violated one or two traffic laws. Eventually I found a metered spot that cost 75 cents instead of $15 for the 30 minutes I was there.
As I walked towards the Trade Center, I could not believe how many porta-potties were lined up on the sidewalks. For a race of this size I shouldn’t have been surprised. There is so much construction going on in South Boston, there are few lots left for porta-potties. The sidewalks are the only option.
I get to this neighborhood a few times a year and normally those sidewalks are empty. Seeing hundreds of porta-potties lined up just seemed so odd.
The sidewalks were full of fit people in running shirts from races from all over the country. Many BAA race shirts of one type or another.
As I approached the Trade Center, security became more obvious with several state and Boston police officers and cruisers in front of the Trade Center. It wasn’t intrusive and they spent most of their time stopping traffic for pedestrians.
Due to construction on the Longfellow Bridge the race organizers had to make a course change this year. In 2013 the race went over the Longfellow Bridge and took a sharp right down the ramp onto Memorial Drive in Cambridge. This year the course goes down Charles Street to Beacon and then crosses the Mass Ave bridge. We will then head East down Memorial drive, pass The Longfellow and then turn around. They had a map of the new route up in a dozen spots, or so it seemed.
I gained an appreciation for the length of a half marathon when I saw that we would be running out Memorial Drive past the Western Avenue bridge. And then back to Mass Ave before crossing over back into Boston. 13.1 miles is a long way, but we may actually finish the race in less time than it takes to drive Memorial Drive in heavy traffic.
They wind us through Boston pretty good on the way out and on the way back. It will be fun to run down the middle of these normally busy streets. 10 water stops this year and clocks at every mile. Nice.
I’ll try to have a race re-cap by Monday. I’ll also have frames for the finisher’s medal available on omnirunning.com.
If you are running I hope your training is going well and that you have avoided illness and injury. So many runners get sick or injured while training for a marathon. In the Northeast, I think this is caused by the bad weather, running in darkness, and the bad roads.
As you increase your miles you have more opportunity to get hurt and more exposure to the elements. It has not been an easy winter here in the Northeast. All of this extra strain on your system can also make you more susceptible to germs.
It’s important to get as much sleep as possible and take your rest days as rest days. I try to wear gloves on my way to work to help reduce my exposure to germs left on doors and elevator buttons. I’m also trying to eat more fruit as a natural source of vitamins.
On Wednesday the BAA sent out another email for runners to keep us up-to-date. The new policies need to be followed and the BAA is working to make sure all runners know what is expected.
Marathon Day Tip
I did trade email with a BAA official about wearing clear trash bags. As long as you are wearing the bag it should be okay. You CANNOT have ANY bag larger than 5x5x15. If your trash bag doesn’t have holes then it is too big and they will make you throw it away. ANY bag that can hold things and is larger than 5x5x15 is NOT allowed.
Officials reserve the right to change their policies at any time. As runners we know how to adapt to our environment and still run the hills. As runners we are even-tempered and can endure much.
It’s going to be a great race, a special race and a day that is sure to move you in ways you may not expect. Embrace the moment.
You know it’s the dead of winter when anything above 32F feels, pretty good. I know that I have fully adjusted to the ice locker we call New England! In July if it gets into the 70s we start thinking about October. In March, 40F has us dreaming of July and heat.
Sunday I have a 20 mile Sunday Long Ron with my running, The Melrose Running Club.
For Sunday I’m thinking of using the walk/run strategy. I plan to use the 5K on Saturday as a speed workout and I’m shooting for 22 minutes or less.
I feel healthy, nothing hurts so it’s time to stop being a cupcake. Sunday is about slogging the long miles. I need to get in a good 20 mile run as part of my marathon training. Speed is not a consideration.
Once again, I’ll be running the longest distance since October. It feels good to be able to go out and do it again. No physical ailments to hold me back. It’s all me and my head now.
I had my second appointment with my physical therapist and she said I could start running again! She had me run on the treadmill for about 10 minutes and I didn’t have any pain.
While I was running and walking at various speeds she checked my cadence and my arm swing. My cadence is around 80 foot strikes per minutes and I should be doing 90. The theory being that the less time I spend with a foot on the ground the less impact there is on that leg.
I was surprised to learn that some people have an asymmetrical cadence. This means that they spend more time on one foot than the other. They may end up with a cadence of 85 left and 80 right. I found this hard to comprehend at first but it does make sense. My cadence was even so I don’t have to worry about that.
In addition to my one legged squats she gave me some additional leg exercises to help with my leg alignment.
Tomorrow I will start with 10 minutes on the treadmill at a reasonable pace, probably my marathon pace of 9 minute miles. Then I will go on the elliptical for 30 minutes and do some core work.
I have a half marathon in 12 days. I may be able to get a few 5Ks in before then, but nothing close to 13.1 miles. I’ll have to use the next twelve days to build up my miles slowly. My Half PR is 1:45, but I will hope for a 2 hour half and no knee pain.
I’m hoping that my work on the elliptical has helped to maintain some of my strength and cardio. I’ll start doing my squats and lunges again and maybe some burpees. I’ve got to be careful.
My marathon training program is totally shot now. Even figuring in my elliptical miles, I am so far off from where I should be right now. It would not be safe to try and make up for lost time and miles, so I have to re-adjust my goals: I have to be flexible.
I had hoped to push hard and go for a Boston PR of 3:45. With my training scaled back considerably and the need for caution during the marathon I’m probably looking at a 5 hour marathon. Probably lots of walking.
This marathon will be more of a celebration of the race. My only goal will be to finish, be healthy and enjoy the experience.
At the recent Boston Marathon Training Clinic, Executive Director Thomas Grilk mentioned the new bag policy for 2014.
He said that “there will be no bags going into Hopkinton this year”. I was shocked by this statement and what it meant. I wrote to Marc Davis, the BAA’s Communications Manager, for clarification.
Marc said that Mr. Grilk was speaking in general terms and that the baggage policy for the 2014 Boston Marathon has not been finalized. The final policy will be determined by public safety agencies and the BAA will follow their directions.
This gives me some relief. There is a possibility that we will be able to take bags to Hopkinton on Marathon Monday. There is also the possibility that we will not be able to take bags. I do not know Mr. Grilk personally. But the way he said this and the position that he is in leads me to believe that we will not be taking bags to Hopkinton. I hope I am wrong.
I hope that the BAA and the public safety agencies can come to some sort of an agreement. I think a good compromise to the no bag policy would be a clear bag. Runners would only be allowed the clear BAA bag issued at the Expo. Any other bag would be refused. I would accept a smaller bag and a reasonable bag search.
Marc went on to say that once the policy is finalized it will be immediately passed on to Boston Marathon runners. I want to thank Marc for his prompt response to my email and I hope the BAA can negotiate a reasonable bag policy with public safety officials.