2018 Year End Review

It’s time for the 2018 year end review and a look towards 2019.

Well, it’s that time of year again. I’ve seen a few 2018 End of The Year reviews by other bloggers and thought I better get mine written before we start talking about spring marathons!

2018 Running Review

I actually ran fewer racing miles in 2018 than I did in 2017. 186.4 vs 203.2 miles.

It seemed like a busy year and I didn’t expect to see fewer miles at the end of 2018. On a few occasions people would say, “didn’t I see you at a race yesterday” or “didn’t you just post on Facebook at another race” or “do you run every weekend?”

Usually the answer to those questions was yes!

Boston Marathon 2018, marathon running
Boylston Street, Boston

In April I ran the BAA 5K on April 14th and The Boston Marathon on April 16th. I ran 5Ks on both April 21 and 22. I ran a 5K on Saturday and then a Half-Marathon on Sunday on September 29/30 and October 27/28.

On September 3rd on Labor Day Weekend I ran the A Run For Gratitude Mr 8K in Boston and then drove to Malden and ran Irish American 10K. It was blazing hot that day and I had a touch of heat stroke that weekend. Not fun.

I posted from The Boston Garden about the Martin Richard 8K and when I got to Malden a few people asked if I was just in Boston. Even with the heat stroke, that was a fun day.

Over several stretches I raced every weekend for three weeks in a row. Several times I ran two races on those weekends also.

Then I didn’t race from July 15th to September 3rd. I do a lot of events for my job over the summer which makes racing difficult.

It seemed like a busy running year, but I was busy with work and family also.

Injury and Recovery

In 2017 my injuries didn’t act up until The Eastern States 20 Miler in March. I felt a twinge in my left knee in the first five steps of that race. By the end of the race my knee was okay but I was totally wiped out.

Throughout the rest of 2017 my knee bothered me but I was able to work through it. For many 5K and 10K races I was able to run under an 8 minute pace.

I developed swelling on the inside of my left knee. I got checked by an orthopedist and my PCP and neither one thought it was anything to be concerned with. I was able to run and an x-ray didn’t show any problems.

The swollen area didn’t hurt and what ever was under the skin was solid. I never did see my x-ray but the doc said I didn’t have anything to worry about.

The knee pain and swelling lingered into 2018. I ran The Great Stew Chase 15K in January at a 10:36 pace. In April I ran the Boston Marathon at a 10:55 pace even in the wind and rain.

As 2018 progressed my knee hurt less and by October the swelling started to go away. I’m not sure what happened. I didn’t take anything for it or change my routine very much. But the swelling is almost all gone now.

Even with the recovery I didn’t run many 5Ks at a less than 8:00 pace. For most of the year I felt slow and out of shape.

Finishing 2018 on a High Note

On September 30th I ran my first of three half marathons in 2018. I hadn’t trained very much and still felt like a walking box of lard. But something happened during that race.

I started slow and planned to take it easy. The early miles went well and I fueled early and hydrated well. By mile eight I hooked up with another runner and we killed the last five miles.

smuttynose rockfest half marathon, New Hampshire halfOur pace increased each of the last three miles and we basically sprinted the last two miles. I’ve never finished a half marathon feeling so strong. It was The Smuttynose Rockfest Half which I’ve run before and always felt destroyed at the finish line.

My time was 2:00:29 which was faster than my 2017 time, but not particularly fast for me.

What was so great is that I felt in control. I always try to have a plan and run the plan, but this time I blew away the plan and ran very well. It still makes me feel good just thinking about that race.

The next weekend I ran the BAA Half, ran my plan and had a good race. Three weeks later I ran The Howling Wolf Half at an 8:55 pace on a more challenging course.

I wasn’t sure what was going on but I felt healthy and I was running strong.

Honolulu Marathon, Andy Nagelin
Honolulu, 3:30AM

On December 9th I ran The Honolulu Marathon for the second time. In 2017 I crashed and burned on this course. My pace was 10:34 due to five pit stops and plenty of walking late in the race. My knees were bothering me after 18 miles or so. Everything just went wrong.

I had prepared to run in the Hawaii heat, but apparently not enough.

For 2018 I didn’t train particularly hard. October and November were both about 70 mile months. Nothing crazy.

But during those late year half-marathons I started fueling early. I also started paying a lot more attention to my pace. I always like to be in control, but I was on top of it now. I had my shit in tight little baggies aka I got my shit together!

When I got to Honolulu I wasn’t sure if this was going to work. I prepped last year and still fell apart.

In 2018 I really discovered how important it is to know the course. I knew the first hills came about the 10K mark. I knew not to push the early hills and I kind of knew where the hills were.

I ended up making one pit stop because my pre-race routine got screwed up. At one time I tried to walk but my legs wouldn’t let me.

I ran all of the hills on the way back and cruised down the last hill to the finish.

After the race, besides chaffing, nothing really hurt. My sister even said she could hardly tell that I’d just run a marathon. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that good after a marathon.

My finish time was 4:26:42 or a 10:10 pace. They only give you a finisher’s medal for that time, but I beat my 2017 time by almost 11 minutes!

I have no idea what is going on. I feel good and I’m running well.

2018 is ending on a high note and I have no explanation.

2018 Year End Review Numbers

What running year end review would be complete without a few numbers?

Total Races Run – 26
Total Racing Miles – 186.4
Total Runs – 121
Total Miles – 789

My total runs and miles were up a bit from 2017, but not by a lot.

My only PR was a new Hawaii Marathon PR by 11 minutes. I’m hoping to set a 10K or half-marathon PR in 2019.

2019 Goals

I set goals, I don’t set resolutions.

My first goal is to run 12 half-marathons in 2019. I’ve already signed up for seven, so I’m well on my way.

My second goal is to run a total of 1,000 miles both training and racing. I did a few training runs from my house in 2018. If I can do this more frequently in 2019, 1,000 miles should be achievable.

My third goal is to add another state where I’ve run a marathon. Running Boston again would be great, but I’m not counting on it.

What are your goals for 2019?

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Run well my Friends!

Andy

Boston’s Run to Remember 2014 Recap

Boston’s Run to Remember 2014

On Sunday May 25th, I ran Boston’s Run to Remember. The race is run out of the Seaport World Trade Center in South Boston. Temps were in the mid 50’s with a light breeze and overcast skies: A perfect day for a run. They had a Half Marathon and a 5 Mile run, both of which started at 7AM.

Even though the race was less than 10 miles from my house, I knew we had to get there early to get parking and deal with any road closures or other issues. My friend Thuy drove over from her house and we drove in together. We left Medford shortly after 5AM and parked the car around 5:30. All the way in we had 93 just about to ourselves.

Pre-Race

It was great to have the car parked and the trade Center in sight well over an hour before the race. We spent a few minutes in the car getting our gear together and headed for the Trade Center. There were more police than runners at this time in the morning. As we walked in the general direction of the Trade Center and found the road closed off, an officer directed us to cut through the parking lot.

We wandered through the lot with a few other runners. Everyone was in good spirits and we laughed and joked the whole way. At the other end of the lot we found a small exit from the lot and saw the security check in. They had what looked like 10 tables with private security at the tables and a few police as back up. I just had my running belt, a bottle of water and a banana and they waved me through. It was chilly as we walked to the Trade Center. As we walked down Seaport Ave I saw Dave McGillivray talking with some race officials. I caught his eye and we said good morning.

We passed a Dunkin Donuts but hoped they might have coffee inside for us. They didn’t. Thuy had a coffee earlier, but I only had a cup of tea. We walked around for a while and found a table to sit at. We were there so early, it was totally relaxing. No worries. After a few minutes we decided to go take some photos in front of the photo opp spot they had set up for us.

We made a pit stop and headed outside for a ton of photos. While we were wondering around we found Julie Galvin and Jessica Crispin. After photos it was time for one more pit stop before the race. The lines were fairly short and there were a ton of porta-potties. After the ladies made it through the line, the crowd had built up and we decided to take up our spots in the corrals. The girls headed towards the back of the line and I started at the 10 minute pace sign and tried to move up, but it was impossible.

boston's run to remember
In the Corral

While I was standing there and doing some last minute stretching I saw Jeanne Boisseau making her way through the crowd. I waved her over and we had a fun chat waiting for the race to start. There were a few short speeches and Dave McGillivray quoted Big Pappi about “Boston is our Bleeping Town” and the crowd went wild! They sang the National Anthem and we were shortly off to the races.

The Race

The crowd was unbelievable. The last time I felt this crowded at a race was the BAA 5K in 2012. My first mile was 11:13 and my second mile was 9:48. My Garmin actually went on auto Pause at one point and I thought it was because we were going so slow. It turned out that my watch was just being flakey. Jeanne was running the 5 Mile race but we decided to stick together until the 5 Milers split off.

We weaved in between people and did our best to run a half decent time. There were a few times we were able to open it up a bit, but it wasn’t until we got out onto Charles Street and then Beacon that we got enough room to move. We still had to weave around people but there began to be bigger gaps between groups of runners. We managed to finish mile 3 at a 9:13 pace. I don’t recall exactly where the 5 Milers split off was, but it was somewhere around mile 3.

We took a right off of Beacon Street onto Mass Ave and crossed The Charles River. The bridge is four lanes wide with bike lanes and is well paved. I was finally able to open it up and managed an 8:04 pace for mile 4.

We took a right off of the bridge and headed East on Memorial Drive. We had two lanes of pretty good pavement but it began to feel crowded again. I kept looking ahead, planning my moves and made my way through the crowd. As we came up to the turnaround I was in a clear spot and seemed to almost come to a stop as I made the sharp turn on the inside, close to the median. Just after the turn we hit mile 5 and I had managed an 8:09 pace.

We were now on the long run out Memorial Drive. The course was still crowded, but it was getting better. After mile 5 I took the only gel I brought with me. I had missed all of the water stops so far and thought this would be a good time to re-fuel. I took about half of it and ran another half mile before I finished the packet. I managed to hit the next two water stops.

The run out Memorial Drive was great. I felt really good and nothing hurt. My training regimen has been very light in the weeks since Boston. I just don’t have the training mojo. For a half marathon this training strategy was working. For the next six miles my splits kept getting faster and peaked at 7:44 for mile 11.

At mile 11 we were running down Arlington Street, it really wasn’t that crowded but I dropped to 8:03 for mile 12. My watch lost reception a few times and auto paused even though I was hauling ass. I am shocked to say that my watch has mile 13 coming in at 7:08!  It has to be right as my Garmin finish time is just about exactly what my official time was.

Running through Boston was pretty cool. I took every opportunity to look at the buildings as we ran past. It’s not often that you get to run down the middle of these streets without taking your life in your hands! The big crowd and all of the turns did slow me down a bit. Jeanne and I had fun those first few miles. Somewhere along the way we passed Thuy who started behind us!

The Finish

I felt powerful the entire race. I was never tired or sore or felt like I couldn’t do it. On the bridges I ran on my toes and stormed over the “hills”. I felt like I was running from my hips and they felt like a well tuned and oiled machine. My lack of preparation seemed to have served me well. As we passed the 13 mile marker I wasn’t sure what I had left in the tank.

I ran the last 0.38 miles of the race at a respectable 7:30 pace. Not a surge, but having just run a 7:08 mile, not bad for an old boy. About a quarter mile to the finish line I heard someone call out my name. On many corners along the route I occasionally looked for a familiar face, but saw none. This time I looked up and my friend Tim Cattogio was there cheering me on! I looked him right in the eye and gave him a quick wave as I pushed my way the last hundred yards or so to the finish. So close to the end of the race, I had given up on seeing a familiar face in the crowd. It was pretty cool.

The announcer got my name basically right as I crossed the line. The clock said 1:55, so I got in under 2 hours which was my goal. My watch said 1:52 exactly. I knew it took a few minutes to cross the starting mats, but I also knew my watch was messed up. Even with the slow start, it felt like a strong run. I didn’t know my official time until Sunday night, 1:51:42.

After the finish line they had us walk into the Trade Center. This got us out of the elements and headed towards food and our medals. As we approached the folks handing out medals I took off my hat and the guy said “Congratulations” as he placed the ribbon over my head. It felt great.  It seemed like the people handing out the medals were genuinely enjoying themselves. I think I would have felt the same.

After I got my medal I turned left and went through the food line. I headed into the convention center, ate my bagel and did some stretching. I sent Thuy a text to let her know I finished and then headed to the far side of the hall to grab some floor space. I did a bunch of stretching which only hurt a little. I sent Thuy another text to let her know where I was. She replied shortly that she had just finished.

I decided to head over to the medals area to meet her. I stood off to the side and watched hundreds of runners walk by and get their medals. Everyone looked

porta potties,
Short lines

 

happy. Thuy came by, got her medal and we headed towards the food again. We hung out for a bit and then headed back to the medals line to meet Julie. Everyone needed to use the facilities so we headed out the side door and got in the world’s shortest line.

The port potty I got in was not balanced properly and the thing rocked like crazy until I steadied myself. I had to laugh at what this must have looked like from the outside. I’m surprised I didn’t tip over into the harbor!

We headed out to Seaport Ave to watch runners come in. I headed to the barricade and watched people finish who were running close to three hours! Some people looked pained, some relieved and I saw a few almost burst into tears. There was a lot of joy on the avenue.

It was a great experience to watch these hearty souls bring it home. A three hour or more Half Marathon is a difficult task. That much time on your feet and pushing hard is hard on the body and spirit. These people were doing it and it was a joy to see them triumph.

Post Race

We headed back inside to warm up. After about ten minutes we decided to grab some more food and head home. It was around 10:30 in the morning, and we had finished a half marathon! The Half is a civilized race. For most of us, no unnatural acts are required to finish a half. The idea of being home by 11AM was just icing on the cake.

We couldn’t cross Seaport Avenue so we headed back inside to find a way around. It turned out that we needed to take the escalator to the second floor and walk across the walkway over Seaport Ave. There is a great area up there that would make for nice seating for a restaurant or bar. We stood on the walk way and watched runners for a bit and then started feeling cold. All of us just had our running clothes on and the body heat from running was long gone.

On the other side we had to walk down about 50 steps to ground level. We looked like we were 80!  Standing around in the cold, our muscles had begun to get tight. It was pretty funny watching the ladies walk, and all of the other runners who were hobbling along with us.

We parked on Congress Street for FREE and got to our car quickly. There was a detour sign for 93, but a permanent sign said take a right. We saw other cars take the right and were about 95% sure the ramp was open. In about 10 minutes we were at Starbucks at Station Landing in Medford and shortly thereafter at my house.

My wife, Thuy and I had worked together for a few years, about 23 years ago. Thuy has been running with the club for about three years but this was the first time in 23 years they had seen each other. They were both moms now and had a fun time catching up.

The Boston’s Run to Remember was a great experience all around and on many levels. Reuniting the ladies was something I had looked forward to for three years. I ran a strong race even with the crowd and slow start. If I had started further up in the corral I could have knocked four minutes off of my time at least. It would not have been a PR and I would not have been able to run with Jeanne. Everything worked out.

Full results at Cool Running.

display frame, Boston's run to remember

Run well my friends!

Andy

© anagelin 2014

Friday post Athlinks.com

I don’t have any recent races to write about and I’ve been sick all week so my training program is totally shot. Yesterday I wrote a piece that was about life and changes and not so much about running. So I didn’t think that quit fit in with the theme I’m going for with this blog.

So today I want to let everyone know about a cool website that I recently discovered called Athlinks.com. What is so cool about this site is that you can gather all of your race results into one place. Over the past nine years I’ve run about 40 races and except for a few small races run by local Parks & Rec departments, they are all on my list.

It is free but you do need to sign up. Then the site looks for your races. If it does not find a race you can still try to find your results. I ran the Ocean State Marathon in Providence, RI in 2003 but the results did not show up. I knew I ran near the end of the pack so I started at the bottom of the finishers list and worked my way up. I was there but my name was spelled wrong! I was able to claim my results and add it to my list.

Once you have your list compiled you can then look at each race and see how you compared to the other runners in that race and how your results compare to your previous results. Cool stuff!

So check out athlinks.com, for a wicked good time! Thanks for reading and have a great Friday!

BTW – I’m going out for a 5K at lunch even if it kills me! I hate being sick.

©2012 anagelin