Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is the story of the hurricane... (Boston 2007)

I figured I'd submit my story and let others add on. It's one for my grandkids! Other than a slightly sore left calf and the usual quad ailments that follow a marathon, I'm feeling pretty good...physically. Mentally, I'm disappointed. To be expected, I guess. In short, I was on pace for sub-2:47 (and feeling pretty good) through about 16 miles. There was no pack-- at most I ran with 2 other women-- and I was taking the brunt of the wind. At mile 17- WHAM!- I hit the wall. It was a new experience for me. I was so loopy, I forgot to count the hills and thought I'd gone up Heartbreak when I hadn't. That was a painful discovery! After guzzling gatorade all the way up the Newton Hills, my head came back, but my legs were toast. It was the longest last 10k of my life. The only way I made it down Boylston St. without falling flat on my face is that the crowd was willing me forward. In retrospect, the steady 25 mph (plus gusts) headwind had zapped me more than I had initially thought and the downhill start made it seem easier than it really was. Yes, I probably could have gone out in 1:25-1:26 for half and cruised home between 2:50 and 2:55. But why? I went for it...and...ouch! After a nice long break, it's Chicago, here I come!

The highlights (you can probably guess the lowlights):

*A police escort for our buses along the Mass turnpike. Made me feel like a celebrity politician.

*I took a Gu to the starting line and, in all the excitement of trotting through a damp graveyard with the other elite women in a driving rain storm, forgot water to wash it down with. I spotted an official holding a random, plastic water bottle as he collected various ponchos and t-shirts that we were discarding and asked him if I could grab a sip. "It belongs to her," he informed me, motioning towards... Deena Kastor! She told me to go ahead and take a drink. I did. Wow! I have Deena cooties!

*I met a new friend, Tammy, with whom I ran the first 12 or so miles. She and I vowed that we will get the qualifier together in Chicago.

*My "pit crew"-- my Mom and Dave-- who were wonderfully supportive and real troopers for standing-- not running-- in that mess.

Thanks to everyone for their support. Congrats to all those who toed the line on Monday. It was like nothing else....


KLIM said...

Excellent report.

When I first started reading this post I was wondering why I would ever want to do such a thing. But in closing I am pumped to attack it.

If you have it, can you email me your training leading up to the race? Or, at the least, a rough outline?

Good job.

christiam said...

Great job, Laura! I'm sure you'll get that qualifier in Chicago. Congrats on running and going for it on such tough conditions!

Havegoats said...

nice write up, very enjoyable reading!

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I admire you for going after it and not taking the safe route. I'm sure you're stronger for it. I may join you in Chicago, depending on how I feel after Grandma's. Again, thanks for sharing. You're a warrior!

Havegoats said...

here's a comment from one of the race organizers- marc chalufour:

As for my experience . . . I hope it's sunny for the Trials and Boston 08. The last couple weeks were pretty crazy. But it's exciting as hell. I'm just now emerging from the craziness, and looking forward to watching the race on tape since it's kind of hard to keep track of all that's going on during the day.

It was a wild day -- some of the top U.S. women ran PRs, yet the overall champs were about 7 minutes off of a normal year. It seemed like people were bracing for awful conditions, and ran extremely conservatively early, but that in the end the conditions were actually pretty solid for running.

I know that from a logistics standpoint, we were preparing for anything, but that the only real problem was the condition of the staging area in Hopkinton, which was largely under water. The huge drop-out rate and potential hypothermia cases we were ready for just never materialized. This was the only Boston other than the 100th to have more than 20,000 finishers -- and we had fewer than 300 DNFs, which is insane.

If anyone was tracking Bernie on BAA.org, I'd be very interested in hearing your input. We have a sophisticated system to handle the race-day traffic, but we were HAMMERED Monday with far more traffic than we could've predicted, and it seemed that the site was running pretty slow at times. What were people's thoughts?