Boston Marathon 2010: The Recap

At the finish line, the day before the raceForget the 26.2. I approached this race as a 20-mile training run. I knew I could run 15 miles on pace. Then if I could just hold it together for 5 more miles, my race would be over. I had no strategy for the last 6.2 miles. To me, it's a crapshoot. You either have something left in the tank or you don't. Twenty miles was all I set out to do.  

Enough chit-chat. Let's break down the day.

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Stats from the 2010 Boston Marathon

Outside the Boston Expo in my favorite "No Meat Athlete" t-shirtHello readers! Blair and I are back from Bawh-ston although I'm pretty sure I left my quads there. Can you say "OW" with me?

I'll post a full race report tomorrow but here are a few quick tidbits to tide you over:


  • Chip time of 3:41:47, a new PR (personal record)
  • Overall pace = 8:28/mile
  • 46.8% in field placement (all runners)
  • 30.7% gender placement
  • 42.4% group placement (female runners ages 18-39)
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Fist Bump to All You Great People Out There

We're on our way to Boston and I just want to say a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you. Training for and running a marathon can become all absorbing and I want to take  a moment to acknowledge that I would not be running if it weren't for the wonderfully encouraging and supportive people in my life. Every word of encouragement has helped. Every comment with accompanying smiley face has lifted my spirits. Every wave at fellow runners on the Greenway has made me happy to be a part of this cult group of magnificent people. The biggest benefit of running for me has been the friends made along the way. I sometimes stop and take a 3rd person view of my life and am overwhelmed at how much love and support I'm surrounded by. 

Thank you and much love to my family, who are my biggest cheerleaders. 

Thank you to The Blueliners, my Saturday morning running group, for all the laughs and advice and for always scoping out the spot with the best bagels and coffee.

Thanks to Lisa, who turns 50 on the day of the Boston Marathon, and who put it in my mind last summer that I needed to qualify for Boston so we could run the race together on her birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thanks to my best friend Trisha who--although she has been around long enough to know better--believes I am capable of anything.

Thank you to the many friends in my life--you know who you are, we have coffee together on a regular basis--who keep me grounded and laughing. 

Fist bumps to running pals Michael, Thad, Amy, Kay, Christine, Keith, Nathan, Iris, Josh, Royce, Marshall, Jack, Wayne, John, Pam, Lisa, Blueliners, and the MadMayo Running Club.

A shout-out to virtual training partner Katie, who found my blog and e-mailed months ago to say she was my age, running Boston, and using the same Furman FIRST training plan. We've been e-mailing almost daily and I haven't stopped laughing. We're planning on meeting the morning of the race outside my hotel. Sample Katie post:

What an idiot I’ll look like when my back woods bludgeoning by two strangers (one posing as a Boston marathon participant) details comes out in national news.  What?!?—she met them on the INTERNET?!?  And she just willingly followed them into the woods and didn’t ask any questions—there was NO sign of a struggle?

And finally, a huge thank you to Blair, the most patient and loving man on the planet. There aren't enough lifetimes to repay all you've given to me in this one. 


Boston Marathon 2010: Locked & Loaded

I've given up any pretense of even pretending to work today. It's not going to happen. Too much angst going on to think about silly things like work. 

If I bottom out in the marathon, it's not going to be because I physically wasn't ready. It's going to be because I mentally psyched myself out. Way too much brain chatter going on about the race. I went out this morning for the last 3-mile run. One mile warm-up and 2 miles at race pace of 8:23/mile and I blathered on the entire way. I'm tired. The pace is too fast and it's only 3 miles. My God, I'm not ready. I should rethink my pace. Maybe run the 8:35 pace from Chicago so I feel better during the race. No, it's just the warm-up. I'm always tired the first few miles until I get a rhythm. No, it's a sign. I'm not ready. Stop the negative chatter! Think positive! Imagine yourself crossing the finish line at Boston. No, not limping across crying. Happy thoughts! Happy finish line!"

Before Chicago, I felt strong. Mentally and physically. I was pretty sure I was going to have the run of my life and I did. This time, the self-confidence is low. Very low. And I can't quite figure out why. But I BETTER figure out why before I get to the start or else the mental game will drag me under. 

I'm reminding myself of what I felt when I signed up for Boston. It was a freebie. For fun. I knew most everything I like to control before a race (dinner, morning routine, etc. ) would be out the door and I was looking forward to that. I'd just go with the flow and see where I ended up. No pressure. No goals. Just run. Run run, keep running, run some more and boom! Finished. 

That's what I need to hold on to. I think this mental chatter is me grappling with finding some measure of control over the race. I also think I'll be a lot happier and enjoy the experience when I just let go and say, "You know what? It is what it is. Let's do this and have fun." 

Maybe that will be my new running mantra. "Unclench, Dena. Unclench." ;)