ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I spent most of Sunday recovering from the Saturday night shindig at Beerworks: I ate real food for a change, avoided alcohol (more or less :-) and socialized with more of my friends from the RWOL forums at both brunch and dinner. (I did have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner. I always drink a little bit the night before a race, and you know they say you shouldn't do anything new....)

On Monday morning I got up early and met Kazz and her husband in the lobby for the loooooong walk to Boston Common (and took a photo in front of the finish line!), where we would get on one of the race buses that were shuttling runners to the start. The lines for the buses were long, and it was maybe 20 minutes before we got on a bus...but then we could see that while we had been waiting, the lines had grown maybe three times longer! We got to the "athlete's village" just as the wave 1 people were leaving, but we found our wave 2 friends and hung out with them until it was time to move to the starting corrals.

Kat's goal was similar to mine, plus she was injured as well (I've been fighting peroneal tendinitis since the first week of March), so even though her bib number put her in the corral ahead of mine, she decided to start out with me. We ran the first two miles together before I pulled away. (Not to mention, we walked from the corral to the start, which seemed like another mile...) I also passed another forum friend (Robyn/Fit&Perky) while she was was taking a photo of a firetruck, but didn't recognize anyone else - but most of the people I knew had started in corrals well ahead of me, so in most cases I just never caught up.

The crowds were incredible (both on and off the course!). I had been told that if you put your name on your shirt or write it in marker on your arm, people would scream it; I didn't want to challenge them to pronounce "ILANA" so instead I wrote "DURANGO" on the back of an old race bib and pinned it to my shirt. It was awesome! People screamed, "GO DURANGO!" and I could tell by their inflections whether they knew it meant the city, or thought it might be my name, or wondered what it meant (in which case I waved and yelled back, "COLORADO!"). (Then there was the guy who yelled, "Go Durango! I love your truck!") The crowds were energizing, but also exhausting, because I felt I had to acknowledge them (by smiling at them, if nothing else) when they screamed for me. If I did the victory-arms thing the roar volume increased tenfold. I think I high-fived about 500 people; early on it was all kids, but near the colleges there were a lot of random people with their hands out. I even kissed a Wellesley girl (on the cheek; actually, I thought she was one of the rare Wellesley boys until I got close) in the fabled "scream tunnel."

There were a couple of costumes out there: I saw several tutus, one girl running in a toga ("GO TOGA!") and some tiaras and deelyboppers, while Santa watched from the sidelines near the Newton hills. I passed several blind runners with guides, and one deaf runner with a marked back-bib, one woman with a prosthetic leg (it was one of those "cheetah legs", very cool looking) and one guy running while breathing from an oxygen tank that someone else was pushing.

My paces for the official 5K splits make it look like I started slow, gradually sped up, and then slowed down again a lot at the end, which I suppose is technically true relative to a constant 8:12 pace which a 3:35 goal time would require. But I was using a pace band that took the hills and the crowding at the start (and man, was it crowded!) into account, so compared to my pace band, I started close to goal pace but immediately fell off, gradually slipped ever farther back by the half, and then really fell apart over the last 10 miles. Marathons are supposed to feel really easy at the beginning, and it never did, but stupidly I tried to stay on pace even though it was clear to me early on that I wouldn't be able to maintain it, and I think that hurt me in the end. At least I didn't walk, and I didn't feel totally miserable - but I sure felt partially miserable, and did not finish as strong as I have in other marathons.

Fortunately my ankle, which had been hurting right up until Kat and I got into the corral, magically stopped hurting when I began to run and didn't start up again until about five minutes after I finished. Unfortunately, everything else hurt! My quads hurt, my hamstrings hurt, my calves hurt, my freaking biceps hurt. My breathing was way too labored, and my heart rate was up in the half-marathon territory instead of down where it should have been.

I manually hit the lap button on my Garmin 301 each mile, but still ended up with some weirdities.

Mile 1: 8:48 (goal 8:48) - can't move very fast through the bazillion runners
Mile 2: 8:26 (8:31) - starting to get hot in the bright sun. Rolled my arm warmers down and handed my headband to some delighted kid.
Mile 3: 8:08 (8:01) - this is where I pulled ahead of Kat.
Mile 4: 8:13 (8:05)
Mile 5: 8:24 (8:14) - ditched the water bottle I was carrying so I could take off my arm warmers and stuff them in my bra. I'm really feeling overheated, and my HR is way too high.
Mile 6: 8:10 (8:03)
Mile 7: 8:12 (8:07)
Mile 8: 8:17 (8:10)
Mile 9: 8:09 (8:04)
Mile 10: 8:08 (8:14) - it's starting to cloud up and I'm feeling better; the next several miles are all a little faster than pace. Maybe I can catch up...?
Mile 11: 8:12 (8:14)
Mile 12: 7:56 (8:02)
Mile 13: 8:08 (8:07) - I think I lost time here trying to read all the Scream Tunnel signs! "Kiss me, I'm a sophomore!" "Kiss me, I'm Asian!" "Kiss me, I'm gay!" "Kiss me, I won't tell your wife!"
Mile 14: 8:15 (8:12)
Mile 15: 8:23 (8:12) - ...nope, I can't catch up. Starting to feel Not Very Good At All.
Mile 16: 8:15 (7:55) - this was a steep downhill, and supposed to be the fastest split, but I was hurting pretty badly. At this point I was getting scared that I might have an ugly finish.
Mile 17: 8:39 (8:20) - first of the hills. Not too bad, so why am I so slow?
Mile 18: 8:46 (8:20) - next hill, ditto ditto.
Mile 19: 8:52 (8:04) - what's wrong with me? This is downhill!
Mile 20: 8:54 (8:17) - third hill. I'm thinking about throwing up. Must trudge on.
Mile 21: 9:10 (8:29) - Heartbreak Hill. The only consolation is that even though I am slow, I am passing people. And I am not walking. Yay?
Mile 22: 8:36 (8:04) - A bunch of cute guys from Boston College hold out their hands to be high-fived and call encouragement to me. I start feeling a lot better.
Mile 23: 8:38 (8:13) - I know my goal is lost, but I also know I can finish, maybe PR.
Mile 24: 8:35 (8:12)
Mile 25: 10:53? (8:12) - this "mile" is 1.22 miles long, so I'm not sure what happened.
Mile 26.2: 8:58? (10:04) - and this "1.2" is .84 miles long, ditto ditto. All I know is that I stumble down the road to the infinitely receding finish line, like Zeno's Arrow never seeming to quite get there, until all of a sudden the person in front of me is walking and I realize I'm there, I'm over the finish line, and although I missed my goal of 3:35, I PRed by about 4 and a half minutes with a 3:42:18.

So I'm done, right? Nope. I pass a medical tent. A volunteer tells me to keep walking. I really want water; ooh, there, finally, water! Yay! I grab two bottles and another volunteer tells me to keep walking. Just as I finish my first bottle another volunteer hands me a bright red "protein recovery drink." Oddly, it does not taste as bad as it looks. I'm starting to get cold. Another volunteer tells me to keep walking. Finally, FINALLY, after about six more miles of walking, I get my medal and my mylar Cape of Awesome, which is a damn good thing because I've started to shiver uncontrollably. Luckily, my drop bag is only another mile farther, and when I have it I retrieve my fleece jacket and hat and fumble my way into them. I'm still shivering so I wrap myself back in the Cape of Awesome and get completely lost on my way back to the hotel, but who cares? I finished Boston.

I'm happy with the PR, but still disappointed; not so much because I missed my goal but rather because it was my worst performance of all five marathons, in terms of pacing and how I felt during the race. Clearly I lost a lot of fitness over the past 6 weeks of not running much while trying to heal up from my peroneal tendinitis, and maybe if I had scaled back my goal even more - maybe paced for a 3:40 - I would have had a better race and a faster time. Speaking of which, my ankle hurts only about as much as it did the week before the race. Hopefully despite the insult of 26.2 miles, it is on its way to a full recovery!

Oh, you can see my Official Race Photos here on the MarathonFoto site. You might need sunglasses to handle the combination of bright pink compression socks and blaze orange shirt.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-22 11:37 pm (UTC)
sara: YAY written over a tandem bike (yay tandem)
From: [personal profile] sara
Hey, I think any long thing that you finish without barfing is a good go.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 12:09 am (UTC)
zulu: (house - happy foreman)
From: [personal profile] zulu
This is so cool! I've really enjoyed reading about your progress, even if it, well, doesn't feel so progressy to you. But those are some great photos, and you finished, so: hurrah!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 12:52 am (UTC)
thalia: Delirium from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic (Default)
From: [personal profile] thalia
Sorry it wasn't a terrific race, but congrats on the PR! And yay for your ankle improving! I was having fun tracking your splits. You and the other person I knew who was running had the exact same time at 35K, down to the second. I cracked up.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 12:53 am (UTC)
thalia: Delirium from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic (Default)
From: [personal profile] thalia
Also, your socks are a hoot. [g]

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 01:11 am (UTC)
fabularasa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fabularasa
So I suck, because I just realized I've been following all this avidly and not commented or written you ONCE about it. But you have been an inspiration to me -- I have been slowly recovering fitness after a pretty catastrophic back injury in December, and I am only now at the point where 5K is effortless; I can't even begin to think beyond that, but am just grateful. It's been a long haul back, and I have to tell you that as I have labored up hills and iced and labored again, you have been much in my head. I mean, compared to your goals, my own are laughable; I'm happy with an easy 10K, and a half-marathon is the extent of my fitness goal, much less a marathon, much less freaking BOSTON. But you are awesome. You make me believe it's possible, even with bones and things that don't all fit together right.

So yay you! And I think your socks are awesome. One of these days I have to try to qualify for Boston just so I can get sidetracked and waste hours in the Scream Tunnel smooching lots of lovely people. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 01:13 am (UTC)
mrkinch: Sean pointing directly at the camera (atyou)
From: [personal profile] mrkinch
Congratulations! You finished the Boston Marathon and your finish wasn't ugly.*g*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 01:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Congratulations Ilana! You're as fun and kooky as I imagined. What a pleasure to meet you. Yay on the PR but boo on the difficulties. "Cape Of Awesome" lol!!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 08:28 am (UTC)
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
From: [personal profile] yvi
Congratulations again! You finished the Boston Marathon!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 09:21 am (UTC)
whatistigerbalm: alan by redsch ftmfw (Default)
From: [personal profile] whatistigerbalm
Damn! Okay, I know zilch about running so I won't try to argue with your assessment of your own (lack of) accomplishment in this particular marathon, but you have me bowing in awe and respect regardless.

I didn't want to challenge them to pronounce "ILANA"

Oh man I never even thought about this, I just read it as eeLAHnah and... so what is it really?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 09:36 am (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Runner-in-spe)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
I was also following your times at bostonmarathon.org (had hoped to get a live stream going), and comparing them to your projected times, and I felt like I could see you struggling. A PR is awesome, but I can easily imagine how you felt disappointed. I'm of course still wildly in awe and inspired and wishing I could be awesome like that :o) !

OT: Am I remembering it right that you ran/walked your first ½-marathon, or am I making that up? If true, What kind of run/walk ratio did you do?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 07:29 pm (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Runner-in-spe)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
I finally found your race report at LJ: "Walk breaks are really hard to do, psychologically, during a race, especially at the beginning", I'm really struggling with this mental aspect, too, and I haven't even tried it yet :o) ! It just seems like since I already run slow, stopping to walk so often I'll never ever finish, wah! But I'll try and be a good girl and try it out next week when I start on the 5.5K route.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 10:06 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I can understand the disappointment, but to be carrying around your PR and it being run at "Boston", that is pretty cool IMO. Don't be too critical over 5-7 minutes on a difficult course with an injury and adjusted training. I know you have been reading some of the fast kid RR too and some of them are dealing with 10-20 minute crashes. You may think this was ugly, but most of us will always take an ugly PR over a perfect or pretty race without any improvement. Great job and I look forward to you crushing 3:30 shortly.

From NatNat

Date: 2010-04-23 11:48 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Loved it and loved that you Pr'd after all that ankle bellyaching. That is awesome. A PR at Boston is pretty close to livin the dream. I am certain you will smash that though soon enough.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 11:50 am (UTC)
wychwood: Lt Welsh and RayK crashed out on a sofa (due South - RayK and Welsh crashed out)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
Yay for completion!

I actually stalked you on the website, so I saw you'd PR'd but not had any fairy-dust - I'm sorry it was such a slog. Maybe next time? :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Congratulations, Ilana! Your pink socks are an inspiration to us all (not to mention your awesomely-respectable-by-everyone-but-maybe-not-you time :-) ). I'm very, very impressed!

Eric W.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] justrunjim.blogspot.com
Awesome RR. I love the Durango and Cape of Awsomeness. You RAN BOSTON! While you may be slightly bummed, you ran a great race in spite of the previous six weeks. Wear your Cape of Awsomeness proudly to the grocery store

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 07:19 pm (UTC)
gnomad: Red Squid, Yellow Background (Squid-Red)
From: [personal profile] gnomad
Aww, I'm sorry it was such a difficult race. I could sort of feel that as I followed you along at the checkpoints on the BM site. But still! A PR! It is inspiring no matter how you slice it. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-23 09:54 pm (UTC)
linaelyn: (horizon by hope)
From: [personal profile] linaelyn
Well Done! (Here via the runners comm). I'm not sure if I'll ever get this sort of distance run, but I'm hoping that I'm not too old to make it!

*high fives you*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 03:05 am (UTC)
sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (aragorn by beachicons)
From: [personal profile] sophinisba
Ilana, congratulations! I understand you being disappointed, but it all sounds so fabulous and I'm just awed and inspired. Also loved your write-up, especially about the crowds cheering you on. That's really awesome. Whooo, BOSTON!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 06:41 am (UTC)
j_s_cavalcante: (grand slam)
From: [personal profile] j_s_cavalcante
OMG, Congratulations!

Wish I could have been there to cheer you on!

I love the "Durango" sign, but...you know, it's Boston. They can pronounce "Ilana" in Boston. :)

Anyway, go you! Incredibly impressive time, too! \o/

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 09:52 pm (UTC)
j_s_cavalcante: (FK rooftop3)
From: [personal profile] j_s_cavalcante
HEE! You know, I almost added that, but it just looked illogical (given the other half of my statement--not that yours is illogical!). Of course you are right. I lived there almost 10 years and I still find the accent hilarious. On the other hand? I'm from Long Island and therefore am NOT one to talk. Er. *cough* Pun unintended, but I'm letting it stand because it's quite apt.

What I meant by my first reply of course is that there are lots of Jewish people there, especially in the areas you had to run through, on the west side, and there are other Ilanas. Brookline has, I think, five synagogues/temples at least.
Edited Date: 2010-04-24 09:53 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 07:26 pm (UTC)
ignaz: icon by me, art by anne taintor (Default)
From: [personal profile] ignaz
This is so awesome. I was following you on the race site and I knew you didn't get the time you wanted, but of course to me it's still staggering. This post makes me want to take next year off from work so I can see the action myself!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-25 02:30 am (UTC)
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
From: [personal profile] cyphomandra
Congratulations!!! And yay you on the PR, even (especially!) if you didn't feel that great during the race. I am also very impressed by the pink compression socks :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-27 03:00 pm (UTC)
ell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ell
OMG! Congratulations! You are inspiring! Boston and a PR, that is great! I loved your race report. (Here via runners :-)

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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

April 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

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