For the past few weeks I’ve been studying the Boston course. A book, YouTube videos, race recaps from other bloggers – you name it, I probably read it.
I’m not so concerned with the quad-thrashing downhills. I ran Steamtown in 2010 – a course where the first 8 miles are practically downhill – and I was fine for the later uphill miles. I’m so glad I had the experience of Steamtown before Boston.
I’m more concerned with my ability to maintain MP over all the hills. Let me rephrase that…I know I won’t be able to maintain MP on all the uphills so I’m worried about it affecting my overall time. Definitely a valid concern.
My typical long run route is a hilly 5-mile loop with the perfect mix of all types of hills: long, windy stretches, short, steep climbs, and rolling hills. The flat stretches are few and far between and rarely last a half mile. I generally do 2 loops and then transition to a flat, paved trail for the final miles.
This week I did 3 torturous loops totaling 15 miles. Whoa, was it tough. I’m hoping this is a worst case scenario and Boston is a bit easier! I climbed the hills strong and tried to pick up the pace in between. I finished in 2:08 (8:32 average pace).
I wore my Oiselle distance shorts and, as suspected, they were perfect.
Taken post-run. I was a sweaty beast.
On Sunday, I spectated the OD Marathon since my sister was running it. Spectating is almost as fun as running one! The race was so small – my sister said they capped it around1500 runners. Can you believe the race wasn’t chip timed? I think that’s terrible for a marathon.
My sister did a great job and she said it was the best she has ever felt in a marathon.
Have you ever run a marathon that wasn’t chip timed? Or a half marathon? Luckily, I haven’t. Most of the 5Ks I’ve done were not but that’s expected…and potentially dangerous if you have a large, competitive field. Everyone wants to be in the front but not everyone is going to start off running a 6:00 minute mile.
Well this nonrunner is in awe.
I’ve run 13.1.
And that’s IT!
I think hills are always worse mentally and you’ll be fine at Boston. 🙂
The marathon my club holds is manually timed, but it’s capped at 200 runners. Our club doesn’t have chip timing equipment, so all of our races are manually timed. I can’t imagine doing it for a race over 1000 though!
The last marathon I did (the one Kara mentioned) wasn’t chip timed, it was a bit weird seeing the clock at the halfway time and being like “who cares, that’s just the clock time….oh wait”. Can you ease up a bit on the uphills and increase the pace on the downhills?
aw, I didn’t know your sister was a runner! congrats to her. I’ve never run a marathon that wasn’t chip timed – hmm, but it could be interesting! Really small marathons intrigue me since I’ve only ever run New York.
The downhills at Boston would scare me more than the uphills! I love that you’re doing everything you can to be prepared 🙂
My upcoming marathon isn’t chip timed! But it’s only ~200 runners, not 1000+.
Good luck with the last bit of your Boston training!
Congrats to your sister!
Don’t forget at Boston the hills will be lined with cheering fans (and drunk college students at the top of heartbreak) so will definitely be easier than in training!
If you liked Steamtown I wouldn’t worry about Boston. The hills in Boston aren’t really the bad part. I think it’s more the downhills that kill your quads before and nothing kills them quite like Steamtown…
Yes now I can say I did a marathon without a chip. I thought it would be bad but I only lost some seconds in the beginning. I lost way more being terrible at running tangents…Running into the wind for 26.2 miles was NOT fun. I cannot believe your sister said it was the most comfortable she has ever felt! Congrats to her!!
Your three loop run sounds like the perfect prep. Not only will it prep you physically but it should also help you mentally in Boston. Have you checked out the pace bands by Greg Maclin? He has an excel spreadsheet that creates a pace band tuned to Boston’s hills so you don’t have to worry about running each mile at the same pace.
My first marathon (in 1997–the dark ages!) was chipless. But I think all of the others have been chip-timed. The only recent race I’ve done with no chip was the Turkey Trot 10K last November. It doesn’t bother me too much if it’s not super crowded.
Wow, a non-chip-timed marathon boggles my mind.
Awesome on the hill workout and I love that your tank top matches the paint color in the room! Very color coordinated.
Lora @ Crazy Running Girl says
Boston hills aren’t as bad as they sound, when I ran in 2010 a lady turned to me halfway up Heartbreak and said “this is it??” As long as you have hills training you will be OK. Check out the book “Duel in the Sun” – best marathon pump up book ever!
I’ve only ever run a 5K that wasn’t chip timed – and that’s because it was for charity.
How fun to spectate for your sister!
I’m kind of envious of your 5 mile loop – not gonna lie. You look fantastic after 3 loops!
Running Girl says
I’ve only done two races ever (a small 5K, and a pretty large 15K). Both were chip timed. Seems SO strange that a half or full wouldn’t be.
Not chip timed?!? Never even run a race that isn’t chip timed!
Looks like you’ve done your homework AND practiced a good bit for the Boston course – I think you’ll do FANTASTIC! Don’t overthink it on the day and let all of the hard work flow out of your body – show what you’ve been working for, studying for, etc. 🙂
Congrats to your sister! The Sloppy Cuckoo trail half I ran in September in Pennypack Park was not chip timed, but it was capped at 400 (not 1500!) Good luck to you on those hills. Like you, I think my quads are well equipped for the downhills, it’s the uphills I’m working on. I’ve been wanting to try Oiselle shorts – the roga ones, but I like that the style you posted has 2 outside zip pockets. Sorry if I missed it along the way, but what time (range) are you shooting for at Boston??
First things first, congratulations to your sister on her marathon. I never knew you had a sister. Perhaps I just forgot you did? How awesome that she runs too. Do you two run together?
Secondly, you look awesome in that picture. A lean, mean running machine. Watch out Boston. ;o)
Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen says
Congrats to your sister! I agree, any race longer than a 5K should def be timed – that’s nuts!