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Third day of the Boston Adventure….

First let me copy here the notice that BAA sent me yesterday:

Update to Entrants in Tomorrow’s Boston Marathon®

Sunday, April 15, 2012 as of 4:30 p.m.

Running any marathon involves risks

  • The weather conditions that we will be seeing on Monday, April 16 will involve even more risk.  It will involve an increased element of risk to all participants due to the heat.  Only the fittest runners should consider participating.
  • We have put in place a broad array of services and support for our marathon participants, but the risks that will be presented on April 16 will be higher than normal.
  • Therefore, in cooperation with the Boston Marathon’s Medical Team, it is our recommendation that anyone entered in the marathon who has not met the qualifying standards for their age and gender strongly consider not running, and that they strongly consider deferring until next year.
  • Another essential factor to take into consideration is whether you have ever run a full marathon in weather conditions involving hot temperatures-and that can mean temperatures even lower than those that may be present on Monday.  Do NOT assume that any experience you have in running a cooler marathon will be a reliable guide in making the decision in whether to participate or defer.  You must factor in the heat.
  • Everyone who does choose to participate should strongly consider running significantly more slowly that they normally would plan to run a marathon.  We have extended the opening of our finish line in support of this recommendation.
  • For the overwhelming majority of those who have entered to participate in the 2012 Boston Marathon, you should adopt the attitude that THIS IS NOT A RACE. It is an experience.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY-everyone needs to take responsibility for their own safety.  Ultimately this is an individual sport in which individuals must take responsibility for themselves.

The Boston Athletic Association knew that the weather was going to be SO HOT that they were willing to defer any entry to to anyone who chose to wait till next year.  We ran into Tony Teske last night and he informed us that he was taking them up on the offer to defer. The rest of us Antelope Valley runners: Sergio, Justin, myself, Veronica Loya, Kristy Howell, and Jen Oblinger, we were all in.

Personally, I debated the best strategy. Should I give up on the possibility of a PR going in? That is what they suggested. I decided, no. My strategy was to run the early miles at my goal pace and see how my body handled it.

In the morning, I planned to meet the ladies before loading the busses but the bus loading area was WAY too crazy. I got on a bus and had a nice time meeting Missy from North Carolina. At the Athlete area I got some water and a snack and found a shady place to sit and watch the arriving busses. I still never saw Jen, Kristy and Veronica. But once again I had a good time getting to know a young man and a young lady, both from New York City!

At 10:00 the first wave of runners was sent off and all of us 2nd wave runners got lined up in the corrals. I was in the second corral. The temperature was already 80 degrees, the sky was perfectly clear and as far as I could tell the wind was perfectly calm. Still I set my Garmin to race and when the gun went off so did I. The first 5 miles went beautifully: 7:34, 7:22, 7:22, 7:21, 7:42. Miles 6 through 10 were also pretty good: 7:38, 7:37, 7:49, 7:45, 7:47. My 10 mile split was 1:16:01. I realized that I had already fallen behind the 7:30 goal pace and that the last 5 miles were all slower than a 3:20 pace. We were all feeling terribly hot. At times I was getting a flushed feeling in my face. I decided then and there to back off and keep it safe.

So, I slowed down to easy long run pace and started talking to people and enjoying the event, like they suggested. I could give you the rest of my splits but lets just say they get slower and slower. I really enjoyed the Wellesley scream tunnel. 2 years ago I was so focused on my running that I barely knew they were there. This time I went to the side and gave high fives to a couple hundred of the students. At mile 16, as I went through the water station, I took a walk break. I gave myself permission to take one per mile the rest of the way. Even with the walk breaks, at first I was completing the miles in under 9 minutes. I also noticed that practically EVERYONE around me was taking walk breaks as well. I would walk and people would pass me, but then I would catch them again when I resumed running. The mile splits though did became slower and slower. When I got to heartbreak hill I was feeling hot and flushed again. I walked the whole hill. After heart break there is only 3 or 4 small ups in the road – I walked em. Eventually I was watching and worrying that the ladies were going to catch me. So, even though I wanted to just give up and walk I ran most of the way in.

When it was finally finished, I had a total time of 3:45:47.  I was really curios to find out my place. In 2010, when it was nice and cold I ran Boston in 3:19:30 and came in 4495th place. Today, with that time of 3:45 I came in 5564th. One of my goals, as last time was to place higher than my bib number. As you probably know they assign bib numbers based on qualifying time. My bib number was 10613 so I passed 5000 runners! Well, not counting possible deferrments.

So, enough about me: Sergio took 12th place in 2:22:06! He was the 2nd american.  Justin did not finish.  Veronica did very well finishing in 3:57:20. 8029th place! Kristy was right behind her with a time of 3:58:41 and a place of 8344! Jen was running the marathon despite a major foot injury a month or so ago, which has not allowed her to train much lately. Even still, she finished the race in 4:40:33, in 14221st place.  Congrats to all the High Desert Runners!

Sorry, no pictures, I was racing. Once I had decided to slow down I wished I had my phone so I could take some pictures of the funny things I saw along the way. Of course, if I did have my phone I would have had to protect it from numerous sprays and sloshings of water! So, what were the funny things? Well the Wellesley girls has all sorts of amusing signs, they are the sirens of the Boston marathon. They all line up with signs offering kisses to the runners. I saw a few guys take them up on their offer. Much later there was an “independent” young lady with a big sign saying “going for a PR in kisses. I saw a guy dressed up as a hamburger, and another one dressed up in a Jamba Juice type banana suit. Then of course there was the young man with the pretty pink running skirt….. craziness. I do have to say that at the slower pace I was able to take in much more of the scene. I even heard Tony Teske who was with his son and daughter in law. They had made a “GO DALE” sign and yelled out to me around 24 or 25 miles. ( I was thankful they caught me while I was running.)

So, not so happy with the time, but I believe it was about all I could do given the conditions. I did not re BQ, but that is okay because I do not think I will go again for at least a couple of years. It is a great experience, though and I would like to do it again when my wife can come and enjoy it with me!

6 replies »

  1. I followed all the HDR runners on the web site for the BM while at work. Very cool being able to follow runners you know. Congrats for taking on the heat and finishing! Sid is excited to know how all of you did! I will let her know Coach Dale (even if he is only her Tuesday night coach) did great! Very motivational for younger runners like Sid to be able to have all of you out there!

  2. It is very unfortunate that the weather was so hot! I was pleased to see that you went out and gave it your best shot. Your first three 5K splits were good but I knew from your 20K split that the weather conditions were going to prevent you from running a PR. It was a very smart decision to back off and play it safe. Glad to hear that you are fine and had a great experience. Great job! You finished the hottest Boston Marathon in a very respectable time!

  3. That’s a good a fairly comprehensive report — and the BAA’s rationale for recommending that runners either defer or not to race it. It’s wise that you backed it off when you did, and not risk serious heat injury. Do you know why Justin DNF’d?

  4. Dale, glad you finished safely. I think there will be the lowest re BQ times this year. It will be another badge of honor among runners to say, “I finished the 2012 Boston Marathon.”

  5. Dale, congrats on finishing Boston 2012! You probably benefited with a faster recovery from the periodic walking. Can’t wait to start speed training with you after I recover from April 28th.

  6. Congratulations!!! The heat is always a factor and you handled it well! Good for you for not trying to push and ending up getting hurt. 🙂

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