drun4fun

Ideas, photos, routes, and how I fare doing all sorts of workouts. Riding, swimming, biking, etc. Dave Masterson's workout blog.

Be Boston – Marathon 2017

Welcome Runners!

This was my first visit to the Boston Marathon as a spectator! I’ve been wanting to do this for several years. I know the weekend schedule, I know the town, and I know the course. I can put myself where I want to be, without any of the concerns that I’d have if I was racing. The advice is stamped into every runner’s head – “Don’t stay on your feet at the Expo too long, don’t eat experimental things, don’t have too many beers…” NONSENSE! I’m doing this one right.

I came on the same flight as Julie, together we have over 25 people we know running and that we will track on Monday. We landed at 9 am and were left on the runway for half an hour. I’ll go on record as saying this flight lands every day at the same time, it cannot be a surprise the ground crew – WHERE’S OUR GATE? More importantly, this chews into the time I’d rather be spending trying to get to the 5k to see the elites finish. Although we are close to Boston Commons, we are goofed up by the airline so we missed it. Molly Huddle misses her 4th consecutive win by only 2 seconds, and Ben True sets a new American outdoor 5k record with a 13:18. Wow!

First things first

We went to our AirBnB which is on Beacon Street in Brookline. Our host is Jennifer, a very nice girl. We are staying ON THE COURSE at mile 24.5 – This is exciting! We dropped our stuff off and walked to the Expo. Past Fenway Park, the Citgo sign, Kenmore Square, up Hereford Street to the convention center. It is crazy crowded with a HUGE line winding around the building. Confession: I walked around not really knowing where I was supposed to go and when I saw people heading inside I went right with them. We did a nominal security check and we were in! We went towards the Adidas section to see all of the official race merchandise. So many neat things to buy if you were doing this year’s event! We found the Samuel Adams sample booth – that was worth a few trips back on the line to get 26.2 Brew. There is plenty to see and play with and… we have all day to do so!

We find the lululemon “Sweatbox” at the other side of the show. We’ve seen this before and know it means try a garment on the treadmill and keep it! We each wait about 45 minutes and get to come out with something new. Most people hear about this and don’t want to wait. They have to get “done with the expo” and back to a hotel to relax. Understandable. While there, I catch up with Lilia and Chris – they are excited and enjoying the show also. We get texts from Sandra and Pete Holahan that they are going to the Runner’s World Speaker Series to hear Kathrine Switzer’s story. I know of her, I figure we can do that for an hour.

KV Switzer is Amazing

So glad I did that! She is so energetic and youthful. She ran up to the stage, told her story and really explained her efforts since the original 1967 Boston Marathon experience to get more women involved in running. I didn’t know the amazing level of her involvement in the first female Olympic marathon and her “261 Fearless” organization. I really enjoyed her talk. Julie had a lady translate for her so she caught the whole thing, too. Very impressive. I waited until she was done talking to speak with her. I told her they would have a statue of her somewhere on the Boston Marathon course. She chuckled and replied with, “I don’t know about that.” I am very glad I got to tell her that in person. It will happen! [Update: Her bib number 261 was forever retired for use in the Boston Marathon when she finished on Monday]

Once out of the meeting room, I am spotted and greeted by Cami and Jeff. We always, even in a crowd of thousands, find each other! They have to zip through the expo, but we agree to meet at Capital Grille for drinks and appetizers. How fun to catch up with them and get Cami’s take on the race and the local happenings.

After meeting with them, we walked to Boston Commons and found our dinner restaurant. We stopped and took some pictures at the finish line area, there’s always so much good energy and excitement there. The crew was clearing off the 5k and One Mile awards podium and getting things ready for Monday. Our restaurant, the Artisan, was in the Ritz Carlton. We met Steve and Mary Monks, Ricky and Nina Montez and Steve Chefan and his wife. We were all confused as this was not the restaurant or atmosphere Steve explained to us. It was a good meal and great laughs with a great group!  Steve later reported finding the original place he intended on us visiting a day afterward. He sneakily paid the check for dinner for all of us – a nice but way unnecessary gesture. We took the T train back after dinner. Tine to sift through our Expo goodies and get to sleep.

Running with elites

Sunday morning we went to the Runner’s World pop-up store to do a shakeout run with the staff and Molly Huddle. That was a good event starting at 8 am, the Hotshot girls was there, KT Tape was sampling their goods, and the store was crowded with runners one day before the race. Molly ran and chatted with plenty of us. Her next big event after yesterday’s 2nd place in the 5k will be the Prefontaine Classic in May. She is a personable elite runner that could be anyone’s friend. Our run went to the Charles River and around a familiar loop east to the bridge by Harvard and the band shell. Once we arrived at the store after the run, I won a drawing for a sample pack of KT Tape and a body “cool and heat” pad. It holds the heat pack or ice in place when applied to a part of your body. Glad I’m not injured, I really don’t know when I will use such a prize! Runner’s World also had an offer whereby if you prove you are a subscriber, they give you these neat Boston Marathon-themed gloves. Each finger has one of the towns the race passes through. I like them!

I did the same run again an hour later, this time with Sandra and the Oiselle girls that were in town for the race. We met at a nice coffee shop, the Thinking Cup, and ran on the Charles River trail again. Once we returned, Julie had found her way back to the coffee spot and we had drinks and light breakfast with Pete and Sandra and Steve and Maria. With all of the people we knew collectively, it would be difficult to plan to meet them all. It seemed to all work well with minimal planning that we saw most of our friends doing things like this.

After that, we walked back up Boylston Street to see the rest of the Expo, the Adidas Run Base store, the finish line area in the daytime. There are always people taking photos, Marathon Sports is full, and the street is blocked off with no cars. The large area after the finish line is busy, too, setting up for the next day. There weren’t many flowers at the sites of the two bombings, but today there are more. An area in front of Marathon Sports has been fenced off, that is collecting some flowers and a few pairs of running shoes. I didn’t feel like taking a photo of either site, it’s a choke-up in the throat reminder to me of what occurred and how fortunate I was not to be injured in 2013.

The Expo was easy to get into today, plenty of buzz happening. Most folks had already claimed their bib numbers, so I took Julie up the extra escalator to see how and where that is done. It was mostly empty by the time we got up there. The fast runners of tomorrow’s race have picked up their stuff already!

Athlete Dinner – The event so few attend (but should!)

We went back to the apartment and dropped our bags – it was time to change into warmer clothes for the night time. The temperature was 82 today so I wore shorts. Jeans and a long sleeve shirt were on tap for the night. We took the Green line train to Government Center, that’s right where the Athlete Dinner was. We had a wait of about 45 minutes, and the weather cooled significantly as we were in the line

The dinner was a great time, chicken meatballs, pasta, salad and as much beer as you’d like. We stayed at a table and enjoyed the videos playing, the mayor’s announcements and most of all, meeting other runners and their families. We had a group from London, from Texas, from Milan, Italy and another that I don’t remember from where. We laughed and enjoyed being with all these people who were so excited about the race. A few first timers asked about the hills and the expected warm weather. I was light in my mood to hopefully help them relax. We stayed until they closed the venue, then went back towards the Back Bay area.

 

We went to Pizzeria Uno on Boylston Street to watch the hockey game and have more beer. They served the 26.2 brew and in large glasses! It was good to stop walking, to talk and laugh. No other runners were in the bar. Race morning would come fast with an early rise for buses to the start.

We took the train home from the Copley Station. It’s not a far walk home but having been on foot all day and now being full of pasta and beer, yeah, we are on the train! We got home and went to the rooftop of our apartment. The wind was picking up from the east and that made it cold. Here’s a photo from that vantage point…

The winds would shift while we slept to come from the Northwest, a perfect tailwind for the runners.

Race Day!

Waking up Monday we had no rush – we went to Dunkin Donuts on Beacon Street. We saw the New Balance banners set up alongside the T stop and roadway. Barricades that weren’t there last night were all in place. The whole city comes together for this big show! We took the train from nearby Yawkey Station to Wellesley to position ourselves well to see the pros. We arrived too early for the train and had a 50-minute wait. Seems like even with the annual throng of people following the route and runners, the train schedule is light on the Patriot’s Day holiday. It was a short train ride and we met and spoke with nice people in town to cheer for family members. In Wellesley, we had plenty of room to pick a great spot on the road. We went to a bakery for a snack, and then put ourselves in a good position. Figuring it might be most crowded nearest the train station, we went east and found a great place to stand and wait. Right past the half way point we would watch for the wheelchair athletes, pro women, then the pro men. First, we saw a few of the military walking the course. Then two F-15 jets flew over, signaling the start of the race. It was about 35 minutes before the first wheelchair came down the hill – very fast and NOT Marcel Hug! He was second but already behind several minutes at the 13.1 mark. Next came the women elites. Jordan Hasay and Desi Linden right with the leaders. Julie took phone videos while I snapped iPhone 7 pictures. The next few elite women came through at less than 6 min pace, Liz Costello is shown here. They really look as if they are slower because their pace doesn’t cost them much energy. They are smooth and almost running step-for-step with each other. It’s very impressive to see up close!

The elite men came next – Galen Rupp in a white hat, white singlet and pale skin just nestled in with the Africans! The unheralded Maiya from the Army was up with him. Luke Puskedra and Jeff Ward followed, then Meb. They all looked great at the halfway point!

We boarded the very crowded train and after having delays to start and delays at almost all of the 7 stations back to Fenway/Yawkey, we made it onto the streets to get a good spot. The sun was warm and we didn’t have sunscreen – noticeable when I was in Wellesley. We went through Kenmore Square which was very crowded. The first wave of runners (red bibs) was coming through. We found a great spot on the shady side of the street. It was next to a mailbox and garbage can that was barricaded around. This meant that we had a very clear view up Commonwealth Avenue. We stayed here for over two hours, looking for our friends and trying to track them via the BAA app. The app wasn’t reliable, most of our runners seemed to “stop” at the 30k mark. We saw Julie and Spencer West, Lilia, Ricky and some more of Julie’s friends. We met Jeff here and waited for Cami, but by the Jeff moved to Hereford St and Boylston where she would usually expect to see him.

Trackhouse & Tracksmith  

Julie and I had invites to the new Trackhouse – Tracksmith’s new permanent store on Newbury Street. It’s a retail run store on the first level and a recreation of the “Eliot Lounge” runner’s hangout on the second floor. Free beer and fresh fruit and food. What an interesting concept. We stayed there and relaxed after many hours on our feet walking and standing. I met Eric Ashe, men’s finisher #25 with a time of 2:23. He was rolling out his legs on the couch as if he’d just run a 5k. We met Pete and Sandra here and she got a poster made with her number stamped on the bottom. A nice touch! I hope this company catches on. Their products are very nice with a “retro” runner look. I bought a pair of shorts and two singlet tops. No one has these back at home!

After that, we met Jeff and Cami at their usual post-race spot – Anchovies. A good dinner and recap of the day. Julie and I walked to Fenway Park for the Athlete Celebration, which was a chance to get out on the field and go behind the scenes at Fenway. Terrific cooperation between Fenway, the BAA, Samuel Adams, and Adidas. They really made it a special day for the runners and their families.

I know I’ll be back to run here again and to enjoy a weekend as a cheering spectator again. It is a very special event done so well!

Thank you, Boston!

-dm

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Long run with the Chicago folks

16 mi. Tom and Janet’s second 16-mile run tops out their Hansons-Brooks method schedule for the Chicago marathon prep. We did the last one together, followed by a breakfast at Maureen’s house. This time, we will have Mary Monks running some of the miles with us. And breakfast is at Toojay’s.

We started a little later than the 5:15 am meet up time, Janet and Tom brought everything for this one. Tom had a scale to weigh in pre and post run to track his fluid loss and consumption.

This time Tom, Janet, and Maureen had better plans to fuel during the run. Salt pills and things to eat before running made their 16 miles considerably better than last time. I had a salt pill at every 4th mile and some ProBar chewy blocks at miles 5 and 10. I put tri quick change laces in the New Balance Zante shoes after yesterday’s 10-mile run, they are better but still were too tight on my left foot. We had a small breeze from the north which was good. I think today’s start temp and humidity was better than yesterday’s run on the same route.

The road still has sand and storm junk on it, so stepping around or over things is necessary. I felt good after this one. My groin area is tight after today’s run, I should stretch that in a more focused manner. Tom and Janet gained a bunch of confidence for their race, which I will be witnessing from the sidelines.

The breakfast was very good, plenty of delicious food, just what I needed!

 

The toilet brush. 


5mi.
 The first track workout after the storm. We had a Sheriff’s Office imposed a curfew, so the time was moved to 6 am. Seth, Steve and Mary Monks, and Franci arrived earlier and already started running. With Paul away in Boulder, Franci’s workout was to do a dozen 400m repeats with each one having a 100m recovery. I think we had 7 people doing these. I did not have a watch, my contribution was to suggest we alternate directions so we did 6 one way and 6 the other way.

The back of the track had many branches, pinecones, and needles on the track. Lanes #1 and 2 were cleaned by Franci before I arrived. Each time I finished an interval, I tried to find and remove the pinecones and branches. My vision in the dark is getting worse I discovered!

Our group did the 12 repeats – this is a good workout. I need to bring the watch or else I am just cruising around on feel. Usually, this is ok, but I’d like to have a number to shoot for on each segment so I don’t get slower as the intervals continue.

The most memorable thing about this morning was seeing Franci walking across the track with a toilet brush. She wanted to clear off more of the track, this “tool” was what she found and used.

Can’t park here

6 mi. Hurricane Irma came and went – and today was a morning to sprint on the hill. Maureen arrived first and told me the park was closed. We left our cars on the east side of the bridge in the parking lot of a closed bank. We didn’t do a real warmup, just a short jog to the entrance to Phil Foster Park, our usual starting point. Franci and Gary were also out for their Tuesday morning bridge runs, Franci took the photo featured here.

There was a breeze from the west, meaning the sprinting would be happening into that. It was still very humid, so it was a welcome breeze. I didn’t have a terrific feeling about how fats I’d be going, it was hot on the 3 laps of over and back. I did well for the 6 sprints, timing at 1:22, 1:22, 1:21, 1:22, 1:22, 1:21 with the last three in daylight. The park bathrooms were closed but I was able to rinse off with the shower before getting back into the car.

All 29

5 miles. Another very humid and still day for the track session. The good showing of 29 runners after a big group last week means runners are taking this speed thing seriously! We were not given a timed mile to run, but Paul shared that somewhere in his logbook, he did a workout in the 90’s that included 600m, 600m, 400m, timed mile, done 3 times. Glad we didn’t get that!

1 mile warm up jog

600m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
200m w/200m recovery
200m

1 mile cool down jog

Wall of humidity

5mi. I left the house at my usual time, and the walk out the back door was my hint: Today would be amazingly still and humid.

True to that prediction, the warm up and intervals were all held in stifling humidity. No breeze at all, and the flag at the top of the newly-restored Benjamin football field was flat on its pole.

I ran behind Steve and Seth, sometimes James was ahead on the earlier intervals.

1 mile warm up jog

100m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
1200m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
300m w/200m recovery
1200m

1 mile cooldown

1 mph

5mi. The drive to track took me a longer time than usual. Military Trail is being repaved between PGA Blvd and Donald Ross Rd. So when I’m driving up, there are partially blocked lanes, guys picking up street cones and I seem to hit every nonsense red light even if there’s no one there to trigger it.

At the school, we have workers going all-night preparing the football field Astroturf. It looks like they are applying the logos to the field.

Our running took place in very humid conditions. Paul joked that he heard the weather report was calling for a 1mph breeze, he was disappointed he didn’t get it. Neither did anyone else!

I ran behind James Carpenter and Seth, sometimes Matt. James goes his best at the beginning of the intervals, then goes slower in the latter runs. My times seem slower than I’d like them to be for 300m and 800m.

100m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
500m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery

Track with spikes 

 5 miles – Today I wore John’s track spike shoes to the workout. We watched the IAAF London World Championships, taking place in the rain. I wondered what that would be like, John reminded me he had his spikes in the closet – so why not try that route. This was my first time running with them, having never competed in high school or college running.

They (Addidas) are light and long, a size 10. The most noticeable feature is their negative drop – the front of the foot is higher off the ground than the heel. I run with Altra shoes, zero drop, but this was even more pronounced.

It rained as I drove to the Benjamin Track, and then continued that way for the warm up mile. I could grip on the surface well even when it was wet, the negative drop thing wasn’t evident. I found the weight of the shoes amazing – so light as if I only wore a sock with the spikes attached. When we began the regular intervals, the rain stopped for good.

1 mile warm up jog

100m w/100m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
300m w/100m recovery
400m w/100m recovery
1200m

1 mile cool down jog

Speaking with Paul after the run, he said my calves and legs would feel the difference from the spikes. I didn’t think anything would happen, as I didn’t feel any difference. He was right! Thursday night in bed and Friday morning my Achilles area was very sore on both sides. I couldn’t stretch it out or find relief. Saturday’s long run would be interesting, as I wondered if it would heal up by then.

Just two things

5mi. It’s uncommon to have a whole workout consist of just two intervals – but that was today. To be accurate, we started with a 100m strider, but past that, everything was all setup to alternate between the 200s and 700s. Like this –

1 mi warmup jog

100m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
700m w/200m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
700m w/200m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
700m w/200m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
700m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
700m

1 mile cool down jog

I did the hose-fed summer shower, maybe one of the last times this season, as the likelihood of getting chased off once school starts will be high. It was good to follow Steve and Seth this week. I was close on some of the 200m intervals.

-dm

 

Feathers fall flat

pantene5mi. Last night’s Rogue Run was terrific fun. Plenty of runners, a great showing at the Twisted Trunk afterward, and good photos of the group.

Today the wake up with 3 beers for dinner was a challenge. I usually do some body weight exercises to open my lungs and wake up before driving to the track. Those were tough. Pushup burpees = beer burpees on mornings like this.

We did a familiar workout today, I was the group lead runner, although I’d prefer following someone instead of wondering where the others are behind me. The differing distances made that a good lesson today because different people like to ramp up for certain distances. Chris Taylor likes the 200s. Bryan is good at the longer 800s and 1ks.

1-mile warm up jog

800m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
200m w/200m recovery
1000m w/200m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
200m w/200m recovery
1000m w/200m recovery

1-mile cool down jog.

The quickie hair and body wash I do in the summer warm months is a welcome refreshment. When we were waiting for the start of the last 1000m run, Jen Q and I spoke about how dead calm it was. I said it was so still today, that if you dropped a feather, it would just fall straight to the ground! True.

-dm

Remember to bleed

16 mi. It’s not a well-recommended plan to donate blood the day before a strenuous run. It does help accelerate the debilitating conditions you experience in distance running, it comes on a bit quicker this way.

I arrived at the Dunkin Donuts to setup the flag and sign early enough to start on time at 5 am. Margo from Indian said she would run at 5 am, so when Walter, Teresa, and Missy left early (4:55) I let them go. Margo slept in and never came, sending me to the beach road to maybe catch some of the others on their way back from PGA Blvd.

I ran solo fast for the first mile, they had about a 7-minute head start on me. When I got within sight of the “Welcome to Juno Beach” lit sign, I didn’t see anyone cross in front of the light. I would have if they went this way – unless they chose to run around the duck pond on the sidewalk. I kept going, slowing my pace. I know they would be coming back at me as I ran to the turnaround point – my decision would then be to turn and chat with them or keep going to finish with a total of 16 miles.

As I got closer to PGA’s traffic light, I couldn’t see anyone running. The group must have gone north on the water and Gatorade supported route instead! I was now solo all the way back to the store, again, at a slower pace.

Once I got back to the store, it was time for a few quick announcements and then off to the regular route. I started with Adam Bloom and Mike R., who said they’d be warming up first. Gradually their speed increased. Before the 2.5 mi water stop, we were at a 7:15 pace. That didn’t feel as it should, I made sure I took enough water. When we started again, I didn’t want to push myself at that pace any longer. I didn’t remember the donating blood at 4 pm the day before detail, but this is what that feels like. Lower energy levels all the next day.

I ran solo to the inlet, then came back at a more relaxed pace with Mary Monks. Steve was in a rush to get home and see the British Oen on TV, so we didn’t stop long at the remaining water stops. I was happy to be finished, this was perhaps my 4th 16 mile Saturday in a row. I like having those miles on my weekend. This weekend I am the substitute coach for the relatively new Sunday Jupiter HS Track workout – so I won’t do much tomorrow for running…

 

 

 

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