4/20/09

Boston Marathon - Race Day - Part I

"Running is ultimately a personal experience. It is a revival of the spirit, a private oasis for the thirsty mind. Yet, its healing power only increases in the presence of others. Run together and the oasis grows cooler and more satisfying." AMBY BURFOOT

So race day has finally arrived, where this year really has not effected me much until last night where TJL was talking about her 5K race that she did this morning. All those twists and turns she had while naming all of her different streets and just getting very confuzed and anxious, but made me realize that race day was near. I couldn't believe it, but I was up here for a reason!

So wake up call was a 4:30am and yes, it's somewhat brutal, but really who sleeps well the night before a marathon. I woke up at around 1am, just so charged up and amped, but forced myself back to sleep.
I woke up, changed into my race day clothes which were all piled up and layed out for me: singlet, shorts, pants, t-shirt, jacket, socks, etc. All prepared. I left my SC's place at 5am and walked to the finishline to the Westin Hotel.

There along the way, I saw the TNT coach go by like he always does, which he does the reversale route and then back again during the race...he's an ultra runner though. Finally make it to Boyleston street and take a picture of the finish line as the sun pears out from the sky. It's going to be a great day!
As I head to the banquet hall, same as last year, only KC from California was there from the team. Then slowly as time went by, people started to show up...as we ate breakfast there. Lots of joking aroung, nerves were recoiled and everyone was very happy to see each other make it this far.

When it was time, we got onto the charter bus and VD sat next to me. Ok, usually that time is reserved for me to take a nap to Hopkington, although we talked for the entire way...so long for that nap!
This year, it seemed that we were in Hopkinton for such a short time. KC and I explored a little as I joked by putting an Adidas four leaf clover on my forehead...but all four leaves didn't show, so I scratched the temperary tattoo off...wheew! That would have been bad....I landed a spot on the bathroom line after touring around and finding fellow flyer, TB...

The portopotty lines were absolutely HORRIBLE! My gosh! It was absolutely horrendeous, where...I had to wait about 45 minutes to finally get there. By the time I was getting out of the portopotty line, I needed to book it to where my clothes was and change into my shoes...I was being rushed and I hate being rushed before races...anyways, JK was a good sport as he waited for me as he was antsy to get to the starting line. We quickly got all of our bags into the buses and started our ways down to the line, although taking some stops along the way. One I had forgotten to put vasiline on my nipples, so there was no bloody nipples that needs to be had that day. It was nice to have people on the side with some items that were needed for runners such as water and gatorade. Two, we stopped again at the portopotties as we had 10 minutes before the start of the marathon...we got through...barely making it to our seeded corral, but we were ready...

3-2-1....

BANG! The start was off and the start of the race was on. Just like last year, people were everywhere, flying through and going out quickly. We made it certain that we went out at a decent pace. We joked around, just chatted it up a little to get things loose as we were going out ok.

I took pictures here and there and we checked out times as we passed mile markers...
1, 2, 3. 4....This was going really well...

As we passed though many towns, we slapped kids hands and just had a great time. I didn't want runners in back of me to get annoyed, although I was having a great time. People were screaming both of our names as they would say, Go Brian Go Jason! After a while, I asked JK was it getting annoying? I also joked saying: dude? Are we married?

Haha! Anyways, along the way as well I go up to JK and ask him...dude, this is like a guy's wedding day...it's our day...seriously, I guess this is what a gal feels like on her special day, although we run marathons to run...all the time, all the training, and all the hype has come down to one specific day...

Marathon fear now gone for Goucher
Tue Apr 21, 2009 By Dave Ungrady / Universal Sports

Kara Goucher no longer fears the marathon.

After finishing third at her debut in the event in New York City last fall, Goucher said she felt as if she had died. Talking by phone early Monday evening minutes after the awards ceremony for the Boston Marathon ended, she relished how well she felt physically and mentally after a third place finish in the race.

“I wasn’t scared of the distance this time around,” she said. “Today I had a lot more left in me and finished the race feeling strong. I’ve been on my feet all day. I’m fine right now. In New York I was just surviving.”

In Boston, Goucher was thriving. She explained her effort as 20 miles of relaxed running and six miles of running hard.

“I felt great,” she said. “I knew I was going to finish strongly. The pain did not set in until I finished and my heart was totally broken. I just didn’t have it at the end.”

She felt so good that after the race that she told her coach, Alberto Salazar, that she wants to run the London Marathon on Sunday.

“She’s walking around comfortably while I watch a lot of people walking slowly down stairs and walking sideways,” Salazar said by phone from Boston. “She says she’s not tired at all. But she can’t do that.”

What she can do is reflect fondly on a strong effort despite giving up the lead in the last mile.

Goucher admitted the slow pace at the beginning was a surprise. “I was shocked at the slow start but after three miles I wasn’t going to look at the clock anymore,” she said. “I didn’t care about the time.”

She also wasn’t concerned when winner Salina Kosgie of Kenya and second place finisher Dire Tune of Ethiopia, the defending champion, started to pull away from Goucher with less than a mile to go. Tucked in tightly behind the two leaders, the American Goucher then realized the fight to the finish had begun, and she soon ripped the gloves off her hands and tossed them to the ground.

“They surged, but I kept thinking that I have something left and I’m gonna let them go,” she said. “It almost broke my will. But then I threw off the gloves and I told myself I’m in this still. In practice when I go to a sprint, I lose my gloves because it’s the last layer that’s holding me back. It’s go time. It’s a signal that I have to start using my arms.”

Salazar, who won the Boston Marathon in 1981, feels inexperience prevented her from winning Monday.

“Kara realizes that she made a tactical mistake and wasn’t supposed to lead any earlier than a mile to go,” he said. “We felt she could out kick anybody if she played her cards right. It boiled down to 10K racing. When a 10K runner takes a lead from the beginning on the track, 95 percent of the time they don’t win. And the wind started to pick up and she started to do all the work. If she had waited and made it into an 800-meter race like the other girls did, she would have finished better. It’s a matter of gaining experience with every race.”

A slow fade at the finish did not damper Goucher’s spirit. “I learned that I’m suited for the marathon,” she said. “I felt really comfortable. New York and Boston have been the thrill of my life. This is what I want to be doing.”

It may be a while before she runs another marathon. Goucher, 30, and her husband Adam, also an elite runner, would like to start a family. She may not compete again at the distance until the fall of 2010.

“I would say it’s 99.9999 percent sure she won’t run a marathon in the fall,” Goucher’s agent Peter Stubbs said. “We need a day or two to talk about it.”

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