Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Austin-Boston Challenge...Report

Starts and Finishes - Starts and Finishes - that's pretty much what life is about and my report has several of each.

This current adventure Starts 17 months ago at a finishline. The finish was the end of a 2 year journey to be as good as I could be at the marathon and I got pretty darn close with a masters (>40) win and PR at the San Antonio Marathon 11/16/2008. That was the Finish of that quest for the best - and the Start of an injury outage. It's quite a transition from being near my potential to be forced to give it up as any who have gone though it understands. That transition is hard and denial ran pretty strong as I hoped in vain for rapid recovery. Repeated attempts to run only prolonged the outage to the point that what might have been just a few month outage was aggravated enough to need timeframes more like 6 month or more - and that recovery time clock kept resetting at zero when reagrevated. After what seemed like more than enough time off everything - not even crosstraining - I started some walk-run type exercises and was encouraged enough to sign up for Boston in November just before the race filled - I planned to wait until after Christmas but with the race filling up I forced to decide earlier. By Christmas the running was set-back again and I started thinking of a back-up plan - MS150 was an event that gets a lot of buzz around Houston and I wanted to do it - I was hoping there was separation between it and Boston so that on the off chance I could run Boston - but when I saw they were the same weekend - I pretty well figured probably Boston was off and I'd just do the MS150 - the prospect of doing both crossed my dreamy mind - but the logistical challenges, let alone the physical ones seemed impossible.

MS150 Challenge - although I did take up biking for a couple month early in the year and picked up the necessary gear and learned some technique - on one occasion when I tried to run I re-injured myself and was beginning to believe the biking was keeping me from healing - taking no chances I stopped biking and really had done little since March. Starting pretty much from fitness scratch in mid-December - I started hitting the road - got a trainer for the inside so I could ride even when outside wasn't an option and pretty quickly started logging the kind of hours I logged in full marathon training mode and the body didn't complain - no injuries developed. January/February I logged about 500 miles each month and I could feel the fitness returning - felt great. Now I did not rule out Boston completely - and in fact started to investigate some of the logistical challenges and found solutions that made it doable. But as of mid-February although my fitness was returning - I still had not even run my first mile. I set a milestone - if by March 1st I wasn't running unrestricted - forget Boston - those close to me tried not to be too vocal in their doubts - I figured it was pretty unlikely too - but if unrestricted I was sure I could ramp up to marathon distance in 6 weeks - I'd done nearly that in my very first marathon with no fitness to start with so surely the bike fitness counted for something. One day in Mid-February after arriving to a hotel late I thought I'd give it a try - I got my shorts on and jogged at around midnight One Mile - no walk-jog walk-jog like I was doing last go around of trying to come back - just a straight 1 mile jog - and everything felt OK. A couple days later I upped to 1.5 miles - still OK. A couple days later I went until it felt uncomfortable ~3 miles. A couple days later same routine and at 5 I still wasn't uncomfortable but figured I shouldn't tempt fate so stopped. I kept on this routine of every other day a little bit more until by March 1st - my milestone - I had run my first double digit run in well over a year - and felt OK - you can imagine my surprise and delight - I love to run and really hated not being able to. That day was born the Austin-Boston Challenge (ABC for short) - I figured I could keep ramping up little by little over the next 6 weeks and by April 19th I surely could finish the race - even if with some walking.

By the ABC weekend I had logged nearly 1500 miles on the bike and a little over 200 on the shoes. Included in that was a 102 mile bikeride (torturous) and two 20 mile runs (also torturous) - so I felt READY - what 6 weeks prior seemed impossible by ABC weekend seemed probable.

Now let me just stop to say the family has been incredibly patient through this year off. For my Darling Wife the anxiety of watching me frustrated for a whole year was high. I think she found herself torn between wanting me to pursue my dreams yet don't fall into this extended frustration time again. I found that news of the ABC becoming a real possibility brought mixed feelings. Vision of another finishline followed by another year of frustration was not easy to dismiss. But at the same time she backs me up in my pursuits especially once she sees what it really means to me. And when I shared what a finisher's medal at the Boston Marathon would mean to me - more precious than its weight in gold - a symbol of closure on a frustrating year - she got on board and I love her for it. She wouldn't miss being there at THAT finishline and worked things out so she (and Kaylee) could join me in Boston as my cheering squad.

Taper Week - April 11-16 - typical worries and phantom pains that made sure at times and just cause doubts other times that I could not make it through ABC. Lots of checking the weather which always looked great for both events.

MS150 - a big event around Houston and I really didn't know how big. A huge fundraiser that has many many other similar events all across the states but none as big as in Houston. They don't report numbers of riders that I could find - focus is all on $s rose for MS but I gather there are around 7,000 riders. The MS focus was interesting and educational and sobering as I really knew close to nothing about the disease. Most riders are on Teams and teams are released at the start I think based on their historical team fundraising totals. I'm on the Shell Team which consolidated relatively recently as a single team and had a pretty large presence considering this. I rarely had much contact with the team except during a required safety course and happening across riders on routes on my side of the city - most team events were too far away to be practical for me. This is the first major bike event I've participated in and I was impressed with its organization and efficiency. It was geared to be recreational and certainly NOT competitive which created the unfortunate issue of slower and faster riders always mixed from the first mile to the last. Not a major problem but as I am somewhat competitive :) I was the guy always looking for the opportunity to pass requiring extra vigilance and awareness in the ride. For me this was not a recreational ride but rather an endurance event to test my limits.

First day - ride starts from 3 different locations depending on where your team starts. For Team Shell we start ~100 miles from LaGrange - the midpoint campout location - others had 80 miles to go that first day. As I said before teams seemed to be released by the past fundraising abilities and Team Shell was released around 7:20 am after 5-6 other large teams were released (I'm guessing we were 7th based on they ran out of bullets and had to just say "Bang" to get us started). To keep enough spacing there were a few minutes between team starts. After our team (~400 riders?) gets the "bang" we are underway. After a couple mile I could work around to find a few in the front that wanted to ride (I'll call our little group the Shell Peloton). The ride was near perfect - occasional showers of course made the pavement wet and had to avoid the spray off the wheel in front of me - we all got a little taste of Texas roadway as you couldn't completely avoid the spray. We quickly closed the gap to the next group’s slower riders and worked our way around them as there was space and when we had good clear space we made some pretty good time with a slight tailwind to help. This went on for about 30-35 miles and we were book'n 23-24 mph average. I set up my fueling routine to try to replenish the maximum I could so I'd have as much for the following days as possible. I had 2x24 oz waterbottles filled with UltraFuel (1200 calories total), a couple protein bars, Endurolyte (electrolyte) Capsules and a Camelback hydration pack on my back full of water. Routine was 1/4th bottle of UltraFuel(150 calories) every 10 miles, Protein bar after each bottle (40 miles) and an electrolyte capsule with water between the bottle drinks - and drink water often. Routine worked well with no pitstops, no cramps and energy available to the end of both days. After the first 30-35 miles I get a loud pop from my back wheel - broken spoke - I pull out of the Shell Peloton to assess the situation. I end up bandaging the bike (used a Band-Aid to tie the loose spoke to another) and loosening the brake way out so it wasn't rubbing on the warped rim and ride to the next breakpoint to find a very professionally outfitted bike repair test servicing bikes. Because I had my MS150 sticker on the bike (from a free bike inspection at the local bike store a couple weeks prior) they fixed the bike free of charge in about 15 minutes and I was on my way (ok - I guess I DID have one pitshop while I was waiting). Biking on my own mostly - occasionally I'd hook up with a faster rider or two - the pace wasn't as impressive but the effort was pretty high - I got to the midpoint and stopped debating whether to stop for the organize lunch or keep going - decided I'd have lunch at the finish and kept going. The rest is a blur - all more of the same - lots of slow riders to pass - more so because of the mechanical break - plus merging with those from other startlines than had 20 less miles to go. I get to less than a mile from the day's finish and I get that pop sound again from my back wheel - yep - another broken spoke - so close I just let the brake out again without stopping and ride through the finish and straight to another Bike Repair Tent to get it fixed again (guess I need new rims). Check-in at my team tent at 12:20 and my Garmin said I averaged just over 20 mph for just under 100 miles. Much much easier than the 102 miler I'd done in training - I pretty much had no fueling routine for that training ride and that makes a world of difference.

The rest of the day was in a camp. I had turned in luggage on Friday for the overnight that my team organizers had delivered. I pitched a tent that went inside one of my team's large (football field kinda large) tents - stuffed my face with as much food as I could grab quick, set the Garmin to recharge, grabbed my change of clothes and headed for the showers - shower lines weren't too bad - 5-10 minute wait - they got much longer a couple hours later. Man that shower felt good! Get my bike out of the repair tent (free again because of the sticker) and head back to my little tent for a nap. Rest of the day was listening to a talk about MS, lazing around - read a book - Duel in the Sun - about the 1982 Boston Marathon battle to the finish between the two top American marathoners of that time - figured that might be a good one to read - I picked it up and didn't put it down until the race was done (ok - I skipped a few character development chapters - I really just wanted the race) - great book. Dinner, chit/chats with co-workers - try to get what seemed the right balance of Carbs, Protein, Electrolytes and Water to replace.

2nd day start is 7am so I'm up around 5, down some ultrafuel and check out the morning - it's raining - very hard - and I didn't bring raingear (actually I've not gotten around to getting any). It's only water - and rain in the 60s isn't so bad. I'm a little antsy about getting the 77 miles (according to the map) over with on time so I can get to the airport and get to Boston. There are two course options for day to - a 77 miler and a 60 miler - I consider the shorter route briefly but longer is really the only way to go. Today's release is at 7am - I pack up my stuff and put it on the truck and head out to the start about 6:30 and even after skipping past half the line I'd guess there were still a couple thousand riders packed together at the start ready to go. Start is a slow release of a section of riders at a time and by 7:45 I'm finally on the road. The rain stopped just before I lined up and pretty much stayed away the rest of the day - talk about good fortunes. Similar to the day before with thousands ahead on my course plus the shorter course merging about mile 46 again the slower runners were always there from beginning to end to navigate around. After a bunch of miles there was an unexpected choice - through "the park" or straight - I didn't see this option on the course maps - of course I was going to take the hardest route and all I'd heard about the day before was the hills in "the park" - I just didn't realize there was two course options up there and so my course map with distances no longer was correct and I figured I was adding some unknown distance to what was shown on the map to go through the park. Off I go - the park was great fun - steep hills to climb, windy roads good downhills with speed. Done with the park and merge with another stream of riders - presumably the ones that took the non-park route. Keep going trying to figure out where the 46 mile lunch break stop is - pass a couple break points and I'm showing up to 60+ and I'm still convinced I haven't seen the lunch stop so my 77 mile planned is 90+ and I'm dreading this - my right knee is bugging me on low cadence or uphills and I wonder how that will translate to running tomorrow. I get to the next breakpoint convinced it was the mile 46 lunch stop now well over 60 showing on my Garmin and I had 30 miles to go....then I look a little closer and compare to my map to the discover - Great Joy - only 15 miles or so to go. I stop and let my finishline squad to expect me around noon. Every one of those last miles was counted off one by one in my mind with just forcing me not to stop. Finally I pull into Austin - rid a little through UT then a few last turns and I'm at the finishline - high fives to DW, Kaylee and Ryan and cross the finish. As weak as I was at the end I can't imagine how another 15 milers that I thought I had to go would have felt. In the end my Garmin shows 74 for the day.

Let the reloading begin - remaining ultrafuel from my bottles, another protein bar, water, a few other things they handed me after crossing. Quick shower and off to the airport. DW, Kaylee and I get dropped off and Ryan drives the car with the bike back to Houston. His first drive on his own very far from home and he's got 3 hours to drive - so Homer shows him the way home. I bought a GPS and while I was bikeriding evidently Kaylee found a Homer Simpson's voice to download into it that they all seem to get a kick out of so now we call the GPS - Homer. Homer got Ryan home safe and sound and we fill up on airport food - I mix up all the UltraFuel I need for the next morning - get my Garmin all re-programmed for the run - I want nothing to do once I get to the hotel but go to sleep. All goes as planned - hop on the flight and off to Boston and taxi to the hotel - pretty uneventful just took a long time. In the hotel about 10pm and Tim had my packet waiting for me in the lobby - I've got what I need to race. Get settled in the room and in bed around 10:30. I'm trying to get my head around it all - I'm actually going to run the Boston Marathon tomorrow - maybe. I still had not since Tuesday proved I could in fact run - the soreness from Tuesday's run seemed to be gone but it might come back with a little bit of running. The right knee bugged me all the way to the end of the ride, my left knee occasionally flared up on me in runs last few weeks - I half expected after 1/2 mile I'd find I just can't run. Also I didn't know what strategy to run the race. My two 20 milers 2-3 weeks before did get finished but ended with 9 mpm difficult miles at the end. I knew using heartrate was going to be useless - I'd discovered the day prior that b2b endurance events drop the HR a ton the second day - I'd also seen this in the training cycle a couple times as I frequently did long rides or long rides/runs both Saturday/Sunday and always the second day the HR was running lower or I'd go faster for same HR. My typical race strategy is to run 160 HR and ignore my pace - but I had a real feeling if I did that I'd be running way too fast - maybe a possible speed for me from an aerobic point of view but the fitness is mostly biking fitness - the tendons, muscles and skeletal was not trained to that - and the endurance has not proved to be there as evident by the slow pace at the end of my longruns. Finally I decided I was just going to run by my breathing patterns 2-2 = marathon pace, keep an eye on the HR, hope for the best and just maybe I could pull in a sub3:21 (Boston Qualifier for 2011 - i.e. BQ) - 7:40 pace real, 7:35 by Garmin with about 5 seconds/mile faster first half since the 2nd half is a couple minutes slower overall. But mostly have fun and just see what happens. Finally with all this set - I start to fall asleep.

Morning up about 20 minutes late - set my alarm for PM instead of AM but fortunately woke up - a moment of horror until I saw the time - I had plenty of time to spare so I'm OK. UltraFuel, Shower, Kiss my wife goodby and walk to the bus. My planned time here would have had little lines but I end up waiting 4-5 bus cycles before getting loaded up for the 1-1.5 hour journey to the start village. It's amazing logistics to move 20,000+ people across the city and get them to the startline ontime. Get to the village around 8:30 for a 10:00 start - time to visit and take care of business then off to the start.

The Boston Marathon #3 (also ran 2007, 2008):
The Airforce Jets rocket across the sky - I give a huge arm pumping YEAH! The fun begins (actually continues). Gun goes off and I'm just taking it all in. Weather is perfect with even a little tailwind.


Crowds are pretty thick - I think corral 2 was a mistake as people are easing by me pretty continual - I'm thinking from my few training (I had little data to draw on having run so little and pretty slow stuff) that I might be able to be in the low 7 mpm pace at 160 HR (MP) and after a couple miles I'm seeing pretty close to 7 mpm at low-mid 140s - I was ecstatic to be banking time to a BQ without putting in much effort - I was pretty sure basis my 20 milers I'd be slowing significant on the back end so ok to keep it nice and easy. I really don't know if I could have maintained 160 - that would have been nearly 40 sec/mile faster - I suspect aerobically I could but the risks on the my unadapted body were too high I think - so I had the best of all worlds going on - run relaxed to enjoy Boston and yet run faster than my A++ goal with fun along the way. Boston course just felt so familiar - I've run it two other times and studied the heck out of the elevation profile in the prior races and dreamed so much about the race both recently and before the prior races - it was just like running through a Disneyland for runners.


More of the same - it starts to flatten out so not as much downhill benefit in the splits but still a little downward decline. I really don't remember much of anything these miles except continued glee at seeing such a low heartrate and still banking more and more time to 7:30 halfway split - I don't feel much pressure to push it - I think I even relaxed a bit - I was still very certain once I get to 18+ miles the HR was going to rise up and the pace was going to slow and most likely I wasn't going to get the BQ. But no matter - even 4:xx I was going to be ecstatic with - all I really wanted was the finishing medal to close out the 2009 marathon drought.


Wellesley - what can I say - seems everything I do say get's me into trouble with DW. What the hell - I decide before the scream tunnel I was not going to stop - I was afraid if I broke my stride the wheels would fall off on this dream run so I jogged through. The first half dozen high 5s were actually little kids. Then the signs - the many many many signs. The first I recall said "Kiss me - we're on TV" next to a camera man - that image of me kissing this co-ed on TV played in my head a little and I couldn't help a grin. Moving on "Kiss me - I'm Texan", "Kiss me - I'm Latino", "Kiss me - I'm Asian", and on and on and on it went with the co-ed's hanging over the railing holding their signs. I found it hilarious - and I just couldn't stop smiling at it all. Of course there is the token guy also holding a Kiss Me sign. What a trip - but no stops - just ran on through and gave probably 100 high fives and felt my spirits somehow lifted. On another 1/2 mile or so just past the 1/2 marathon mats I have a cousin an family who live just a couple blocks off the course and have a family tradition to come out and watch the race. I let them know I'd be running by and to have a water bottle (disqualifying me from prize money I know) ready and sure enough they were all out yelling, cheering, smiling - I stopped and chatted for a minute - even got a full hug by Mary (doesn't she know how gross and sweaty I am) and tried to get my cousin Doug to run a little bit to no avail - I'd apparently outstayed my welcome after a minute as they collectively waved away - but I got my water bottle that allowed me to skip the next several aid stations - and the wheels didn't fall off after a stop after all. Finishing up these miles pretty well finishes up the pre-race - anyone who has run Boston knows the race begins at 16.


First hill of 4 - I attacked it much faster than pace I planned for hills. Race plan had been to go to whatever felt ok after 16 miles and no longer be restrained I was pushing it to next level.

2nd hill was attacked much as the first - I passed A LOT of people on the hills (This Houston boy CAN run hills).

Attacked hill 3 then on to heartbreak hill.

Again attacked the hill passed a bunch of people with a big headwind.

From the top going down. The mental battles were intense. Finally what won out mostly was "this is the BOSTON MARATHON!!" with that no half efforts for any stretch allowed. After crossing that mental milestone - I stopped looking at the watch - and pushed with all I had. I didn't dare look at the watch as knowing my HR could only make me want to slow down. I downed the last gu and a few gulps of water and ran by all the remaining water stations. My legs burned but all felt healthy. I kept plowing on.

There's the CITGO sign!! Meaning 2 miles to go. Keep on keeping on. Most all around me are slowing and I am passing people like crazy here. By the time I got to CITGO sign I had found the practice of closing my eyes very tempting - they felt so comfortable closed. I forced them open to look for my cheerers. Found them and managed a hearty smile and wave - it was great to have them here - and also know only ONE mile to go.

This was a tough mile but I didn't let up and kept on passing people and enjoying the brief shuteyes.

Around a couple corners and I'm running on the right side looking for Susie and the kids on the final stretch. Still pushing but did not want to miss the moment to see them - they have been SO supportive thru all the miles to get here and that moment to the finish was as much theirs as it is mine. I got and gave a big cheer when I saw them.

There is the finish line less than a quarter mile away. I couldn't muster the all out sprint this time but pushed in with a very fast run still passing a few more. I managed to do the last ½ mile at 6 minute mile pace.


There was so much emotion at this point I nearly had to stop and cry in happiness.


Ok - that's not how it really happen - that was excerpts from my 2007 Boston Marathon Race Report from 16 on - but that recount captured what was going through my head in memory as I ran the course - That race really formed my love for marathoning - although my 3rd marathon completed - that one kinda sealed the deal for me - up to then it was just a passing fad. Back to the present:

I climb through the 4 Newton Hills to the top of Heartbreak Hill slowing down on the inclines and speeding back up on the flats and downhill sections. Nothing too crazy about it except that my expectations were not met. I was not significantly slowing - I was still jogging - HR was staying steady and very low - if anything I was taking it too easy - I was trying for 2-2 breathing but it was a pretty shallow 2-2 breathing. At each milemarker I'd do a little calculation of what pace it would take to get a Boston Qualifier time - I was going sub 8s pretty consistent even through the hills and my mental calculations kept sounding easier and easier - 8:30 mpm, 9+ mpm to the finish.... I wasn't slowing nearly what I expected. I absolutely love marathons where I am surprised my fitness is better than I expected - typically I've got it pretty well dialed in what I can do before the race but there have been a couple races I've really surprised myself on and this race was starting to join that short list of surprising races. I stopped anticipating I'd be fading - I just needed to finish this thing up and enjoy every moment.

Heartbreak to the Finish - the final 5 miles.

Ringing through my head is the memory of 2007's charge down into Boston, the Duel in the Sun with the two runners pounding everything they could into the final 5. My general feeling of not being especially taxed by the first 21 miles of the race so knowing I could choose to run a fast 8k to empty the tank to the finish. I had lots of cushion on my stretch goal of sub3:21 Boston Qualifier time. How am I going to run this last part of the race? First things first - where's the beer - looking for the Boston College Beer I've heard so many talk about (but somehow always seem to miss) - I really wanted a beer - I looked and looked - so a pack of screaming guys/girls with Boston College on their cloths so figured it must be close - I never saw it - First time to this point of this race where my stomach is not in knots from running so fast that I think I could have actually enjoyed a beer - I was so disappointed. Pretty much the next mile goes by before I get my head back to the question of how do I want to finish up this last 4 miles. I decide to kick it up a gear and go for it a little. I go a mile or so like this and somehow my mind goes back to really enjoying myself and the crowds screaming and just being in the Boston Marathon and I start to notice I'm back to more of a jogging pace again. CITGO Sign appears in the distance - A completely new strategy forms in my head - I've got lots of cushion now - I could probably WALK from the CITGO sign to the finish (~1 mile) and still get it - maybe I should really take in that enjoy that last mile slow - or maybe I should squeeze out everything I've got and go for it that last mile - walk....race hard....walk....race hard - what to do - I do nothing - I just maintain my pace and enjoy. Up from the underpass and approach Hertford - so many great Boston Moments coming around the last two turns and down the finishing stretch. TV images of Dire Tune in her fight for the win in 2008 - similar images in 2009 in the women's race - I can only imagine what it was like in 1982's Duel in the Sun.....I make my last couple turns and see the finish line down Boylston Street. I'm just soaking it all in. I get to within 1/4 mile of the finish and scan the crowd for my girl and find her - she didn't have "Kiss Me" sign - but I gave her one anyway - I'd been looking forward to doing that for miles. On to the finish - I actually stop a few seconds on that painted "Finish" on the ground that can be seen from satellite images - then walk across the finishing mats. The feeling was very much similar to that 2007 race a few years prior.

The meet-'n-greets - although the bus took too long I did still get 1/2 hour or so to hang out at the wall with a bunch of my "invisible friend". And raised several glasses of beers after. They even all sang to me when the waiter brought over (my daughter let it leak it was my birthday) a desert with a cherry on top - I'd mentioned to several how Boston was really the cherry on top and MS150 was the ice cream Sunday - although in truth it's probably obvious by now that Boston was the main event in my mind. Runners are some awesome people!
L-R: Tim (Tim), Melissa(Rio), Me(kayry), Carolyn(mogulgirl)[front], Cathy (Blazer85)[back], Bruce (The Beast) [back], Pam (vidadolce), Tommy (Butters) [ran 2:28].

The Numbers:

4 MRIs, 1 Xray, 1 BodyScan, Specialists including Primary Care Physician, Massage Therapist, Chiropractor, 2xOrthopedics, Podiatrist, Physical Therapist - Those specialists with any knowledge of a running related Sacrum Stress 6 failed attempts to run over 14 months, 150 miles total for 2009, new sports - 3 - swimming, biking and Kayaking. Peak Fitness score (according to Sportstracks - my training software) in 2008 - 140 - Fitness low in December 2009 - 11, Fitness high in April 2010 148.

Biking begins - 12/19/2009 - First 65 miler 1/23, First 100 miler 3/13, Running - First mile 2/10, First 10 Miler 2/27 (458 days since prior 10 miler), First 20 Miler 3/28. Totals (including ABC) Biking 1812 Miles in 97 hours, Running 250 Miles in 35.8 hours.

Fuel - 11 servings of UltraFuel (400 calories each), ~15 Enduralyte Captsules, 3 Protein Bars, Camelback nearly emptied of water on 2 rides, 3 days Carb Loading before (target >75% calories from carbs), ~3-4000 calories targeted between days to refill the tank, 1 serving of UltraFuel for breakfast before each bike day and 3 servings before the Marathon, in marathon 24 oz Gatorade - about 1/2 just before the start and the other 1/2 over first 5 miles, Gel at 5,10,15,20 with as much water as I could grab (I put much greater focus on electrolyte/hydrate for this than typical to minimize cramp potential late in the race). Don't think I'd change anything - all worked pretty well.

Supporters - many, Naysayers - many (including myself actually - I really didn't think I could do it until ~end of March).

Houston to LaGrange
98.4 miles, average Moving speed 20.2 mph, average Heartrate 151, 69F average equivalent 2.5 mph tailwind with a few brief showers - 2 mechanicals (broke rear spoke twice) 592 ft uphill, 299 ft downhill - average 278 Watts. Ride Time 4:51, Stops 3, Stopped Time 31 minutes, Total Time 5:21. Crashes 0, near misses 0.

Distance mph HR Watts
5 17.2 135 221
10 20.5 140 273
15 19.3 141 251
20 25.1 154 449
25 24.2 153 415
30 26.2 154 513
35 24.3 147 404
40 21.1 143 308
45 21.5 157 320
50 19.3 155 274
55 20.5 152 294
60 19.9 157 268
65 18.7 156 220
70 18.4 156 227
75 19.5 153 213
80 17.3 156 206
85 20.8 153 264
90 18 153 214
95 18.2 151 167
98.15 20.4 152 229

Time 4:50:58

LaGrange to Austin
74.2 Miles, averaged 18.2 mph, Average Heartrate 136, 62F average equivalent 2.1 mph headwind with a brief light rain - 0 Mechanical 825 ft uphill 826 ft downhill - average 208 Watts. Ride Time 4:05, Stops 1, Stopped Time 8 minutes, Total Time 4:13. Crashes 0, Near Misses 1*.

Distance mph HR Watts
5 18.2 125 209
10 20.3 142 275
15 20.8 139 272
20 19.7 142 266
25 18.5 134 227
30 16.9 138 197
35 16.7 136 189
40 19.3 131 201
45 17.9 133 181
50 18.1 135 197
55 18.9 136 208
60 20 143 235
65 18.5 138 208
70 15.6 138 155
74.23 15.2 133 138

Time 4:04:41

Boston Marathon
26.2 Miles (Garmin), 7:30 mpm, Average Heartrate 147, 52F, average equivalent 3.3 mph tailwind, sunny. 595 ft uphill, 966 ft downhill. 3 Stops (quick visit with cousins at 13, Smooch with Wife 26, Finishline 5 feet from the timing mat), Total Stopped Time 1:10. Falls 0, Near Misses 1**.

1 7:01 150
2 6:59 149
3 7:05 148
4 7:09 146
5 7:17 148
6 7:11 147
7 7:10 146
8 7:20 145
9 7:17 143
10 7:18 144
11 7:26 144
12 7:16 143
13 7:17 144
14 7:42 144
15 7:29 147
16 7:14 145
17 7:51 147
18 7:56 146
19 7:39 144
20 7:56 146
21 8:21 146
22 7:50 142
23 7:31 146
24 7:16 151
25 7:23 151
26 7:24 153
26.44 7:32 155

Time 3:16:39

From BAA website:
Bib 1202 Hill, John 43 M Kingwood TX USA - Half 1:35:15 Finish 3:16:34 (+6:04 split) average 7:30/mile. 3887th Place Overall 658th among 40-44 Men, 135th Texan, 5th Kingwood, 2nd over 40 in kingwood (I just can't find a splice of the data that gets me on top).

* Inches from major accident. In Shell Team's mandatory safety training we were told pace lines are optimum up to around 8-10 riders - longer lines increase crash potential. I was thinking about this as I linked into the middle of a very long paceline - maybe 30+ riders I'm guessing with me about 15 or so back from the lead. My alerts were high but I didn't want to give up the speed advantage and drop out of it. At some point moving 20+ mph 3-4 riders in front of me a rider went down (probably tires rubbed between riders) - a pile-up formed quickly of the riders in front of me - I had just enough time to react and swerve away from the back/head of the rider in front of me and get clear - at least one rider behind me got caught in the pile-up. I didn't stop in the crowds of riders to get the injury magnitude - hopefully just roadrash. Ride Marshalls cycling and many motorcycles were monitoring all the riders and help was impressively quick as these things are somewhat expected in biking.

** Just past the Startline the guy in front of me I guess get's his foot stepped on and falls and I make a quick evasive move to avoid falling over him. He gets back up behind me and seems to be fine and keeps going. To state the obvious - running accidents are much less traumatic than cycling accidents.

Everyone seems to ask how it's possible to do both races in a weekend - so here's my logistics plan I had to revise and revise a few times before I could convince myself it could actually work. I could not have worked without the help of several others and as another marathoner out there said - I takes a Village (don't worry about it if that doesn't make sense - it would take too long to explain and this is long enough). So many links in the chain could have broke and the whole think would have fallen apart - it's really something that it all worked and big shout-outs to the help I got to make it work.

Logistics Plan [including J(me)S(Darling Wife)RK(Kids)&M(the Dog) - and Tim]:
- Get Taxes Done
- GPS (Homer) Program for SRK's drive to Austin (Congress and 16th) Parking, Finish 1201 San Jacinto Boulevard Austin, TX 78701
- Packet Pickup Arrangement - sign confirmation card and mail to someone to get packet to hotel (Thanks Tim!).
- Arrange Travel to Manchester Post Race
- Set-up Text Messaging - Boston
- New HRM battery
- Drop Bag at Shell Luggage Truck Friday 9-5 Woodcreek Visitors Parking Lot
- Change bike tires
- Shop for fuel for ride/race
- Pack for LaGrange
- Pack for Boston
- Drop car at Houston airport - Friday
Saturday 4/17:
- SRKM and J --- Depart house ~4:30 am – get dropped off at start-line at Woodcreek (Dairy Ashford and Highway 10).
- SRKM --- goes home – home by 7:30am.
- J – Ride to LaGrange – 7am thru 1pm – spend the night camped out in LaGrange.
Sunday 4/18:
- SRKM --- Depart house at 7:30am and drive to Austin – Drop M at Kennel – arrive at Austin 11am.
- J – Ride from LaGrange to Austin – arrives at 11am.
- SKJR – Lunch and hangout in Austin then to airport by 3pm
- SKJ – Plane from Austin to Boston 4:30-8:30 pm (9:30 local time with the timechange).
- R – Drive back to Houston with Bike.
- SKJ – Taxi to downtown hotel by 10:30 (feels like 9:30 in Houston).
Monday 4/19:
- J – up for 6am busride to start
- J – 10-2pm – run Boston Marathon.
- SK – 12-2pm – Head to finish and watch for J.
- J - 4:30pm - get Rental Car
- JSK - 6pm - meet with friends - J drink celebration beers!
Tuesday 4/20:
- SKJ – Leave 4am to Manchester airport.
- SKJ – Manchester to Houston 6:20 am to 11:05 am (stop at Baltimore).
- SKJ – Drive to get M – 12:30pm.
- SKJ – Home 1 pm. is full of Starts and weekend had a Start-End, Start-End, Start-End and an End...and a Start....this puts an end (with an exclamation point) on a very long year off and Starts.....I don't know what yet ---TBD...


4 comments: said...

John, well done. I looked for you as I was a mile 23 with one of the fastest women in the greater Houston area, Adrienne Langelier from Spring. She was injured before the race, but still made the trip. Watching that many runners go by as quick as they were especially through the middle of the second wave - was like playing a high-speed version of Tetris.

Again congratulations! Sounds like some of my back-to-back half marathon travel stories, although not as physicially challenging as what you did!

PuddleThumper said...

What a journey on so many levels! Congrats!

kayry said...

Jon - thanks for looking out for me - but where I was running the density of people was pretty high so no surprize you missed me. Adrienne Langelier - I looked her up - a 2 hour 30k'er is pretty impressive - I hope she heals up and get's her shot at a good marathon!

kayry said...

Good Luck in Lincoln PuddleThumper!