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My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

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My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Dave P on Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:12 pm

I was up at 4:40 a.m. due to the extra excitement about this year’s Boston. I got a BQ at my 2nd & 3rd marathons, but it took me another 8 before I qualified again. Add on top of that all the extra significance surrounding this year’s race, left me with a lot of butterflies in my stomach. The extra security & planning that went into this year’s Boston was evident everywhere. With two columns of buses, getting on one was really quick.

I had on a throw-away sweatshirt, an outer heavy flannel, & gloves due to the temps in the 30’s at day break. By the time I was in the AV at 8:30, I knew it was more than I needed. It felt much warmer than in the 40’s due to the direct sun light. When I got to my corral at 9:15 & ditched all that extra stuff, I was warm standing there while the temp was now in the 50’s. I knew that this was not good for me. I’m very susceptible to warm weather & have had series/ life-threatening issues with dehydration & low electrolytes. If I’m not shivering with goose-bumps at the start of a marathon, I know it’s going to be a tough race for me.
I had planned on an extra easy first few miles, to really save it for the hills. Everyone was passing me as I mentally stayed tough to my goal thinking “I’ll see you all later.”
 Mile      Time
  1            8:11
  2            7:48
  3            7:41
  4            7:25
  5            7:28
  6            7:15
That was even slower than I had planned, but I thought to myself better that, than going out too fast. After the 1st 10K, I settled into a comfortable race pace goal of between 7:00-7:15, & already I was passing many that had passed me those first few miles.
Mile       Time
  7          7:02
  8          7:00
  9          7:08
 10          7:09
 11          7:13
 12          6:46
 13          6:47
 14          7:10
 15          7:10
 16          7:07
Those miles (7 to 16) were the sweet spot of my race. I was on-target pace-wise, felt good, & was taking in extra water & Gatorade due to feeling very warm. After that, my race started to fall apart due to an inability to keep up with my hydration & electrolyte needs.
Mile       Time
 17          7:51
 18          7:48
 19          7:29
 20          7:51
 21          9:17
 22          8:05
 23          8:31
 24          8:32
 25          8:20
 26          9:12

3:21:08 finish

Those last 10 miles were increasingly tough. Stopping multiple times for multiple cups of Gatorade & water still wasn’t enough. By miles 24 to 25, I knew I was in serious trouble. I was getting the tingles in my hands which is my indication that I’m beyond the point of being able to do anything at all to help myself recover from the hydration & electrolyte depletion. I knew I needed medical help, but who is going to DNF with only 1 to 2 miles to go? My wife was on Hereford Street & later said that I looked good coming in – she had no idea at the time how much I was suffering. I’m thankful that Jesus forgives me for my stubbornness & sends his angels to get me through my own doing.

After crossing the finish line, my right foot started to cramp really bad. I kept walking on it in order to try to keep it from locking up. I desperately searched for the Gatorade station & it seemed I had to walk far too long to reach it. Finally, I reached it & quickly gulped down about 6 cups & some water. Then I kept walking because the sensation that my foot was about to lock up wasn’t going away. I downed a Power Milk & a banana as fast as possible, with more water. My stomach was full & any more was going to make me puke.  I kept walking, hoping & praying that my cramping foot would get better as I went to the spot my wife & I agreed to meet on the Boston Common. When I reached her, I told her to follow me back to the finish exit, because I needed to seek medical help. By the time volunteers were whisking me away on a golf cart to the med tent, I was grunting in pain. I tore off my shoes & was self-rubbing both feet as they got me into the med tent. Both legs & both feet were now cramping & locking up. The pain came in waves. I was grunting like someone who was shot. The pain was quite intense. I had multiple great volunteers helping me. After an IV, & massages, the waves of pain finally subsided. I pray to God that I can finally get a handle on this reoccurring issue of mine. Feel free to post suggestions, but most likely I’ve already tried it. It all left me hungering to do even better at Boston on a cooler day. I had it in me to go sub 3:10, & even make a good effort for a sub 3:05. My last big long run 4 weeks earlier was 23 miles on the Boston course from Hopkinton to Brookline in 3:01 (3:02 counting 2 quick pit stops.) That training run included a 7:09 ave pace for miles 16 to 23, after a very easy 8:15 pace for the 1st 15 miles. At the end of that run I felt like I could have continued at that quicker pace & raced to the finish. Add 4 weeks of taper onto that best training cycle & Boston course run ever & I was more than ready. The weather didn’t cooperate for me, so I’ll be back, but I don’t think it will be in 2015. I’ve got other races on my schedule, but God willing, I will be back eventually.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  ounce on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:16 pm

No clue as to help.  Great job sticking it out, sir.

I want to apologize for not tracking you, yesterday.  Not sure how I missed you, as I was taking it from Michael's list.  Maybe the two "Dave"'s being together made me skip you. No
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  fostever on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:25 pm

Hey Dave great report, and kudos on sticking it out and having a very respectable time. I've had the same hydration issues and crashed real bad yesterday due to not taking much hydration at all thinking two accel gels and water would be plenty. Both my caves were cramping badly the last 3-4 miles as I walk ran to my worst time on record. I may have seen you getting put on the cart as I was heading back to try and retrieve my sun glasses in the med tent and not realized it. Again, way to go!
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:40 pm

Congrats, Dave!  

Sorry about the cramping issues.  I have been there in the past, but I think I have it figured out for me.  I started taking a calcium, magnesium, and zinc supplement about two years ago very consistently and in the week leading up to the marathon, I also add both sodium and potassium to my diet which is something I never used to do as I salt nothing, and I even take s-caps in those last few days.  I then take in the Gatorade early even forcing myself to walk with the cup until I get it all down (as wearing sports drink is nasty and sticky).  By the time we started in Wave 3, it was already in the low 60s, and honestly the 65F felt like 80F at the beginning with the winter we have all had.  My strategy proved to work again (as it did in 2012) and I suffered no ill affects from the heat - no cramping, etc.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:34 pm

Dave, I didn't have time yesterday to track groups, but I did check in on you occasionally, and was happy to see that although you started to slow down, you were still moving along. I was concerned that it might get warmer than people were anticipating, just based on the patterns here. That's a tough course, as you know much better than I do, and if you add in the excitement about the occasion, it would be pretty easy to get ahead of yourself. Congratulations on another finish and getting to the finish line without serious health issues. Carry on!
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Jerry on Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:16 pm

Dave,

The 50 degree at the start feels way warmer. I typically shiver at this temperature. I was sweating all over my head after mile one. Don't know how much is the result of the sun, how much is the massive human body heat. Keep in mind I am from Texas.

On a different note, I have been suffering night less legs, cramping at sleep. Salt tablet/NUUN solves it. I never get problem at race day though. My sodium etc level in annual check shows no issue. This thing just killed my cramping. No idea why exactly.

You may need to be creative. We get old and may not function by science.

Finally, we were at a historical moment of Boston marathon. That's all it counts.

Congratulations!

Jerry
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  carleenp on Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:23 pm

Congrats on the race! I have no help on the cramping unfortunately. I seem to be lucky and not have issues with it. Friends of mine who do all seem to have the same challenges trying to solve it. One of them found that she is much less likely to cramp on flat courses no matter how trained she is for hills though.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Mark B on Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:49 pm

First off, congratulations on holding it together in those final few miles. I've always found it very difficult to race a spring marathon after training through the cold -- and especially, the gloom -- of winter. It's like our bodies go into shock when they're asked to perform in warm direct sunlight. That's tough to train for, especially where you live, but if you can find a way to acclimatize, it might help. (Treadmill in a sauna, anybody?)

Short of moving to Arizona, I think Michele's supplements are a good idea (I started taking them myself) and might help you. It's worth a try, anyway.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  nkrichards on Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:04 am

Way to stick with it on a tough day.  Hope you get your issues resolved.  Stay safe.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  JohnP on Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:29 am

Congratulations Dave, nice job finishing under those circumstances.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  mountandog on Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:42 pm

nice run Dave.  It was much harder than I expected this year as well.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Dave P on Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:35 pm

Thanks everyone! 

Oz - no biggie. I just assumed it was an innocent oversight.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  jon c on Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:46 pm

Congrats on finishing despite those heat and cramping issues.  They are definitely tough to deal with.  I guess from my perspective you did it the right way.  Maybe the only thing to do was during those 7-16 miles dial it down a bit more even.  That's really been the only way I know to survive a warm or hot day without major issues.  Realize some are more susceptible to heat than others, most definitely.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Alex Kubacki on Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:10 am

Congrats Dave. Great job holding on. Recover well.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Paula Sue on Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:51 am

Congratulations, Dave...tough race for you with those recurring issues.  Michele is a smart woman and works hard to resolve similar issues.  It's probably worthwhile to experiment with her suggestions.  Good luck in your recovery process.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Seth Harrison on Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:45 pm

Dave, you had such a tough latter portion of the marathon and yet you ran your best Boston...that's an amazing accomplishment. Good luck getting a handle of hydration/cramping issue. I wish I could offer advice. Congratulations on sticking it out posting a course PR. That's a great job.
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Julie on Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:42 pm

Congrats! You did well in spite of hydration issues.

I also take calcium-mag-zinc supplement. I am going to start s-caps this summer for my 50k training. Other than that maybe try some solid food during the race like pretzels, raisins???
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Chris M on Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:04 pm

All of Dave's race reports are a little scary!   Impressive....but scary!   Be careful out there.   Great job on not letting the time bleed too badly but let's try and aim to stay OUT of medical in the future (Disney?).
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Re: My 3rd & best (as yet) Boston

Post  Dave-O on Fri May 02, 2014 12:40 pm

If you figure it out...lemme know.  Because I sure don't have it figured out either.  Crying or Very sad 

Congrats on hanging tough and finishing.
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