Monday, April 21, 2008

Boston

2:48:45, 6:26/mile, 403 overall, 388 male. 8:46 off my goal.

1351 Meissner, Sean R. 34 M Sisters OR USA
Checkpoints
5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:18:43 0:37:26 0:56:08 1:15:54 1:19:55 1:34:55 1:55:00 2:16:37 2:38:42
Finish 2:48:45
Pace 6:26
Overall 403
Gender 399
Division 310

So I came to Boston looking to, and believing I could, run a sub-2:40. I'm in just about as good of shape as I've ever been in. My 1:16 1/2 marathon 3 weeks ago convinced me that I not only could break 2:40, but that I should, as well.

During my warm-up, I just didn't have any pep or bounce in my legs like I had at the 1/2. I knew it was going to be tough to get my goal, but what the heck, I went for it anyway. I hit the mile in 6:28 (minus 18 seconds to get to the starting line). Then I just started hitting high 5:50s to 6:05 for many miles in a row. I wasn't in an easy flow, so was fighting for every mile, but felt confident with my consistent pace. Around 12, I took a porto-stop, then stupidly tried to play catch-up with the pack I had been with, instead of just getting back into my 6 min. pace. Although I did get back up to the group, that strategy was, of course, totally lame. In the midst of being lame, I ran through Wellesley, and although the reality of the crowd and noise definitely did not live up to my pre-race expectations, I did get my kiss!

At 25 km, I was right back at 6:06 pace (and I got a big rah-rah from Meghan). Then things started to get bad. By 16, I just wasn't having much fun, and by 17, I knew I was done. I pretty much just shut down my race and tried to enjoy it. My pace immediately went from low-6s to low-7s; no slow transition, just a sudden drop. Brad Mitchell caught and flew by me here (and finished strong in 2:40:11). Next, Scott Wolfe caught me just before 30 km. He slowed for a second to ask if I needed anything. I mumbled "no", then he was off to a strong finish in 2:41:10 (not too shabby after 4th at the Rumble last weekend!). (At right, Scott about ready to put the hammer down on me).

Shortly before Scott passed me, I decided it would be fun to puke on myself. At the top of the last of the hills at 21, right in front of all the Boston College students, I thought it would be fun to puke on myself again. I didn't even try to move my head to the side; I didn't care.

Lots of people passed me the last 9 miles (at least 200, based on Brad's place compared to mine). Although it was humbling, again, I didn't care. I was just on cruise control and trying to enjoy the crowds and just being "in" Boston.

I eventually figured I should at least shoot for a sub-2:50. Passing 1 mile to go in 2:42, I knew that was pretty much a gimme, so I just continued to cruise, still not letting it bother me that lots of guys were still flying by to their own p.r.'s. In fact, I really did try to cheer almost all of them on. It was easy to tell the guys who were having stellar days, and it was fun to root them on to strong finishes.

I eventually trotted across the line in a gun time of 2:49:03, which translated to a 2:48:45 chip time. Then it just took a really long time to walk to the water; I think I started to get a bit cranky, wondering where the heck it was. But I got water, my cool little silver heat blanket, my medal, and finally my drop bag with warm, dry clothes and sandals.

In the Team Competition, the Central Oregon Running Klub (CORK) Men's Open Team that I was part of, with Danny Harris, JJ Howard, and Michael Dennis, placed 38th with a time of 8:54:55 (best 3 times scored). Nope, we didn't win any prizes, but this just made it a little more fun for the four of us.

I met up with Danny, Amy, and Amy's family, and we all went to get some drinks and food. That Coke was about the best ever. I desperately needed those calories. Then I took the t up to Harvard to meet the Maniacs at John Harvard's for some good pub grub. Two hard ciders, a Long Island Ice Tea, an order of bbq wings, and a big plate of greasy cheese fries later (as I'm still on my quest for the best-ever post-race cheese fries), I felt so much better. No longer Mr. Cranky. It was good. And it was just fun to hang out with my Maniac buddies and catch up (including Gayman, who ran in the Women's Trials yesterday!).

So as I reflect back on my race, I would be lieing if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed. I had a goal, and I missed it. I'm not disappointed, though, with the fact that I layed it out there and went for it from the start. To get the time I wanted, I felt that's what I had to do. I really do appreciate all of the support from literally hundreds of friends and family, though. I know that many of you followed my progress on-line, and were sending me good energy the whole race. For that, I thank you all. It really is great to have such a tremendous cheering section, and that will always be more important to me than reaching a time goal. Always.

18 comments:

olga said...

Sean, don't beat up yourself too hard, and leave analyzing to a few days later. You then will have a clearer mind and better ideas. Oh may be you won't find any reasons at all. Still, I think your ultra-mind went into overdrive when you decided to have fun no matter what. Isn't it wonderful?
p.s. hey, I walked Boston injured 10 days after my first 100. I really loved the spirit of the small towns, the ice and the strawberries!

Susannah said...

Great job, Sean! I love the part about puking on yourself-- again. Sorry you had a rough day-- sounds like you were looking at that Citgo sign for a long, long time. At least you didn't puke on yourself before Wellesley!

Rod Bien said...

Good job, my man. 2:48 at Boston..... I can think of worse disappointments than that! Enjoy the next couple of days and I look forward to seeing you soon!
And, at least you went sub-Lance!
Rod B.

Theresa said...

You are the King of Puke! I hope to be fit enough to push my body until I puke someday- something I aspire to do... I'll put it on my list of goals for this year.

Email me and let me know if you are still up for the Sawtooth summer camp in July. Hopefully the snow will melt eventually.

Theresa S.

Gretchen said...

I don't think 8 minutes off your goal really counts as "shutting down," but I understand the disappointment of missing a goal. I think you still kicked ass. And you are right, it says a lot that you still went for it from the beginning even though you weren't "feeling it." Very important! Sounds like you enjoyed the spirit that is Boston, which is certainly a good enough reason to travel across the country for a race.
Nice job Sean!

Rooster said...

Awesome job Sean! I am glad you got your kiss. :). Puking on yourself was the best and 2:48 is really great.

William said...

Nice run Sean, I wish I could have a bad day and still run 2:48.

Makita said...

I'm sorry you didn't get your 'A' goal - but you had a great race otherwise (despite the puking). I almost hope I puke in Eugene to prove I pushed myself to the limit. :)

Bret said...

Sean, sorry you didn't get your goal but it wasn't to be your day. We all have those of course and why we will never know. Puke-ing twice? I think thats a pretty good sign of your effort. I dream of getting to Boston some day but my slow fat butt will never make it. My only hope is that I will be over 70 and still running! Good job my friend, you did what many of us just hope for. Plus there is always next year!

justin angle said...

strong work. tough to puke on yourself twice and attempt a PR at boston...perhaps you should have started out easy and only attempted one puke.

seriously, great work toughing out a solid time when the body and mind were shutting down.

now rock the miwok!

Darin Swanson said...

Sorry the race did not pan out. You will have to teach me how to puke on the run...may have helped me :-)

mtnrunR said...

wait to run colonal
i was "watching" you, jerry duncan and darin on the internet at work. it was fun keeping track of how you were doing. great running man.

Brad Mitchell said...

Hey Sean,
Great to see you in Boston - Chatting at the expo and the quick hellos in the start corrals.
Sorry you didn't hit your goal, but when I saw you at Wellesley you sure looked like you were having fun - and thats what its all about. Plus - You still ran a great time and you came across before Lance!
Nice work - hope to see you out there in the future. Good luck at WS.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'm lying when I say lieing is not a word.

CharlieM said...

Sean, by now you've recovered fully and are thinking of how to get your 2:40 the next time...well, I found it interesting reading backwards in your blogs - On April 10th, you talked about averaging 2:49 for the Yasso workout. So, I guess it is true, you've got to get that Yasso down to 2:40 near to pre-race! Peace out...

Danni said...

Boston, while not the toughest course, isn't a "fast" course by any stretch. You may very well be in sub 2:40 shape, but on a faster course.

Norma Bastidas said...

Sean, Now I know whose puke I ran pass almost an hour after you. Just kidding. I still think you had a grat race, sorry to hear you missed you goal time.
I was looking forward to meeting you in Boston, i did get a chance to talk to Scott D.

cheers

norma

shawn said...

Sean - Congratulations on what I perceive to be an awesome run and time! What is 8 minutes? I am super impressed by your mile times even when you say you had given up - what ev!

Congrats on making it there and giving it your all...and here's to puking on yourself :)