I’m going to Boston!

Wow, I suck at blogging. I’ll try to be better at this…


Earlier, this year I had qualified for Boston at the P.F. Chang’s Marathon with a 3:06:40.

However, shortly after, Boston Athletic Association implemented a rolling admission system, allowing the fastest qualifiers to enter the earliest.  The 2012 Boston marathon “rolling registration dates” were:

– Day 1 (Sept. 12) – Qualifiers who have met their age and gender qualifying standard (3 hours, 10 minutes for men aged 18-34 by a margin of 20 minutes or faster may apply for the marathon.

– Day 3 (Sept. 14) – Qualifiers who have met the standard set for their age/gender by a margin of 10 minutes or faster may apply.

– Day 5 (Sept. 16) – Qualifiers who have met their age/gender qualifying time by a margin of 5 minutes or faster may apply.

– Day 8 (Sept. 19; Week 2) – Open to all qualifiers to register.

I decided to run another marathon right before the 2012 Boston registration opened up.  I had only beaten my qualifying time by 3 minutes and 20 seconds and I thought my chances were slim to get in for the 2012 race.   Last year, Boston sold out in a day.

So, I chose Skagit Flats Marathon in Burlington, Washington on September 11th to try to improve my qualifying time. This was about 1.5 hours north of Seattle and 2.5 hours from my parents home.  I thought it was a great time of the year to get out of the 100+ degree temps in Arizona and run in relatively cool weather.

Training for this marathon was tough.  I began training for it a couple weeks after Ironman Coeur d’Alane.  My coach put me on a strict running schedule where I backed off my biking and swimming significantly.  This was the first marathon I was shooting for a very specific time… I really wanted a sub 3.  Nick had me finish all my long runs (usually the last 6-8 miles) at a sub 6:45 pace.  It was especially hard in the AZ summer heat.  I found the temperatures to really affect my heart rate.  Even when I started at 4:30am it was already 85 degrees outside.  By the time the sun came up, it would start getting unbearably hot. I knew I’d be faster in a colder climate (such as Washington) but it really got to me mentally that I was almost always running at my threshold and barely hitting my goal pace.


I flew up Saturday morning (9/10) with my race on Sunday.  My brother picked me up at the airport and drove me straight to Burlington to check in for the race.  My parents were doing the MS bike ride just 15 minutes away from where I was staying, so I hung out with them for the rest of the day after their ride and relaxed.

Sunday morning (9/11)…

The weather channel was expecting a record high temperature that day.. in the high 80s!  Many runners were trying to convince the RD to move the start time from 8am to 7am.  I didn’t think it would be a big deal since I felt I was acclimated to the heat training in AZ all summer.

The course was an out-and back… very flat, wide-open, through country roads. There were approximately 300 marathon

The first 13 miles were pretty uneventful.  I just stared at my watch and hit my paces.  My goal was to even-split this run (6:50 minute miles).  I was right on pace through 13, coming in just under 1:30.  A few things I noticed on this out-and-back course.

1) The winds picked up quite a bit throughout the entire course; it was on wide-open farmlands and close to the ocean, so I think this caused it to be a little windier than further inland.

2) There was no shade throughout the course.

3) Temperatures were already reaching the mid 80s at the 13 mile mark.

4) Aid stations were sporadic with inattentive kids on the cellphones passing out water.

5) I much rather do bigger races… I ran by myself for most of this marathon and it got a little lonely out there.

Mile 10ish:

Through 18 miles I honestly thought I had a sub 3 marathon in the bag. Then, I hit the wall.. BIG TIME.  There’s one main thing I’ve learned from this race that I screwed up… hydration. I run with a fuel belt on all my training runs and always have some water to sip on. I didn’t wear one for the race because of the aid stations. Aid stations seemed to be very sporadic and some of them were poorly ran… there’d be two stations in 1.5 miles and then I wouldn’t see another one for 3 miles. There’s no excuse for me to skip the first 5 miles of aid stations though.

10k left to go… My heart rate was at threshold (172bpm), and I was running 8 minute miles! Something was wrong. My whole body hurt. I feel like I couldn’t move my arms. I closed my eyes, and told myself to dig deep. I did, but I was crushed. It was pure survival for the last 6.2 miles… it was the longest 10k of my life. I didn’t look at my watch for the last few miles and just looked down at the ground and gave it everything I had.  I crossed the line, and my body was shaking… I felt like I couldn’t move. Medical people arrived and they gave me water and soda. My mom was there to see me finish and I told her “I hate running.”

Looking back, I was an idiot to skip aid stations early on in the race. I dug myself in too big of a hole towards the end, that my body just shut down. I was very dehydrated. Tough lesson learned.

Me at the finish… I look horrible!
















MAX HR: 180 bpm

Finish time: 3:07:51

22/300 overall


1 06:33.7 1.00

2 06:56.9 1.00

3 06:56.0 1.00

4 06:51.9 1.00

5 06:45.2 1.00

6 06:52.0 1.00

7 06:54.9 1.00

8 06:49.0 1.00

9 06:51.0 1.00

10 06:49.9 1.00

11 06:52.0 1.00

12 06:48.0 1.00

13 06:50.0 1.00

14 06:44.0 1.00

15 06:49.2 1.00

16 06:44.2 1.00

17 06:47.0 1.00

18 06:48.0 1.00

19 7:02:09 1.00

20 07:28.0 1.00 … the death march begins

21 07:57.0 1.00

22 07:39.0 1.00

23 07:51.0 1.00

24 07:54.0 1.00

25 07:50.0 1.00

26 07:51.0 1.00

27 03:03.4 0.39

HR Graph of the race:










Boston registration:

I had to wait until week 2 (September 19th) to register for Boston and use my PF Chang’s marathon time I had gotten earlier in the year (3:06:40).  After registering, I got an email saying I’d find out if my application was accepted by September 28th.  For the “second week” qualifiers (BQ – 5:00 or less) only the fastest people were picked from this registration pool.  It wasn’t first-come first-serve.  I was getting anxious  as the week passed.

Monday morning (Sept 26th), Teri (one of my teammates) texted me and said that BAA was starting to send out acceptance emails for second week applicants.  I quickly got on my computer, and sure enough, I got this:













I was so relieved. This is a big deal to me and I’ve worked hard for this. Even better, my coach and a couple of my other teammates will be running Boston 2012 as well! Later, I found out that the official “cut-off” time was BQ – one minute and 14 seconds.  I got in by 2 minutes and 26 seconds!


Upcoming races:

SOMA relay (run) – October 23

Amica Triathlon – November 6

PF Chang’s Marathon – January 2012

Boston Marathon – April 16, 2012

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Categories: Race Report, Races, Training


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