Archive for February 2, 2010

It’s on …

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Training

Up until this week I had been generally gliding through my training program focusing on the next workout, the next run or the next rest day.  I was making an effort to stay in the moment, never looking too far ahead, making sure to not look past that week’s Sunday long-run as the mileage starts to build.

A few innocent events transpired yesterday however that provided the wake-up call that I had been waiting for.  I received an e-mail from the Boston Athletic Association early in the day with race day information congratulating me on qualifying for this year’s event and letting me know that we can expect to be assigned our bib numbers next month. 

At most marathons unless you are an elite or professional runner your bib number is more or less irrelevant.  The lowest numbers are usually assigned to the runners who simply registered earliest for the event. 

At Boston however this is a different story.  With more than 25,000 runners participating in the 114th running of the event everything from the Athlete’s village, the starting area and the race course are extremely crowded.  To help the race start as smoothly as possible enabling the participants to get underway without too much congestion on the course, runners are grouped by their qualifying times.

Hopkinton, MA - Boston Marathon Start

This “seeding” for lack of a better term ensures that runners with similar abilities are placed together to guard against faster runners being trapped behind slower marathoners as the race begins.

There are 25 starting “corrals” with 1,000 runners assigned to each.  Numbers 1-1,000 are assigned to Corral 1, numbers 1,001 to 2,000 to Corral 2, numbers 2,001 to 3,000 to Corral 3 and so on.

In addition there are two starting “waves” of runners each year with half the field (Corrals 1-13) starting at 10:00 a.m. and the remaining runners starting at 10:30 a.m. (Corrals 14-25).  After reading through the information yesterday from the Boston Athletic Association, it looks as if the cutoff between Wave I and Wave II has traditionally been the 3:35:00 mark – which puts us firmly in what should be the middle of Wave I with our qualifying time of 3:17:43.  I expect our bib number somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000 which will be just fine with me.

RFD - Boston Marathon Gear

Also arriving yesterday was my shipment from Running Banana – an Austin based company who designs technical running shirts – I posted a blog about them previously when they created our Run for Dom racing singlet (information here):

To commemorate Patriots Day and the running of the Boston Marathon I had Run for Dom’s Graphic Designer (Thank you Nancy!) come up with a design fitting for the event.  Paired with a set of Moeben sleeves featuring their star print – we are ready for Boston.  This morning’s 4-mile training run was a good opportunity to try out our new equipment in what could very well be Boston race temps – around 40-43 degrees with a slight mist in the air. 

Run for Dom Official Motto

It is always a good idea to try out equipment during training that you will be racing with so that any chafing, irritation or heat/cold issues can be addressed long before race day.  I have to say that I am really enjoying the Moeben sleeves which can be removed if temperatures rise, but do a great job of keeping your arms warm during your run.  I raced with a pair of the white sleeves at the Austin 3M Half Marathon and really liked them.  Moeben places a small pocket on the upper portion of the sleeve that is perfect for holding a few gels that can be accessed very easily along the course.  A+ experience from Moeben – I have been very happy with their product thus far. Today’s workout was a quick 4 miles before sunrise this morning in 28:45 (7:11 pace) with a 7-mile mid-week run tomorrow.

As I look ahead to Sunday’s long-run of 14 miles we are now entering the meat of the training schedule.  This is where weekly mileage builds consistently with long runs of 14, 15, 11, 17 and 18 scheduled for February.  March will feature our two 20-mile long runs before we begin the taper at the start of April.

I also put the finishing touches on our travel plans for the race booking flights for Dawn and I to head up to Boston the Friday before race day.  Now all that remains is to make the final adjustments to my diet and nutrition plan, log the miles and start building the endurance and strength to take on the streets from the small New England town of Hopkinton, MA to Boston.

It’s on.