Josh’s Quest for the Boston Marathon Part #7

Josh showed up at College for the first time late last week so I told him I would go ahead and leave a post for him this week since he was totally swamped with school stuff. He may be able to get in a post for you in the next few days so make sure to check back.

I thought I would take a post and go over a few key things I found interesting while running in the Portland Marathon about ten years ago.

First I learned the hard way how important your starting position is. At the start they had huge signs to designate where you should start based on your anticipated average mile pace. I unfortunately showed up fairly close to the start time so I went ahead and stood with a friend of mine who was also running it but was near the sign for 9 minute miles. I did not think much about it but I was not prepared for how much more challenging this was going to make the race.

The issue with starting too far back is that you spend the first few miles weaving your way in and out of people. This drasticallyportland-marathon changes your stride and puts a significant amount more demand on the muscles on the outside of the hip. During training I obviously focused on training my stride, alone without thousands of people around me. So the act of running in and out of people caused me to get some additional fatigue early in the race. This was not a major problem at the start but by miles 15-17 When we hit the St Johns Bridge I was getting much more tired than I had anticipated. This made for a long last ten miles.

Another Interesting thing I remember was the disgusting things you would witness at the mile stations. Watching people grab tongue depressors, dip them in giant vats of lubricant, and then proceed to slather it in spaces that would be causing them friction or chaffing. Fairly distracting but it did keep my mind off the fatigue in my hips.

I also was amazed at how there were apparently designated spots along the way to go to the bathroom. I’m not talking about Honey Buckets but rather walls of various buildings. I remember the first one being about 6 miles into the race, I cam around a corner and there they were, at least 50 people lined up along the wall of a building taking care of business. I laughed about how unfortunate that is for whoever owns that property for at least a few miles.

If you have never run a marathon I recommend you do at some point. It is extremely entertaining and then there is of course the sense of accomplishment.


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