Sunday, May 3, 2009

Week in Review- May 3

Last weekend brought the best weather of the year so far....80s and sunny. So, it was great to see the blue and green out on the roads. I saw several BTTers out on the CRW loop. I frequently ride that loop and I've seen more BTTers out there in the past couple of weeks than ever before. Keep it up! As far as racing is concerned, Nancy Arena and Marybeth Begley headed down to the Sunshine State for St. Anthony's. Nancy gives us her report:

Last weekend Marybeth and myself trecked down to St Petersberg, FL to participate in the St Anthony's Olympic distance triathlon; a huge race with over 6000 athletes, top pro and elite field and competative age groupers looking to qualify for the 2009 Age Group Nationals since the race is a regional championship race. We arrived on Friday, me with the fears that my injury may not make it thru the race and MB afflicted with some form of the swine flu. We headed for the race expo and registration. It was a balmy day and the heat started to affect both of us as we bumbled around the expo feeling as if we had both been drugged. We saw a few pros including Terrenzo Bozzone. After talking to the extremely friendly and helpful volunteers, we finally found the swim start and went for our first outdoor swims of the year! The ocean was beautiful and flat-(but not for long.) Saturday, we picked up our bikes from tribike transport( a much recomended outift to ship your bike and you get a free hat to boot!). After a small ride to check the gears, we racked our bikes in the sea of 6000 other bikes. We then headed for another small swim; the surf was a bit bigger today but still better than chilly Walden. The water temp was about 75 so wetsuits allowed thus far. Sunday- race day we got up at the crack of dawn despite the fact that our swim waves didnt go off until after 8:40 and 8:45. We arrived in transition at 5:30 am only to find out that the swim was CANCELLED!!! Evidently the surf and wind was too dangerous and only the pros were allowed to swim;Rumor has it that 2 of the pros were plucked from the swim that morning. After what seemed to be chaos, age groupers were lined up numerically and sent off every 2 seconds, time trial style. MB went off somewhere around 8:45 and me soon there after. We ran from the swim finish into transition where I soon found I was lost in transition. It took me over 2 minutes to find my bike(mind you there was no wetsuit to pull off or anything- I thought for sure one of the over 200 athletes in my "aged" group took it. Finally found the little Guru and was off. The bike course was flat with many turns, very congested at times and windy as well-At one point I thought I was going to fall over sideways. The run, also flat, ran into nice neighborhoods, was well supported with many spectators studded along the course. The wind had calmed down by the run and it was pretty warm out there. All in all, it was a great race despite the fact that it became a duathlon. It's well run, well supported, huge race in a beautiful place; a great opener to the tri-season. MB and I feel we need to come back next year since we didnt get the full experience. Any other takers????

At some of the other more local races, BPQ continued his transformation from triathlete to cyclist as he took on the Quabbin Resevoir Road (bike) Race with Maddy's bet...other half, Mike. Quigley gives us his take on the day:
Mike Moran and I raced the Quabbin Reservoir Road Race on Sunday. 63 mile loop with ~5000' climbing and temps were in the 80's.

Plan was to ride smart - not hard and I successfully sat in for the first 55 miles, then jumped to cover a break (that went nowhere) at mile 55 and ended up throwing my plan out the window as I found myself pulling the whole damn peleton into the wind for the last 6 miles. After a couple of miles in front I knew I wouldn't have the legs to cover the final sprint - so I tried to break everything up by setting a hard tempo for the last 3 miles to the top of the hill. I sucessfully controlled the race from the front and started the sprint with 200 yards to go. As expected I lost 7 spots due to tired legs and finished 8th overall.

Not a bad race, but still kicking myself for tactical errors that probably landed me a handful of spots further down the finisher's list and cost me a payout.

Overall a great day of racing. Attached is a view from a finish line.

Mary Wrin took third in his division at the Charles River School 5K run in Dover. And, I shared overall honors at the Blue Hills 10 Miler w/training parter Dave Hannon of New England Track and Trail. All in all, a great weekend of racing.

By the way, a great weekly training event for the bike is the Charlie Baker Time Trial in Concord. BPQ took on the first one of the year, finishing 5th.

As promised, below is a re-cap of BTTers at the Boston Marathon:

Kate Blumberg:

This was my first year running the Boston Marathon as a qualified runner. I've run the race 5 times before this for charity...and even though I qualified, I still chose to run for the American Liver Foundation's Run for Research. Probably my favorite part of the entire race was walking up to the #15corral. It was in Wave 2, right up front near the starting line.Having always been waaaaay in the back with the charity runners, this was such a thrill and an adrenaline rush to be so close to the start!!I was with a few of my girlfriends, who had also qualified, and we were all super excited for the race to get underway. As the race started, I found a comfortable pace and ran with my friend,Betty, for about the first 16 miles. The weather was slightly chilly,but I chose my outfit well - singlet, shorts and arm warmers. The headwind came in gusts but, all in all, it wasn't a bad day to run a marathon. The crowds were out in full force this year, but I tried not to get too wrapped up in their excitement, in fear that it would make me go faster than I wanted. My only goal for this year's Boston was to break my previous course record of 3:54:56. I'm already qualified for2010 Boston with my 2008 Philly time, so there was no need to try and run a BQ. I just wanted to have fun, while still having some sort of goal. As we made our way down Grossman's hill, my quads started burning(shocker) and I gladly welcomed the uphill over 128. By this point,Betty was pushing a bit ahead and I wanted to conserve my energy for the hills. I passed by the Liver Team Cheering section (see attached picture) at mile 17 and was so excited to see familiar faces. As I turned the corner to approach the first of the three Newton hills, I let the energy from the cheering section carry me up. I knew that most ofmy friends and family were waiting for me at the 30K mark, so my goal was to get to that point in good spirits. At the 30K mark, my friend Amie jumped in to run me in to the finish. I was starting to hurt and welcomed her company. The remaining uphills felt really good but as I descended into Cleveland Circle, I experienced a great deal of pain in my sciatica. It seriously felt like someone was stabbing me in the ass with a knife. The last 5miles were very painful...I was limping and shuffling...and there may have been some tears...but I refused to walk or give up (plus, Amie wouldn't let me). I ended up crossing the finish line in 3:51:15,breaking my previous course record by almost 4 minutes. I was so excited...but the pain and the bitter cold wind that whipped through the finish corral didn't let me enjoy the moment too much. Once I got to the Liver Team recovery zone at the Westin (which took forever to get to, since I could barely walk), I was exhausted with pain. I saw my mom at the top of the escalator and broke down into tears. I just wanted to sit down and make the pain stop. She helped me into the room where I had, not one but TWO, massage therapists work out my sciatica. They told me they could literally feel it pulsating. Once I started to feel a little better, I was able to bask in the glory of my course PR and continued on to Brandy Pete's to dance the night away at a post-marathon party. :-)

Krista Schepanovsky:

Not much to say---except:

a huge THANKS to all that were at the BTT tent, or volunteering on the course. I sure needed a boost and was looking forward to seeing the BTT tent...though I swear you moved it farther....and nice to meet new team member Brett in the last couple of miles..if only I could have hung on with you! Boston is an amazing race and one you should definitely do if you have the chance.

Brett Johnston:

Boston Marathon weekend is always crazy, because you really feel like you are in the "Hurry Up and Wait" mode which I suspect is because of the Monday start. I started off my prep on Sunday with watching "The Departed"…for me there is no better "Boston" movie to get you psyched for the race, especially when you throw in the Dropkick Murphys tune "I'm shipping Up to Boston" for good measure. Race Day was perfect weather although there was a strong Easterly wind that seemed to get stronger through the day. I wasn’t able to meet up with any fellow BTT'rs before the race, but got to meet up with Meg, Doug and Mark Vautour at the start line. I was in the 2nd wave which started at 10.30, and it was just after 10:40 before we actually got to the starting line and began to run. I had never broken 4 hours before in a marathon, and that was my goal, so for me everything was to hit the finish before 2:40 pm (10 minutes after Lauren had scheduled a post race meeting at Cuffs to celebrate with a couple beverages). For those of you who have ever considered using one of those "pace wrist bands", I can strongly suggest it. At the expo, you give your target time (3:55 for me), and it will print out a pace calculator for you taking into account elevations and where you are in the course etc. It was a good feeling to be able to look down every mile and see that I was either on pace, or knocking a couple of seconds off... which I knew I would need at the end. For me, one of the best parts of the course is Wellesley College (I have no idea why... maybe it is the kisses that are graciously handed out at will), but this is a great place to get to. It is quite funny to hear some first time runners as they approach Wellesley College, as you start to hear the roar of the crowds way before you can actually see them, and a lot of people don’t know what the noise actually is. Once I hit Newton, I had to tell myself that all that I have is a 5-mile race to the top of HeartBreak Hill, and after that it was home time. This seemed to work for me, and I think doing nearly all of my long runs on that part of the course really helped a lot. I could not wait to get to the BTT tent, and I knew that they had said that it was near mile 18.5, which really gave you something to look forward to. I think that from mile 18 to the tent (which I do not believe was 1/2 mile) was the longest part of the race for me, because you are looking around every corner or hill just hoping to see the tent. Eventually "it" arrived…and a big Thank You…it was a great help, and dare is say that I think I actually got "goosies"…(If that is not a manly thing to say…then those "goosies" were from the wind…it was really cold J ). Going up heartbreak hill, I learnt that you can actually draft a runner, and this was a huge help as I just kept my eyes on his feet, and did not need to look up the hill, and when I got to the top and broke out, I got hit straight on with the wind, so I know that it worked for me…Thanks whoever you are…. Now all I had to do was press on to the end, although now my legs were really feeling it, but I was able to continue running and keep my pace. I eventually got to cross the finish line in a time of 3:53, which was a PR for me, and my first sub-4 marathon. My wife volunteers at the finish line each year at the marathon, so it was great to have her there at the end….and Yes, we made it to Cuffs afterwards for some good post race Sam Adams rehydration....

Great job to all that ran the marathon! And, a special thanks to those who contributed to the report...

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