Thursday, May 5, 2011

Boston Marathon 2011, Part 5: Lessons learned

The Boston Marathon was a fantastic race. I did a good amount of reading to gear up for the race (I recommend Michael Connelly's book 26 Miles to Boston as a good review of the course, the history, notable figures, and things to be aware of). That said, I learned a few things on my own which are important lessons if I am fortunate enough to return for another try.

  • Number one: better hydration. I think some additional hill repeats and more speedwork would have helpd improve my times, but just being better hydrated would be an easy way to boost performance.
  • Getting up early to catch the first bus was a good idea. I would rather be early to the Athlete's Village with food, water, coffee, and portajohns than standing in a line on the sidewalk by Boston Common.
  • That said, I would prepare for a long wait at the Village. The open area does have some concrete/dry areas to sit, but it was mostly grass and a trash bag, or something to sit on would be nice. Some brought inflatable rafts which looked like a good idea, others brought a cheap sleeping bag which also looked very comfy.
  • They did serve coffee, but for a last minute caffeine fix I probably would have been just as good or better with an energy drink in my bag.
  • I brought many race-day clothing options, but did not bring any throwaway clothes. I did this because of the predicted weather, but I also did not really plan well for the possibility of rain, which was something that was a possibility.
  • As a Floridian, it took me traveling to Boston to get a sunburn. In my defense, I brought sunscreen, but it must have been too old and ineffective. Admittedly, I did not apply enough to my arms anyway and my right (southern) was burned and my left (northern) was spared. Quite an interesting tan!
  • Others wrote their names on their arms to get people to cheer for them, but I was quite happy with the "Go Florida" cheers I received for my Florida Track Club singlet. That said, I would definitely recommend wearing something identifiable so that some of the many cheers you hear will be directed at you.
  • Try to take advantage of the speakers at the Expo. There are several guest lectures and panel discussion on a variety of running related topic that I did not take the time to do, and I have heard they can be enjoyable and informative.
Thanks to the BAA for a great race and to Erin for making the trip with me and tolerating my weekend long runs!

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