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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Boston by the numbers

Time: 3:00:21. WHY.
Pace: 6:52
Garmin distance: 26.35. I don't think that's bad at all for a race of this size, and it's exactly what I thought I'd see. I am usually much better at tangents, but it's tough at a large, crowded race to do that.
Cadence: 186. Hallelujah, I am finally running a better cadence!
Fastest mile: 6:29 (mile 16, big downhill)
Slowest mile: 7:19 (mile 21, heartbreak hill!)
Bib number: 8578
Finishing place: 2676. So, I read several places that in Boston your goal should be to "beat your bib" since your bib indicates your qualifying placement. You want to move up places. Obviously I beat my bib by a lot, because I didn't run a good race at Rocket City to update my time (I registered with an "easy BQ" from the Buffalo marathon, off a short build-up after my stress fracture, so I was hoping to improve my waive/corral based on Rocket City in December. However, I had a terrible race, so I didn't move up too much). What this does show you is maybe why I felt like I was fighting through crowds the entire race: if you "beat your bib" by close to 6,000, then you probably had to pass close to 6,000 people through the course of the race (estimation, obviously). No wonder I felt like the race was congested!
Finishing place, gender: 177. Hm. Maybe I'll break 150 some day. If I ever run Boston again.
Training cycle: 11 weeks
Days off: 0, amazingly.
Training mileage: 700 miles
Average mileage: 63.7 MPW. I was in the "low mileage" group on our team workout calendar, and I think that suits me just fine. I only had three weeks that hit 70, and they just barely hit 70! I definitely felt like 60-65 was better for me than 70-75 would be. Now, since our training plans aren't individualized, there is a lot of leeway within each group: for example, it will say something like "1-2 mile warm up, 3 - 4 repeats of 1.5 mile at tempo, 1-2 mile cool down" or "rest day or 40-60 minutes easy" - so while I was in the low mileage group, I got higher mileage than some of my teammates, who may have opted for the shorter option most days. Probably 55 mpw would have been too low, so I think I mostly hit the sweet spot.
PR by: 5:57
PR from: 2012 (I am choosing not to count RnR New Orleans, since I still have my qualms about its actual distance, but if I did, it would be a 4:17 PR from a month and a half earlier)
Recovery days after: Six days off totally, followed by three days of very easy and short running, before easing into a pretty benign workout. Despite the fact that my legs felt completely torn apart by the end of the race itself - I could not even WALK after, although a surge of adrenaline hit a few hours later and I merrily waltzed up 100 stairs in the T station rather than take the escalator - I felt recovered pretty quickly after this race. I have a hunch that having oxygen in your muscles may enhance recovery, too. Perhaps!
Ferritin in December: 8
Ferritin two weeks before Boston: 27! Could be better - I think athletes aim for 40 or higher - but this is a magnificent improvement!
Hemoglobin in February: 10.3 (This is after being on iron for 3+ months)
Hemoglobin two weeks before Boston: 12.3! Thank you, iron, for turning my running around!
Weeks pregnant on race day: 4


  1. What?!? Weeks pregnant on race day? Did I miss something in your prior posts? And to include this benignly at the end of the post...methinks this was an intentional thing. Congratulations either way, and a great race. Beating the bib is the only real competitive Boston goal I've had; it is a difficult race to "race" well, although your 2019 effort debunks that to some extent. Stay healthy for the Christmas baby!

    1. You didn't miss anything! I was being sneaky!

  2. Yay, you are back! And your news is out on the blogosphere! Congrats on a huge PR, especially with all the health issues you had and the fact that you were (unknowingly) in the early stages of pregnancy! I hope you'll update us on how your Ferritin and hemoglobin levels have been since becoming pregnant. Pregnancy is exhausting on it's own so would be even more exhausting with an iron deficiency!

    Congrats congrats congrats!

  3. Congratulations on ALL of it - such exciting news! I think those extra 22 seconds have a little asterisk next to them lol. I also can't believe you took the STAIRS at Porter...I almost never even do that when I haven't run a marathon lol. Congratulations!

  4. OMG!!!!

    I knowwww it doesn't work this way, but your time at Boston is a sub-3 on so many other courses that I think of you as a sub-3er anyway. Crazy to realize you had a little one along for the ride!! :)

  5. I was wondering if that little tidbit would come out! This is priceless the way you worked that in there. I love all these stats and it makes me want to do a blog like this for my next Boston! Congratulations again on your pregnancy. That answers the "Why" in your first point. :-)

  6. Congratulations!! Longtime reader, almost never commenter, but I'm thrilled for you!

  7. Congratulations on an amazing race!!!! Also CONGRATULATIONS on the BIG news!!! So excited for you!!!

  8. Congratulations! That certainly explains your summer running. I hope you have a problem-free pregnancy, easy delivery and a joyful recovery.