It’s GO! Time

Today is my travel day.  Before I board my coast-to-coast flight here in San Francisco, I wanted to go live with some final pre-race thoughts and also provide information on how to watch/follow Monday’s race.

It’s hard to believe that a year has already passed since the 2013 Boston Marathon.  As I wrote last year, that Monday included irreplaceable highs and unfathomable lows.  I’m glad, in a way, that this year’s race comes 371 days after the events of 2013.  With Tuesday’s day of remembrance and memorial services behind us, the attention now shifts to the actual race – and if I want to perform well, that has to be my focus.

More specifically, my focus is on running faster than I have ever run before.  That’s the goal I set for myself when I begin each marathon cycle.  And so far in my career, I’ve been able to execute the plan; outside of doing a one-off marathon in January of 2013, where the goal was to race for place, not time, I’ve improved on each of my first 6 marathon performances:

  1. Eugene Marathon – 2:23, 1st (May, 2010)
  2. Twin Cities Marathon – 2:18, 10th (October, 2010)
  3. USA Olympic Marathon Trials – 2:15, 26th (January, 2012)
  4. Chicago Marathon – 2:15, 20th (October, 2012)
  5. Mississippi Blues Marathon – 2:16, 1st (January, 2013)
  6. Boston Marathon – 2:14, 10th (April, 2013)
  7. Chicago Marathon – 2:13, 13th (October, 2013)

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 6.38.08 AMAs you can see, I’ve been able to consistently move forward for 3.5 years.  Most of that has been a result of harder and smarter training, but considering each of those 7 marathons have been run under good weather conditions, I’ve gotten a little lucky as well.  No matter how good your training has been leading up to a marathon, if the weather turns sour, so does your race.  But once again, it appears the running gods are looking out for me.  Forecasters are now confidently predicting near ideal conditions for Monday’s race.

With the most crucial, and uncontrollable, component to racing well shaping into form, I’m able to really lock in on doing what I set out to do when I began training in January – PR!  A lot of runners shy away from expounding upon pre-race goals, but I can say that if I didn’t run faster than 2:13:52 on Monday, I’ll be a bit disappointed.  And that’s because of how well the training has gone this cycle.  I’ve been able to run more miles, with better quality, than any previous marathon block.  And most importantly, the last 6-weeks of training has been superb.

After running last year’s Boston Marathon, I truly believe that if the weather cooperates, it can be a fast course.  Sure, there are some challenging parts to the course – you get a couple of tough miles around 10-12 and then the undulating 10k from roughly 25-35k.  But, the first 10k and the last 8k are some of the easiest miles of marathoning in the world.

So yeah, given there are no pacemakers, people always want to make Boston about your place finish.  But my focus for 2014 is on time.  I want a better PR than 2:13:52.  And I also suspect that if I run a PR, I’ll be happy with my finishing place.

Last week of training:

Throughout this cycle I have been posting weekly updates on what marathon training looks like from my point of view.  I have links to each of the previous posts, which include the past 12 weeks worth of training.  The emphasis for this cycle was on building a bigger base.  I ran roughly 130 miles more (approximately 10 additional miles per week) than during my training cycle for last year’s Boston Marathon.  Included in that were several workout-focused long runs and an over-distance run of 28 miles back on March 1st.  You can’t grow if you don’t change.  Hopefully there’s some measurable growth come Monday afternoon!

  • Post 1
  • Post 2
  • Post 3
  • Post 4
  • Post 5
  • Post 6
  • Post 7
  • Post 8
  • Post 9
  • Below is what my final week leading into the marathon has looked/will look like…

    4/14-20 AM PM Total
    Monday 45 mins S&C; 10 miles 10
    Tuesday 3 mile warmup. 5 x 1000m, :60 rest; 8 x 400, :45 rest. 3 mile cooldown. 11
    Wednesday 8 miles 8
    Thursday 3 mile warmup. 5 mile gentle progressive run. 8 x 100m striders. 2 mile cooldown. 10
    Friday OFF 0
    Saturday 5 miles 5
    Sunday 1.5 mile warmup. 2 x 1 mile, :90 rest. 6-8 x 100m striders. 1.5 mile cooldown. 6
    50

    How to watch/follow:

    Before I get into all the ways you can follow the race from afar, let me begin by saying if you were ever going to attend a Boston Marathon live, this would be the one to attend.  The folks at GQ agree with me.  If you are in the area, find a way to get to the course.  Take it all in: the energy, the passion, and most importantly, the patriotism.  There will never be a more grand Boston Marathon.

    For those of you who can’t make it to Beantown, there are several ways to follow all the action.  The 2014 Boston Marathon will be broadcast live from Boston, Massachusetts Monday, April 21 via Universal Sports television network and UniversalSports.com. Many providers will be carrying Universal Sports as a free preview April 14-21. Check your local listings for the channel number (complete coverage schedule listed below).  Universalsports.com will also feature a live finish line camera showing runners as they complete the race.  WATCH ONLINE HERE

    You can also sign up to receive text updates here.  I’ll be bib #29.  It looks like you’ll get splits from 10k, half, 30k and the finish.  I’m sure the Boston Marathon webpage will also provide links to live results on race morning; so if you don’t want to go the text messaging route, you should be able to get all the info on the website.

    Finally, despite being without my social media guru, Aadam Soorma, this weekend, the plan is to still provide some live updates from on the ground through my twitter page @cleonrun.  For those who have followed my last two marathons in Boston and Chicago, Mr. Soorma provided some great material.  His forthcoming graduation from Carnegie Mellon University has precluded him from joining the festivities in Boston, but I can guarantee he’ll be back on the payroll soon enough.  For those of us who know Soorma well, we couldn’t be more proud to see him graduate with his Master’s degree from one of this country’s best schools.  His absence leaves a big void in my race day coverage, but I’ll try my best to find a viable solution.

    Full Universal Sports Boston Marathon Coverage:

    DATE         EVENT                                                  VIEWING INFO

  • 04/19    2014 Boston Marathon Preview Show (LIVE)    TV: 4:00pm ET
  • 04/21    2014 Boston Marathon Pre-race Show (LIVE)    TV: 8:30am ET
  • 04/21    2014 Boston Marathon (LIVE)    TV: 9:25am ET Online: 8:30am ET
  • 04/21    2014 Boston Marathon Finish Line Stream (LIVE/VOD)    Online: TBD ET
  • 04/21    2014 Boston Marathon Post-race (LIVE)    TV: 12:30pm ET
  • 04/21    2014 Boston Marathon Wrap-Up Show (LIVE)    TV: 4:00pm ET
  • 04/21    2014 Boston Marathon (encore presentation)    TV: 8:00pm ET
  • Final Thoughts:

    The Boston Marathon has been, and always will be, the greatest footrace on the planet.  Nothing that happened last year did anything to change this.  But the 2014 Boston Marathon will be more than just a race; it will be celebration of human resiliency.  Before I head out the door for a run each day over the past year, I’ve been reminded by the poster (see right) that hangs on the wall at my house that “we will finish the race”.  In an interview with ProForm, makers of the official Boston Marathon treadmill, I talked about how important crossing that finish line means to this particular race.  Even for those of us who finished the 2013 Boston Marathon, there has been a sense of incompletion to that day.  It’s time to finalize that chapter.  It’s time to finish that day.  It’s time to finish that race.

    Whether  you are running or watching, I hope you have as much fun on Monday as I plan on having!

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    Comments (4)

    • Avatar

      Tony Mollica

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      Good luck Craig! Have fun!!

      Reply

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      Frank Youngwerth

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      Have a totally succesful run on Monday Craig. We are confident that you will reach your goal, the top ten, and an improved time over last year’s success. All of us are behind you. Our very best goes out to you.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Jim Covey

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      Good Luck Craig! The whole neighborhood will be rooting for you.
      Jim and Ruth Ann

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Frank Youngwerth

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      Great race Caraig. 2 hours 14 minutes 28 seconds, 10 seconds better than last year. 12th place overall, 5th best American. Congratulations to a friend, and fellow Bobcat. We’re all proud of you.

      Reply

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