Ireland and Northern Ireland are arguably the most interesting sources of news from last weekend, along with lots of over-hot racing, including brutal conditions for the TP100. Lots of results and interesting bits and bobs over here…
My second week in Cardiff. I got to run around the bay on glorious sunny mornings, do intervals and 10miles with the Les Croupiers run club, manage a little sub-7/mi pace , 17 miles one day and 18 two days later (though it was a battle) and racked up some decent miles. Full details in the post. Next week will be slightly lower mileage again and a bit of cross trainer stuff *ugh*. Just to be safe. Zzzz.
A last minute chance to go and help BBC Sport in Wales with their coverage of the World Para Athletics World Championships means that last week week I found myself with a new place to run but also with no gym access. Hurrah for BenFP who works out what to do when I throw injuries and changes of plan at him.
The "Top Tips for First Time Boston Marathon Runners" or even "10 things you need to know about the Boston Marathon" would be a useful blog post right now, wouldn't it? But we all know I'm not that calm or organised (unless you've been ignoring ALL my instagram, strava and twitter -ing) so instead of a lovely, useful, very predictable article, I'm going to highlight some of the things I don't know, estimate the answers and then report back with after the event.
1. What am I going to do between 6am getting on the bus at starting at 10am?
Will I be bored or will it just fly by? Will I have the right amount of food with me? Should I risk eating bagels etc while I'm waiting in Hopkinton? How cold am I going to get? How many times will I have to go to the loo?
Estimated answers: both, yes, no, pretty cold, about 5.
2. What happens between the time that you leave for your starting corral an actually setting off?
According to the official info on wave and corral start times, we're leaving the race village a full 55 minutes before we set off. I know there's a 0.7 mile walk to the start and there's loos along the way (maybe let's upgrade that 5 to a 6) but will it really take nearly an hour?
Estimated answer: there'll be a portal to another world that we disappear into for a bit. Or maybe that's a portaloo?
3. Will I regret not doing the 5k on the Saturday, the pre-race pasta party or the post-race Boston Marathon Mile 27 party?
There's a 5k race on the Saturday before the 26.2 on Monday. Lots of people have said it's really fun and helps get into the spirit of it all. I'm conscious that I've already hijacked our holiday and that we are staying with friends of friends, so I'm not doing any extra bits and bobs. I'll go for a run on my own though. Then there's the pre-race pasta party and the post race "Mile 27" one which is held at the Red Sox stadium. Both of these are free for me and I can purchase another ticket if I want. These fall into the same category as above at the moment so as things stand I'm sticking to the one thing.
Estimated answer: Yes absolutely. I will be kicking myself and having major FOMO about absolutely everything. If the race goes well I won't care about the pre-race bits but I'll wish we could go to the party. If it doesn't go well I'll be annoyed about the pre-race bits but won't care about the party. 2 days later I suspect I won't mind about any of it.
4. What will the weather be like?
Well, the list of conditions in previous years shows that it's always pretty variable and the runner's passport says to be prepared for crosswinds at mile 17. Over the past few weeks it's been anything between -4c and snowing to 25c and sunny. Online sooth-sayers vary between being optimistic by claiming that tailwinds may aid us or glass half empty saying that the heat may stall us. Runners world is fuelling our obsessive meteorological monitoring. Of course that later start time (10am) adds interest. So yeah, who knows?
Estimated answer: Your guess is as good as mine, but you can be sure that if it goes badly we'll all be blaming the weather!
5. Will it be fun, will it go well and will Mr B and I actually manage to see each other before I've crossed the finish line?
Yes I realise that's three questions in one but hey - "7 things I don't know" is less punchy. Will it be fun? You bet. Let me at it. I'm almost at the stage (I say almost because there's still that competitive monkey lurking) where I don't care what the outcome is, I just want to race. Thanks to the inspiration friends at Advent Running, running buddies from Euston Church, coach Ben's enthusiasm and the general hype, I suspect this is going to be an ace-race regardless of time. I don't know how it's going to go but I've seen loads of mates do brilliant things already this year in Manchester, Brighton and Paris and there's a queue forming to kick some London Marathon butt so I'm sure as heck going to get in there too and go have some fun. The one big downer of a point-to-point is that Mr B's legendary cheering efforts won't be possible. I'll miss seeing him along the way but hopefully we'll catch a glimpse before I traverse the blue and yellow line.
Estimated answer: If I have any say in the matter it's going to be a blast. Run the race, arms aloft at the finish line. That's how it works, right?
Feel free to add your own questions in the comments below and I'll go on a mission to get you answers.
Oh and by the way, if you do actually want something called "Run Your Best Boston" you can find it here. It's excellent (well I assume it is since I can't disprove any of the things it says) and it has got me even more excited.
Also, I'll talk about London soon too. I realise it's not just this race happening but, well, humour me for now.