Sunday, July 01, 2012

Weekly Summary: June 18 - July 1

Jun 25 - Jul 1

Mon: DNR
Tue: 10.2M easy
Wed: DNR
Thu: 10.5M easy
Fri: 10M easy
Sat: 9.2M easy
Sun: 15.2M easy

Weekly Total: 55 miles on 5 runs/ 5 days
I knew that this was going to be a low mileage week because of all the things I had going on. On Mon and Tue I packed up the household goods for my move to NC. And then the next two days I made the long road trip (1100 miles) to Fayetteville, NC. I'm glad to be back in NC and running some of my old running routes. Although, I'm not enjoying this heat wave that is hanging around.


Jun 18 - 24

Mon: AM - 7.3M easy; PM - 6M easy
Tue: AM - 9M including 6M tempo; PM - 6.2M easy
Wed: AM - 9M easy; PM - 4.7M easy
Thu: 6M easy
Fri: DNR; travel back to KC
Sat: AM - 12M including 6 x 3/4 mile w/ 3' rec jog; PM - 4.5M easy
Sun: 16M steady long run

Weekly Total: 80.7 miles on 10 runs/ 6 day
I was happy to get in a couple quality workouts this week. I did a 6 mile tempo starting out at about marathon pace and then getting down to about 10K effort. It was very humid when I ran the tempo in the early morning; however, my body was able to handle the conditions well. On Saturday, I was back in Kansas City; I ran repeats of 3/4 mile fartlek (~4 min) at the English Landing Park in Parkville. Despite missing one day of running due to travel, I still ended the week at 80 miles.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekly Summary: June 11-17

Mon: AM - 5M easy; PM - 7M easy; 12M tot
Tue: AM - 8M easy; PM - 5M easy; 13M tot
Wed: 7.5M including 12 x 1' fartlek hard/easy
Thu: AM - 9M easy; PM - 7M easy; 16M tot
Fri: AM - 7M easy w/ 6 strides ; PM - 5.5M easy; 12.5M tot
Sat: 9M easy
Sun: 18M long run

Weekly Total: 88 miles on 11 runs/7 days

It was a week of easy running, in terms of intensity.  On the other hand, I got in some good mileage; 88 miles, the most miles since March when I was training for Boston.  During the week I'd run in the early morning as part of my Army PT (physical training), and then I'd put in another run after work (actually, class). Sunday was a nice 2-hour run on the quiet roads of Fort Gordon.  I cruised along at a 6:30ish pace feeling very comfortable and steady.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekly Summary: Jun 4-10

Mon: AM - 5M easy; PM - 7.2M easy; 12.2M tot
Tue: AM - 8M easy; PM - 5M easy; 13M tot
Wed: 6M easy
Thu: 10.3M including 4 sets of 2x200 + 1x400 (35, 35, 72, 35, 35, 72, 35, 34, 71, 34, 34, 71)
Fri: 9M easy
Sat: AM - NEEC's Pioneer 5K Run: 16:35, 1st, 9M tot;  PM - 9M easy; 18M tot.
Sun: DNR; travel

Weekly Total: 68.5M on 9 runs/6 days
I ran easy with a couple double runs early in the week to recover from Hospital Hill.  On Thursday I hit the track for some short intervals, sets of 2x200 +1x400.  I had planned to run 5-6 sets, but only did 4 as it was very hot.  On Saturday, I ran a last minute 5K race (see previous post) as a hard tempo workout.  That afternoon I ran an easy 9 miles making it an 18-mile day.  On Sunday I traveled to Fort Gordon (Augusta, GA), which is where I'm currently at, for a 2-week Army course.  I had intended to fit in a run after arriving in the afternoon.  However, the run never happened because I literally spent my entire day stranded in the Atlanta airport.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Last Minute 5K as a Workout

Hospital Hill half-marathon was supposed to be my last race in Kansas/Missouri. However, I decided to run a 5K race literally the morning of the race. The Pioneer Run 5K was hosted by the Northland Early Education Center to benefit education services for Northland children who have special needs. The race was held in the Parkville English Landing Park, which is where I routinely log my Saturday miles. So, for a good cause, and since the run was being held in the same location I was going to put in my workout, I decided to just run the race. I treated the race as a training run, because I had just put in 9 miles the night before.

At the start line I did not see any familiar faces from previous races (nice rhyme), so I knew that the run would be a solo effort. The course consisted of one small lap and one big lap on the running/bike trail around the park. Within the first 1/4 mile I was pretty much on my own. I'd say that I ran the race at a good hard tempo effort. I finished in 16:35, almost 2.5 minutes ahead of the 2nd runner. It was a good workout and effort.  The toughest part of the run was getting a good push off on the foot strikes as the trail is a little sandy. The Saucony Kinvaras are also probably not the best shoes for traction on a dirt trail course. Regardless, it was a good run. After crossing the finish and getting some water, I continued on for a nice easy 4 miles. I finished the morning at 9 miles and will do another run this afternoon.

Another dust collector, but I'll take the gift cards. 

Monday, June 04, 2012

Weekly Summary: May 28 - Jun 3

Mon: 8.5M easy
Tue: 9.5M easy including 10 x 1' hard/easy fartlek
Wed: 8.5M easy
Thu: 6.5M easy
Fri: 4M easy including 6 x strides
Sat: AM - Hospital Hill Half-Marathon - 1:13:59, 27th; PM - 4.2M very easy; 20M total
Sun: 10M easy

Weekly Total: 67 miles on 8 runs/7 days; 1 race
The highlight of the week was obviously the Hospital Hill half-marathon.  Despite being a race week, I still ended up with some decent mileage.  I headed into the race at 37 miles, and then put in a total of 30 miles over the weekend, including the race.  On the afternoon of Hospital Hill, I went out a short 4M shakeout run.  The shakeout run really helped in flushing out the waste in the legs and contributed to me having a nice easy 10-mile run on Sunday.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

I Conquered Hospital Hill

You couldn't have asked for better weather conditions on an early June morning for Hospital Hill. Mid-50 degrees, overcast with some sun and a cool breeze....Come On! Where was this weather on April 16?

I knew I was ready for Hospital Hill, but honestly I did not know what to expect in terms of a time goal for this race. I thought a 1:14-1:15 would be a reasonable and respectable time considering the hills. At the expo on Friday, Rusty, who is a race director for some of the local races, congratulated me on my win and finishing time at the Five Trails a couple weekends ago. He told me that I'd run well in tomorrow's (Saturday) race, because the Five Trails course was tougher than Hospital Hill. His comment gave me a positive mindset, but I'd still have to see for myself.

When the gun went off I made sure not to go out too hard, as there were also 5K and 10K runners in the race running the same course, at least for the first few miles. I ran the first two miles steady and controlled, hitting mile 2 in 11:23 (5:42, 5:41). The next 3 miles (3-5) were a gradual decline, and I settled into a good rhythm running low to mid-5:30 pace until the steep hill at mile 6 (see elevation chart below). Mile 6 split was my 2nd slowest mile (5:53). My slowest mile split of the day was mile 11 (5:54). The hill at mile 11 wasn't as steep as mile 6, but it was a gradual climb that lasted literally for an entire mile.

At the start of the 12th mile, or 11-mile marker, the half-marathon and 10K runners meet up with cones separating the two races. The half-marathoners ran on the left side of the street and the 10K-ers on the right side. This part of the course actually motivated me to push myself because I not only had a little over two miles to go in the race, but also because I was now running alongside and passing other runners, even though they were 10k runners. In all honesty, the race was a lonely one for me. I practically ran alone with the exception of the first couple miles. Additionally, there wasn't much crowd support in the middle portion of the race. As one of the oldest half-marathons in the country (39th annual), I'd think that there would be more support and spectating from the local residents, especially that the middle miles run through residential areas.

With about a mile left in the race I really began to push the pace (Mile 13 split was 5:09). At that particular point I had no idea what my projected finishing time would be; however, I did know that I'd finish in under 1:15. I made the turn into Grand Blvd and could see the finish line in the distance. I hit mile 13 with the clock at 1:13:26 (believe it or not there was a race clock at the last mile split). With a little less than 200m to the finish I knew that I could go sub-1:14 if I just let the legs go. Thanks to the 200m repeats I've been doing at the end of my track sessions, I sprinted for the finish and just dipped under 1:14 with a 1:13:59. Results here.  Hospital Hill is my 4th fastest half-marathon and also the 4th time running in the 1:13s.  I have yet to break excuse is that I'm always running a half as part of my marathon train-up and never fully tapered for it, or I tend to pick hilly half-marathons.  ;)

In a strong field of runners I finished 27th overall and 3rd in my age-group. I just missed out on some cash in the Top 3 Missouri runners. Actually, I was really the 3rd Missouri runner because the 2nd runner in the Missouri state category was listed in the wrong state (Lawrence is a city of Kansas and not Missouri). No worries though, it was great to be out there and run well in what was my last race in Kansas/Missouri. Later this month I'll be moving to Fort Bragg, NC, where I'll be stationed for the next three years.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekly Summary: May 21-27

Mon: 8.5M easy
Tue: 10M easy
Wed: 9.5M easy
Thu: 12M including 12x400 w/ 200 rec + 4x200 w/ 200 rec
Fri: AM - 6M easy; PM - 9M easy
Sat: 9M easy
Sun: 16M LR; 3M easy, 2x2M tempo w/ .5M easy, 8.5 easy

Weekly Total: 80 miles on 8 runs/7 days

I took 3 days very easy following the half-marathon to ensure my legs had enough recovery. There was some soreness in the quads, but it disappeared by Thursday allowing me to do a workout. On Thursday, I did repeats of 400s followed by some 200s. I ran the 400s slightly faster than 5k pace, but not too hard that I'll need a full recovery, and the 200s at a fast but controlled pace. The workout went well and I hit splits of 73-74s for the 400s and 33-34s for the 200s. On Sunday I did a long run which included 2x2M tempo. I ran the 2M tempos in 11:25 (5:43, 5:42) and 10:56 (5:29, 5:27). It seemed like the legs finally woke up after the first 2M tempo. This coming Saturday is the Hospital Hill half-marathon, so I will be taking it easy and decreasing the volume to freshen up the legs. It will be another tough half-marathon course, but I'm sure I'll be ready for it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekly Summary: May 7-20 / Half-Marathon Race

I've been doing a lot of writing the last couple weeks.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, none of it was blog writing.  I was busy completing my final thesis for my Master's degree, and doing other papers and creating presentations for my Army staff college classes.  I'm all done with my Master's now. It's just a matter of walking across the stage to receive my degree in a couple weeks.

Running, on the other hand, has been going pretty well.  Since my last post, I paced my wife in the Running with the Cows Half-Marathon two weekends ago, which she placed 2nd, ran a couple track sessions, and finished off this week with a win at the Five Trails Half-Marathon.  My wife was the 1st overall female, so it was a good day for "Team Blas".  Results here.

Five Trails is actually not on trails as the name would suggest.  According to, the race is named for the five historic trails (Pike's Peak Trail, Sante Fe Trail, Mormon Trail, and the Oregon and California trails) that criss-cross through the Leavenworth area.

The hilly/rolling half-marathon is a single rectangular loop around the city of Leavenworth and runs on pavement/concrete.  It was one of the more challenging half-marathons I've raced, because of the hills.  The hill at Mile 3 (see elevation chart above) is known as the "Pike's Peak of Leavenworth". Luckily, for me, this was my type of race because hills are a strength of mine.  I'm quite happy with my execution and how I felt overall in the race.  It was also a good rehearsal for Hospital Hill in a couple weeks.

May 14 - 20

Mon: 11.2M including 7 x 1000m cruise intervals w/ 200 rec (3:18, 3:19 3:17, 3:18, 3:18, 3:17, & 3:17)
Tue: 10M easy
Wed: 11M easy
Thu: 9.2M including 12 x 200 (34-35s) w/ 200 rec.
Fri: 7.2M easy
Sat: 5M easy
Sun: AM: Five Trails Half-Marathon - 1:16:52, 1st Overall; PM: 5M easy; 20M tot.

Weekly Total: 73.6 miles

May 7 - 13

Mon: 8.7M easy
Tue: 9.3M easy
Wed: 11M including 5 x 1200 w/ 400 rec (3:47, 3:49, 3:48, 3:46, & 3:44)
Thu: 9.3M easy
Fri: 7.5M easy
Sat: 15.5M easy
Sun: 9.3M easy

Weekly Total: 70.6 miles

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Had an excellent track workout yesterday. The workout was 5 x 1200m with 400m recovery jog. Based on my recent race (Trolley Run) and using the pace chart in Jack Daniels' Running Formula book, I was aiming to split the 1200s in 3:51.
I either underestimated my fitness or looked at the wrong row in the pacing chart, because I never split a 3:51 in any of the repeats. My splits for the workout were 3:47, 3:49, 3:48, 3:46, and 3:44. I pushed the pace in the last 400 of the last repeat finishing with a 71 second last lap (400m splits were 77, 76, 71). I was amazed with my last lap, because 71 seconds is almost as fast as I would normally run my 400 repeats. Overall, the workout was great and it gave me a good sense of where my fitness is at.

Wed: 11M including 5x1200 (3:47, 3:49, 3:48, 3:46, & 3:44)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Apr 30 - May 6

Mon: 6.2M easy
Tue: 8.8M easy
Wed: 9M easy
Thu: 9M including track workout: 4 x (2x200 + 1x400)
Fri: 8.7M easy
Sat: 6.3M easy
Sun: 14M steady easy

Weekly Total: 62 miles
This week completed my 3-week post-marathon recovery from the Boston Marathon.  With the exception of the track workout on Thursday, I ran at normal easy pace for each of my runs.  This morning's run was my first run of over 9 miles since Boston.  I did 14 miles on the Trolley Trail.  

Friday, May 04, 2012

Hitting the track

It was the first time hitting the track in a very long time. My plan is to do some shorter races (5k-10k), maybe even up to half-marathon distance, over the next month or two, so I need to regain some leg speed. The track session consisted of 4 sets of 2x200 + 1x400 w/ equal recovery. The goal was to hit the 200s in 34" and the 400 in 70".  After a 20' warmup and a couple of strides, I was ready to get on with the workout.

I hit the first 200 of the 1st set in 32, which felt good but was not the goal time. At this phase of training, 3wks after a marathon, I'm focus on just getting in good sessions and not over-doing it in the workouts. I hit 34 and 70 seconds for the remainder of the 1st set. Right on target. My splits for the rest of the workout were practically on the dot with a few a tad too fast.

32, 34, 70
33, 34, 69
34, 33, 68
33, 34, 70

The speed session turned out to be a good one. I'm anxious to do more track workouts and run shorter races.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Apr 23 - 29

Here's last week's summary.

Mon: 5M easy
Tue: 7.5 easy
Wed: DNR
Thu: 8M easy w/ 5 strides after the run.
Fri: 7.5M easy w/ 5 x 20sec strides toward the end of the run.
Sat: 5.2M easy
Sun: Trolley Run 4M - 20:55 (PR), 19th Place; 7M total

Weekly Total: 40 miles on 6 runs/6 days
This was the 2nd week of recovery from Boston Marathon. The week consisted of easy running, one rest day and a 4-mile race that resulted in a PR.  My legs feel recovered from the marathon; however, I will take this coming week as the 3rd and final marathon recovery week.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trolley Run 4M

The Trolley Run, the nation's largest and fastest 4-Mile, was in jeopardy of being cancelled because of possible lightning and thunderstorms.  Luckily, the lightning flashes held off and the race went on without any delays.  The Trolley Run 4M was only my 3rd 4-Mile race I've ever ran  (4M is not a common race distance). I ran my first 4-mile race back in 2005, and my latest one only 2 1/2 months ago at the KC Love2Run (21:26) - a couple's run where Lisa and I won 1st place in the non-married couples category (we were not yet married) and 2nd overall team.   The goal coming into the race was to run a PR and hopefully go sub-21, 5:15 pace.  With a fast course, lots of fast runners and my legs feeling mostly recovered from Boston, I knew I had a good chance of achieving my goal.

I started out very aggressive when the gun went off.  My leg turnover and pace in the 1st mile felt very fast, but nothing too outrageous.  I crossed the 1-Mile marker in 5:08 and caught up to the leading female runner and Kenyan athlete, Jane Kibii; she won this race the last four years.  In the 2nd mile, I pulled slightly ahead of her by about 10 meters.  I never saw the Mile 2 marker, so I was not able to get my split.  Approaching 3 miles I started to feel my lungs and the lack of speed workouts. It was obvious my pace slowed because I hit 3 miles in 15:40 (10:32 for miles 2 and 3). Jane caught up to me in the 3rd mile and pulled ahead by a few meters.  At that point I was hurting cardio wise, but kept telling myself to maintain the pace as I only had a few more minutes of running left.  When I turned left onto Ward Parkway I saw the clock read 20:30 and counting.  The finishing stretch is a slight gradual downhill and about 150 meters long.  Determined to go sub-21, I sprinted to the finish passing Jane and almost overtaking another runner.  I finished in 20:55 for 19th place and PR'd by almost 30 seconds.  I'm happy with my race considering I just came off of marathon recovery.  Results here.

My wife also ran the race and did well, despite not wanting to run in the first place.  When I registered for the race I also registered my wife without asking her if she wanted to run it.  Lesson learned - don't assume she wants to run if I'm running.  I'm extremely proud of her; she also ran a 4M PR and broke 25 minutes.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wrapping up Boston Recovery

It's been a pretty good week of recovery.  Easy runs on Mon-Tue, a rest day on Wed, followed by easy runs yesterday and today.  I did 5 x 20 seconds strides toward the end of my run today to remind the legs how to run fast and keep them from being lazy.

On Sunday, I will run the Trolley Run, a "fast" point-to-point 4-miler in Kansas City.  Check out last year's results, the winner ran sub-18 minutes with 14 runners going sub-20 minutes.   The legs feel good and recovered (whether they really are may be a different story), so I'm looking forward to putting in a good effort and hopefully, a good time.

Last week the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper interviewed me after my accomplishment at Boston.  Below is a picture of the article.  You can read the article here or click on the picture.

Here are some photos from the marathon.  

Go ARMY!!!

CITGO sign = almost to the finish!


Boston crowd is AMAZING!!!

I beat the Boston heat!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Recovering from Boston

Week 1 recovery from Boston went very well. The case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) settled in on Wednesday morning causing me to walk down my apartment stairs backwards.  I knew that Wednesday would be the day that I'd feel the most soreness in the legs, primarily in the quads.  For week 1 recovery I took the first 3 days after the marathon completely off from running.  I wore my 2XU compression leg sleeves at every opportunity while relaxing at home.  The leg compression sleeves along with nightly foam rolling on The Grid are aiding in the recovery.  Friday afternoon I went for my first run, a 30' slog (slow jog).  I was very anxious to run because my body needed exercise (check out the cool video below).  The run was uneventful and I only felt a little of the quads, nothing too painful.  Saturday was a very easy 5 miles.  I was quite surprise with how my legs felt.  No soreness and just a tad of heaviness in the legs.  It is evident that my legs are recovering well, because my run this morning almost felt like a normal easy run. I will continue to take it very easy over the next week to ensure my legs fully recover.

I do not have any major races planned right now; however, there is a possibility I might run a 4-miler next Sunday.  It will depend on how my legs feel by the end of the work week.

Mon: Boston Marathon - 2:36:35, 56th Overall
Tue: DNR
Wed: DNR
Thu: DNR
Fri: 4M very easy
Sat: 5M very easy
Sun: 6M easy

Weekly Total: 41.2 miles on 4 runs/4 days

Friday, April 20, 2012

116th Boston Marathon Race Report - 2:36:35, 56th Overall

It’s been over a year since I last wrote a post.... I know that’s totally unacceptable. For those who followed my blog (hopefully you still do) and are still waiting on the race report, I have good news. The race report is here, except that it’s not the one you’re probably expecting.  This is my race report from the scorching 116th Boston Marathon (sorry, things got in the way of writing my Rotterdam report)

Where have I been?
Here’s a brief update since my last post. I left beautiful Netherlands in June ’11 and now stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where I’m attending the US Army Command and General Staff College and pursuing my master’s degree. The last 10 months has been nothing but reading, thinking, writing papers, and of course running. Since Rotterdam Marathon last April I’ve ran only 7 races, not including Boston. Four races were 10K or shorter distance (PR’d in the 5K – 15:58), one 10-Mile (won), and two half-marathons (won a hilly half prior to Boston). Part of the reason I only ran 7 races is because of injury.   I had medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) on my right leg causing me to pull out of the Army 10-Miler and Marine Corps Marathon.  To be honest, the injury was a blessing, because it forced me to give my legs the well-deserved rest and recovery from all the miles and marathons raced over the past few years.  

Aside from school and running, I got married.  Just a month ago I married the beautiful runner and ice skater I met at the 2009 Berlin Marathon. You can read the article my hometown newspaper wrote of how Lisa and I met and our connection with running (click here).

Weather Advisory
The last time I ran Boston was in 2004.  I remember everything about my race that year.  It was hot (85 deg), I didn't eat enough, cramped, hit the wall, literally walked, and barely broke 3 hrs.  It was time for redemption.  I began checking the raceday forecast about 5 days out. Initially, raceday was forecasted to be in the low-50s to mid-70s.  It seemed that each time I checked the Weather Channel on my iPad the temps kept increasing.  On Friday, BAA sent out a weather update email notifying runners that the forecast for April 16th called for higher than normal temperatures.  The following day BAA sent out a warm weather advisory email telling runners that .....running will put even the most fit athletes at risk for heat injury. By Sunday, raceday temperature was forecasted to be in the mid to high-80s, possibly even reaching low-90s.  BAA sent out their last weather update email. Only the fittest runners should consider participating. You should adopt the attitude that THIS IS NOT A RACE. It is an experience. They also stated that runners (charity runners I assume) who did not meet the qualifying standards for their age and gender should consider deferring until next year. I thought saying "THIS IS NOT A RACE" was quite funny. I'm sure the elites and competitive runners were laughing at the statement.  My argument to the last statement is that anyone who has not met the qualifying standards should not be running the race in the first place.

Race Plan
My initial race plan had the conditions been favorable was to run in the range of 5:48-5:54 pace, which would give me a finishing time between 2:32 and a sub-2:35.  Knowing how hot it was going to be and having already experienced running in those temps in '04, I decided to throw away a time goal and just run smart, but still race, and finish in one piece.  I figured that if I hydrate throughout the race, wear a hat and sunglasses to stay cool, and run at a sustainable effort, then I'd have a good race in tough conditions. 

My bib number was #210 putting me in Wave 1/Corral 1 with the elite men.  I lined up somewhere in the middle of the corral so I wouldn't be fooled into taking off faster than I wanted to.  It took me about 10 seconds to get to the actual start line when the gun went off.  As I made my way out of Hopkington I made sure I monitored my breathing and body to determine the right effort and pace.  At the 1 Mile marker I split my watch and it read 3:40.  That can't be right! It only took a second to realize that it was the 1Km mark and not the mile mark.  A couple minutes later I reached the actual 1 Mile mark in 5:59.  The effort felt right, so I decided to continue at about a 6 minute pace.  I hit the 5K timing mat in 18:35 (5:59 pace) and felt very comfortable.  

Hydration and staying cool.
Hydration was extremely vital with the sweltering heat and temps in the low-80s.  I know it sounds like a no brainer, but I think most runners still don't drink enough in the heat.  At each fluid station I took in gatorade and water. About 10K, which I crossed in 37:05, I took in my first energy gel.  The heat was hammering down on us at that point.  I tried to run in the shade whenever possible. The problem was that there was not much shade on the course.  To stay cool I took water at the fluid stations and from the amazing spectators lining the course and poured it over my head.  I would take off my hat, pour water on my head and in the hat, and then put my hat back on. Wearing a hat was probably the smartest decision I made.  On Sunday I stopped by the Greater Boston Running Store and bought a running hat, because I knew it would help my body and core temp cool down.  Besides water I also took sponges and ice cubes offered by the spectators and put it under my hat.  I truly believe that the hat helped me defeat the heat.  Additionally, I took a water bottle that was on the elite water tables and literally showered myself.  The race volunteers manning the elite fluid stations were encouraging us to take the water bottles.  It seemed that they wanted us to take them so they can pack up the tables. 

Halfway there.
Approaching Wellesley College I could hear the screaming tunnel from about a mile away. I kept telling myself to stay relax knowing how easy it is to pick up the pace when running by the Wellesley girls. In '04 I ran a fast 13th mile and ended up paying for it later in the race.  I wasn't about to make the same mistake.  I certainly didn't as my Mile 13 split was 5:58.  I came across the half-marathon mark at 1:18:29.  I just had to maintain the pace and I'd finish in a respectable time in tough conditions.  At the 16th mile all I could think about was in  '04 when I had to stop and massage a cramp in my calf.  Getting through the hills at 16, 18 and then 21 was no problem. It actually gave me a lot of confidence because I was catching many runners and passing them quickly on the hills.  It must have been a very long 2nd half for some of the runners.  

Consistency & Negative Splits!
Bringing it home.
At about mile 20-21 I encountered a scare.  Just before Heartbreak Hill I felt a small twinge in my left hamstring.  I could feel that a muscle cramp in the left hamstring was about to happen.  I kept calm telling myself to just get to the next fluid station so I could take in more fluids.  Luckily, it wasn't too long after that I came across the fluid station.  I drank two cups of gatorade, one cup of water, and took in an energy gel.  I also took another cup of water and poured it over my head to cool off.  Surprisingly, the cramp never developed, and instead I started to feel a boost of energy. I got to Beacon Street and was in complete awe with the crowd support. Still feeling great and knowing that I only had a few miles to go I decided to get the crowd to cheer me on.  I'd raise both hands to get the crowd to respond with a louder cheer.  They did and I would give them a big thumbs up.  There's no doubt that crowd support in a marathon can immensely help you, especially late in the race.  The tremendous crowd support along Beacon and Boylston street motivated me to run my fastest mile splits of the race. I averaged 5:53 pace for last 7.2K or ~4.5 miles (35K - Finish).  Amazingly, my 26th mile split was a 5:42.  As you can see from my splits, I was very consistent throughout the race, even in the hills, and finished strong. After looking through the results, I realized that I was the only runner in the Top 60 that ran a negative split race (1:18:29, 1:18:06)!  Also, I was the 2nd fastest Boston Marathon finisher within the states of Missouri and Kansas.  My running friend Aaron Hohn from KC finished in an amazing 25th Place with a 2:31:09, and was the 1st finisher from Missouri/Kansas. My wife also ran a very good race finishing in 3:29:27, an excellent time in the sweltering heat.  

Team Blas beats the heat in Boston!