Doonst runs PEC hoping to PB and BQ. Edit: I'm In!

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Doonst runs PEC hoping to PB and BQ. Edit: I'm In!

Postby Doonst » Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:56 pm

My training had gone very well, nice numbers and good half time last month gave me reason to think a BQ was a real possibility. I needed a 3:35:59, 5 minutes faster than my first this spring at NCM. PEC sounded like my kind of course, rural and medium small. 255 in the full last year, 555 in the half. It really is a great race, the expo/pasta dinner, course, and people were all very pleasant. The rented cottage was full of maniacs, that was very nice also. (can I say who yet?)
My day started well, no big problems getting to the starting line. It is a one way course, finishing in Picton. Went off at the start with dgrant and Sanders, all had similar pace in mind. Speed was almost a constant 4:57 K pace. Just a few easy rollers, barely noticeable. Very pretty course, all farms and beaches. Road was closed to traffic in both directions, lots of spectators considering the rural setting. Eventually it was just Dave and I, just trucking along. Saw the halfers lined up waiting to start, I was still in a fine mood here although I realized that we were already off pace for my 3:30 whisper goal. No big. 5 K splits were all just under 25 minutes right up until 30 K, which we passed at 2:29:46. That's just faster than my ATB 30, sounded real good but. By 25 K I mentioned that it was feeling maybe harder than I would hope for at that point. I just never had quite the spring in my step that I did in Ottawa for my first full. I always knew that that was one of those perfect days when everything comes together and it all seems so easy. "It never got hard" I had said, great for a first but today it got hard. I saw Dave pull ahead at 30 k, first time a pretty face doing a double race weekend cruised by us. He didn't even say goodbye, not to me at least. :lol:
I had 2 tough Ks, first time I thought I might not make it. Then after a gel at 34, I picked it up again, got a second wind. Then just in sight of the 37 K marker and the biggest hill, my hamstring started to cramp. I ran limping for about 30 seconds, then stopped to stretch it out. Of course I thought my goal was over. 30-40 seconds stopped stretching, then I started up the big hill. The hill wasn't too bad! Maybe it was the time stopped, but I was okay again. I did the math, we know how hard that is at this point. At 38 K, i had used up my 4 minute cushion that i had at 30 K. I had to run it in at around 5:07, my overall average pace to qualify. I had only run one of those since 30 k. One last hill, just chugging. The last 3 K, I knew it was going to come down to seconds. I ran a 5:06, 5:05, and 5:08, then 400 M at 5:02 pace to finish. I believe that was the hardest I have ever run, plodding along absolutely as fast as my beaten body could muster. It's so much easier when its easy. In Ottawa my last split was a very jaunty 4:37. As slow as it felt, I passed more people in that last stretch than I had since maybe halfway. I had been repeating "I gotta do it" from Robbie-T at the 36K mark of his BQ race. That turned near the end to "this is me doing it", an original chant. I did think that I might pull it off, knew it was down to seconds. As I approached the line, I heard the announcer call out somebody's result as 3:35:54. I was still 20 seconds out, and that although that was gun time, I was gonna miss it. Yes, by 7 seconds. Gunn 3:36:14, watch 3:36:06. I knew that could be out 2 seconds either way, but it wasn't. 7 seconds.
68th Sheldon Gragg bib 185 gun 3:36:14 chip 3:36:06 pace 5:08 Male 50-59 gender 56/132 group 10/35
The one thing I know is that I left it all out on the course, I even borrowed and stole some and left that out there too. I could rethink things all night, but the bottom line is 40 seconds of stretching out a cramp was more than I had to spare. My right leg had been bothering me a fair bit since Wednesday night, just hard as a rock. On another day maybe.
I was so bagged, I got my water, blanket and medal from Heather , Jane's daughter. I laid down on the grass and closed my eyes, 2 med watchers asked me if I was sure I was okay. l assured them I was, but they wouldn't leave as long as my eyes were closed. Eventually one offered to get me a juice, I agreed mostly to get some peace. Then Dave found me, and when they saw I was talking even laying down still, they left me alone. Again, the people there were wonderful. Then came a massage, free beer, dry clothes, great meet and greet, etc. Then we went to get the car that Dave and I had taken to the start. My S.O. and friend who had done the half wanted to drive the course again to take picture, so I got back to the cottage for a shower by 5 PM. Beat.

How do I feel? Well, good question. I can probably run Boston, but those 7 seconds sure took a little away from the big celebration. I don't know whether to be disappointed or take what I got. I have wondered if i wouldn't rather have cramped up slightly more to make it out of the question then and there. Or missed it by 3 minutes, oh well try again. I mean what do you do? Spend a grand and do it all again next month by myself in Baltimore or Philly? Just do it and explain 500 times? When I was laying down on the grass after the race, I was thinking that I was never doing that again even if the mayor of Boston phoned me and personally begged me to do it. I'll get back to you on that. I know, I know, I have a lot to celebrate, a marathon PB is great news. In the end I know, it wasn't an awful race. I figure, it was just an average marathon, which means painful and tough as hell. I've said, 10 times tougher than my first. Now I know what everybody was talking about.

ETA: Thanks to so many, Dave the partner in crime, all my flat mates esp. the dog watcher, I thank you, Heather thanks you, and Bud thanks you; my fan club everywhere esp Hula Girl, Devalera for literally going out of his way tho make the meet and greet.

Edited October 23: I just got the email,
Dear Sheldon S. Gragg,

This is to notify you that your entry into the 112th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, 2008 has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate.

Pop that champagne,
I'm going to the game! Woo-hoo! :P
Last edited by Doonst on Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby AlfiefromPickering » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:05 pm

Congratulations. Even if it is not exactly a PB, it is a remarkable time indeed. Too bad Dave didn't say good bye when he sped away from you!
Last edited by AlfiefromPickering on Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby runjanerun » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:06 pm

Yup, marathons are tough! I saw that in the faces of pretty well everyone who came across that finish line today. You had a bit of a hard day, but you still had an amazing time Sheldon! And seven seconds off BQ! So what ARE you going to do?

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Postby JLA » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:30 pm

Sheldon, I'm so sorry I didn't get to see you to congratulate you after the race, but when the dust/exhaustion settles I'm sure you're going to feel just ridiculously proud of what you accomplished today--regardless of what you decide to do about Boston. Like you say, you literally left it all out there even when body and mind were conspiring to grind you to a halt. Well done. Rest up-- decisions can wait!

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Re: Doonst runs PEC hoping to PB and BQ.

Postby rundmc » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:33 pm

Doonst wrote:I mean what do you do? Spend a grand and do it all again next month by myself in Baltimore or Philly? Just do it and explain 500 times?
What? What're you talking about? Just send the BAA an email and try and use this time. What's the worst that can happen? They don't let you in? Don't worry about not having "really" qualified. You were seven seconds short today. Big deal.

Great race, of course.

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Postby JLA » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:35 pm

PS- I think you should go for it.

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Postby casual-runner » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:38 pm

Congratulations it is great result and PB!!!
I am sorry for that 7 seconds. I didn't see you lately, but I have seen Dave's shaved head, it had given him the extra kick :) , if you had shaved you had you probably would have reclaimed that 7 second in this race :) :wink:
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Re: Doonst runs PEC hoping to PB and BQ.

Postby redhead » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:39 pm

Doonst wrote:The one thing I know is that I left it all out on the course, I even borrowed and stole some and left that out there too.

You absolutely did that Sheldon. A race to be proud of for sure. Damn hamstring. 7 seconds has never seemed so huge, but it's still just 7 seconds. I say just do it, explanations be-damned! You earned it in my books. Congratulations on digging so deep, and on your PB. Be proud of your accomplishment Doonst - we certainly are!
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Re: Doonst runs PEC hoping to PB and BQ.

Postby Jwolf » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:40 pm

rundmc wrote:Just send the BAA an email and try and use this time..

nope-- not an email-- a post. :)

send in your application. as i said in the pm, if they accept you, you qualified. period.
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Postby Robbie-T » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:42 pm

Just goes to show anything can happen in a marathon. I figured you had this race buttoned up, well you did, to get that close to a BQ is a heart breaker but it also means you ran a hell of a race too. Top 10 in your age group!
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Postby q » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:43 pm

I agree, sent it in!

Nice run! Congrats!
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Postby BaldGuy » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:03 am

Sheldon, that's a helluva race. Sucks to be seven seconds off your BQ, but you ran a good, hard race. Don't get into the woulda/coulda/shoulda stuff, you did what you did and the outcome is the outcome. And hey, send 'em your application. The worst they can say is 'yes'. ;-)

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Postby trixiee » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:22 am

You ran an awesome race. Top 10 AG? Holy smokin fast run, Sheldon!

I hope you at least send off the letter. If the Boston folks say ok, well then... I hear Boston is lovely in the spring :D

CONGRATULATIONS on giving it everything you had!

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Postby Dani » Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:23 am

You have earned Boston.
Send the letter.
Impressive work Sheldon.

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Postby RayMan » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:17 am

Well done sir! Seven seconds - over 42.2 kilometers! Crazy math!

What a great race for you, and an awesome time. I hope that Boston will accept your time - if not, I am sure you can beat this time on your next race.

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Postby BJH » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:28 am

Way to go Sheldon. Tt was a great day for a race. Seven seconds off sucks, but you had a great PB and a great race. I am thrilled for you!

Don't make any decisions right away. Think about it for a bit. But it can't hurt to send in the application.
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Postby Jo-Jo » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:29 am


I have to say my heart sank a bit when I saw you on the course. I had been chatting with a few spectators and told them I was there to cheer some friends...but one friend in particular who was hoping to BQ. When you ran by not looking like you were "having the time of your life" I said to them..."that's my BQ friend...I think it's going to be very close" I think you can see that you have lots of support in writing to BAA, including mine :D

BTW....after the race a Marathon Finisher came up to me and introduced himself by saying ..."I ran a little bit with someone who told me you were going to be here...and that he has own fan club" I think the runner said he was from Ottawa...needless to say as your Loyal Official Fan I was pleased to say..."yep I'm the Official Fan" :wink: :wink:

As always it was great seeing you Sheldon. It was fun teasing Heather too :wink: And meeting Buddy :D
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Postby Kristi » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:32 am

Good for you about leaving it all out there. I think that you should follow Donald's rule of waiting before making any decisions. I think it's 2 weeks. Then figure out what you want to do or don't want to. But don't make any decisions today - because you should be busy celebrating your pb and a job well done.

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Postby braveheart » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:35 am

I agree send it in

amazing report to read - you did leave it all out there - way to go Sheldon

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Postby Strider » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:44 am

What a great report. I know you are disappointed to not have the exact time and be able to celebrate. But there is no doubt the BAA will accept your application, NOR is there any doubt that you have the qualifying time in you. As far as anyone is concerned, you did run it fast enough.

See you in Boston, if not before.

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Postby scrumhalfgirl » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:50 am

Sheldon - Congratulations on a PB, finishing 10th in your AG, and for running a gutsy marathon.
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Postby Nicholas » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:51 am

Way to leave it all out there on the course, Sheldon. You can't ask much more than that. Pity about the cramp and losing time there. I won't comment on those magical 7 seconds because you ran hard and done good, whatever.......

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Postby Run26.2 » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:53 am

Excellent race big man!!
As others have mentioned, the BAA will happily accept your application...Bart Yasso once told me at a race expo a number of years ago that "while everyone knows that the BAA gives people the extra 59 seconds on qualifying times, what is not so well known is that they will let you go into the next minute as well 'cause those folks want as many people as possible to experience Boston"........

Congrats! 8)
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Postby The Moose » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:59 am

Great race! Great time! Great report!
Hang in there, I know the feeling.

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Re: Doonst runs PEC hoping to PB and BQ.

Postby mcshame » Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:05 am

Doonst wrote: In the end I know, it wasn't an awful race. I figure, it was just an average marathon, which means painful and tough as hell. I've said, 10 times tougher than my first. Now I know what everybody was talking about.

I think it was Rayman that told me he was glad my 1st completed marathon was so tough. Now I understand why. Your 1st was a breeze, and this one was tough. You had to dig deep, fight pain, focus on that goal, fight the fear of not achieving it.

In my eyes, this was your marathon. You had nothing left, you were hurting, you gave it your all. And you were right there on your time. 7 seconds is nothing, you ran a tough gutsy race. How easy could it have been to give into the pain and and finish minutes off. Seriously, think about it. It would have been way easier to have finished this race minutes off, but you didn't, you fought to the end.

If I were sitting in the BAC office and I saw 3:36:06 on the application, I see a fighter, someone that didn't quit. I would accept the application because that runner deserves to be in Boston.

Very proud of you Sheldon, keep your head high.

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