Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Experiencing the fastest Boston Marathon ever - Karl Siebach

Karl had the honor to race in the Boston Marathon this past weekend.  It was an amazing race where two men ran faster than the current world record, Ryan Hall ran under the American Record, and American underdog, Desiree Davila, nearly won it all.  Read about his great experience running the most historic marathon in the world:

I started my race in the 3rd row in heat one corral, one right behind the elites and professionals, the perfect spot. I was going into the race feeling great but had no idea what the turn out would be because of some adjustments I had made in my training, the adjustments being higher milage weeks and slower, more conservative recovery runs plus I actually did some tempo runs and speed workouts. I'm still trying to learn how to taper down for the marathon, and what I did worked, but it felt like I was tapering to early. I felt like going into the race that I had no strength and no speed in my legs because I had only ran 50 miles and 35 miles the weeks before the race. So, I went into the race without much confidence in my training but I kept remembering the high milage weeks and the hard speed and tempos workouts, re-boosting my confidence. 

Well, back to the race. I started out in a 5:23 mile and was like, "ok that was a pretty good mile for a down hill start but slow it down, no reason to get too excited." I dropped it to a 5:30 and thought, "good, right on pace." Eventually, I was just trying to find a good group of guys to hang with.  I would catch a group and stay with them for about a minute then I would see another group just another 50 meters ahead and would say to myself, "go catch them."  It was a good plan until I was going faster then my race plan but was just feeling amazing. I figured I had better find out what my body could do while I was having a good day, plus since it was only my second marathon I had to test my limits. I kept remembering I was running the Boston marathon and couldn't believe I was there. The course was awesome with all the crowds just pumping you up. They kept commenting on my hair since it's so long and my race number because it so high. 

Mile 14, I was in a little bit of trouble. I started to feel my left calf cramp up and was like "you can't do this to me!" I had never had that happen to me so I eased up a little and tried to do that slow running stride stretch on my left side and luckily it worked. I continued to press on. I was probably in or around 40th place until about mile 18, then I started to feel my fast start. My half marathon split was my second fastest half marathon ever. 

I kept pushing it until mile 20, hoping that I wouldn't crash too hard, knowing that even if I were to run a 75 min second half I would be at 2:25 pace.  But, the hills came and they kicked my butt. I was losing hope after mile 22 and 23. Aaron Metler, the St. George Marathon winner, caught me and gave me some extra motivation and confidence to try and find a second wind. I dug down and just tried to salvage the last 3 miles of the race.  I kept telling myself that if I averaged the last 3 miles in 6 min/mile, I would be under 2:30. The legs were shot, no energy left, dieing to just cross the finish line.  

Finally I could see it and could see people behind me coming up, but no one passed. I crossed the line, hit the watch, and started to get light-headed and eventually fell to my knees. I was like "dang, I don't want to be one of those kind, get up you idiot!"  But, before I got up on my own, two people grabbed me and stood me up, which I was grateful for. They followed me just to make sure I was fine but I was walking on my own. I have never felt like this after race.  Ever. I was cramping in every part of my legs, just trying not stop walking and have it get worse. After about 20 minutes, I think, it was 20 mins maybe longer, I was really out of it, I felt that I could finally bend over and change my shoes. Then I saw Paul Petersen and I was curious to know how he finished.  He had qualified for the Olympic Trials!  It was awesome to know the 3rd overall American and to have him know who I was. Great guy, it was well deserved. He inspires me that I can maybe make it to that level of running one day. 

In the end it was a fun race to test my limits and to wonder what would happen if I would have gone a out a little more conservative. Chicago here I come. 2:22:00!!!!

Splits:Mile 1 - 5.23  Mile 2 - 5.30  Mile 3 - 5.22  Mile 4 - 5.17  Mile 5 - 5.30  Mile 6 - 5.18  Mile 7 - 5.10  Mile 8 - 5,18  Mile 9 - 5.17  Mile 10 - 5.20  Mile 11 - 5.19  Mile 12 - 5.09  Mile 13,14 - 10.41  Mile 15 - 5.37  Mile 16- 5.16  Mile 17 - 5.39  Mile 18 - 5.50  Mile 19 - 5.36  Mile 20 - 6.08  Mile 21 - 7.30  Mile 22 - 7.05  Mile 23 - 6.08  Mile 24 - 5.38  Mile 25 - 6.09  Mile 26 - 7.22 (1.2mile) 


  1. Karl, was this your first Boston? It is very easy to get carried away in the first half. You did an excellent job to hang on and break 2:30. 2:22 is a reasonable goal. Do you have any plans for Utah races coming up?

    James Moore

  2. Thanks James. It was a very fun race with the crowd and history of the Boston Marathon. It was my first time running Boston and 2nd time running the Marathon. Just trying to learn all I can about the marathon so I can be ready for Chicago. Doing the UV Half and the Bryce Canyon Half. How about you?